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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All. Just thought I would post a warning re. a heater that malfunctioned and fried my entire 50 gal aquarium full of beautiful African Cichlids. The heater is a VIA AQUA titanium 300 watt heater.:mad: It was purchased new at a LFS about two years ago and it has been running perfectly...first in a 135 and for the past 3 months in my 50 gal. Everything appeared "normal" last night when i checked my fish room before I went to bed. I awoke this a.m. to cloudy water, a horrible smell and floating dead fish :( When I put my hands into the water it was very hot. I checked digital display on the heater and it read 79 deg. fahrenheit. This was obviously a false reading, as the water was at least 90 degrees. Even the "displayed" reading of 79 was too hot as it had been set and running at 72 consistently. Anyway, just thought I would let all know and if you have these heaters, please keep an eye on them. It is a pretty sad feeling to see beautiful healthy fish die this way :( Also, I'm sure that everyone would appreciate anyone sharing any other equipment malfunctions that cause such devastation. Thanks......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh man that sucks. That has always been a fear of mine.
Totally agree. Having kept and bred fish virtually my entire life I have always had fears of heaters malfunctioning and "boiling" water. I have had a few instances when heaters "acted up" but only on a couple of occasions I actually lost a few fish....nothing of the magnitude of this loss. In most cases I was able to catch the "suspect" heater in time. I have always thrown out any heater that malfunctioned even the slightest. ANY heater can malfunction...I always thought the Ebp Jagr were invincible. However, a few years ago I started having problems with them, and I have no longer have any of them in use in my fish room.:(
 

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A 300 watt heater on a 50 gal tank!? George, George, George....;) Probably wouldn't have made a difference anyway. Ebo Jagers, sized to the tank, my favs, and never let me down. Yet.......
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
A 300 watt heater on a 50 gal tank!? George, George, George....;) Probably wouldn't have made a difference anyway. Ebo Jagers, sized to the tank, my favs, and never let me down. Yet.......
. Hi Chris. Yep 300 was probably overkill ( no pun intended ) but this was supposed to be a very good heater so I thought it would be fine. I also had quite "vigorous" water circulation which I believe is a factor ?! In my experience with many different size of aquariums from 2 1/2 gals to 135 gals, I have found that heaters with a little more wattage "than recommended" are fine. I think that I use the analogy of car or truck engines.....the more horsepower, the less the engine has to work, and therefore is generally more efficient. This is the theory I have always used and to date it has proved successful. Saying that, I did keep a close eye on it and it saw it perform perfectly for over three months. I have a couple of Ebos...100 and 200 watters that I could have used, but as I said, I have zero confidence in them once they stopped making them in Germany.
 

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I have also lost fish from heater malfunction and now only use ones that can only fail in the off possition.

I use 2 heaters in tanks over 50 gall to have a fail safe/off if one should quit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have also lost fish from heater malfunction and now only use ones that can only fail in the off position.
I use 2 heaters in tanks over 50 gall to have a fail safe/off if one should quit.
What heaters are those that "can only fail in the off position".
"2 heaters" in larger tanks is a good idea :) I also used two heaters in my 135...The aforementioned Via Aqua and another 200 watt titanium heater.
 

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Ouch I'm sorry to hear that. I've heard a few other similar stories so all my tanks are currently running slightly smaller heaters. My 50gal gets a 75watt and my 20gal gets a 25watt. My heaters come on a little more frequently but that's about the only difference.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your loss. A couple years ago I came home to find all my aquatic frogs had died in similar circumstances; the heater was registering 78 but the thermometer was reading closer to 100.

Again, sorry to hear about the loss of your fish.
 

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I have also lost fish from heater malfunction and now only use ones that can only fail in the off possition.

I use 2 heaters in tanks over 50 gall to have a fail safe/off if one should quit.
I do the same, or just use one slightly undersized heater. Sorry to hear about your loss George. That totally sucks.
 

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Sorry to hear a lot of discus keepers including me have lost fish from oversized Heaters sticking on.
I always use ebos. The only ones who had problems were 250 watt and usually when someone did have it oversized for their tank. Best to use 2 200 instead of a 250 or 300.
I cooked a big beautiful breeding pair of white butterfly discus once in a cube tank. Opened the lid and it was well over a 100!
I do have one of those heaters Rick sells for my discus right now and it has the external dial. I've had good luck with it for over 3 years now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Another option would be to use a heater that has its own thermostat and also plug it into a separate controller. Then you have two completely separate things controlling the heater coming on. Hopefully if one fails, the other one would still stop it from overheating.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I do have one of those heaters Rick sells for my discus right now and it has the external dial. I've had good luck with it for over 3 years now.
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Yes, I am currently using two of those titanium heaters with external dials that I got from Rick as well. I have had mine for over three years...wanted to get more but Rick couldn't get any more at that time. I have found them the most dependable heaters that I have had. Maybe I'll check with Rick and see if he has been able to get them again :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I did some more Googleing and found this good article which has a good segment on Heaters<G>
Aquarium Heaters; Review, Size, Heater Information
Hi Mike. Thanks...this is a very informative article. I would suggest it is a good read for anyone who is purchasing new heaters ....I found a couple of things that were of interest and may change my"theory" on what watt heaters I will use in future. The author suggest a formula to calculate what wattage to use per gal. of water in your aquarium. He also makes a statement that really hit home...as Chris questioned in his post to me....."300 watts George George George..." The author states "That too high of wattage may result in rapid temperature rises and result in cooked fish if you make adjustment mistakes." In retrospect, I feel that the 300 watt heater that I used that resulted in my losing my tank full of beautiful Africans may have been just too much wattage....perhaps nothing wrong with the heater if used as per the author's formula ?? He discusses using two heaters and how to "co-ordinate" them to make them perform at their maximum efficiency. He also compares Ebos (and other glass heaters)with titanium heaters. He gives the pros and cons of both, but he does rate the Ebos as "Excellent and very reliable...one of the best if not the best". I may have to adjust my thinking on these as well. As I stated in an earlier post, I used Ebos in the past and always felt they were the most reliable heaters on the market. Don't know when I started to have problems with them, but now after reading this article, perhaps I was too quick to judge and perhaps any problems that I had with the Ebos were due to my using too high a watt heater for my tanks :confused: Back to the drawing board :lol:
 

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Hey George. I meant no disrespect, just giving you a hard time about the oversized heaters! I have always believed, if you match heater wattage to the tank size, you will have more time to notice a temp change. A 125 watt heater will take quite awhile to overheat a 50 gal tank, a 300 watt heater will cook it in no time. I'll give this article a read when I have time. Gonna be building a DIY mega sump out of a 55 drum this winter, and am definitely gonna look into a heater control.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey George. I meant no disrespect, just giving you a hard time about the oversized heaters! Gonna be building a DIY mega sump out of a 55 drum this winter, and am definitely gonna look into a heater control.
I hear you Chris..no offense taken. When you build the mega sump, good idea to give serious thought to "heater control".
One bit of "good news" re my over-heated tank, is that I didn't have any of my good strains of plecos in that tank....just a few of the regular bushynose...not albino or longfins :)
 

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Sorry to hear that George. I had a similar thing happen to me about 25 years ago. Fried a grow out tank with Bushy noses. I quit the hobby after that for a long time.
I recently came across those Finnex Heat Controllers
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2079475242&pf_rd_i=desktop
Does anyone have experience with them?
They seem to be doing the job and you don't have to rely on any internal control on your heaters.
 
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