Correct or best placement for heater?

where/how do you keep heater?

  • vertically

    Votes: 44 31.9%
  • horizontally

    Votes: 33 23.9%
  • back of tank

    Votes: 45 32.6%
  • other

    Votes: 16 11.6%

  • Total voters
    138

psalm18.2

Member
Where in the aquarium should the heater be? I have a 20G long w/ heater in back horizontally in middle. Another on side under 2nd filter. Where and how do you keep yours?
 
  • Moderator

ryanr

Moderator
Member
Anywhere where there is water flow is a good place for a heater, as this will move the water away from the heater to prevent 'hot-spots'.

There's no real "correct" place to put them. As for orientation, as long as the heater can be placed horizontally (some direct you not to), the it doesn't matter which way you mount it.

While I was setting up my tank, I had two (glass) thermometers. one at each end of my tank, just to double check I was getting a consistent temperature through out the tank.
 

btate617

Member
I keep mine horizontal also usually about an inch or so above the sand.



Brian
 

Crazyboutfish

Member
Mines vertical on the side away from the convicts so they won't randomly decided to attack it...
 

tyspot1000

Member
In the 30g, I keep It vertically in the back on the opposite side of the thermometer.
The 20 gallon it kind in between the middle of vertical and horizontal in the back of my tank.
The 6.6 Its vertical, and once again opposite side of temp gauge.

Tyler
 

Snore

Member
I have mine in a 10 gallon on opposite side as filter on side wall horizontally...however think I'm gonna put it near my filter now and move the therm to the other side
 

callichma

Member
If you have a bubbler, it's good to put it under the heater to help circulate the heated water. I put my heater horizontally and low enough so that I don't have to turn it off for water changes.
 

Crazyboutfish

Member
callichma said:
If you have a bubbler, it's good to put it under the heater to help circulate the heated water. I put my heater horizontally and low enough so that I don't have to turn it off for water changes.
That's a good idea! I once forgot to plug it back in after a water change...
 

Aquarist

Member
Good morning,

In my 265g, all 3 heaters are vertical due to the fact that the cords are not long enough for me to have them horizontally. They are about 2 inches away from the bottom of the tank. Right, middle, and left hand side of the tank. (submersible heaters)

The heaters in my other tanks are placed horizontally about 2 inches from the bottom, in the center of the tanks.

I keep my thermometer in my filters. With a constant circulation in the filters, this gives me a more accurate temperature reading. I also like to use at least 2 thermometers per tank.

Ken
 

jetajockey

Member
horizontal and as low as possible.
 
  • Thread Starter

psalm18.2

Member
Yesterday I realized that I have an adjustable heater. Nice! I keep it in back horizontally, aprox 2" from substrate. But today I realized there is a water line. Oh no! This has been submersed for over 2 months! Can I leave it alone? I'm afraid of breaking it by now exposing to air. I also found out the 2nd heater is broken when using for QT.
 

bassbonediva

Member
Mine are generally on an angle right below my filter intake. This is especially effective in my 55gal with the canister filter. I have my thermometer on the bottom right side of the tank, on the complete opposite side as the heater (which is a 200W)...and my thermometer reads 81F all the time.
 

callichma

Member
psalm18.2 said:
Yesterday I realized that I have an adjustable heater. Nice! I keep it in back horizontally, aprox 2" from substrate. But today I realized there is a water line. Oh no! This has been submersed for over 2 months! Can I leave it alone? I'm afraid of breaking it by now exposing to air. I also found out the 2nd heater is broken when using for QT.
I think the waterline is the lowest the water can be, not the highest. Hope that's right.
 
  • Moderator

ryanr

Moderator
Member
callichma said:
I think the waterline is the lowest the water can be, not the highest. Hope that's right.
Correct. Most submersible heaters need to be in a certain amount of water to function properly. The water level is the minimum depth of water.

And not trying to go to far off topic - ironically, the very water that the heater is heating, is also used to keep the heater cool

Otherwise, the heater would heat the glass (of the heater) too much, dry it out, and crack it
 

Furallicah

Member
I have a corner tank, running two filters on the back I keep the heater mid level horizontally between the two filters.
 

