Maintaining the Most Stable Temperature Question

Discussion in 'Temperature' started by iZaO Jnr, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    Hey guys,

    The question above refers to the following in a single aquarium, temperature only, not other factors:

    - The angle of the heater
    - The placement of the heater
    - The wattage of the heater
    - Effects of filtration on temperature
    - Surface Area of water
    - Hood vs no Hood vs Glass Cover

    What are your guys experiences/knowledge on the above.

    Hope to see some really debatable answers :)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  2. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    Do you mean stabilized in terms of an individual aquarium maintaining one temperature, or loss of heat or how to conserve your energy in general in aquariums. Because as long as everything is status quo in an aquarium the heat will stabilize no matter how you set it up (in terms of your descriptive choices). Could you please clarity for me.
  3. Sweet-lu84

    Sweet-lu84New MemberMember

    Well, I can say one thing. Hands down having no hood, especially in the winter has a huge impact on water temp (for me at least), which is pretty obvious. Having a hood, even a loosely fitting one helps insulate against any temp changes.

  4. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I think an inline heater is best, though I don't have experience with them. Heating the water being returned to the tank seems like it would be the most effective way to evenly distribute it.

    When I used heaters, I always had them vertical in the corner under the filter outflow. In the quarantine tanks, they are mounted diagonally so I can easily reach the dial. I know you are supposed to mount them horizontally near the bottom, but I never had a problem with accurately heating the tank (with the stealths) so I never bothered to change my practices.

    How powerful a heater you need is a matter of the difference between the desired temp and the ambient air temp. Basement tanks typically require more powerful heaters than first floor tanks, and the same is true of first and second floor tanks.

    Good circulation keeps things pretty even in the tank, no matter how you have the heaters placed. The reason to mount the heater horizontally is because warm water rises, and since the thermostat on the heater is presumed to be at the top, the rising warm water will interfere with the readings, and thus the performance of the heater. In a well filtered tank, the current within the tank dominates the movement of water - the rising warmer water is a non factor because there is new, unheated water being brought to it ever second. Poorly filtered/circulated tanks don't provide complete coverage, so there are areas that can get stagnant.

    Glass tops eliminate evaporation, and the air between it and the water is much warmer than the ambient air temp. As far as maintaining a warm temp in a cold climate, glass tops are a must - they provide far better insulation than the plastic ones, or not having one at all.

  5. OP

    iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    OP updated :) im referring to temperature in a single tank only. The discussion here is talking about achieving the most stable temp, meaning how to keep changes in temperature as low as possible.

    Thats good to know :):)

    I also wondered whether it is possible to mount the heaters vertically since they are easier to hide that way. So what you saying is a vertically mounted heater normally is a design for a very fluctuated temperature, but if there is substantial current or water movement then a vertical mount shouldnt be too different?

    So another good point to stronger than is common currents in a tank is "heat pockets"?
  6. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I'd like to think the water in the tank is moved more horizontally due to filtration than it vertically due to density. I know in my tanks they are, but in a tank with little to no filtration or circulation, then I can see it being an issue. Because of the limited capabilities of HOBs, I would only put a heater on the filter side of the tank, since that's the side that is most circulated.

    I don't quite understand the second question.
  7. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    The water level should be as high as possible to keep the water from losing heat "waterfalling" into the tank.
  8. OP

    iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry wasnt quite a question... What i was saying is it is simply another good reason for stronger currents in a tank.

    I dont understand what you're trying to say
  9. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    What I am saying that as water travels through the air to meet the water it loses more heat than it the water line were above the fall off point. For example if a waterfall travels 5 feet through the air it loses more heat than a waterfall that travels 6 inches in the air. If you have HOB filters, and let the water travel to the top of the water it loses more heat than if the water line is over the drop off point. Does that make sense?
  10. Dlondon95

    Dlondon95Well Known MemberMember

    I usually put the heater diagonally under the filter outflow.

    I actually had a problem in my 75 with it not heating enough, so I put the heater about an inch below the spray bar and angled the spray bar down so it blows the water across the heater. It world great that way.
  11. OP

    iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    much better yes :):)

    thats strange. Heater not poerful enough?
  12. Dlondon95

    Dlondon95Well Known MemberMember

    I ended up getting a new heater. The other one worked, but wasn't very reliable.
  13. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I personally like the thought of running two heaters in a tank both sized to run about 75% of the tank. That allows them to function alot easier and with less stress on the filters. I have also found that maintaining a stable temp in the room is very important.
  14. Sweet-lu84

    Sweet-lu84New MemberMember

    One thing, I would never buy a glass heater again, I only like the plastic ones (ie. Aqueon).

    Does orientation have an impact on the ability of the heater to heat? Also, does having two heaters in the same tank have any negative impact on the ability to heat the tank?
  15. Sweet-lu84

    Sweet-lu84New MemberMember

    What is the stress caused to the filter?
  16. OP

    iZaO JnrWell Known MemberMember

    That's one that i know works well. Having more than 1 heater. This is also an advantage in so many ways.

    I've never had an issue with any glass heaters. It seems when placed vertically the performance is stunted a bit because of the positioning and effective surface area affected by the heater. By having it horizontal, the rising heat does not affect the thermostat and also affects more water over a larger area.

    I mean filtration systems that could potentially be affecting the heat of the tank. This will only be noticeabkle on smaller tanks but my smaller ones do fluctuate more and im wondering maybe this is one of the things affecting it
  17. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Using a quality heater, appropriately rated for the size of the aquarium is the first step. My FW has never fallen below 24C [75F] (heater is set at 24), and save for ambient temperature, never goes above it either [IME, continual ambient above 28C will bring about a rise in my tank). The type of filter has an impact in the sense that canisters are more subject to ambient temperature changes, the tubes hanging over the back, and the small canister (comparitive to DT size) can heat/cool quicker than the DT.

    I also haven't seen my reef go above or below 27C [80-81F]. And that water flows through the sump, the surface area of the DT and Sump is huge.

    Let's not forget the size of the tank (volume of water), the thickness of the glass can also impact temperature insulation.

    As for position in the tank, my FW heater is angled and fully submerged on the side wall of the tank, not directly in the filter flow, but the flow through the tank is enough to move heated water around. My Reef heaters are both fully submerged, laying flat in the return section of the sump.

    And one last thought - The lights you use can have a big influence ;)
  18. psalm18.2

    psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    My heater sits vertically in the middle of the tank next to the filter intake.
    I have circulating water by placing canister spray bar at one end and power head at the other. My tank stays within 80-82 daily. Sometimes the strong swing in air temps will raise or lower temp by 1 degree or so. It can be 30 one day and 80 another outside. I have a 300wt heater on a 55g tank.
  19. ray_sjValued MemberMember

    My heaters sit diagonally, next to the HOB filter intakes. I have 100W heaters in the 20 gallon tanks, and 150W in the 29 gallon. I rarely see temperature changes more than +/- 1 degree. Unless it's very hot outside, then the tank temperature may slowly rise 2 or 3 degrees.
  20. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I usually set my heaters at the bottom of the tank horizontally or close to it, heat rises and cooler water will always sink, between my filter and the heat I get a fairly good circulation of water in the tank without causing a lot of movement. I also usually position my air stones around the heater to help encourage the circulation of the water. Power heads are also always located to blow across the heater.

    As for a type of heater, I am currently swapping out heaters as they fail and all new ones are the Titanium heaters. I get them from Kens.

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