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Old 12-21-2010, 04:04 PM   #1
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Heating during Winter / Cold Months

All,
I have a 55G setup with a 200W or 250W heater i cant remember. either way this should be enough and has always been enough to keep my temperature reliably at 78 or 80 when its warmer. I have noticed that when the temperature dips to 50 degrees or around that temp inside the house, that the tank drops to almost 72 degrees which im told is a significant swing and can be detramental to coral. I have not had any deaths or sickness from this swing but have noticed slow growth among my coral which could be related.

Anyway what do you guys do in this situation? I would say add another heater on the other side and set the therm at 80 to even out the temp and help the main heater from working so hard. I have T5 bulbs so they dont generate much heat to help the situation. I donkt think my heater is going i just think its too cold to heat as well as desired.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #2
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Where is the tank located that you are having those temp swings?
Or are you turning down the heat when you are at work and then raising it on return?

Heaters need to be sized based on both the tank size and the temperature differential. Usually you need 3 -5 watts per gallon, but that's assuming about a 9 degree differential.

I always recommend two heaters, especially if you have corals. They should be on a controller with the temperature set 1 degree apart. That way if one fails or cannot keep up with the demand you have a second unit to kick in and pick up the slack.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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2 heaters(or more depending on the size of the system) is excellent advice.
i have 4 on the roughly 200 gallon system i maintain at the local gym.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:19 PM   #4
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I too agree that two heaters will be better than one.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:21 PM   #5
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I have had this problem here in Nevada in winter. I just surrounded the tank (187 gallons) with cut-to-measure panels of the insulating board you can buy at Home Depot. The panels are about 1/2 inch thick and are easy to cut with a matte knife. Just duct-tape them to the aquarium and then remove when warm weather arrives. The location of your aquarium is also important. Are there any doors, windows, or sources of drafts near it? Drafts can lower temps very quickly.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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how do you view your aquarium with insulation duct taped to it?
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
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I put the insulation around three sides. At night I tape another panel to the front of the aquarium, then just take it off during the day, or whenever I want to view the aquarium. It only takes a few small pieces of duct tape to hold the light-weight insulation, so the appearance is not too unattractive.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:04 PM   #8
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I still maintain that 2 heaters would be more reliable.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:41 AM   #9
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Getting another heater is by far the best solution, and much less visually obtrusive than insulation, of course it will cost more in electricity!
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:07 PM   #10
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I have a 187-gallon acrylic aquarium with a 300 watt heater which does the job nicely, even in winter, since the tank is insulated with the panels. (Acrylic is also an insulator, incidentally.)

Two heaters would work, of course, but why waste the electricity if you can find a way to conserve it? To be on the safe side you can do both - add the additional heater and insulate at the same time.
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