Amethyst

Member
I have a heater on the back wall of each tank, with a thermometer on the front wall, opposite end. In two of my tanks the heater is right beside and/or under the filter outflow, but not by design. Makes sense though. I think I'll move the heater in the newest tank to the other side, by the filter, too.
 

jglove276

Member
I have a Rena smart heater that is vertical, It works like a in-line heater because it is the intake for the filter. It heats both the tank normally and the intake water. I also keep the thermometer near the spray bar.
 

shellbell4ever

Member
I like to keep mine at the back of the tank over a airstone/bubbler of some sort so it gets dispersed somewhat
 

lugia10159

Member
psalm18.2 said:
Yesterday I realized that I have an adjustable heater. Nice! I keep it in back horizontally, aprox 2" from substrate. But today I realized there is a water line. Oh no! This has been submersed for over 2 months! Can I leave it alone? I'm afraid of breaking it by now exposing to air. I also found out the 2nd heater is broken when using for QT.
I think it should have a MAX Water Line and a MIN Water Line, (mine does anyway) hope this helps.
 

Jaysee

Member
lugia10159 said:
I think it should have a MAX Water Line and a MIN Water Line, (mine does anyway) hope this helps.
Submersible heaters only have a minimum water line......there is no max because they can be completely submerged.

Non submersible heaters have both max and min water lines.
 

takadi

Member
I voted vertical because the one heater I kept horizontally failed two months later
 
  • Moderator

Mike

Moderator
Member
Resurrecting this poll
 

Señor Pescado

Member
I keep mine vertically on the back wall of the tank, a half inch off the substrate, and almost touching my HOB filter intake tube. It ends up being slightly off-center from the middle of the tank, left-to-right. When I had fake plants, I noticed that there was good circulation flow in this area of the tank.
 

MissPanda

Member
Mines on the left beneath my filter and the thermometer reader is on the right of the tank. It is vertically placed.
 

Sorg67

Member
I like mine horizontally near the bottom so that I do not have to turn it off for water changes and since heat rises it seems reasonable to have it at the bottom. Of course that only works for fully submersible heaters that allow horizontal orientations. Important to read the instructions of each individual heater to make sure you follow the appropriate guidelines.
 

lilirose

Member
In my big tank (which is a 90 liter/23 gallon, but 90cm/35 inches long so a bit longer than a US 20 long) I have one small heater on each end and one in the middle of the back. It works very well, the small heaters are far less obtrusive than a single big one at the back (which is what I started out with) and the temperature is stable throughout the tank.
 

mattgirl

Member
Poll should have been multiple choice. Mine is vertical and on the back of my tank. I have it situated between the 2 HOB filters. It is designed to be fully submersible but I'm not at all comfortable submersing it. By not doing so I can adjust the temp if needed without having to reach into the water to do it.
 

jinjerJOSH22

Member
Mine are usually horizontal at the back but it really depends, mostly because I always forget to account for it when I'm scaping then have to shove it in anywhichway
 

CaptainAquatics

Member
I like to have mine in my filters if they fit
 

Momgoose56

Member
psalm18.2 said:
Where in the aquarium should the heater be? I have a 20G long w/ heater in back horizontally in middle. Another on side under 2nd filter. Where and how do you keep yours?
My 'rules': Not right under filter intake. Vertical if fish rest on horizontal surfaces, if horizontal, placed near bottom of the tank (heat rises) .
 

angelcraze

Member
I have them vertical and not fully submerged. My heaters are old and I don't trust that they are fully sealed anymore. Probably safe, just my own worry. I'd be nervous about a fish getting burned if I had them horizontal as well, I could see a pleco sitting on it, but again, I might just be paranoid. It would be nice to hide them and not worry about unplugging/ plugging back in during water changes.

Momgoose56 said:
My 'rules': Not right under filter intake. Vertical if fish rest on horizontal surfaces, if horizontal, placed near bottom of the tank (heat rises) .
Why not just under filter intake? Just curious. Because you don't want heated water going though the filter?
 

John58ford

Member
In the sump of course.

