Heater Advice

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Offline Trish

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Heater Advice
« on: November 01, 2016, 08:10:47 AM »
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Hi All.

I've got one of those Aquel, flat plastic heaters, in my 25lt Betta tank, with a rating of 50 watts. I have never been that pleased with it, as I thought it varied too much in temperature.

I had it set at 26.5 Centigrade and during the day the temperature would go up to 27.2, and in the morning, it would quite often be at 26. As this was quite a slow process, I assumed it would be OK.

However this morning, the temperature was reading 25.2 and I am a bit worried, as I know bettas prefer it on the warm side.

I have ordered a Hidom 50 watt from Amazon, which will arrive in a few days. Meanwhile I have turned the heater up a bit and will keep an eye on it.

The tank has a very low flow and I wonder if this could be part of the problem?

I have the heater, at an angle, beside the the filter, assuming that water would be drawn over the heater as it travels to the filter.

Is there anything else I can do?

Im a bit worried as the weather forecast is predicting some cold, frosty, nights.

Offline Matt

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 08:37:14 AM »
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Is it possible to put the heater near the outlet to the filter? There will be more flow here as the output of the filter is a smaller 'hole' than the much larger usually set of holes which are used to draw water into the filter.  The rating of the filter is more than enough to heat your tank so this leaves 2 options to my mind.  Either the flow is not good in its current position (likely with a betta tank) or the control on the heater is not good (ie all heaters keep the temperature within a certain range and the range for this heater is very wide). In which case your new heater may be better. Hope that helps.

Offline Sue

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 09:49:22 AM »
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Thermostats on heaters work by turning on till the pre-set temperature is reached, then turning off. When the temperature falls below a certain point it switches back on. As Matt suggested, maybe the turn-off point and the turn-on point for this heater are set a few degrees apart.

A few degrees variation through the day is not a problem. When it rains, a lake/stream/river will cool down slightly. During the night, the temperature of these lakes/stream/rivers will also drop slightly. Especially the shallow, slow moving water that wild bettas inhabit.

Offline Trish

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 12:01:33 PM »
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Thank you Matt and Sue for your help.

I will try moving the heater nearer the out flow.....good idea, thanks Matt.

Yes, Sue, I think the on/off point is too far apart. I have never had one of these heaters before, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it is very unobtrusive, which is great for a small tank. But, on the other hand, it does not seem to behave like any other heater I have had. There are times when it has reached the temperature I have set it at, but it still keeps switching on and heating up. This was happening even during the warm summer months. I then had to keep gradually turning it down. For the last 6 weeks or so it has maintained the temperature to what I wanted. Then this morning, it had dropped a whole degree and a half.

I'll see how I get on with the new one.

Offline Matt

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2016, 02:15:01 PM »
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You will probably find the same problem regarding setting the temperature with most heaters... they are not designed to be accurate as such, more for reliability. This is partly why thermometers are so popular (besides checking the heater hasn't broken). You will most likely need to go through a period of trial and error before you find the right temperature setting to give the right temperature on your new heater.

Offline Sue

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 03:45:40 PM »
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Most heaters are not accurately calibrated; that is, the number on the dial does not correspond to the temperature it heats the water to. The way to set a heater is by trial and error. Set it lower than you want and see what it heats to. If it is too cold, turn the dial up a bit at a time till the water gets to the temps you want and leave it there regardless of what the dial says.

If you ever need to get the water warmer as needed for some medications, make a note of the setting so you know where to turn it back down to afterwards.

Offline Trish

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2016, 08:32:51 AM »
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Just to say that since I moved the heater to the outflow of the filter, it has stayed within the temperature that I want.......plus/minus, half a degree.

Looks like I will have a spare heater. :)

Thanks again for the advice, Matt and Sue.

Offline Matt

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 08:58:01 AM »
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That's good news  ;D

Thanks for letting us know Trish  :wave:

Offline Sue

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Re: Heater Advice
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2016, 09:06:01 AM »
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Good news on the heater.


It is not a bad thing to have a spare heater in the cupboard. I have been known to break them during a water change  :o

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