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Old 10-08-2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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Fully Submersible Heaters

Not to sound like a fool, but how are they safe? I'm trying to find a new heater for my tank and most of the choices are advertised as fully submersible. I know it's probably a bit laughable, but I just can't get over the whole thing being in the water...not to mention the cord.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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Waterproofing technology has come a long way. If you think about it, 2 black polymer frames and some black goop are all that's needed to allow us to put hundreds of gallons of water into a glass box.

There are 2 common pitfalls that I've found with submersible heaters:

1. If you don't have a heater guard (and it's just the glass or metal tube exposed to the water) there's a higher risk that it could get damaged if you're cleaning around it.

2. (This really depends on the model) but I've found it much more difficult to adjust the dial on a heater that's all the way at the bottom of the tank.


I myself am actually upgrading to the Fluval E 100w heater this week. Heaterguard, easier lever-based adjuster, and LCD temp screen.
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by HyperionLore View Post
Not to sound like a fool, but how are they safe? I'm trying to find a new heater for my tank and most of the choices are advertised as fully submersible. I know it's probably a bit laughable, but I just can't get over the whole thing being in the water...not to mention the cord.
Submersible is fine. I don't know if they make them any other way anymore.. I agree with HyperionLore I would get one with a remote controler like this.

FI-HC-TH0300 Premium Aquatics


I don't know the size of your tank but they make all sizes. you can spend $20-200 on a heater just look around. premimum aquatics is a good place and they sponser this site.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:25 AM   #4
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They are definitely water proof (until your 2' pacu slams into them or chews on the cord).

I use Stealth Pro heaters. Setting them shoudn't be an issue, they have a built-in thermostat so you can set the exact temp you want, not just warmer or cooler. So before you even put it in the tank set the temp you want and that is it. They are shatter-proof so you don't need to worry about a guard unless you have rays or some other fish that decides to make a home against the heater itself.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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The link for the Finnex titanium heater that mdaniel posted is a great heater.

I use two of them in our 120g cichlid tank and plan to get more for our other tanks. We've had them for a year now with no problems. Very easy to set and control since the dial is on the outside of the tank. Also, I have no worries that our large fish will break them.
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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That's what I use, ive had no problem with them and it blends in to the back, not to mention if i got a glass it would have been broken by now. It had 2LED's and i think 70-86f. Thats what i would get
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They are definitely water proof (until your 2' pacu slams into them or chews on the cord).

I use Stealth Pro heaters. Setting them shoudn't be an issue, they have a built-in thermostat so you can set the exact temp you want, not just warmer or cooler. So before you even put it in the tank set the temp you want and that is it. They are shatter-proof so you don't need to worry about a guard unless you have rays or some other fish that decides to make a home against the heater itself.
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #7
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...they have a built-in thermostat so you can set the exact temp you want, not just warmer or cooler. So before you even put it in the tank set the temp you want and that is it....
If exact temperature is important, it's probably a good idea to verify water temperature versus heater thermostat using a trusted thermometer. I have yet to see a heater (even the so-called "water calibrated" Visitherm/Stealths) be dead-on exact. Some of the new "improved" Visitherms and Stealths I've had have been 3-4 degrees different from actual.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:59 PM   #8
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Of course use a thermometer to double check. I just don't see why having the adjustment in the water is such an issue for some people, it is not like you will be adjusting the temperature on a regular basis.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:18 PM   #9
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mines always 2 degrees off, not a problem, just set it different
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:34 AM   #10
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I've never had a submersible heater shock the tank. The thermostats in mine always seem to fail.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:49 AM   #11
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I did bend my mind somewhat when I got my first tank that I plug something into the wall and then go straight into the water. Something I'd always been taught would cause instant death!
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:46 AM   #12
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Just a tip, mount it horizontally below the lowest point that your water ever gets to when you do water changes. That way, if you forget to unplug it while draining the tank, it will still be submerged, and it won't overheat in the air. (Not that I have ever done that....no...)
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:49 AM   #13
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Can you mount them horizontally? I remember reading the heater manual and it said not to mount them horizontally but I can't remember the reason why..
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:27 AM   #14
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If it is sumbersible it shouldn't matter. It could lose suction on the suction cups and fall horizontally.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:20 AM   #15
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If exact temperature is important, it's probably a good idea to verify water temperature versus heater thermostat using a trusted thermometer. I have yet to see a heater (even the so-called "water calibrated" Visitherm/Stealths) be dead-on exact. Some of the new "improved" Visitherms and Stealths I've had have been 3-4 degrees different from actual.
HA! i cant tell you how true that is!! exactly why i have the heater on one side next to the filter intake and a thermometer on the opposite side of the tank...

heater set on: 67F
tank temp: 77F
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:10 PM   #16
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Hmmm...well, if your manual says not to do it for your specific model, then it would be best not to! I have a stealth, and the directions said any way was fine (or words to that effect).

On the subject of suction cups losing suction and letting things drop...oh, yeah. I have dealt with that! My best solution so far is to buy good quality suction cups, like Eheims (the black ones). And then secure them in place with tank safe silicone! Put a dab inside the cup, and press against dry glass. Then run a thick smear all around the edge, to seal it in place. I will use masking tape sometimes, to secure it while the silicone cures (4-5 days). The silicone shows up white when water is put in the tank, but a few plants to block the view usually does the job. Black tank safe silicone would be really great to find...
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:08 PM   #17
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Most heater manufacturers recommend that you mount them either vertically or horizontally, but not slanted. I don't know why, but that's what I've seen.

Yeah and +1 on below the PWC water line. Just the other day I was doing a PWC and smelled that burnt plant smell. Thankfully, I hadn't started filling, or else I would have heard that fizzle fizzle POP then OH @#$@%. That's never happened to me more than 3 times though.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:05 AM   #18
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Yeah just looked at the box again - interpet DeltaTherm.
Has a picture of the heater mounted vertically and one with it horizontally both with red X's next to them. Then a diagonal one with a green tick!
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:14 AM   #19
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Mounting is really specific to the model. If they say not to, then dont.

However you should take a close look at the picture - my Fluval E had several pictures that showed how to "NOT" mount the heater. One was Vertical and one was horizontal, until I looked closer and saw that what they were saying was "don't hang the heater by just the cord" and "dont just lay it on the bottom".
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:15 AM   #20
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Oh wow look at all the posts. I promise I wasn't ignoring you I just wasn't getting notifications that you guys were talking. I appreciate all the responses and I'm glad I'm not the only person that had a hard time imagining that putting an electrical cord in water wouldn't spell instant doom for my fish. lol
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