I suppose in my other tanks, wherever they fit. I always pay close attention to manufacturer instructions as far as vertical vs horizontal. I like my vertical ones close to the filter intake on the side opposite of the outlet. If it's a horizontal install I put it where it gets some flow but is out of sight.

My only real personal rule (besides read the instructions) is far enough from an airstone or eductor that it doesn't get any extra bubbles sticking to it.
 

Dennis57

Member
I have my heater horizontal about an 1" off of my rocks. I use the titanium heater with a controller.
 

Momgoose56

Member
angelcraze said:
I have them vertical and not fully submerged. My heaters are old and I don't trust that they are fully sealed anymore. Probably safe, just my own worry. I'd be nervous about a fish getting burned if I had them horizontal as well, I could see a pleco sitting on it, but again, I might just be paranoid. It would be nice to hide them and not worry about unplugging/ plugging back in during water changes.


Why not just under filter intake? Just curious. Because you don't want heated water going though the filter?
You don't want 'super heated' water going into the filter intake certainly. I don't know how warm the water is rising from my heater so that's just my rule for heater placement. Some heater manufacturers also have cautions that state not to place heaters right next to filter intakes.
 

John58ford

Member
Momgoose56 said:
just my rule
It makes me smile we all have our personal rules and norms.
I totally get your logic, and have seen something similar with a tetra HT heater I have. It swings the temps as allot, like almost 3 degrees before it engages. Once it does engage it's chugging along for 8-10 minutes to catch up. In low flow, it does get very hot, like true to the no touch warning sign hot.
That's why I moved it closer to the intake though as counter intuitive as it sounds. Though it has been relagated to a sump system as a back up since this test:

I only use one HOB in my fish room at this point, it's set up on the back left slightly centered on a 10 gallon. This is my current 3 month QT. Remember the old school double bulb hoods? It has a cut out right there for the hob. In this one there are 2 clear paths of turbulent water, a fast one on the left near the outflow, and a slower one on the right, same pattern but larger. I like the heater vertical about 2 inches from the intake on right side, the end of the slowest return route, as this is likely the coolest water in the tank.

In testing of locations, using thermometers in each corner and a digital BBQ thermometer stuck right by the heater this kept things the most level. The heaters water at 1" using the tetra HT 10 gets up to about 90 degrees toward the end of hearing cycle. The corners of the tank stay at ~78 and ~76 respectively. The tetra would cycle on when water near it got down to 75. At that time the corners were still about 77 and 76, never figured that out, I credit magic and thermal mass+turbulent water friction. With the other half of the digital thermometer in the HOB, I would see 75-83 degrees through heater cycles.

With the heater in the slow corner, the fast corner and filter could drop to 72 degrees and water near the heater into the mid- high 90s.

With the heater on the fast side corner it was slightly better at the heater and filter but the slow side would get down to 72 and stay there, oh my.

Due to this, in a single filtered tank I try to stay 2-3 inches away from the intake (including the size of the pre-filter) putting the heater just about smack in the middle vertically. I also have gone to a digital heater that cycles at a closer temperature and only stays on about a minute at a time, the highs never clear 82 at one inch from the heater, and the corner and filter temps reflect that by being truly stable +/- 1.5 degrees.

I think of your heater could do it, horizontally near the bottom on the slow side would yield similar results, though I haven't tested that way as it doesn't fit well enough in my case.

In my most overworked sump system I use one cheap aqueon 150 watt heater, and one digital 150 watt heater to heat 60 gallons with a 10-20 degree cooler room temp. The heaters are after my filtration and before the pumps I find the temps in the sump to remain under 85 and the tanks are very stable at 80 in the closest tank and 77 in the longest run, right before the weir. The two heaters are within 3 inches of each other in a vertical chamber with very high flow, strangely they never cycle together, but something must be working right as they take turns and keep it at the right temp.

If 2" + 1" of pre filter is what momgoose would consider not close, I think we have a difference in thought and expression, with likely very similar results. I love these threads.

