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Old 03-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
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Heaters: I need help ASAP

Hi all,
I just started my first freshwater (5 gallon) aquarium. I have tried 5 different heaters in the last week and none of them has worked! The 1st one I tried worked for 3 days. I realize this suggests user error, but all you have to do is place them in the tank and plug them in, right? I have tried using different power outlets in my house that I know work. I give them a good 24 hour to try to heat things up.
I already have some guppies in the tank so I want to find a solution fast.
Luckily I can keep my apartment warm enough right now to keep the water at 72 degrees but I will not always be able to keep my home heater on.
I really appreciate help. Thanks.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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My submersible ones by Tetra are non adjustable and work fine. I don't remember the exact model, but it's the one for 2-10 gallons that you can find at Walmart.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion but I have tried that one!
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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What do you mean it didn't work? With mine, the red light comes on when it's heating the water and it shuts off when it's at the right temp. It's gotta be near water flow to work right. Where is the thermometer in your tank?
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivebliss View Post
Hi all,
I just started my first freshwater (5 gallon) aquarium. I have tried 5 different heaters in the last week and none of them has worked! The 1st one I tried worked for 3 days. I realize this suggests user error, but all you have to do is place them in the tank and plug them in, right? I have tried using different power outlets in my house that I know work. I give them a good 24 hour to try to heat things up.
I already have some guppies in the tank so I want to find a solution fast.
Luckily I can keep my apartment warm enough right now to keep the water at 72 degrees but I will not always be able to keep my home heater on.
I really appreciate help. Thanks.
It would be very unusual for five different heaters to fail. Some questions - Does the indicator light go on at all? Do you trust your tank thermometer? Have you tried to exceed the 72 degrees? I would take one and set it for maybe 78 degrees just to see if it gets anywhere near that number. Heaters are quirky. Most work okay but seldom exceed expectations. Aqueon makes good heaters. I have several in service right now.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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I played with my heater in a 5 gallon bucket for a while to get it to "work." I learned it was 6 degrees off from what it was set at. (It had a temp dial) So you can fiddle around with yours in a bucket. Maybe put it in obviously colder than room temperature water to see if it kicks on. Then see what temp it heats the water to before turning off. Maybe sure to give it the recommended 15? minutes to cool down before removing it from the water. When I was looking at heaters for a small tank i saw some of them "heated water to 5-10 degrees warmer than your room temperature." That made no sense to me...but then I live in the desert so for part of the year our room temp is at 80 so we don't have to pay enormous amounts on our electric bill. =)

I did notice also that some of the smaller heaters temp it tries to keep it at is not very warm. I'd look up the heaters on amazon.com to see if you are wanting it warmer than that heater is programmed to heat to.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #7
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Two things come to mind: you said you tried several outlets around the house. Did you plug the heater while it was out of the water? If so, that could damage the heater, although the heater would have had to have been plugged in for more than thirty seconds or so. The other thing, when you put the heater in the water, did you give it a few minutes before plugging it in? If not, that too can damage a heater.

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Old 03-21-2013, 04:56 PM   #8
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Malisa_, DavidAl, MartyA, Betagal,

Yes, I have tried several outlets. I trust my thermometer as I have tested it by other means. I have never turned one on outside the water. I have tried them in buckets with cold water to see if they make the water heat up all.
These are all one-setting heaters that claim to heat this size tank to 80degrees.
The indicator lights do go on. The heater is positioned near water flow.

Sorry to be so difficult! I cannot imagine what is going on!
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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You're not being difficult. They were all possibilities as to why your heaters weren't working. It's strange that they didn't.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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Is your main electrical panel wired with a gfci?

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