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Old 06-27-2020, 06:22 PM   #1
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Correct water temp and heater wattage question

I have a 55 gallon tank that I have placed in the basement. Before in the old house, the temp never really fluctuated much and haven't used any heaters for years. But being in the basement, I'm sure I need heaters and wondering, since I don't really know how cold it may get in the basement in this house during winter, if I were to get two 300 watt heaters do you think that would be doable? I mean, it won't cause the water to over heat if I set the temperature to say 72 degrees?
2nd question, I can't remember what the correct temperature I should be aiming for. Can anyone let me know? All I have are 2 clown loaches, both about 6-7 inches if that matters.
Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:32 PM   #2
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In normal circumstances you should be looking at 3 watts per gallon. This will enable you raise the temperature upto 10f from room temperature. 5 watts per gallon will get you a temperature rise of 15f. So a 55 gallon would need 150 watts in normal circumstances and 200 to 250 watts if you really need to raise the temperature. You are proposing 600 watts of heating. Under normal circumstances that wouldn't be an issue, as you say the heater will cut off when it gets to the preset temperature. But, if the heater thermostat failed, such an overpowered heater would very quickly raise the temperature to dangerous levels.

My opinion is to get a heater suitably sized for your aquarium, 150 to 250 watts. How cold will the basement get? If 15f rise wont cut it, i would reconsider your placement.

For info, clown loach needs 75 to 85f.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:48 AM   #3
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Here is the table to help with what size individual heater you need. Delta T is the difference from the lowest ambient room temperature in the room to your desired tank temperature. Just round to the nearest wattage.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:15 AM   #4
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If your basement is unheated and you have winters staying below 40į for months it is safe to guess your basement will drop below 65į. While a 300 watt heater would certainly handle the task of heating the tank a failure could result in cooking your fish. I'd recommend buying 2-200 watt heaters and running them in tandem on opposite sides of tank. Theyll keep the temp and if either one fails in any regard you'll have a safety net to remedy the situation.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice! I think I'll go with 2 - 200 watt heaters. There is some heat in the basement (as there is some A/C during the summer). Good reminder that having 2 heaters will help in case one fails.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:14 PM   #6
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Yeah I always double upon my heaters. The other thing to remember is it's not the amount of time it is on that wears out a heater as much as the amount of times it turns on and off. So therefore something in a lower wattage that stays on longer is better than something in a higher wattage that flashes on & off multiple times in the same time period
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:56 PM   #7
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That's another good point! I may just go with 2-150 watt heaters then. That would bring me closer to the proper wattage for a 55 gal. (according to the chart fishwonder posted). I do like the idea of it staying on longer. I never liked seeing them flick on and off quickly.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:16 PM   #8
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And get a heater controller . InkBird has them .
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