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Old 05-31-2015, 05:21 AM   #1
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Quick question about heaters

Is it normal for the heater to switch on and off quite frequently? Seems that the light comes on for a little bit, turns off for a bit, then on again with not much time in between. Maybe a minute or so between. Just would have thought they would have a bit of a buffer like a house furnace or something. Temps seem to stay stable, i just worry about at night since my new heater wants to be set real low compared to the actual temp. I beleive the heater is set for 72* and the temps stay around 80*
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:33 AM   #2
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What kind/size heater is it and what is the size of the tank it's heating? Setting it at 72 and having a tank temp of 80 is a big difference. Such frequent cycling on and off doesn't seem right but it may be oversized for the tank.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bbarb27 View Post
What kind/size heater is it and what is the size of the tank it's heating? Setting it at 72 and having a tank temp of 80 is a big difference. Such frequent cycling on and off doesn't seem right but it may be oversized for the tank.
It was a 150watt that was previously in a 25 gallon tank. Its been moved to my 30 gallon now so maybe thatll help a bit. But does yours stay on for a while at a time or is it more short bursts? I also try to position it near the filter inlet so (in theory) itll spread the heat out better
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:15 AM   #4
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Yes that is perfectly normal. If it stayed on for extended periods the heater tube would get too hot and possibly damage/burn something.
If it is cycling on and off constantly then the heater is undersized for the tank, not oversized, a 150 watt should be able to manage a 30 gallon tank, but from your description, it's acting like it's not enough for your tank.

Why do you have the heater set so low, most tropical fish need ~76-84 degrees. your tank sitting at 80 is fine.
You should double check the temp with another/different thermometer to make certain the readings are correct.

What brand of heater is it? If the temp is actually 80 and the heater is set at 72, I don't think I would trust the heater.
It isn't uncommon for there to be slight variations between the heaters thermostat and actual temps, but a difference of 8 degrees is wacked.

again, test the tank temp with a different thermometer.
Put the thermometer at the opposite end of the tank from the heater.
and yes, putting the heater near the output of the filter will help a bit.

finally, start shopping for a new heater, because I fear that one may be on it's way out

I just got a Hydor ETH inline 300 watt heater for my system, set it at 79 and my temps haven't fallen below that once.

(remember, your tank will always be at least a few degrees cooler than the ambient air temperature, so if it's 82 degrees out, then don't expect your tank to be much below 80 degrees no matter what heater you have, unless it's also a chiller.)
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PB_Smith View Post
Yes that is perfectly normal. If it stayed on for extended periods the heater tube would get too hot and possibly damage/burn something.
If it is cycling on and off constantly then the heater is undersized for the tank, not oversized, a 150 watt should be able to manage a 30 gallon tank, but from your description, it's acting like it's not enough for your tank.

Why do you have the heater set so low, most tropical fish need ~76-84 degrees. your tank sitting at 80 is fine.
You should double check the temp with another/different thermometer to make certain the readings are correct.

What brand of heater is it? If the temp is actually 80 and the heater is set at 72, I don't think I would trust the heater.
It isn't uncommon for there to be slight variations between the heaters thermostat and actual temps, but a difference of 8 degrees is wacked.

again, test the tank temp with a different thermometer.
Put the thermometer at the opposite end of the tank from the heater.
and yes, putting the heater near the output of the filter will help a bit.

finally, start shopping for a new heater, because I fear that one may be on it's way out

I just got a Hydor ETH inline 300 watt heater for my system, set it at 79 and my temps haven't fallen below that once.

(remember, your tank will always be at least a few degrees cooler than the ambient air temperature, so if it's 82 degrees out, then don't expect your tank to be much below 80 degrees no matter what heater you have, unless it's also a chiller.)
The brand is Marina. I had been given a thermometer so at first i was using that. That setting was what seemed to keep temps lower than 82 because it seemed to want to creep up set any higher. Then i went out and bought another new thermometer, same style as the other one and they differ by 2*F. So i took note of the difference and kept the new one and other is in my girlfriends tank. Im thinking because its summer and we dont have A/C here that maybe its just that warm in here. Today it was 27*C(around 80*F) and the tank is sitting around 82*. Havent seen the heater light on in the last day (that ive noticed)

Could the cheap T12 24" bulb and/or my AC70 filter be making up the remainder of the heat?
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:29 PM   #6
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I turned the heater all the way down, unplugged, and then replugged in the heater and waited a couple minutes. Then slowly turned it up until the light came on around 79*. So maybe its working properly and i just need to cool the house itself lol I turned it down to i beleive 78*. Ill post if it turns on again at the higher tank temp
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:57 PM   #7
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Ok so im back.. The stupid thing turned on again for a little bit twice now. Temp on thermometer still says 82*F and i included a pic of how i have it set now. Of course the one thing i didnt keep the receipt for is the one id like to return... Still warm in the house but i think im probably best to keep it set higher and watch the temp doesnt go up since i dont want the temp to drop overnight if that was happening with it set so low.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:46 PM   #8
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I never trusted marina heater. My friend's also turn on and off in a short period of time.
Another brand I don't trust is hydor.

Now, I swear by eheim jagger and aqueon pro
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:27 PM   #9
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I never trusted marina heater. My friend's also turn on and off in a short period of time.
Another brand I don't trust is hydor.

Now, I swear by eheim jagger and aqueon pro
It was what the store here had :/ Well thats too bad. Wonder how i can check it its for sure the heater or not... Maybe i could use the container i have thats about 7 gallons? Or would that be too small?
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:39 AM   #10
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Daven,
Turn your heater back down so it doesn't cook your tank and start looking for ehiem jagger there the best and they use less watts .there's a lot of good brands out there.so do some research on what s available and buy two if that's possible .
It's always good to have a extra heater because they do this at the most inconvenient times.
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