Heater or no heater? That is A question...

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Naterjm

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I’m running a 100w heater in my 20gal.

I believe it’s overkill. But here is my logic and an example of why I think it’s suitable.

Point #1: the fish I am keeping do not require temperatures above what the ambient room temperature keep the water at.

for some time now I have been monitoring The temperature of my aquarium, and it stay pretty stable around 76-78f.

that’s a combination of the tank being on the top floor and the stand being located over a heat register.

therefor I don’t use the heater to heat the aquarium.

Point #2: I keep the heater thermostat set below my desired tank temperature needs.

I do this in case something happens where a dramatic change in the occurs in the house and I need the heater to maintain appropriate temperature. That way I’m not cycling the heater on and off. Save the life of the heater sort of deal.

this makes it so my heater almost never runs.

Point #3: When something DOES happen, ie: my furnace died last night around 9:00pm, I have a powerful heater to maintain temperature in the tank.

We knew the furnace was on its way out, and we knew what was wrong with it, so this afternoon, I was able to repair it with the help of my father.

Even with 3 different space heaters, my upstairs living space dipped down to 66F but my aquarium heater kicked in and never saw a temperature dip below 74F.

long story not so long, I had an overkill heater maintain temps at an appropriate level overnight while my house dipped dramatically in temperatures. (I think I was around -8C last night not including windchill).

conclusion: I don’t normally USE the heater, but I do have one and do rely on it. Two weeks ago I almost took it out as well, just to see if I really needed at all. Turns out, I do!
 

jonny-5

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Not overkill at all, i run a 100w heater in my 10 Gallon breeder & its very very good. I have a very busy house here with 4 kids so there is always somebody in/out & it does get drafty. My old 50W heater struggled to maintain the temp after a door or window was opened and the 100w brings it up to heat within a few mins. Besides that my heaters last longer as its not constantly cycling on/off.
I need a heater here as it does drop pretty cold at night during winter.
My room is maintained at 20oC, so my tank is not far off that figure at 25oC so i guess this is why i rarely see the heater on, When it does come on its litrally a minute or 2 then off.
All my tanks have 2 thermometers in, A digital probe with temp alarm at each end & another floating/sucker to glass manual thermometer, so i know temps are good
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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Not overkill at all, i run a 100w heater in my 10 Gallon breeder & its very very good. I have a very busy house here with 4 kids so there is always somebody in/out & it does get drafty. My old 50W heater struggled to maintain the temp after a door or window was opened and the 100w brings it up to heat within a few mins

Good point.
It’s all circumstantial. Day to day, my heater almost never turns on.

fortunately my home’s insulation along with the effectiveness of my furnace doesn’t allow for much temperature swing indoors. Especially upstairs where the tank is located. But we did experience quite a significant drop overnight and to be quite honest, I have no idea what effect that would have had on the fish, shrimp and snails.

im sure in the wild they would have been alright, but in my tank they’re very accustomed to steady temperatures.

I think generally, I’m falling in the camp that I don’t believe they’re necessary all the time (species depending), but they’re necessary to have
 

jonny-5

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I can see your point but for me putting aside the winter months, I would keep a heater on anyway to prevent huge temp swings & illness that can easy be prevented by maintaining temp.
The temp here varies on a huge scale year on year the winter can drop as low as prob 15oC in the house and the summer months can be 30oC, So if i maintain this temp inbetween these values the + or - temp during summer/winter is probably in tolerance of most tropical fish
 

mcordelia

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That's cool to hear! The room the 125gallon is in gets down to 64 during the winter because it's an addition on a slab and the original builder somehow thought that our forced air furnace on the complete other side of the house would also heat the jut-out addition har har har. Maybe one day I'll get electric baseboards installed and it'll be a more constant temperature, but for now here's to hoping my 2x200w of heating will keep the tank warm enough!!
 
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Naterjm

Naterjm

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Like I said, its circumstantial. It is all going to depend on the temps required for your fish, your tank size, your climate, your insulation and your homes ability to maintain an ambient temperature.

my circumstances allow me to have one and not use it on a everyday basis.

Also, for the record, my mother in law hired a tech who quoted us at $1500 to fix the furnace. OR $3500 for a new furnace. OR $8500 for a new furnace and AC.

they wanted $900 as part of that $1500 for the motor that needed to be replaced alone.

I found that motor for $202 on amazon, then enlisted my dad for help, who found it a couple cities away for $60. It’s about a half hour repair, and i gave my dad $100 because he drove to get the motor and brought it to me.

F*#% carpentry, I should have gone into HVAC. Bloody criminals...
 

Utar

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Rule of thumb for heaters is 5 watts per gallon.
 

Guyb93

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I live in the uk where weather is unpredictable at best , I use two undersized heaters , one is set at 32 one at 26 I do this because my heaters are pretty much needed 24/7 , one heater alone won’t increase my temp but it will drop very slowly so I set the second heater on the temp I want so it cuts off and on when needed as a safe guard kind of thing
 

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