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Opinions on heaters

Mstansbury0704

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I’m 100% new to aquariums. My fiancé sweet talked me into a Betta fish since she was given a little tiny .7 gallon ez care tank that has the “gray” water catch bucket on the back. Petsmart carries them I think...anyway I decided to go out and get this little Betta fish a real aquarium and got a 5.5 aquarium kit. I’d like to get a good heater for him. However I can’t see myself spending 60 dollars on a heater.. all of the reviews on Amazon of people killing all of their fish with literally every single brand of heater out there has kind of scared me off. I’d really like an adjustable one, with some sort of digital display. However that may be out of my price range. Any ideas or any heaters in the 30ish dollar price range that stand out from the rest? Tank is about 16” long by 9” tall.
 

Deanasue

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I usually use Hydor Theo heaters. They’re pretty reliable and haven’t let me down. You can get them in a number of sizes. I paid $10.00 for a 100 watt. Best of luck. Let us know if you have other questions.
 
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Mstansbury0704

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After some more searching and searching for future tank mates for this Betta I’m kind of torn really at the moment between going on a cheap heater or all in on a 50 or even a 75watt Neotherm.
I kind of would like to get a bigger tank some day now that I’ve seen how aesthetically pleasing a well put together aquarium can be, plus I’d like to be able to put some fish with the Betta instead of some little ghost shrimp or a snail...however that’s a lot of heater for the small amount of water I currently have.
My fiancé has two ball pythons in a 40 gal aquarium that she’s been thinking of getting rid of. She says that it’s not a terrarium but in fact an actual aquarium she got a long time ago on that dollar a gallon thing I think Petco or petsmart used to do(still does?)..so that would be awesome..
Ugh I wish we never went to the pet store that day. I’ve got the freaking fish itch now lol. Pondering about aquariums is something I thought I’d never do... okay so being I’m a newbie my question is say I don’t cheap out, is 75 watts too much for a 5.5 gallon? I’d think it would heat the water so much faster than desired that it would really shock the fish..
 

Deanasue

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I have a 100G in a 5.5 right now. It’s set at 80F and shuts off at that. No problems so far.
 
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Mstansbury0704

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That’s really interesting being both wattages are nearly exact same price.. Then if I’d want to upgrade I wouldn’t have a useless underpowered heater..I have some things to ponder. So far I guess the only issue that could arise from using a overpowered temperature regulated heater like this is how often it would be switching on and off possibly wearing the heater itself down. I may in fact go with a higher wattage Neotherm for future plans.. also going back to this large snake aquarium I was talking about, is there a way to differentiate between an aquarium and a terrarium? Like glass thickness or something?
 

essjay

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Not heater related, but just to say that bettas are not community fish and are best kept alone. I would keep the betta in the 5.5 gallon, and use a future bigger tank for other fish.
 

Jan Cavalieri

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Search on Amazon for : Hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater, Adjustable Fish Tank Heater Compact Reliable Betta Heater, Heat-Resistant Milky Quartz Made, with External Temp Controller,

The 50 watt which is what you need, is $27.99. If you want a cheap heater you won't be able to set the temperature - it will just always set itself at 78 degrees +/- 2 degrees. I don't like that at all. I want to be able to set my thermometer AND I WANT TO SET IT IN FARHENHEIT which is what this thermometer does. If you want quality and features in the fish world you will pay for it. Also get a small pump and aeration stone - some betta's love to play in the bubbles and it will keep the tank well oxygenated. Get him a marimiso ball for a toy - many enjoy batting them around.

Now you've got the bug for keeping fish you are in trouble now. I originally started with a $1500 budget for a 29 Acrylic aquarium (twice as expensive than glass but 1/2 the weight and 16x the strength but seriously hard to remove algae and it's starting to bow so I am going back to glass) and the best filter, heater, plants, solutions and fish money can buy. I'm now up over $3000 with two 29 gallon and one 5 gallon and I just ordered another 29 gallon after my Gourami grew far bigger than advertised and I'm having a heck of a time keeping ammonia down. Plus they just look crowded or "cosy" - so I'll be moving a number of those fish into the new tank and, of course, buying a few more smaller fish - LOVE the Bushnose pleco and the Dojo Placo and I've bought most of the Gourami's available and attractive. These guys grow to over 4 inches but don't have the bulk of a 4" Gourami (or 6" as some of mine are growing to). Don't want to risk over populating again.

Buy the best and buy exactly what you want or you won't be satisfied.
 

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In the time I left the hobby and came back heaters haven't changed much. In my experience heaters are the one thing that manufacturers have nailed down perfectly. Even way back in the days of non-submersible heaters they were bombproof. Those old out of the water heaters were tricky to set but once set they were as reliable as sunrise and sunset. I have NEVER had a heater malfunction and I have had dozens of them. Now I read reviews of the different ones on retailer websites and people lambaste them. What gives ? I just got a new Penn-Plax 25 watt for my 5 gallon and I fully expect it to last forever. The one thing I do know for sure is that Ebo Jaeger was once the gold standard in aquarium heaters. Probably made in China now.
 

Fishmanic

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I have had several heaters fail on me...they all stopped heating.....better than cooking your fish but still....three were covered by a warranty so I got replacements. I always keep a spare heater should any of my heaters in my 4 tanks fail.
 

Deanasue

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I agree. I always have spare equipment stashed away for emergencies.
 

seangee

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I have had several heaters fail on me...they all stopped heating.....better than cooking your fish but still....three were covered by a warranty so I got replacements. I always keep a spare heater should any of my heaters in my 4 tanks fail.
I had one do that. But I have also had one that did not turn itself off. The outcome was not good - that's why I use external controllers as a backstop now. (It was a big brand heater too - one of the biggest around).
 

Octillery

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Hi Stan (that is your TFF name now).

A 50W heater for a 5 gal tank should be fine. Make sure it's adjustable. Set it to around 26.5 degrees for your Betta. You should plant any live plants about an inch or so away from it to prevent scorching.

Bettas live alone. You may get away with a shrimp or two, but depending on the betta, you might not. I've heard of them flaring before even snails.

Anyway, good luck. I have a thread going on the same part of the forum as this thread, if you want to take a look. The floating plants I bought provide good cover for the betta too and encourage bubble nest building.

I suppose this has now become your Betta project, not your lady friend's. Oh well!
 

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I've been pondering this heater question and failures. I know that some people put cold water in tanks and then expect the heater to bring up the temperature 20 degrees or more. I don't think they were ever intended to do that. That's asking too much of such a small appliance. You have to match the watts to the tank size. Too much power in too little water is as bad as too little power in too much water. If you use them properly they are just about foolproof. I am a sufficiently talented fool and have never had any problems with heaters and I also am a tight wad and only buy cheap ones.
 

Octillery

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I've been pondering this heater question and failures. I know that some people put cold water in tanks and then expect the heater to bring up the temperature 20 degrees or more. I don't think they were ever intended to do that. That's asking too much of such a small appliance. You have to match the watts to the tank size. Too much power in too little water is as bad as too little power in too much water. If you use them properly they are just about foolproof. I am a sufficiently talented fool and have never had any problems with heaters and I also am a tight wad and only buy cheap ones.
Surely a heater is just on or off though? If you pour cold water into an aquarium it will switch on and stay on until the temp has risen to the set level? Or are you saying they're not meant to be on all the time?

It gets pretty cold where I am through the day. Smaller aquariums cool down quite easy in the winter, so the heater is on often. It shouldn't be asking too much of an appliance to work as directed (but hey... I'm not an electrician!!)

I never poured cold water into mine because it would shock the fish, but I have done it when there's no fish there.
 
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