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Thoughts On Using Two Heaters?

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I have always used two heaters in my tank, but a friend of mine who works at the same LFS said not to, he said that most of the time they aren't calibrated exactly the same, and one heater ends up on much more then the other, and puts strain on that heater. I have used two just in case the other malfunctions. What are peoples thoughts on this matter? Is my friend right?
 

ZoddyZod

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I think he's got a fair point.

I've noticed that the dial on mine seems to be off by at least 1 degree (set it to 24c, get 23c in the tank)

Get a thermometer and try each in a bucket seperately. That'll give you a good idea of how accurate the dials are and if you need to adjust them accordingly.
 

Bobtastic

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How much "more strain" on the heater would having another one do, in comparison to just having one to heat the whole tank? Surely having just one heater in a tank would be more strenuous for the heater?

I think depending on the size of the tank an extra heater would be advantagous and having a redundant heater would certain cover any failers.

Infact, I would probably set the the secondary heater at a slightly lower temperature than the primary so that you're not using twice as much electricity (in the case of a backup heater).
 

bae1994

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one will be working harder than the other but not as hard as it would if it was the only heater in the tank ssurely so i would nt worry
 
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How much "more strain" on the heater would having another one do, in comparison to just having one to heat the whole tank? Surely having just one heater in a tank would be more strenuous for the heater?

From what I understood the two heaters are supposed to be half the amount you want in total? Ie you want 300 watts, it's 150 watts each instead of a single 300W heater?

Maybe I am misunderstanding and have been doing it wrong all along. lol.
 

holidayinn

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Agree with Bob..I have 2 heaters on my big tank, both at different ends of the tank. Plan was that one would turn on when one half of the tank needed it. Not sure if it works this way though. They are both set to the same temp, but notice only one ever comes on, so it's the same as just having one heater. I use the other heater as a back-up, but there is always the risk they can bust
 

saz326

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I like the idea of having 2 heaters of the same make and model. They would both be calibrated in the same way (basically both fitted with the same parts which are pre-set by the individual parts manufacturer) so that even if they were set a degree different from each other - during water changes etc they would both come on and do the hardest work of heating.

Maintaining heat once the temp is reached may well mean one heater doing the work. But you would know which one it was so you could replace it sooner than the other.

The big benefit is that if one was to start overheating the water - you would have longer to notice before the fish became cooked - i.e. 100 W trying to boil a tank takes a lot longer than 300W trying to boil a tank.
 

Mr Spoon

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Don't see the point in having 2 heaters in a tank unless it's a massive tank, . heat is circulated quite well in most tanks anyway. Good when on holiday if one fails the back up one would save the fish. Good to have a spare one in the cupboard.

Good point saz - got longer to notice a fault before boiling your fish.
 

rdd1952

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I believe in 2 heaters for tanks of 4' or more simply for circulation purposes. I run 2 inline heaters on my 75 gallon. I would imagine that they work a little differently than regular heaters since the water passes through them constantly and not just around them.

I guess the point he makes is valid but it would be true even if they were validated depending on placement in the tank and other factors such as where filter outlets are and which one is farther away. And if one is on more, it may mean it lasts a shorter time frame but won't that mean the other will last longer since it isn't on very much? To me, it would still be a wash.

Besides getting better coverage from 2 heaters vs. 1 on a large tank, I think it also lessens the chance of a major problem if a heater malfunctions and locks on. If you have a single heater that is the right size for the tank and it locks on, it can severely overheat the tank to the point of killing fish either with the actual high temp or from lack of oxygen in the water caused by the high water temp.

A heater that is only strong enough for half the tank (thus using 2) would not have the power to over heat the tank too much since it isn't strong enough on it's own to heat the tank properly. For instance, if you are running a 100 gallon tank with 2 150 watt heaters, thus giving you the minimum 300 watts, if one of those 150 watt heaters stays on due to a faulty thermostat, it's unlikely that it will be able to raise the temp of that tank too high on it's own. It simply doesn't have enough wattage.
 
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I guess the point he makes is valid but it would be true even if they were validated depending on placement in the tank and other factors such as where filter outlets are and which one is farther away. And if one is on more, it may mean it lasts a shorter time frame but won't that mean the other will last longer since it isn't on very much? To me, it would still be a wash.
Yes but a single heater that is too small to heat the tank properly (by itself) would put quite a bit of strain on it wouldn't ya think? Thus leaving it more likely to burn out? Then you also have to worry that each part of the tank is a different temperature?
 

Dorkhedeos

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I guess the point he makes is valid but it would be true even if they were validated depending on placement in the tank and other factors such as where filter outlets are and which one is farther away. And if one is on more, it may mean it lasts a shorter time frame but won't that mean the other will last longer since it isn't on very much? To me, it would still be a wash.
Yes but a single heater that is too small to heat the tank properly (by itself) would put quite a bit of strain on it wouldn't ya think? Thus leaving it more likely to burn out? Then you also have to worry that each part of the tank is a different temperature?
Fish arent going to die because they swim into a section of water that is a few degrees hotter/colder than where they came from. A single heater too small would be strained, but if you buy a good quality heater, this shouldnt be that big of a problem.
 

tubthumped

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I use 2 heaters in my tank - only as a back-up measure really. I have one set to slightly lower than the other so in theory only 1 is ever going to be active. Every couple of weeks I'll swap over, so the usage is spread over each heater.
 

raptorrex

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How much "more strain" on the heater would having another one do, in comparison to just having one to heat the whole tank? Surely having just one heater in a tank would be more strenuous for the heater?

Infact, I would probably set the the secondary heater at a slightly lower temperature than the primary so that you're not using twice as much electricity (in the case of a backup heater).
there is a good argument that, switching on an item, causes the most damage in, any, units life. so i think the "strain" argument has legs. though, to me, its an irrelevant point. i use two heaters to, potentially, save my fish, not my money!

i do, though, set my heaters as you suggest.

Yes but a single heater that is too small to heat the tank properly (by itself) would put quite a bit of strain on it wouldn't ya think? Thus leaving it more likely to burn out? Then you also have to worry that each part of the tank is a different temperature?
but, if you have two, the "second" heater would take up the slack. if you set as i do, both heaters would be on till the tank temp reached 1-3f, off of the temp i wish. only then would the "first" take any strain.
something else worth thinking about too. many 50ukg tanks could be heated, with 150w heaters. truth is, many of us could switch our heaters off. reducing, to a minimum, the wattage you have. can only help, both with cost and safety.
 
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