Horizontal Or Vertical Heater?

Barch

Hey everybody I have a 20 gallon high and I got home last night to find my tank at about 76 degrees. which is odd because it's usually always 79-80. I turned my heater up and it got the tank up there to 78, but today I bought a new heater because I'm not sure how old is heater is that came with my tank, because I bought the whole setup second hand.

Instructions say that I can have it vertical or horizontal however sometimes I see people's heaters that have it like diagonal in the tank can I place a diagonal or should I have it either horizontal or vertical only?

The instructions say that the heater works better vertical, why is that? The reason I ask is because my tank does not have a lid so I prefer to have it fully submerged so I don't have to worry about the water level. I did purchase a 150-watt is that Overkill? I figured since it's the kind you can adjust to whatever setting you want that itll be okay. Plus we live in Canada and it gets cold in the winter I'd rather not have it work as hard.

This is the model I purchase it was between this one and a Marineland one but these were on sale.

 

Kysarkel000

All I know is that if the heater is turned on and is even partially out of the water, it can malfunction, and either boil the water, and/or explode and shatter the tank.

If you keep it horizontal, and near the bottom of the tank, you won't have to worry about the water level. I'm not sure why it works better if it's vertical tho.

Most of the time when you see a hearter placed diagonally, it's because the power cord doesn't want to cooperate and tilts the heater (Mine is like that). There's nothing wrong with a crooked heater.
 

Barch

All I know is that if the heater is turned on and is even partially out of the water, it can malfunction, and either boil the water, and/or explode and shatter the tank.

If you keep it horizontal, and near the bottom of the tank, you won't have to worry about the water level. I'm not sure why it works better if it's vertical tho.

Most of the time when you see a hearter placed diagonally, it's because the power cord doesn't want to cooperate and tilts the heater (Mine is like that). There's nothing wrong with a crooked heater.

Thanks for replying. And is 150w okay for 20gal? Everything I read says 100w is fine but I figure since it's not a preset heater more would work fine, and it won't have to work as hard during colder months, true?
 

PonzLL

Correct, they all have a thermostat and will shut off when it reaches the correct temp, so a higher wattage heater will just need to work less.

One potential issue with putting it at the bottom is that's where cold water settles, depending on your tank's circulation. If the heater is sitting in the coldest part of the tank, it may run more often than it should. I like to keep mine in the path of my wavemaker or filter exit.
 

Kathryn Crook

Correct, they all have a thermostat and will shut off when it reaches the correct temp, so a higher wattage heater will just need to work less.

One potential issue with putting it at the bottom is that's where cold water settles, depending on your tank's circulation. If the heater is sitting in the coldest part of the tank, it may run more often than it should. I like to keep mine in the path of my wavemaker or filter exit.
I have read some heaters need to be in the filter circulation to keep a consistent temperature.

I should add, that while researching heaters, some can have their warranty voided if placed horizontally. I don't know why. Just something to consider.
 

smee82

Mine are all horizontal. one in my sump because it won't fit vertically and the others just because I prefer it that way.
 

chromedome52

A heater placed horizontally near the bottom creates circulation by heating the water. Heat rises, remember? Also keeps the temperature more even throughout the tank vertically. Placing it in a filter's circulation path is another way to spread the heat evenly.

I don't know why a manufacturer would specifically recommend placing the heater vertically. There is no logic to such placement unless the thermostat section is not water tight. Old heaters were not sealed at the top, and used to hang on the edge of the tank so that water could not get into the tube. Submersibles were more expensive, and had problems with sealing the controls. Current heaters are mostly submersible with better controls, but people still act as though they were supposed to hang vertically like the old ones.
 

PonzLL

A heater placed horizontally near the bottom creates circulation by heating the water. Heat rises, remember?

Great point, not idea why I missed the obvious there
 

NoLookPass

I have no science behind it but I don't mind putting a heater horizontal if its preset. If its adjustable then I keep it vertical.
 

DoubleDutch

A heater placed horizontally near the bottom creates circulation by heating the water. Heat rises, remember? Also keeps the temperature more even throughout the tank vertically. Placing it in a filter's circulation path is another way to spread the heat evenly.

I don't know why a manufacturer would specifically recommend placing the heater vertically. There is no logic to such placement unless the thermostat section is not water tight. Old heaters were not sealed at the top, and used to hang on the edge of the tank so that water could not get into the tube. Submersibles were more expensive, and had problems with sealing the controls. Current heaters are mostly submersible with better controls, but people still act as though they were supposed to hang vertically like the old ones.
Could it be in case of placing it vertically the mentioned circuclation takes care for a longer "contact" of the water with the heather (flowing upwards along the side of the heather). And maybe a more equal "cooling down" of the glass ? Just an idea btw !
 

Lacey D

I do mine at a diagonal because that's the way I saw to do it in a video when I was first setting up "for maximum efficiency" Plus it usually puts the whole thing JUST below the 25% mark for water changes.
 

PonzLL

imma suspend mine in the exact center of the tank now just to be different
 

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