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My thermometer fried my fish (and probably a snail)

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Jan Cavalieri, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Jan Cavalieri

    Jan Cavalieri Fish Crazy
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    These poor Zebra danio's (only 2 left now) have been to hell and back. About a week ago one of my danios was being severely bullied by another one - and was literally starving to death (no idea why the stupid fish didn't eat the extra's that fell to the bottom floor like all my other species do), but any way - I was in the process of cycling the 29 gal with the 3 danio's and at the middle of cycling the little 6 gal tank. I decided to remove whichever I could catch - turned out to be the bully and he made the move to the 6 gallon that's still never cycled and still buried in Ammonia after two water changes but he's doing great.(of course he is - he's the toughest fish in the tank).

    The poor little bullied one I think was somewhat motor skill disabled - he never seemed able to catch a piece of moving food in the water. The other fish just left him alone - the tank was almost finished cycling and today I wake up with a dead Zebra Danio (the little sickly one). I checked my thermometer and it said 89 degrees !!!!!!! Even a snail boiled. I don't move fast anymore but this got me moving. I removed as much water with small bucket as I could and dumped the water - noticed the new "cold" water in my facet is about 85 degrees. So I got a bigger bucket and started adding ice to cool it off. I repeated this at least 10 times to get it down near to 80 degrees and I was just too exhausted (and out of ice cubes) to continue. It is now a cozy 79.3.

    I have messed around with multiple thermometers and even though some were expensive and some cheap the are all crap. I am FED UP. If the aquarium industry want to know why newbies quit in one year or less - it's not because of the fish, it's not because of disease, it's not because of tank cleaning and testing it's because of ALL THE CRAPPY EQUIPMENT. I haven't keep formal tracks of my returns to Amazon and Ebay (I usually give up on ebay returns the sellers are so bad now - completely different story on Amazon) but I know well over 1/2 of my equipment has had to be returned. We've got details like, bad suction cups (that alone could take a paragraph), but mostly bad electronics or absolutely no explanation on how to use them. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me find 3 good thermometers that do the following:

    1. Take the temperature accurately (I have one that is always off by exactly 3 degrees. defective but at least I know it's reliably defective).
    2. Displays the temperature (either in the water or out.)
    3. Allows me to EASILY ADJUST the temperature which means it needs to show me what temperature it's set on NOW and show me what I'm asking it to be set on in the future. None of this "wait until the green light, or wait until the orange light" turns on - I want a NUMBER that corresponds to an actual TEMPERATURE.
    4. Display In Fahrenheit (it can display Celsius too)
    5. Everything printed so I can read it with my glasses on
    6. Instructions in at least English - my Spanish isn't good and I'm really bad with Chinese.

    I AM SERIOUSLY DESPARATE - MY FISH'S LIVES DEPEND ON THIS - PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS OR TELL ME NONE EXIST - MAYBE IT TAKES TWO OR THREE GADGETS TO FIGURE IT OUT - TELL ME ANYTHING THAT WILL SAVE MY FISH!!

    Yours Truly, JanC
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I assume you mean heater, not thermometer?

    I use Rena heaters, which have a built in thermostat. They are fully submersible heaters, with an adjustable temperature range that goes from 18-32C (64-90F). I found them to be very reliable and last for years.

    With aquarium heaters, if you have a high wattage heater in a small volume of water, the heater will usually warm that water up to a higher temperature than what the heater is set on.
    If you have a heater that is too small (low wattage) for the water volume, it won't hold the temperature as well and you will probably find the water is cooler than the heater setting.

    As a general rule, you use a:
    100watt heater for a 10 gallon tank.
    150watt heater for 30 gallons.
    200watt heater for 40-50 gallons.

    Heaters that are 25-50watts are generally unreliable and I won't use anything less than a 100 watt heater.

    --------------------------
    If you live in a warm climate, you might not even need a heater. And if you have central heater and the house/ room temperature is above 22C (72F), you can go without a heater too unless you keep discus or need to use heat to treat whitespot.
     
