Need help!!! heater!!

Gel0city

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My fish have survived in my 20 gallon long without the use of a heater for about 2 years, but I've heard both good and bad stories about heaters... Right now I have an eye on the Fluval M 100W heater (don't want to get a bigger one as it has a chance of overheating and I don't want to take the risk)

What are your experiences with heaters? Is it better to risk using a heater, and if so, what brand do you recommend? I've heard scary stories of fish dying because of their heater.
 

SM1199

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It all depends on the species of fish you have, and the temperature your house/room is set to.

A lot of tropicals should be in the 75F+ range, and if your house is often under 70F, you should have a heater. I have personally never had a heater malfunction, but I know people who have. The risk of heaters is quite low as compared to the guaranteed lack of wellbeing for fish who are kept significantly below their temperature comfort range.

Edit: I do not have a brand to suggest. I'm sure other people will. I always just buy the cheapest thing I can get my hands on... So far, doing okay.
 

AquaCaitlin

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I have never had any of my heaters malfunction before.
I have 2 aqueon flat heaters for my betta breeding tanks, because that way the water level can be kept low. These heaters do a sufficient job, but I wouldn’t say the best.
I don’t know the brand of my other heaters, but I do know that I ordered them from amazon, they were the cheapest with the best reviews, and they work wonderful.
I really wish I knew the brand name but I can’t find it anywhere on the heater, sorry about that!
 
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Gel0city

Gel0city

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Thanks for the reply! I've heard good reviews on Fluval heaters so might be looking to get that... $23 so seems reasonable.
 

Islandvic

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Currently I am using Aqueon, Aqueon Pro, Top Fin and Fluval M heaters. Aqueons have good warranties.

No failures yet.

Ehiem Jager is also a very good brand. Cobalt, Hydor and Oase are good as well.

The Fluval M series heater I have seem to cycle on/off a lot. Also, I don't really like their silver reflective finish. I prefer the black Aqueon Pro for looks.

If you are concerned with a malfunction, look into getting a heater controller. The heater plugs into the controller which has a separate temperature probe. The controller is adjustable and will turn on/off the plug the heater is connected to. That way, the heater only receives power when the controller activates the plug. Even if the controller fails and stays on, the heater's thermostat will still turn the heater off.

On Amazon, take a look at Inkbird brand of heater controllers.


Also, don't go purely off the thermostat setting of any heater. Most brands thermostat ls can be off +/- a couple of degrees. Go off the tank's thermometer.

If you adjust the heater for 78f and it heats it up to 82f for example, turn down the thermostat a couple of clicks. Fine tune it throughout the day until you get it dialed in. Once set and the temp levels off where you want it, then leave the thermostat alone.

All of my heater's have thermostat's that are off a couple of degrees. Once they are set by adjusting them going off the tank's thermometer, then they hold the temp steady where I want them.

You mention about not wanting to get too big of a heater because of the chance of overheating. The thermostat turns off the heater. For example, a larger heater has to run less to warm the tank up. A smaller heater stays on longer to get tank up to desired temp.

For example, I've put a 100w heater in a 10 gallon tank and a 50w heater in a 5.5g tank without issues.

Also, always unplug the heater during water changes.
 

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