Discussion in 'Equipment, Lighting, Hardware, Aquarium Filtration' started by revhtree, Dec 3, 2012.
Was gonna say, you boiling eggs in the tank?
Either that, or the thing needs a leash!
So while i have you on the line. 90 gallon with about a 30 gal sump. Heater recommendations?
running true temp now. but only one. I know a lot of people recommend 2 heaters any input?
I leave my heater in my return pump section of my sump. Any downfalls to this?
Finnex 500 watt should suffice, make sure the heater doesn't make contact with anything other than water and it's supports.
A suggestion I saw was to NOT run the heaters in the return section in case the water level gets low and exposes them to the air.
I am planning on running my heaters in the skimmer or reactor area.
i run 2 jaeger's in tandem to heat my tank
I've been running the Finnex Titanium heaters with external digital controller backed up by our Apex for several years without any trouble. I only run one heater at a time, but I have at least one extra new one in storage as a hot swap (just like our return pump).
Folks recommending heaters based on tank size may want to consider it's often more a factor of temperature differential between the tank and the room it's in than the shear water volume, but I've found the Hamza's reef calculator to be very helpful in modeling how much heater you need:
Cool calculator, thanks for posting the link...
I have 3 of these on my 550 gallon system and they have worked flawlessly for the last 3 years. I have two to back them up. Have not had to break them out as this point.
Finnex 500w controlled by Apex
From the '70's thick green Ebo-jagers through to the 2000's tru-temp Eheim jagers, these heaters have never failed me. They are durable, dependable & you can recalibrate them from the factory setting to get the exact temp for your specifications. They are the only ones I trust with the lives of my pets.
Aqueon pros have been reliable but a little inaccurate- I like that you can beat on them because of the plastic housing, but I would not trust the thermostat. Eheims have also been solid
Your rules should be imprinted on the minds of ever new hobbyist, for it's IMHO absolutely necessary to break up the heating element into 2 separate components I have 2 Ehiem Jager's in my 120g rather than one exactly for then reasons you mentioned. Ehiem Jager's get my vote! FWIW
I'm not surprised at all! But I do believe in having more than 1 heating element sitting in the sump and having a separate controller feeding into and overall controller. It's like scuba diving in the northeast, the smart money is always on redundancies, a fail safe if you will and they are a must. It's one of the most common Snafus in the reef hobby is failed heaters. Either stuck in the on position or the off position. Which leads to you know what. IMHO & FWIW
I currently use 2 of the Eheim Jagers. One very long 300 watt that sits in my overflow, and the other 200 watt is in my sump.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING... I have them both connected to an American Marine Pinpoint Dual Temperature Controller MADE IN THE USA. By "dual" I mean it can manage 600 watts of heaters and a 1/2 hp Chiller simultaneously. I don't use the chiller outlet.
But this thing keeps the temperature within 1°F. It's set to 77F and when the water hits 77.0 it kicks on, then when it gets to 78F it shuts both heaters off until it drops back down to 77.0 again.
It's one of the best investments I've made for my tank. Because it's not "if" a heater will fail, but WHEN the heater will fail. It'll either get stuck on, boiling your tank, or just die and freeze your tank.
So like others have said, it's best to have multiple smaller heaters in case of failure. That way if it dies, you have others keeping the tank from freezing, and if one gets stuck on, it's not enough by itself to boil your tank.
So for example, if you need a 300 watt heater, buy two 150 watt heaters instead. But try to use a temperature controller for them. It doesn't have to be the $200 one I got (I just didn't want a Chinese crap controller that is as failure prone as the heaters), but get something.
Use a small extension cord that has a plug on one side, that plugs into the controller, and splits to 2 separate outlet dongles on the other so you can plug both heaters into it. They sell them on Amazon.
All excellent points, as in my previous post, I just want to add that if the heater fails ... which they will do ... I'd rather have heaters stuck in the off position and have my reef tank slowly cool down than having my fish and corals cooking to death. But then again that's why we split the heating elements into 2 or 3 heaters. IMHO & FWIW
I use a 1000 watt JBJ true temp in my system. I like the heater but the controller is junk. I've had to replace the probe twice in 18 months.
I currently use 1 JBJ 1000 watt in my tank, the controller died on it so I got a RKL to control it works great. I am planning on changing things a little and having 2 800 watt instead again going through a separate controller and set a degree off of each other.
One more thing... Make sure to have more than one thermometer in the tank/sump.
Personally, I keep the controller probe in the tank, because I want to know what the actual tank is running at, and a separate digital thermometer in the sump to keep the controller honest. Sumps can run a little bit warmer or cooler than the actual tank either because of pumps making it warmer or fans making it cooler. But regardless, there's no perfect aquarium thermometer and no sure fire way to calibrate them 100%.
Notice how a bunch of the people who got the cheaper JBJ controller and heater said that the controller died out. That is the exact reason why I went with the Pinpoint Controller. I don't need a whole tank control system, like the Apex, but wanted a top notch temp controller that's RELIABLE.
So even though you should have a controller of some sort monitoring the heaters, you should also have additional thermometers monitoring the controller.
I have used many different brands of heaters in the 50 years I have been keeping fish. In my opinion none of them are very reliable and should ALWAYS be run in a controller of some sort! Most use a set of points like cars did 30+ years ago. There is a reason cars stoped ising them long ago. Every time the heater turns on or off, the points burn a little. As they burn the point they open and close varies.
Even when working properly the built in controllers are very inconsistent due to this. Assuming you have the temp set at 76 in the heater, they typically will turn on and off in a range around that. Ont time it will turn off at 74 and another it might not turn off until 78 or higher. Just puting the on a controller will keep your temperature more consistent and the heater will last longer.
Sadly the electronic heaters I have tried failed early in their life.
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