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Is My Heater Broken?

Author Topic: Is my heater broken?  (Read 5964 times)

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Offline jesnon

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Is my heater broken?
« on: April 04, 2013, 11:05:40 PM »
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Hello all following on from Colin's suggestion to move the suction pads on my heater I discovered this

I've got a few questions... Firstly and most importantly do I need a new heater? Second is that simply because of the suction pad? Maybe I should have been more sensible but I've seen heaters set up like this before and hadn't realised it could be dangerous.
 
The temp appears normal (it's set about 25 and it's reading at that) and my fish seem happy. Though the water doesn't 'feel' particularly warm I'm not sure if it's just because I'm used to the 30 it was at for cycling!

Anyway I have the morning off so could get a heater then, or I'm also off to pick up another fish on saturday... I don't know how long it's been like it :/

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Offline jesnon

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 11:07:35 PM »
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I should also say there's not actually a hole, it just appears the glass has melted and reformed like that :s

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Offline ColinB

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 07:29:53 AM »
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I would've thought that your tank would be at room temp by now if your heater had broken yesterday so you don't need another one.

What fish are you thinkimg of getting - a replacement for your little blue endler?

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Offline Sue

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 08:48:13 AM »
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If you don't mind the expense of a new heater I would get one simply on the better-safe-than-sorry principle.
If it helps decide, I have a 25 watt Visitherm and a Sera 25 watt in my betta and quarantine tanks. The Visitherm is 19cm from the bottom of the glass tube to the top of the temp altering knob and the Sera is a couple of mm shorter due to the shape of the knob on top. I was going to suggest an Ehiem-Jager heater (one of the better makes along with vistherm) but according to their website the 25 watt version is the same length as their 50 watt at 24.3cm. I also have an unused Jager 50 watt and can confirm the quoted size.
I did some research a couple of years ago when I needed a new heater for the QT, and Visitherm topped the list for size and reputed reliability and I could find a shop that sold them. Others were too long or people reported problems. That's why I got the one I did. The shop I got the Sera heater from had closed and I couldn't find another stockist.


The problem with checking the temp with your hand is that it depends on how warm you are. During a heatwave, tanks always feel cold. In the middle of winter when I've been outside collecting my water change stuff, the water is always lovely and warm.




And the reason I have an unused heater? Last year the first tank I bought in the mid 1990s sprang a leak. It already had a fairly new heater. The replacement tank came with a heater but I just transfered over the heater I already had and put the new one in the cupboard.

Offline jesnon

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 11:04:01 AM »
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Colin - yeah just a replacement for my poorly original fish. The shop offered to replace for free so I'm going to pick him up tomorrow if they're still in stock. Not going to lie it's going to be hard to resist buying just 1 other fishy so I have 3 sets of 3 :-P

I think I am erring on the 'better safe than sorry' principle Sue. I'm just so paranoid about my little fishies and of course the safety of the electrical product for me too! All my fish seem perfectly happy and the temp is remaining exactly constant, and since I suspect it must have been like that for a little while I'm not in too much of a hurry to rush out and buy one this morning. Thanks for the recommendation Sue, I'll have a look online and in the fish shop I get my new fish from. Looking at the warranty I don't think it's likely they'll replace it and it was only cheap anyway. It's the 'Superfish 50w'. Size wise it's perfect for my tank and has been really accurate, and it was very cheap indeed but as I'd mentioned before it's not the most attractive looking thing and this incident has put me off somewhat just simply replacing it!

I guess it's always handy to have a spare heater just in case. I had a panic yesterday when I was looking at the heater because the 'on' light wasn't on... it was then I realised that it turns itself on and off when the water is heated up so it wasn't anything to worry about!

Just for future reference how would the fish behave if it were too cold or too hot?

I should also say someone at work recently told me that some of his friends who have a fish tank are moving to France and need a new home for their fish. If they're donating to a good home I may be tempted!!

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Offline Sue

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 12:04:34 PM »
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If the water gets too cold (eg forgetting to turn the heater back on after a water change. Done that) the fish act a bit sluggish. I've never had a heater overheat the water so I don't know what to look for, other than dead fish if you don't spot it in time. Occasionally, heaters stick in the on position and boil the fish.
Make a habit of brushing your hand against the tank as you pass it. It won't pick up small fluctuations but you'd soon realise if the tank was well down or raised.


A possible free tank - jump for it if it comes up. We'll help you get through the transportation. If it does happen, make sure they know well in advance they they must keep the tank (filter) running till the moment you arrive to collect.

Offline ColinB

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 12:13:17 PM »
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Colin - yeah just a replacement for my poorly original fish. The shop offered to replace for free so I'm going to pick him up tomorrow if they're still in stock. Not going to lie it's going to be hard to resist buying just 1 other fishy so I have 3 sets of 3 :-P

Just for future reference how would the fish behave if it were too cold or too hot?

