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Old 10-03-2005, 10:13 AM   #1
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Heater fluctuations...

My heater in my 55 gal. is kicking on and off all of the time, and just when I think I have the heater set at the right temperature, a sudden swing in my apartment's temperature sets it off the mark. I dont know if I set the heater to a temp. and that is like setting it to a "work this hard" setting, where it only works so hard, and if it is much cooler in your house it will make the tank coooler and if it is much warmer it makes the tank warmer or what. Suggestions? Should I just get a new heater, what brand?

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Old 10-03-2005, 10:15 AM   #2
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It should keep the temperature steady, despite room temperature. That is why we use them. How many watts is the heater?
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Old 10-03-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
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If you don't have one, I would suggest a 300w Visi-therm heater. Or, two 150w Visi-therms. These are really great.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:16 PM   #4
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It is 12 inches so I think it is 250 watts. That might be the problem because the tank is 55 gal with a 10 gal sump.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:43 PM   #5
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A 250W heater is just about perfect for the tank and sump you have. What brand is the heater? If it is one that is lesser quality, it might not have a good thermostat causing the heater to turn on and off.
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Old 10-03-2005, 10:53 PM   #6
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THe heater brand is Top Fin. Tank temp. does seem to dip when the temperature in my apt. dips low. So I think perhaps one explanation is that the heater just isnt powerful enough to keep up. What I dont get is why it keeps shutting on and off so rapidly. Only about half a minute on or off at one time. IS there a reason for this like overheating? Underpowered? Suggestions for other heaters?

JCHillen, the Visa-therm looks good. Cheap too! only about 20 bucks for the 300w. THis should be plenty of power but is it a high quality heater for such an inexpensive price? What have the best repuations as the best heaters?
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:09 PM   #7
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Visi-therm heaters are quite high quality.
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:29 PM   #8
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wish my problems were like this. yesterday temps reached 36 degrees C and my 20 gallon raised 2 degrees above normal temp. i used floated platic cups of ice to keep temp regulated/down. this is goin to be my plan over summer theres no way i can afford a chiller.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:52 AM   #9
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I have the same problem here. House temp dipped to 62 degrees a few nights ago and when I woke my tank was 4 degrees less than when I went to bed (house temp was around 72). So I thought the tank was as 80 but it was 76 when I awoke. This is a brand new 200W Visi-therm heater in a 20 gallon tank, so it should be more than sufficient. Now that the house has been consistently cooler (68 or so) the tank has stayed that way too averaging around 76-78.
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Old 10-04-2005, 10:42 AM   #10
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The Visi-Therm Stealth heaters are cheap and very accurate. For $16, you can't go wrong. Or as JC Suggested, 2 of the 150 Watt ones would be good also.
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Old 10-04-2005, 10:53 AM   #11
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Darn. I am getting alot of conflicting information about the Visi-therms. fprintf has 200w in a 20 gal and still has a temperature dip problem. Is this because the heater is simply underpowered? I would greatly prefer one heater as opposed to 2. Chillen and Rok seem to be big advocates of the visi-therm. Have you not had any problems with the temperature dipping using them. Have you had situations where your house was rather cool (around 60 degrees) where the heater still kept your tank temp at par???
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Old 10-04-2005, 11:07 AM   #12
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Aim for about 5 Watts per gal. So in a 55 gal tank, about 275 to 300 Watts would be adequate. I've never had any problems with the Stealths. The glass ones I had a minor fluctuation, but never the stealth. Plus, the glass ones are easier to break. I suggest 2 also because the tank will be more evenly heated. Plus, if one stops working, the other will be the backup until you can purchase another one. I've never had any major fluctuations (and by major I mean more than half a degree) with the stealth. But we keep our apt around 68 to 70 degrees. The 150 gal tank we have set at 80 and have never had any issues with dipping. The others are all set at 76 to 78 degrees without any problems.

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Old 10-08-2005, 02:38 PM   #13
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Ok. THank you all for your input. I am between the Visi-therm Stealth and The Rena Cal Top Light excel (both 300w). Please let me know what your opinions are on these and where you think the best prices are. SO far the best seems to be Drs. Foster Smith. Thanks all for you help!
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Old 10-08-2005, 03:01 PM   #14
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I have 2 Rena Cal 300's, one in a 90 gal and one in a 10 gal, yup.. a 10 gallon.

Never had a problem with them, easy to set the temp. and they are somewhat "camouflaged".

Drs. F & S have then on sale right now for $20.79, shipping is $8.99 I think.
PetsMart has them for $22.99 ON LINE. In the store they are prob. about $30.

If you decide to go with the Renal Cal, print this page and take it to PetsMart with you and they'll let you have it for the on line price.

If you are ordering a lot of things from Drs. F & S, then the shipping wouldn't be that big of a deal; for 1 or 2 items it can add up.

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Old 10-08-2005, 05:28 PM   #15
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Big Al's has the Stealth for $16 and the Rena for $21.99. Plus their shipping is $6.95. Not a bad price. You also earn VIP points that turn into discounts. Cha ching. And if you find a product cheaper at any other online realitor, Big Al's will price match minus an extra 5%.

As I stated before, I'm all for the Stealth. Easy to hide since its black. It's also not glass so it won't break.
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Old 10-09-2005, 04:33 AM   #16
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pitt420dude : I also have a Top Fin heater (a 100W for my 20gal tank). It really doesn't hold temperature. Yesterday we had our first cold night (below 10C and my windows were open... it got pretty cold inside!) and when I woke up the temperature was about 6C the normal temp....

I'll be shopping for a visithem soon... Thanks, your post was very useful for me.
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Old 10-10-2005, 04:48 PM   #17
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NO problem vero. That is why these forums are great, a thorough search will usually give me an answer before I even ask. There arent too many topics that have not already been covered. I ordered the Stealth 250 on Big Als for 15.49. They have great customer service and an unbeatable price (PetCo had a Stealth 200w for 38 bucks!!!). Thank you everybody. Once again, Aquarium Advice RULES!
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Old 10-10-2005, 06:15 PM   #18
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I got myself a visi-therm stealth a couple weeks ago when my temp dipped by 10degrees in one night. Since I bought it, temp has been at a steady 82, havn't seen it move at all.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:50 PM   #19
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Just bought a 100W visitherm stealth today after hearing all the great comments on them. I'm glad Xzap told me about Petsmart price matching petsmart.com. I saved $17 off of the in store price and didn't have to wait for shipping.
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Old 10-10-2005, 11:11 PM   #20
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Great deal isn't it? LOL. Don't go spreading it around too much, otherwise petsmart may take it away.
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