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Old 01-15-2014, 09:52 PM   #1
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Heater question

After being out of the hobby since I was a kid I got back into it when I got a 3 gallon kit for Christmas. Needless to say I caught the itch, and ended up upgrading when I saw the Aqueon 29 gallon kit on sale at my lfs. I am using the heater the kit came with (All Glass 100w). The heater is doing its job well, and holding all areas of my aquarium at a very steady temperature. My only concern is the fact that it cycles (turns on/off) VERY frequently. It will be on for a few minutes, then shut off for a few minutes, back on, etc... Today, when I did a 20% PWC, I misjudged the aquarium temperature slightly and it ended up cooling down about 1.5F. I expected the heater to stay on and get the aquarium back to its set temp, but it continued to do its quick on/off cycle.

I have the heater positioned near the corner about 6" from one of my HOB's intake (I have 2 HOB's, 225gph total). I know the flow in my aquarium must be decent as the temperature is uniform, but the heater is in a more low flow area of the tank. I'm sure this is the reason why it turns on/off so often.

My question: Is it bad for the heater long term to turn on/off so frequently? Or should I try to move it to the middle where there is more flow, but wouldn't look as good?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:09 PM   #2
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It is normal for the light to go on and off. The heat comes on until the right temp if reached and then goes off. It turns back on when the temp drops 2 degrees or more. It should be fine were it is. You need an internal thermometer to keep a check and see if it is keeping the tank at the right temp. What size heater do you have and how big is the tank?
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:39 AM   #3
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Yeah I know it's supposed to turn on and off, I'm more concerned about the frequency in which it does so. It'll be on for about 3 minutes, then off for about 3 minutes, back and fourth. That's a lot of on/off cycles in a day.

I have a 29 gallon, 100w All-Glass heater (same as regular aqueon). I keep the tank at 78f going by the glass thermometer on the opposite side of the tank. The aquarium temperature doesn't vary much at all, and is uniform throughout the tank. I did try putting the heater in the middle (next to outflow), and its behavior didn't change at all.

I'm mostly worried about how the frequent expanding/contracting will effect the heater over time.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:05 PM   #4
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I think you're right that it's in a dead spot. Try moving it or placing at a different angle to catch more flow.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:11 PM   #5
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I have a 29 gallon with a 100 watt heater too. I put the heater right next to the outflow of my filter. It doesn't turn on and off a lot. It did when I first got it though. It took about a week for it to settle in. It takes a lot to get all that water at a nice temp. Give it a couple of weeks. If it is still going on an off frequently, you might want to change heaters. If your tank is in a drafty place with a lot of temperature swings that will affect it too.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
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I have the 29 tall too, I put the aqueon 150 watt in , temp holds steady at 79 +/- .5* , not as much if the on/off as when I had the 100 in it..
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:20 PM   #7
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I did try to move it to the middle next to the outflow, and there was no change in the heaters behavior. I live in a 5 year old house, it's not so drafty from what I can tell. Ambient temp is 68f most of the time. I do think the heater is a little under powered for the tank given the ambient temp. I had planned on upgrading, I just had my eye on a few other things first.

I'll give it some time and see if it settles down. If not I'll buy an 150w Aqueon Pro or Eheim Jager. No big loss really, heaters are cheap online, and having a spare is never a bad thing.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anibis View Post
I did try to move it to the middle next to the outflow, and there was no change in the heaters behavior. I live in a 5 year old house, it's not so drafty from what I can tell. Ambient temp is 68f most of the time. I do think the heater is a little under powered for the tank given the ambient temp. I had planned on upgrading, I just had my eye on a few other things first.

I'll give it some time and see if it settles down. If not I'll buy an 150w Aqueon Pro or Eheim Jager. No big loss really, heaters are cheap online, and having a spare is never a bad thing.

Thanks for the input!
Fluval and Marineland also make some quite decent heaters.
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