If anyone wants to try and confirm my testing, I used a thermo pro tp08, with one probe clipped into an air line suction cup, and the other in the chamber of the hob. My corner thermometers were the cheap glass ones. I would use something else as they take about 60 seconds to show a 5 degree change in my experience, but I have dozens of those and only one BBQ thermometer. I boiled it's leads before using it in tank.
 

Momgoose56

Member
John58ford said:
It makes me smile we all have our personal rules and norms.
I totally get your logic, and have seen something similar with a tetra HT heater I have. It swings the temps as allot, like almost 3 degrees before it engages. Once it does engage it's chugging along for 8-10 minutes to catch up. In low flow, it does get very hot, like true to the no touch warning sign hot.
That's why I moved it closer to the intake though as counter intuitive as it sounds. Though it has been relagated to a sump system as a back up since this test:

I only use one HOB in my fish room at this point, it's set up on the back left slightly centered on a 10 gallon. This is my current 3 month QT. Remember the old school double bulb hoods? It has a cut out right there for the hob. In this one there are 2 clear paths of turbulent water, a fast one on the left near the outflow, and a slower one on the right, same pattern but larger. I like the heater vertical about 2 inches from the intake on right side, the end of the slowest return route, as this is likely the coolest water in the tank.

In testing of locations, using thermometers in each corner and a digital BBQ thermometer stuck right by the heater this kept things the most level. The heaters water at 1" using the tetra HT 10 gets up to about 90 degrees toward the end of hearing cycle. The corners of the tank stay at ~78 and ~76 respectively. The tetra would cycle on when water near it got down to 75. At that time the corners were still about 77 and 76, never figured that out, I credit magic and thermal mass+turbulent water friction. With the other half of the digital thermometer in the HOB, I would see 75-83 degrees through heater cycles.

With the heater in the slow corner, the fast corner and filter could drop to 72 degrees and water near the heater into the mid- high 90s.

With the heater on the fast side corner it was slightly better at the heater and filter but the slow side would get down to 72 and stay there, oh my.

Due to this, in a single filtered tank I try to stay 2-3 inches away from the intake (including the size of the pre-filter) putting the heater just about smack in the middle vertically. I also have gone to a digital heater that cycles at a closer temperature and only stays on about a minute at a time, the highs never clear 82 at one inch from the heater, and the corner and filter temps reflect that by being truly stable +/- 1.5 degrees.

I think of your heater could do it, horizontally near the bottom on the slow side would yield similar results, though I haven't tested that way as it doesn't fit well enough in my case.

In my most overworked sump system I use one cheap aqueon 150 watt heater, and one digital 150 watt heater to heat 60 gallons with a 10-20 degree cooler room temp. The heaters are after my filtration and before the pumps I find the temps in the sump to remain under 85 and the tanks are very stable at 80 in the closest tank and 77 in the longest run, right before the weir. The two heaters are within 3 inches of each other in a vertical chamber with very high flow, strangely they never cycle together, but something must be working right as they take turns and keep it at the right temp.

If 2" + 1" of pre filter is what momgoose would consider not close, I think we have a difference in thought and expression, with likely very similar results. I love these threads.
I just have one big heater in my 125 that keeps temp consistent 24/7 and hangs horizontally below the canister outflow on one end. Temp at both ends is exactly the same, temp sensors are on front/ side of tank at each end, furthest away from heater, intake, outflow and sensors are 5.5 feet apart. Works for me!
 

John58ford

Member
Momgoose56 said:
horizontally below the canister outflow
I like that but you using a canister is almost as much cheating as me using my sump. Do you have yours set up in a river (intake on one side outlet on the opposite) or in a more traditional inlet low on the same side as a higher outlet? I've been wanting to make a post about this one specifically for the sump and canister guys but it's so dependent on our target breeds I'd have to have 3 different poles in one thread lol.
 