I should also say someone at work recently told me that some of his friends who have a fish tank are moving to France and need a new home for their fish. If they're donating to a good home I may be tempted!!

Yep - you can't just buy one fish, it doesn't seem right, somehow.

If they're too cold they slow down and as the tank will only cool down to room temp then they should be fine. If they're too hot they die! I'm not too sure, but I read that 30oC is what you don't want to go over, especially as water loses it's oxygen carrying capability as it becomes warmer.

Another tank? MTS didn't take long to afflict you, Jesnon.  ;D

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Offline jesnon

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 02:12:30 PM »
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Thanks Sue and Colin :-) I think I might get told off if I get 9 fish instead of my 8 max though :-P My fish are always really active, so I guess if it was too cold and they became sluggish it would be quite easy to spot. I check the thermometer on the tank quite often but I'll also start doing the touch test too! Hopefully too hot I won't have to worry about!

Yeah I definitely think it seems too good an opportunity to miss (MTS within one week of getting fish, quickest yet!?) sounds like they have a few interesting fish too. I'm not sure at this point if they're planning on selling or giving away - I'm hoping the latter! Will ask the guy the next time I see him, fingers crossed! Will let you know if I do end up going for it as I'm sure I'll need lots of advice on the best way to get them all safely here! 

RE: the heaters, I've found one online here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aquarium-Systems-Visi-Therm-Heater-25w/dp/B004CSG0M8/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

Doesn't seem like a bad price really, so if the fish shop don't sell it I'll consider ordering online! It does seem a little risky that it might get broken in the post but hopefully it'll be fine!

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Offline Sue

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 02:34:21 PM »
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That's the heater I have. I used an old heater in my QT and the Sera in the betta's tank, but I managed to break the one in the QT (don't hit heaters with the hard plastic end of the siphon tube when you are cleaning the tank, they can crack). So I got the Visitherm and relegated the Sera to the QT.
I did buy a heater on-line for my 125, I wanted a Jager and couldn't find a stockist. I also bought some base mat to replace the polystyene tiles undeer the betta's tank at the same time, so the shop wrapped the basemat round the heater and the box wasn't even dented. The boxes usually have a polystyrene insert in the bottom with a hollow in it to support the bottom of the heater, and the top is held firm by the cable.



Now that you've been through a cycle and have fish, you are in a much better position to transport a tank to your house than a newcomer as you know all about filter bacteria etc, and testing the water after a move. It's only a bit more complicated than me emptying the 125 to move it across the room. Don't worry, if you do get it, you'll have lots of help from everyone here. Well, except for carrying it  ;D

Offline ColinB

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 03:12:57 PM »
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Don't worry, if you do get it, you'll have lots of help from everyone here. Well, except for carrying it  ;D


...that's what the boyfriend's for! ;D ;D

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Offline Sue

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 04:37:27 PM »
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You can say that, I wouldn't dare!

Offline jesnon

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 11:18:48 PM »
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Thanks Sue! And haha Colin I hope so!!

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Offline jesnon

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 02:11:10 PM »
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So my heater arrived yesterday And I popped it into the tank earlier. I had a lot of trouble putting it together but it's now in the tank and looking good. It's bigger than the other heater, but blends more with the tank. I'm considering moving it tomorrow so it's closer to the black pedestal at the back as I think it'll essentially be camouflaged. I'm also goung to rearrange the tank agaon (is it just me that seems to do this so often!? I guess I'm a bit of a perfectionist!)

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Offline Sue

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2013, 02:24:45 PM »
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You'll probably rearrange the decor a few times till you are happy with it  ;D

The ideal place for a heater is where the flow from the filter hits it with full force so the newly warmed water is swooshed all over the tank.
There is also a debate as to whether a heater should be vertical, diagonal or horiztontal. Most instruction manuals say vertical (though one make I had years ago said vertical or horizontal as long as there was a certain water depth over it) but a lot of fishkeepers say diagonal. The reasoning behind that is that heaters are made with the heating element at the bottom and the thermostat at the top end (the end where the wire comes out). Hot water, like hot air, rises so if the heater is vertical the newly heated water rises past the thermostat and shuts the heater off. I have my doubts about that. Yes, it would happen in still water but if the heater is right in the outflow of the filter then surely the hot water won't rise vertically past the thermostat but be whisked away by the water flow?

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2013, 04:26:25 PM »
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The heater in my 180Ltr is vertically and not in the direct line of fire from my submerged spray-bar. Water temperature is perfectly fine across the tank.

Offline jesnon

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Re: Is my heater broken?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2013, 10:46:10 PM »
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I've always wondered why so many tanks I've seen have the heater diagonal! I'm hoping if I rearrange a little tomorrow I'll finally be happy with the tank! I've never had any problems with the temperature in my tank so far, so fingers crossed it's all good!

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