I have had it with defective thermometers and heaters! :( What's up with that!

Claire Bear
  • #1
Is it me or is aquarium equipment just not built to last. What should be considered essential and necessary seems to fail regularly.

I am sick of thermometers.

I have the glass with suction cups that don't stay suctioned or break-really no idea how the one broke a few days ago and never found the other parts which are still in that tank!

I have the little battery operated by zoo med-for betta tanks and a couple of other brands.

I have the ones with the piece that goes in the tank and sends the information back to the digital readout-I got two different readouts on the same small tank when I put them on the tank (go figure)!

So far, the only one that appears to work is the one that is magnetically held on through the glass and cost less than 3.00! However, it will not attach well through my large tanks as the glass appears just too thick and it ends up at the bottom of the tank.

Yesterday I panicked. My cichlid tank appeared very warm when I fed but the digital readout was 82-that is what I keep it at. Anyway, I thought that can't be right so I put three different thermometers in there and got all sorts of readings-one was 85-still safe but barely, one read 82 and the other quit-the 5th zoo med to konk out!

So, I checked the heater and it was going-I pulled it and opened the glass tops and added a fan. I have one thermometer that works - the 3.00 magnetic one and it said just over 85 degrees Fahrenheit!

So, failed heater number 5-5th defective one I have bought-this was an Eheim-a brand that I have swore by! Having had aqueon, tetra, and fluval E series all fail. Luckily only one of my 3 fluval E failed and I had a back up in the tank.

At least 15 digital thermometers of one brand or another have failed and not sure what to do at this point!

Anyone see these kinds of issues-it seems in the past I had very few equipment fails-at least that were not an error on my fault-you know operator error!
 
Thunder_o_b
  • #2
I feel your pain. I now only use the magnetic thermometers. I have given up on the "quality" life time warranty heaters from Marineland. The lights are good as far as they go. But over the last few years I have had all five that I have bought fail…And of course I can not find the receipts for them. I have a few of the Aqueon heaters, and they seem to be working ok. I will tell you this, for the reef tank I will spend the money for two digital heaters that are guaranteed to be accurate to + or - 1 degree. But at over $100.00 each I can not put them in all the Freshwater tanks we have.
 
Orion5
  • #3
I feel your pain. I now only use the magnetic thermometers. I have given up on the "quality" life time warranty heaters from Marineland. The lights are good as far as they go. But over the last few years I have had all five that I have bought fail…And of course I can not find the receipts for them. I have a few of the Aqueon heaters, and they seem to be working ok. I will tell you this, for the reef tank I will spend the money for two digital heaters that are guaranteed to be accurate to + or - 1 degree. But at over $100.00 each I can not put them in all the Freshwater tanks we have.

Is it the Aqueon heaters that cost around $100 each? I'm looking for a good quality water heater as well, because like the OP I'm sick of heaters...
 
LeoDiaz
  • #4
I had good experience with suction cup thermometers. I have one almost to years now with it. Never lost is suction and was cheap one buck. For my heater I have a hydor theo 300 watt heater keeps my fish at constant 80 degrees only paid $30 for and I have two year warranty on it.
 
ricmcc
  • #5
I agree with you, Claire, both heaters and thermometers are quite often off.
If they are are to a constant degree, however, they still can be used--as in, I check my water temps against a rather accurate infrared thermometer that I use for my herps, and I know accurate after testing against a known, such as boiling water.
They are not at all costly,compared to what they used to be, the infrared, I mean.
So I use that temp, and allow for both thermometer and heater error, remembering one, and setting the other. (actually, I don't really remember thermometer error, but put stickies on it to remind myself, such as, '+3 degrees or whatever)
I allow for the difference, and then set the heater, usually lower than is indicated, to arrive at the temp which I want.
I quite agree, a very long process that would not be needed if the bleeding things worked as advertised-----I have had several Hydor heaters that allow you to choose between off or brewing a cup of tea--very frustrating. but my point is if that error is constant, and you can determine the degree of error, then they can be used safely..-rick
I should add for the benefit of anyone new to the hobby, rather than to you, that in any large tank, depending on just how filter outputs are placed, a couple of degrees temp. difference is to be expected.
I take it that your missing thermometer is still as lost as a Malaysian Jet?--it occurs to me that it has been ages since I have seen a mercury thermometer outside of a Dr's office; could it have been an alcohol and food dye type?, although in that case, your fish would be crying out for more Chuck Berry, and maybe some foreign band of arthropods, Beetles or something.
 
krazyone2006
  • #6
I feel you. I have been switching all my tanks over to Marina brand heaters lately. I have had really good luck with them.

Here's some pics of what they look like not to expensive either.


55558.jpg


55557.jpg


55556.jpg


5555.jpg

I actually have the 25 watt in a 10 gallon and a 50 watt in a 20 gallon long and both stay at 78 with no issues

I also have a 300 watt in the 75 bow front planted community tank for over a year and it stays steady at 78 too.