  3. seangee

    seangee Member

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    I use one of these as a backstop https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B018K2DKYW/

    I still use heaters with a thermostat so I have 2 systems in place to make sure they can't fry. If your heater stops working you have a few days to fix it (I check the temp daily) before it becomes a problem. But if it gets too hot ...
     
  4. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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  5. seangee

    seangee Member

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    As long as they keep working :(
    The reason for my backstop is in case it fails. If the thermostat fails in the on position it just stays on and keeps heating. The separate controller cuts the power going to the heater so if it fails in that way you still won't overheat.
     
  6. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    That is something I never thought about @seangee! That makes a lot of sense. :)
     
  7. Jan Cavalieri

    Jan Cavalieri Fish Crazy
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    So how do you set the thermostat for your heater (I guess that would be more important words for what I am describing). When I turn on the heater in house it doesn't ask me how big it is (I assume the heater was sized appropriately for the house). So I have no problem selecting the correct side of heater for the aquarium that I own. I also understand the safety rules. What I have a problem with then is the thermostat part of the heater. One of the heaters I own can set it at only a single temperature - either 25 or 26 degrees Celsius -neither is acceptable to me since neither is equivalent to 78 degrees Fahrenheit - the recommended temperature. It also doesn't let me change it - since supposedly you can cycle a tank faster (without fish) at 82 degress F or higher. Can't use it as a "hospital" bed since you can't change water temperature.

    Another one (the one that fried my fish) has a knob at the top and some tiny little letters or number running down the side of the thermometer. I will assume numbers. I also had to assume Celsius since there were a lot of what appeared to be "2's" But if I moved the knob nothing happened other than eventually a green or orange light turned on or off. Since I couldn't read the numbers I had no idea what to turn it to and how many turns to make (like Dorothy in Oz). I know there are only about 10 turns possible but I can't read the start or finish. My "guessing" (and counting lines of text) was a very bad idea since I ended up setting it at 89 degrees F (but since it's in Celsius it would have been 31.67 C). The significance of the green vs orange light was completely unexplainable.
     
  8. Jan Cavalieri

    Jan Cavalieri Fish Crazy
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    Here is one that is perfect - it shows you what the current temperature is and shows you where you are setting the new temperature. I swear it is the ONLY one like it I've found on Amazon, I guess it's just such a simple subject nobody thought of it

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HGXHX5Y/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza

    One major problem is that it only works for glass aquariums and I have 2 glass, 1 acrylic tank. It's bad enough already trying to keep supplies labeled for the type of tank they must be use on. You can't "tape on" a little sign or it will eventually fall off - don't know why the retailers - especially if they make the equipment for both types of tanks - just print it right on the equipment
     
  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    There is no difference between heaters used in glass or acrylic tanks. All aquarium heaters have a thermostat at the top part, which the cord goes onto. And a heating coil at the bottom part. The heating coil heats the glass up on the heater and that heats the water up.

    The thermostat turns the heater on and off to control the temperature.

    re: The green light vs orange light. Green is either on or off, depending on make. One light comes on when the heater is warming up the water. Then it goes off when it's not heating the water. Some heaters have 2 lights but most only have 1 light that comes on when it's heating up.

    As long as the heater is not in contact with the acrylic aquarium, the heating coil will not melt the Perspex/ acrylic.

    Heaters should have the heating coil below the thermostat. The cord faces up, the glass part faces down.

    Some heaters have a rubber top with a dial under a rubber knob. You have to squeeze the rubber knob when you change the temperature.
     
  10. seangee

    seangee Member

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    :cool: Several decades ago that was the standard way of doing it. The principle is exaclty the same as the link I posted. Only mine has a power socket so I plug my own heater into it. This means I have 2 thermostats so if 1 fails the other will still turn the heater off. It also has 2 sockets so I can plug 2 heaters into it which means I am still covered in case one heater fails to turn on.
     

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