Heater Unplugged, Temperature Still Rising Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Random-storykeeper, May 10, 2019.

  1. Random-storykeeperNew MemberMember

    I've got a betta in a 5 gallon tank with an Aqueon 50W heater. So far, the heater has served its purpose well, keeping the water at a temperature between 78 and 79 F. Recently, I've noticed that the temperature has been rising despite me turning down the temperature on the heater significantly. I've come home somedays to see it in the high 80s. Just today, when I saw it at about 79.5, I decided to just unplug the heater to see if the temperature in my house had something to do with it. It's been a couple hours, and the temperature has risen from 79.5 to 80.4 despite me not having the heater plugged in at all.

    The thing is, I'm not really sure if the heater is the one acting up here, or if it's the thermometer... I'm not really sure what to do here.
  2. fjhWell Known MemberMember

    Well that does seem problematic :/

    I have a couple ideas:

    1- stupid question, but room temperature wasn't in the high 80s those days you came home? and today, did the temperature ever get above 80F?
    2- I presume you have a filter running n the tank. Its possible its overheating and causing your tank temperature to rise. Just feel around for hot spots.
    3- to check if the thermometer is broken, just take it out of the tank and let it adjust to room temperature. Then compare it to your thermostat and see if its close.
    4- Do you have the tank near a window (absorbing light can heat it up or the cold fluctuation from outside can cool it down), next to electronics (when the electronics run they can give off heat... kinda far fetched though), or next to anything that has temperature changes?
  3. Random-storykeeperNew MemberMember

    1. I'm not sure about the indoor temperature, but it was in the high 70s when I was home. The thermostat shows 73 F right now, but the current temperature in the tank is showing 80.6.
    2. When I put my hand in the tank to take out the thermometer, the water didn't seem that...warm? I felt around the tank as well, and there doesn't appear to be any hot spots. It feels pretty consistent all around.
    3. So I took my thermometer out of the tank, and it's currently reading 73.6 F, which is pretty close to the temperature shown on my thermostat.
    4. The tank is on my bookshelf next to my laptop. I've got a desk lamp on at night when I'm using my laptop. The tank also has an LED light, which usually isn't on unless I'm feeding my fish at night.
    For the past few months, the temperature was maintained between 78 and 79 constantly, and I haven't really changed anything about the setup since. I am starting to wonder if it's my thermometer, though. Right when I looked over, it jumped from 74 to 72 F now that I've taken it out of the tank. I'm starting to suspect the thermometer might be the issue here. Perhaps I should replace the batteries and see if that helps.

    Another thing I was thinking was that because it's starting to get warmer here, this might have an effect on the heater? Although I thought I would start to feel the difference once the thermometer was saying that the temperature was going into the 80s. I'm wondering if I should leave the heater unplugged overnight or just plug it back in on the guise that the thermometer is giving me inaccurate measurements.
  4. fjhWell Known MemberMember

    Well if the heater is unplugged and the thermometer is reading correctly, then something else must be heating up the tank. Could you check your filter? sometimes if the propeller gets clogged It can overheat (which it turn can heat the water). Other than that I am at a loss... could you snap a picture of your tank? perhaps something will catch my eye
  5. Rob ShannonValued MemberMember

    If you have a HOB filter they tend to heat the water slightly. Particularly if they need to be cleaned.
  6. Random-storykeeperNew MemberMember

    I took a couple pictures of the heater and aquarium:




    Given that I do use a hang-on back filter and it's starting to get pretty warm as of recent (about mid-20 C), it probably is the reason why my tank is suddenly heating up so much. The tank is about 12 feet away from the window, and we don't have air conditioning. I guess for the time being, I'll just keep the heater unplugged and if it gets really bad, maybe I should unplug the filter for a brief period of time.
  7. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    Also what type of led light is it does it have a plastic or metal housing? That could cause a temperature increase... hover your hand over the light on top and on the bottom to be sure it’s not that..
  8. McFlyValued MemberMember

    Get a traditional thermometer. Digital thermometers are a waste. I’ve had to recalibrate every one I’ve ever owned. I have a cheapo glass/mercury thermometer in my tank, stuck inside the glass, and it NEVER reads wonky.
  9. Random-storykeeperNew MemberMember

    That's interesting; I remember reading that digital thermometers were more accurate. I used to have a traditional thermometer, but I think it got thrown out after I gave up on the aquarium hobby back in high school. Maybe I'll pick up a traditional thermometer later this week and see if is giving me the same temperature readings.

    So far, without the heater plugged in, the temperature has finally gone down to 79 F. I'll keep an eye on the temperature to see if it fluctuates crazily again.