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Old 10-20-2014, 10:27 AM   #41
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Heaters are designed to turn on and off, not stay on 24/7.

The fact is that there are tons of people that never have a problem with their heaters turning on and off. I guess I'm just not one to worry about safeguarding from freak occurrences.

That's certainly one of the great fish keeping debates, with very experienced and knowledgeable people on both sides of the issue.
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:33 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by BillD View Post
This is where the problem lies. The ideal heater would never shut off. The constant on and off cycling is what usually causes heater failure.
Is this really true in modern heaters? It seems like the inexpensive electronic components would not be more prone to failure from turning on and off. Back when most of them had mechanical switches I can see this possibly being the case but even then it seems like unending heat would present almost as much problem as turning on and off would. Moreover, the real problem with constant on heater is that room temp will very aquarium temp.

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I guess I'm just not one to worry about safeguarding from freak occurrences.
Between my wife and I we have lost three tanks of fish to heater malfunction. It is not that obscure of an issue.
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:41 PM   #43
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Heater Question

Yeah I've had two malfunction - 95 degrees and I didn't lose any fish thankfully.

Second malfunctioned straight out of the box - was close to 110. Fish died but not the bacteria. That was my own fault for not monitoring it's initial use.

I don't use heaters in my show tanks anymore, because I don't have to. If I did, I think I would spend money on higher quality units.

I still consider 1.5 instances in all my years, with dozens of tanks, to be a pretty rare. To me it's no different than a leaky canister. While it's happened a couple of times, I don't keep them all in buckets "just in case".
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:27 PM   #44
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It is certainly not a freak occurrence. Doing retail and service for well over a decade I can't even tell you how many times it has happened. We all reminisce about the good old bimetallic plate heaters and how the new 'better' ones can't seem to last as long. It seems like no matter what heater we used a year or two down the road they would start failing. Obviously it isn't every one of them, but it certainly happens. Having a few tanks isn't enough of a sample size, so you can easily find person after person who it has never happened to. But when you are dealing with hundreds of service clients and retail customers you see a much larger sample size. It is not just a rare freak occurrence that you may hear about, but it is more common than it should be. This is why I now recommend buying the weakest one that can do the job for you.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:10 PM   #45
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I'm another vote for underpowered heaters. Most of us keep our tanks in heated living spaces, so in the worst case we might only need to increase the temp 10-12 degrees. Once MTS gets you past 6 or so tanks, you've also got to consider load on the circuit to your room.

I've only had one heater lock on - a 50 watt hydor that maxed out on my 20 gallon to 92 degrees, I only lost 2 fish that time.
Ebay brand X heaters usually just stop working altogether, not worth considering.
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:12 PM   #46
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I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place in this case. The rooms the fish tanks are in are only about 60F during winter, so I have to have heaters that will make up for that, so my heaters have to be more powerful than a person who has rooms that are for instance a steady 70F in winter. I can't use a controller, as all my power strips are full! I have two heaters in the big tank, 1 heater in the small, the filters, the lights, lamp, and my computer printer all plugged in, and if I added a controller too, I'm just upping my chances of a fire. And because of the temperature issue, I can't use underpowered heaters either. The thought of a heater "sticking on" scares me to death. Sometimes you're darned if you do, and darned if you don't. I use Aqueon Pros, and Via Aquas, and have never had a heater "stick on" in the six years I've had tanks, but maybe I've just been lucky.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:04 PM   #47
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I have had Via Aquas do it.

The controller would just use the plug the heater currently uses.

Buy another power strip.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:23 PM   #48
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Oh! Well that's good to know. I think I'll go ahead and get a controller, as I don't want that happening. Thanks!
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