Momgoose56

Member
John58ford said:
I like that but you using a canister is almost as much cheating as me using my sump. Do you have yours set up in a river (intake on one side outlet on the opposite) or in a more traditional inlet low on the same side as a higher outlet? I've been wanting to make a post about this one specifically for the sump and canister guys but it's so dependent on our target breeds I'd have to have 3 different poles in one thread lol.
River. Low intake one end, outflow up high on the other end. One outlet on outflow angled toward surface down the length of the back, other pointed lower toward front side. Problem with these older fx5's is you can't adjust flow volume so I have to direct flow from one outlet against the front wall to keep from creating a constant 'toilet bowl swir'l in the tank (it's not really that extreme but still...) lol!
I'd love a big sump tho. I'd like to have plants AND the heater in it- can't keep plants in one piece in a cichlid tank.
How big would a sump have to be for a 125-180 overstocked tank?
Edit: well that was a dumb question, it would have to be at least as big as the canister and then some for plants, right? Maybe a 30 gallon tank?
 

John58ford

Member
Momgoose56 said:
How big would a sump have to be for a 125-180 overstocked tank?
Specializing in nano sumps, I've always looked at how small I can make it and gone from there the best source of numbers I could find was for fluval. I reverse engineered one of their all in one systems. Using the ratio of rings they had in one of there tanks I found about a liter of ceramics per one hundred of water. That tank has a pump with average turnover at about 6x pretty hour. In my designs I have always more than doubled it as you know from other threads on seeding and cycling etc. The smallest I could do for a 125 would fit in a 5 gallon, with about 2 gallons for filtration including mechanical (floss and sponge) and 2-3 liters of rings under them gravity fed. The next chamber would be heaters flowing up, then spill down to a pump/carbon chamber.

If I was doing one for show and wanted a planted refuge so the cichlids wouldn't tear up the plants I would wall the back of a 20 long or 40 breeder with black acrilic, use the rear half for filter/ heat chambers, then the front half for planted refuge. I would spill in the middle for mechanical, chamber to the left for bio, spill out the top left corner into the refuge, spill into the top right chamber for heaters carbon or polishing, upflow toward center for heaters, then spill into a final chamber for the pumps. I always design so my bio, and heaters cannot be pumped dry so a downward spill to the pumps is my M.O.

I have a 125 build planned for the summer and this would be my dream sump, I however want to make it the same width half the depth of the 125 and mount it overhead so I can grow surface plants like water Lilly and bamboo and grapes up a light rack . I'm watching Craigslist for a leaky 125 or a come and get it kind of post so I can pull the silicone and cut it to size.
 

juniperlea

Member
I just don't want to see them. So, in the summer, I keep them either vertically or horizontally, at the back. My room temp in summer is between 78 and 80 F. I basically rarely touched them. Winter is a problem. Base board electric heat. It's affecting the tanks. It really is. I don't want to look at the heaters, but, I now have to move them towards the front, so I can more easily access that annoyingly and incredibly tiny knob! Welcome to electric baseboard heat. It's feast or famile. Therefore, Front It Is, vertically or horizontally!
 

AcuarioAmazonico

Member
I am a middle man I guess. I have a lot of mine diagonally. This way I can reach in and change temperature and still see the thermostat (if that makes sense) and they can be somewhat out of the way.

In my big tank there are two 300w heaters and one is pretty much vertical (as there are other things next to it that don’t allow alternate placement) and the other is diagonal.

I like the idea of horizontal at back of tank but I think it would be difficult to access and I also worry about integrity of the unit if not facing ‘up’ as it were
 

juniperlea

Member
I want one of those very expensive aquarium thermostats, so I don't have to see the heater nor worry about fiddling with its' knobs! In my dreams!
 

Jaykay1stBetta

Member
John58ford said:
It makes me smile we all have our personal rules and norms.
I totally get your logic, and have seen something similar with a tetra HT heater I have. It swings the temps as allot, like almost 3 degrees before it engages. Once it does engage it's chugging along for 8-10 minutes to catch up. In low flow, it does get very hot, like true to the no touch warning sign hot.
That's why I moved it closer to the intake though as counter intuitive as it sounds. Though it has been relagated to a sump system as a back up since this test:

I only use one HOB in my fish room at this point, it's set up on the back left slightly centered on a 10 gallon. This is my current 3 month QT. Remember the old school double bulb hoods? It has a cut out right there for the hob. In this one there are 2 clear paths of turbulent water, a fast one on the left near the outflow, and a slower one on the right, same pattern but larger. I like the heater vertical about 2 inches from the intake on right side, the end of the slowest return route, as this is likely the coolest water in the tank.

