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Old 12-13-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
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New heaters not working properly

Hello,

Iím having a problem Iím hoping someone might be able to help me with. Iíve been using an older Supreme Heatmaster heater in my 55 gallon salt-water aquarium. It has not been keeping the temperature at the same temperature lately and fluctuates between 75 and 86. I think after twenty or thirty years of service itís probably done for. So, I bought a new Marineland Stealth heater and followed the directions but after two days the water temperature has yet to make it up to 80 degrees even though Iíve tried setting it to 78, 80, 82 and 84. So, I took that one back and got a Hagen Elite heater and Iím having the same exact problem with that one. Iím sure itís possible I bought two defective heaters by coincidence but I also thought maybe Iím doing something wrong. Any thoughts or ideas?
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:19 PM   #2
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What's the temperature currently in the room where the aquarium sits?

I've found that it is much more difficult to keep an aquarium up to the proper temp during the winter because:

1. Room temps are usually cooler in the winter than the summer.

2. The air is less humid - so with a warm tank and cool air - the tank will evaporate a lot more causing it to cool further.


My Fluval E 100w does a great job of keeping my tank at 80F during the summer, but in the winter with the same settings - can barely get my 26gal to 77.

End of the day - a little temp drop during the winter is natural and shouldn't be that much of a problem if it stays steady. Now - if your water is going from 77 - 83 - 77 and changing rapidly over a short time - that's an issue.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.
Iím going to have to check the temperature where the tank is. I have the 55 gallon tank and a 75 and 100 all in my basement. Iím not having any problems with the 75 or 100 even though the 55 is situated right next to them and theyíre within a foot of each other. Iíll report back later when Iím home and can check the temperature.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:52 AM   #4
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In addition... what is the wattage of the heater we're talking about? When you say the tank temp won't get up to 80, what are you measuring the temperature with and what temperature *does* it make it up to?
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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Where are you measuring water temperature? If you've got your thermometer right next to the heater, you'll see big swings when the heater kicks on and shuts off. The new heater may be more powerful than your old heater, so it turns on and shuts off whereas your old heater may have been running constantly. Try moving your thermometer to a different part of the tank for a better steady-state reading.

If that's not the case, did you select an appropriately sized heater? If the heater is running constantly and you're not reaching the desired temperature, the heater is too small. If this is the case, put both heaters in the tank and try again.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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The basement where I have my aquariums is at a constant 67 degrees. Both heaters that haven’t worked properly are 250 watt so they should be good for a 55 gallon I would think.
I’ve tried using a digital thermometer and a regular glass one and both heaters only made it up to about 76 degrees (when I measured the temperature it was not near the heater).
The thing that really frustrates me is neither of the two new heaters stays on for any length of time even though the water temperature is at 76 degrees and the heaters have been set to 80-82 degrees. They should stay on (pilot light lit) until the temperature reaches 80 degrees or so but they don’t. The pilot lights stay on for a minute or so and then shut off. Very strange!
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:08 PM   #7
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Have you tried turning the heater up past 82? The temperature setting displayed on the knob usually isn't accurate. You may have to set your heater based on actual output rather than the setting stated on the knob.

On another note, is there a reason you need the 80 degrees? You could run your tanks a few degrees cooler and save on the utility bill. I keep mine at 72-73.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mea2112 View Post
...
The thing that really frustrates me is neither of the two new heaters stays on for any length of time even though the water temperature is at 76 degrees and the heaters have been set to 80-82 degrees. They should stay on (pilot light lit) until the temperature reaches 80 degrees or so but they donít. The pilot lights stay on for a minute or so and then shut off. Very strange!
I tried one of the new Marineland Stealth Pro heaters (the old ones don't have any pilot lights at all) and the thing worked for a couple days and then died on me. Seems like all these new Visitherms have a quality issue since they've been "improved". So it wouldn't surprise me if that one you have is junk.

However, having the other heater do the same thing kind of makes me think it isn't a quality issue. That'd be pretty coincidental.

Do you have good flow around the heaters? If not, it could be that the water in the local area around the heater is heating up, but not spreading out into the aquarium water fast enough. Your heater then senses the locally higher water temperature and turns off. Then the warm water migrates away from the heater and the heater turns on again.

Like BigJim mentioned, I'd turn up the heater and ignore the temperature markings on the heater dial - they are *never* correct. Just set the heater based on your thermometers.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #9
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I did try turning both heaters up all the way and that didn’t help. I have good water flow around the heater so I can only assume I just bought two defective heaters by coincidence.
I got so frustrated that I pulled my old Supreme Heatmaster out of the garbage and cleaned it off and put it back in the tank last night. It seems to be working for now. The water temperature was 79 degrees this morning but I’m not sure it will stay there since it was going up into the mid 80’s last week no matter how I adjusted it.
I’m going to take the two new one’s back and just buy a hang-on type heater.
Thanks for trying to help and for all the suggestions!
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:05 AM   #10
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How are you mounting your heaters? Vertically? Diagonally?
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