Bonehead move!

  1. chrt396

    chrt396 Well Known Member Member

    Going through nitrogen cycle on another tank...an African Cichlid tank. Levels are getting a bit high on the nitrates...ammonia and nitites are not super toxic at this point, but figured I'd do a 40% water change and supplement the tank with more TSS. I unplug the pump...and everything else except for a sponge filter...I thought. As I'm emptying the tank...I smell a slight burning smell. Check the new floor lamp I just got..the filters. the light....went outside the room and smelled around. It was coming from the room with all the fish tanks. Could NOT find the source. I;m getting ready to fill up the tank and the smell is getting a little stronger. I then look at the top of the tank and see smoke coming up from the back. I forgot....to unplug the heater. Aquatop Titanium 300w heater..that looks all scorched and nasty. It also burned the Universal Rocks background. It has what looks like a cigarette burn on the back of the tank.

    Stupid...wasn't concentrating....disposing of heater..just to be sure that there are no mechanical problems in the future. I also made up a big blue sheet of paper that says in bold type..."UNPLUG HEATER!" This is not the first time this has happened. I have multiple tanks and get a lot of practice. You'd think I'd figured it out by now.. NOPE!!!
     
  2. BDpups

    BDpups Well Known Member Member

    Having your heaters on a power strip with your filters can help. That way you just switch off the power strip and your ready to drain the tank. When your done, switch it back on.

    I did the same thing a few times when all there was were glass heaters. Probably broke half a dozen before I learned my lesson.
     
  3. E

    Et tu Valued Member Member

    You would think that the heater had a auto shut off for when water level goes below the thermostat.
     


  4. hampalong

    hampalong Well Known Member Member

    I just keep the heaters and filter intakes below the level the water will go down to... I don't need to switch anything off...
     
  5. BDpups

    BDpups Well Known Member Member

    I thought they did too.
    I'm just in the habit of shutting them off at this point. I have either inline heaters on canister, or in tank heaters in sumps. The ones in sumps are never not submerged, and the inline shut off.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    chrt396

    chrt396 Well Known Member Member


    I am replacing it with one that IS!! Also @BDpups...good idea on the power strip. I have one...but the lights are attached to it. I'll figure out a way to get this EXACTLY the way you mentioned. Hit a switch...DONE!

    PS...I'm a moron!

    The Aquatop heater with the outside probe and control box that shows the temperature you have it set for and what it actually is. The best they had! All that...and no auto shut off. I also bought a Fluval heater that ALSO does not have a auto shut off.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0027VQ0WM?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00


    so....I bought this one!!

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003SNU1I2?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00


    Mounting it vertically..it's a little tough to get it below the water line that you drain the tank to. I haven't had the guts to mount it horizontally yet.
     
  7. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydro Well Known Member Member

    I usually mount my heaters horizontally unless the manufacturer specifically states not to. I personally use Aqueon Pro heaters, which as far as I'm aware, shut off when out of water.
     
  8. hampalong

    hampalong Well Known Member Member

    I have always had heaters at an almost horizontal angle (they all say mount vertically, afaik). I didn't know any had a cut-off...

    With the old bi-metal strip heaters, mounting them vertically caused the strip to work more, shortening it's life(?) I always assumed this was the only reason why vertical mounting was recommended.
     
  9. Jsigmo

    Jsigmo Well Known Member Member

    It also gives tighter temperature control, though, because the heater cycles more frequently. And many were calibrated to be accurate only when oriented vertically.
     
  10. hampalong

    hampalong Well Known Member Member

    True, but the variation in temperature isn't much, and mirrors most natural environments better. Rivers and lakes vary between day and night, and seasonally/with the weather.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    chrt396

    chrt396 Well Known Member Member

    Well...got a new heater off Amazon today. The Eheim Jager. It states that it has an auto shut off. It is about as ugly of a heater as I've seen! The Fluval is mirror finished, thin...sleek. BUT..it does not have an auto shut off. If I could have both...I would be thrilled!

    @BDpups ...I also put the canister, heater and air pump on ONE power strip and bought a multi input wall receptacle to plug in my lights. This morning..I performed a water change..and just flipped the switch...VOILA! Everything off...No issues. Something so darn simple..yet I thought myself right past it. Common sense escapes us so many times!
     
  12. oOBlueOo

    oOBlueOo Well Known Member Member

    I learned my lesson about heaters with stock tank ones.



    I emptied a stock tank to clean and didn't unplug the heater. There was a burning smell and then a hissing when I filled the tank back up. The heater lasted for a little bit before it shorted out and started zapping the cows.....



    And I could tell it was the heater, (not bad water or sick cows) because the cows would all crowd the tank when I unplugged it.
     
  13. Jsigmo

    Jsigmo Well Known Member Member

    Nothing like getting your lips zapped when trying to get a drink to really make your day! :)