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Old 03-28-2011, 12:36 AM   #1
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5-10 gallon heater in 20 gallon tank

Is it okay for me to have 5 to 10 gallon heater in my 20 gallon tank? I have a hood on with incandescent lights in it and it's turned on about 7-10 hours everyday along with light from the window across the room. The temperature ranges from 75 to 78. I have mollies, platies, a dwarf gourami, tetras, and a Cory cats. Will these fish be okay under these conditions or should I upgrade my heater?
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jeff likes fish
Is it okay for me to have 5 to 10 gallon heater in my 20 gallon tank? I have a hood on with incandescent lights in it and it's turned on about 7-10 hours everyday along with light from the window across the room. The temperature ranges from 75 to 78. I have mollies, platies, a dwarf gourami, tetras, and a Cory cats. Will these fish be okay under these conditions or should I upgrade my heater?
IMO fish do not care about light per se, if there's light in the room to make night/day you're fine. As long as you don't have plants, because they need certain lights that incandescent bulbs can not provide.

As for the heater, it might work but it'll be working overtime, all the time IMO. It might work, but for how long? If it were me, I'd get one sized for the tanks volume or a bit bigger (20-50g).

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Old 03-28-2011, 12:59 AM   #3
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Okay that's what I was thinking. I had a 10 gallon and when i upgraded I was going to wait to see if my heater would do enough on it's own before purchasing a bigger one but I suppose if I buy a new one I can start a new 10 gallon tank with it =D
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:09 AM   #4
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Okay that's what I was thinking. I had a 10 gallon and when i upgraded I was going to wait to see if my heater would do enough on it's own before purchasing a bigger one but I suppose if I buy a new one I can start a new 10 gallon tank with it =D
MTS*, it's a disease quite common here and there's no known antidote lol.

WalMart has name brand basics at a good price and I'd say it's worth upgrading. Electricity and water are a bad mix already, I wouldn't press it myself.

*(Multiple Tank Syndrome)

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Old 03-28-2011, 01:16 AM   #5
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Haha well said, and agreed. This is truly an addicting hobby. And yes walmart does but I hate how poorly they take care of their fish... Most workers have NO knowledge of fish what so ever. Me and my girlfriend fish the dead fish out ourselves because they will sit in the sales tanks for days at a time.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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A 5-10g heater probably won't cut it in a 20g. The only way I see it working is if the room the tank is in stays at a very constant temperature that is near the desired tank temperature. Otherwise the heater just doesn't have enough power to maintain a constant tank temp and will be on all the time trying to do so.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:06 PM   #7
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Agreed, looks like I'm going to make a little trip tomorrow :p any suggestions?
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Agreed, looks like I'm going to make a little trip tomorrow :p any suggestions?
I'm not into labels, so IMO pick the one best fit your tank. But I do stay away from the petco branded specials I see on the rack lol.

There are some the a +/- scale for settings and not what I would want, instead I prefer the number scale so I know that it's close to the temp I want to maintain and then fine tune if need be.

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Old 03-28-2011, 10:32 PM   #9
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Oh the number scale would be much better. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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Oh the number scale would be much better. Thanks for the tip!
Yeah, I have a kit heater with +/- and hate it. But use it as a backup for QT or (like right now) my egg/nursery tank .

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