Best Saltwater Aquarium Heater? You choose!

JBKReef

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I'm looking to heat a new 88g tank (not yet delivered) controlled by an Apex and I'm thinking of going with one 'dumb' and one 'smart' heater. I'd use the NeoTherm 300w as the main heater with the Apex set to 77.5F and the heater set to 78.5F. The backup will be a Finnex TH 300w (with no built in temperature control) with the Apex set to turn it on at 76.5F.

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Neotherm

Am I overlooking something obvious (aside from probably moving the secondary to a separate controller entirely)? Should I just use two of the Finnex (which would be much cheaper!)? My only concern there is that there is no way to not cook the tank if the circuit gets stuck 'on'.
I have heard many a complaint from Apex stating to never use their controller as a primary heater controller, it should only be as a redundant safeguard. I run a eheim jager as my primary and then a 300w Finnex as my back up but it goes through an Inkbird controller first. Relatively cheap piece of equipment that I trust and gives me piece of mind.
 
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jasonrusso

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I let the heaters (primary and backup) use their own thermostat. I have the Apex cut power to the plug if it gets too hot.

If my heater is set to turn off at 79, I have the outlet shut off at 80 and send me an alert. I also have the backup outlet turn off at 80 in case that gets stuck on also.

My backup heater is set to turn on at 77, if the temp gets to 77, I get an alert.

Now, there may be nothing wrong with the tank, but at least I know something is happening.
I'm looking to heat a new 88g tank (not yet delivered) controlled by an Apex and I'm thinking of going with one 'dumb' and one 'smart' heater. I'd use the NeoTherm 300w as the main heater with the Apex set to 77.5F and the heater set to 78.5F. The backup will be a Finnex TH 300w (with no built in temperature control) with the Apex set to turn it on at 76.5F.

Finnex
Neotherm

Am I overlooking something obvious (aside from probably moving the secondary to a separate controller entirely)? Should I just use two of the Finnex (which would be much cheaper!)? My only concern there is that there is no way to not cook the tank if the circuit gets stuck 'on'.
 

laverda

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I'm looking to heat a new 88g tank (not yet delivered) controlled by an Apex and I'm thinking of going with one 'dumb' and one 'smart' heater. I'd use the NeoTherm 300w as the main heater with the Apex set to 77.5F and the heater set to 78.5F. The backup will be a Finnex TH 300w (with no built in temperature control) with the Apex set to turn it on at 76.5F.

Finnex
Neotherm

Am I overlooking something obvious (aside from probably moving the secondary to a separate controller entirely)? Should I just use two of the Finnex (which would be much cheaper!)? My only concern there is that there is no way to not cook the tank if the circuit gets stuck 'on'.
I want redundancy on both heaters. It is probably smart to not rely on the apex for both of them.
 

offtropic

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I let the heaters (primary and backup) use their own thermostat. I have the Apex cut power to the plug if it gets too hot.

If my heater is set to turn off at 79, I have the outlet shut off at 80 and send me an alert. I also have the backup outlet turn off at 80 in case that gets stuck on also.

My backup heater is set to turn on at 77, if the temp gets to 77, I get an alert.

Now, there may be nothing wrong with the tank, but at least I know something is happening.
Yeah that sounds like a good plan. On my nano tank the heater sensor doesn't have much precision so I let the controller (Reefkeeper) control the power to the heater and the temp is rock solid. With the Neotherm precision isn't an issue so I can let the heater control on/off with the Apex as a safety stop. I can put the heater without an internal control on the Apex as a backup (turn on if < 76.5F). I'm not as worried about redundancy on the second heater as I will replace primary almost immediately should it fail.
 

jasonrusso

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Yeah that sounds like a good plan. On my nano tank the heater sensor doesn't have much precision so I let the controller (Reefkeeper) control the power to the heater and the temp is rock solid. With the Neotherm precision isn't an issue so I can let the heater control on/off with the Apex as a safety stop. I can put the heater without an internal control on the Apex as a backup (turn on if < 76.5F). I'm not as worried about redundancy on the second heater as I will replace primary almost immediately should it fail.
Yes, but you need to set up a program to notify you if it did fail. If my heater turns off at 79, it should never hit 80 unless something is wrong. If it turns on at 78, it should never hit 77 (backup heater set point) unless something is happening. Get the logic?
 

kkegley21

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I agree with the Neotherm and a cheap backup. Just set the back up only to kick on at a lower temp.
 

thomas hudson

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What heater would you suggest for a Red Sea 650 peninsula tank? 178 gallon totally volume. Or should i go with two so they are not working as hard and have a backup? I am not currently using any kind of controller.
 

Arcticfirefighter

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Does anyone use the InkBird ITC-308? It has great reviews on Amazon; however, I really have not seen it mentioned on here too much. My Aqueon Pro 150 heater is set on 83 and my 36 Bow has temp swings from 76.5 to 78.5. Seems like the setting is too far off for me to trust the internal thermostat. Dont have the extra cash for a full controller yet.
Screenshot_20180803-091758_Amazon.jpeg
 

reefer wanna be

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RULE 1: You must use a temperature controller, regardless of the brand of heater.

RULE 2: Use two heaters in your tank. This way, when one craps out (and it will) the other will maintain temperature, or at least close to temperature.

NOW, as far as choice of heaters:

I believe Ehiem Jager’s are the best. The glass on these things is real thick. The only problem is that they are long.

If you can’t fit a Jager, my second choice is Sera.
So 1 in tank an 1 in sump???
 

redfishbluefish

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So 1 in tank an 1 in sump???

I have both mine in the sump......one in the skimmer area, the other in the return section. The temperature probe is in the return section.
 

reefer wanna be

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I have both mine in the sump......one in the skimmer area, the other in the return section. The temperature probe is in the return section.
Cool i have to do somthing with mine i have a finnex 300 it dont like to stay put thank you
 

Bertle92

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Does anyone have any suggestions for a 10 gallon? Eheim Jager seems to be the popular choice but I am wondering if it may be too long for my tiny tank
 

reefer wanna be

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Does anyone have any suggestions for a 10 gallon? Eheim Jager seems to be the popular choice but I am wondering if it may be too long for my tiny tank
Some people may not like them an it might be over kill for such a small tank i have finnex 300 not sure if they make them smaller or not
 

molinast

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Any suggestions on a heater for 90 gallon with small confine sump.
 

Bayareareefer18

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Any suggestions on a heater for 90 gallon with small confine sump.
I've used many heaters over the years and I just used the cobalt no thermos for this build. Very compact and most accurate heater I have used out of the box. I have two 150s in my sump for my 75
 

molinast

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I've used many heaters over the years and I just used the cobalt no thermos for this build. Very compact and most accurate heater I have used out of the box. I have two 150s in my sump for my 75
One of these?
 

JoshH

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One of these?
Exactly, 2 150s would be ideal for your setup as @Bayareareefer18 suggested above.

Only been in this hobby a few years and I have used Neotherms from the start, still running my originals and love them!
 

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