I also plan to be putting a 300 watt with a 200 watt (200 watt is backup in case the 300 watt goes out or its not enough to keep it warm enough) of these in the sump of my reef tank when I transfer it to the 75g.
 
Claire Bear
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I am not familiar with that brand Crazyone2006!
Leo, glad you are having good luck with your equipment!

And Rick, you always have the right idea-just find the one that works and calibrate!
 
JAOF
  • #8
Speaking from my personal experience,FLUVAL heaters are the way to go.
EHIEM,though a german brand,has now a production unit in China and so many defective equipments are being manufactured.
Get a FLUVAL heater.
Thermometers are dicey!
Can't count on them.
Once during the winter my thermometer showed the tank's temperature to be 25C...when I touched the water it was COLD!
The heater was an EHEIM JAGER and since then I have stopped using EHIEMs!!
 
James95
  • #9
I definitely agree with you, Claire!

Even the products that claim "Lifetime Warranty" really don't last anymore. My main issue has been heaters lately. I used to use the Marineland Stealth heaters (NOT the pro ones). They were amazing and lasted for years. The best part was when they finally failed on me, they just stopped heating rather than overheating.

That is why I now keep a folder full of all my receipts and paperwork required for the warranties. I've yet to have problems with my Aqueon pro heater, but when it does I have everything I need to get a new one for free!
 
Claire Bear
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
JAOF, my Fluval E series quit-at least one of them did! I want to replace all my heaters in my 7 biggest tanks but I want to get something that works-paying 30.00 to 60.00 for a heater and it stopping is crazy.
I wish I had been as organized as you James95! I don't have any receipts and purchased almost all online! I used everything from marinedepot to amazon and I don't know which came from where! I have just been trashing the broken ones and not even bothering to try and get refunds but this is ridiculous! Lesson learned!
 
JAOF
  • #11
Claire,its just luck perhaps mate.
I had a hard luck with EHEIM and you had yours with FLUVAL.
Anyways,its wise to have the receipts of these stuffs.
 
utkgreg
  • #12
Ok, ya'll are making me REALLY nervous about leaving my tanks for two weeks... don't want to come home to boiled fish! Wifey can basic maintenance, but thermometer calibration is a little above the level she agreed to!
 
Rivieraneo
  • #13
I had good experience with suction cup thermometers. I have one almost to years now with it. Never lost is suction and was cheap one buck. For my heater I have a hydor theo 300 watt heater keeps my fish at constant 80 degrees only paid $30 for and I have two year warranty on it.

Leo, I suggest you get rid of that Hydor, too many horror stories and there have been recalls.

I highly recommend the Aqueon Pros, for a reliable off brand, Aquatop heaters do great as well.
 
jbokel
  • #14
I keep my spare thermometers in my tanks, and have considered getting a medical thermometer to use as a backup if things feel wrong. I have never had any heater trouble, but make it a point to try to keep the room with my tanks as near tank temp as possible (78-80F). I am still planning when I build up my larger tanks that are sitting empty to add thermal cut-off switches on my heaters in addition to the normal thermostatic controls. Just to keep my mind at ease.
 
Claire Bear
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Leo, Rivieraneo is correct on the recall, here is the link:



I also have used the small hydor in my betta tanks and again-fail!

Jbokel, how is the additional switch done and is this something that can be done by me-I have wired switches and hung ceiling fans - a bit of wire, things like that-is this an easy thing to do?
 
jbokel
  • #16
Jbokel, how is the additional switch done and is this something that can be done by me-I have wired switches and hung ceiling fans - a bit of wire, things like that-is this an easy thing to do?

The easy way is to add a normal external heater controller set for outside of normal limit, but inside of dangerous limit. There are line-voltage relays with temperature probes that are marketed mainly for refrigeration & heating applications, & Ebay also has a lot of "Line Voltage Cooling Thermostat" items. I haven't decided exactly what route I am doing, but I have some time since my spending is on-hold until I get some things resolved. You obviously want a chemically inert probe that can be submerged or at least calibrated for against-tank use (thermally potted against the tank glass and then insulated against air temperature) but there seems to be quite a few options of varying cost and complexity.
 
Thunder_o_b
  • #17
Is it the Aqueon heaters that cost around $100 each? I'm looking for a good quality water heater as well, because like the OP I'm sick of heaters...

No they are much cheeper than that. I do not remember the price, but it was not very high.
 
LeoDiaz
  • #18
Leo, Rivieraneo is correct on the recall, here is the link:



I also have used the small hydor in my betta tanks and again-fail!

Jbokel, how is the additional switch done and is this something that can be done by me-I have wired switches and hung ceiling fans - a bit of wire, things like that-is this an easy thing to do?
I don't have that one I have just hydor heater.
image.jpg
image.jpg
 
Claire Bear
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
That is good Leo!
I really am having a hard time deciding to trust any of them. However, I have so many tanks that I could make myself sick trying to check all of these every single day.
I may have bitten off more than I can chew but not sure which tanks I could stand to let go!
 

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