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Old 04-24-2010, 12:35 PM   #11
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Glass thermometer (esp. the cheap ones) are not all accurate!! If you go look at the stack of thermometer at Wally's, they all read a different temp at the store, even when sitting at the same bin ....

You would want to use a high quality thermometer to take the temp before you junk your heater. A lab grade glass thermometer is of course the gold standard, but a good kitchen thermometer works as well. I use one of the instant read meat thermometer that can actually read down to 70. It is like $20, but gives accurate readings.

Depending on how the thermometer is made, you can calibrate it yourself. The standard lab calibration is: put in a cup of water with ice <let it equilibrate so there is both liquid water & ice>, and it should read 0C or 32F. Boiling water at sealevel should read 100C or 210F. <A bit less at altitude, you can find correction tables if you are up high.> You can then divide the 2 points into even intervals to find any temp accurately. Some thermometer don't have enough range to do this, then you have to calibrate to a known accurate thermometer. Most kitchen thermometer (even cheap ones) do have enough range for calibration, so is a better buy for your tank.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:37 PM   #12
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The only trouble I've had with the Wallyworld ones vs the ones I get at a LFS are that they want to float sideways, the suction cups are for crap. As for accuracy, I have used both LFS and Wallyworld's in our tanks and they keep an accurate record. Our 10g that has fry in it has a sticky strip, a Wallyworld $1.99 special and a $3.49 Petsmart TopFin brand. All have the same reading. (I did that to make sure the temp was right before we stripped the fry and moved them to the 10 and never took them out) I agree that not all are accurate, there are variables due to a manufacturing error. But for the most part, the cheap ones do keep a pretty accurate temp.


That being said, I have heard nothing but good from people that use the digital ones. Maybe in the future that would be the route to take once you have the funds.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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I have my Stealth's set at 78*, but the temp is 80* in all tanks. I just assumed it was because the heaters are rated for more than the tank. *shrug* I had the thermometers from Walmart, and I threw them out (one broke when I was trying to move it, and I don't even think it's glass) because they were to off compared to the ones from PetSmart. I also have the sticky therm's on my tanks too LOL.
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:45 PM   #14
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A good way to test a thermometer is to crush up some ice and put it in clean cup (I usually put 20% ice.) with FW, stir it up and put it in the fridge with the thermometer in it... wait about 20 min take it out it should read 0C or 32F (the ice melts at 0/32 and the water wont freeze so the temp of the water will go down to 0/32 and stay there till all the ice is melted) it's the way a lot of companies calibrate/test their thermometers.
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:26 AM   #15
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A lot of interesting responses...

As I've said, I have 2 glass thermometers, 1 brand new & 1 is from an old tank.

The glass thermometers are at separate ends of the tank and both currently read about 80-81 degrees.

My heater is currently set at 75 & the thermometer that is on the unit reads 74 degrees. It is only a few weeks old. I'm going to call my lfs & talk to my guy there, see if this is a relavent issue with this heater. I am still baffled.
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:59 PM   #16
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as I said I would test one of the thermometers and then adjust the temp based on the thermometers and ignore the temp on the heater.
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