In testing of locations, using thermometers in each corner and a digital BBQ thermometer stuck right by the heater this kept things the most level. The heaters water at 1" using the tetra HT 10 gets up to about 90 degrees toward the end of hearing cycle. The corners of the tank stay at ~78 and ~76 respectively. The tetra would cycle on when water near it got down to 75. At that time the corners were still about 77 and 76, never figured that out, I credit magic and thermal mass+turbulent water friction. With the other half of the digital thermometer in the HOB, I would see 75-83 degrees through heater cycles.

With the heater in the slow corner, the fast corner and filter could drop to 72 degrees and water near the heater into the mid- high 90s.

With the heater on the fast side corner it was slightly better at the heater and filter but the slow side would get down to 72 and stay there, oh my.

Due to this, in a single filtered tank I try to stay 2-3 inches away from the intake (including the size of the pre-filter) putting the heater just about smack in the middle vertically. I also have gone to a digital heater that cycles at a closer temperature and only stays on about a minute at a time, the highs never clear 82 at one inch from the heater, and the corner and filter temps reflect that by being truly stable +/- 1.5 degrees.

I think of your heater could do it, horizontally near the bottom on the slow side would yield similar results, though I haven't tested that way as it doesn't fit well enough in my case.

In my most overworked sump system I use one cheap aqueon 150 watt heater, and one digital 150 watt heater to heat 60 gallons with a 10-20 degree cooler room temp. The heaters are after my filtration and before the pumps I find the temps in the sump to remain under 85 and the tanks are very stable at 80 in the closest tank and 77 in the longest run, right before the weir. The two heaters are within 3 inches of each other in a vertical chamber with very high flow, strangely they never cycle together, but something must be working right as they take turns and keep it at the right temp.

If 2" + 1" of pre filter is what momgoose would consider not close, I think we have a difference in thought and expression, with likely very similar results. I love these threads.

If anyone wants to try and confirm my testing, I used a thermo pro tp08, with one probe clipped into an air line suction cup, and the other in the chamber of the hob. My corner thermometers were the cheap glass ones. I would use something else as they take about 60 seconds to show a 5 degree change in my experience, but I have dozens of those and only one BBQ thermometer. I boiled it's leads before using it in tank.
quick question I got a 10 gallon with a beta. Should I move the heater away from the filter to give the water a chance to warm up. It's at 76-77 now. And also install a baffle to lower the flow?
 

John58ford

Member
Jaykay1stBetta said:
quick question I got a 10 gallon with a betta. Should I move the heater away from the filter to give the water a chance to warm up. It's at 76-77 now. And also install a baffle to lower the flow?
The tank I was taking about in this thread was a 10 gallon with a betta (he's still in there, I almost have all the sponge baffle out of the filter so he's just about ready for the big tank). I don't know how close your heater is to your intake, so I can't say to move it away, also if it's a preset non-adjustable heater it may be set to 76-77, they are usually set at 76, or 78 depending on the brand but they are all slightly off. As I said above though, I always have the best luck with hang on back filters with the heater vertical a couple inches away from the intake on the side opposite the outflow.

For a baffle many recommend a plastic cup or cut up water bottle. I like to hang a piece of sponge over the outflow, I trim it thinner and thinner to restrict less water as the betta gets acclimated and stronger over a matter of months. Not all betta can take full power, I had a halfmoon that couldn't ever take half power, the current new guy is a plakat so I expect him to succeed. I like the sponge method because it's soft (can't rip the fins) and easily adjustable. It also gives you some wet/dry media. Sorg67 once posted that he used a media bag with some gravel in it as a baffle, seems like it would work well too. There are other threads, especially in the betta section about making baffles though.
 

Jaykay1stBetta

Member
Yea mines a preset k moved the heater about 6 inches away from the intake and hob but still on the back wall. Themometrr is staying at 76-78 and my bettas seems happy. I think he likes to play in the overflow water but I'm probably going to do the water bottle baffle method
 

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