Heater possibly not working?

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Heater possibly not working?

Postby cobden28 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:52 pm

I have a 4 ft bow-fronted Juwel tank in my kliving room, set up as a 'community' tank; it's fairly heavily planted and has the usual 'community-type fish in it -

pr bristlenose catfish
6 x Sterba's corydoras
5 platies
pr guppies
4 black moillies
pr dwarf gourami
2 x male honey gourami
about half-a-dozen of each of neon/black neon & glowlight tetra's.

Fish are fine, but I have an equipment query. The original Juwel heater/thermostat unit that came with the tank when I bought it two years ago doesn't seem up to the job any more. I have the thermostat set at the maximum (80 + degrees) yet the thermometer, which is at the opposite end of the tank to the heater, struggles to show a level any higher that 72 or 73 degrees F.

It's a 200 watt heater/thermostat unit, and it didn't used to be like this: originally I had it set to a standard 75 degrees which it maintained with no problem. Should I change to a 300 watt heater/thermostat unit, which I believe might be more man enough for the job? The current 200 watt unit does come on but it's difficult to see the indicator light because the cover for the pump & heater is fixed to the corner of the tank and there's quite a dense growth of algae between the cover & the glass which makes it difficult to see the indicator light (if you get my drift).

If I do get a new heater/thermostat unit, should I put it in the same position in the tank as the existing one or at the opposite end to the pump & filter? When I kept tropical fish 30+ years ago I always had the heater at the opposite end to the filter, so which is right?

I'd appreciate other's advice on this.
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Re: Heater possibly not working?

Postby Carylnz » Wed May 01, 2013 12:05 am

If the current heater is no longer doing the job it makes sense to replace it.
I would place the heater, if possible, where it is closest to the water flow. This will allow the heated water to flow more quickly throughout the tank.
Although, if you have good flow throughout the tank it won't matter where you put it. It is suggested they be on an angle, not straight up and down as the thermostat is in the top. When the heater turns on, the heat will rise and the thermostat will register it quickly. The rising hot water is going directly over the thermostat, making it think the overall temp is higher than it actually is.
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Re: Heater possibly not working?

Postby cobden28 » Wed May 01, 2013 12:19 am

So with the heater/thermostat unit set vertically in the tank right next to the pump/filter, it's the rising hot water rising directly over the thermostat which makes it think the overall temperature is higher than it actually is? Is that what you're saying?

When I first set up the tank two years ago, the heater/thermostat was set to 75 degrees and it kept the water temperature at exactly that. Now, the heater is set to 80 degrees plus yet the temperature struggles to reach 75 degrees. Should I therefore replace the existing 200 watt Juwel heater/thermostat unit with a bigger 300 watt unit?

I do have a spare heater/thermostat unit which I know to be working OK, but it's only a 150 watt model so would struggle even more than the 200 watt model to keep the temperature at 75 degrees.
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Re: Heater possibly not working?

Postby Carylnz » Wed May 01, 2013 8:10 am

Might as well try changing the angle to see if it makes a difference. I actually meant to put the new heater in at an angle.
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Re: Heater possibly not working?

Postby cobden28 » Wed May 01, 2013 5:27 pm

200 watt heater or a 300 watt heater, though? Would a larger size heater be any more efficient?
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Re: Heater possibly not working?

Postby Carylnz » Wed May 01, 2013 10:39 pm

If you keep the other in there a 200 would be fine. I would actually recommend 2 x 250w heaters, one at each end. A lot depends on the temperature range of the room in which the tank sits.
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Re: Heater possibly not working?

Postby cobden28 » Sat May 04, 2013 8:58 pm

I've contacted the manufacturer, Juwel, for their advice and they say the Vision 260 (which is what I have) should have a 300 watt heater anyway - so why does the Juwel brochure I have say the Vision 260 comes with a 200 watt heater/thermostat?

Also, the heater/thermostat units are only guaranteed for two years from date of purchase - so as I bought my tank set-up in March 2011it looks like I'll have to buy a new 300 watt unit. Thanks to a small win recently on my Premium Bonds this is no problem - but should i go for a Juwel heater/thermostat unit or one from another manufacturer? I'm considering one manufactured by Interpet, as my spare unit (150 watt) is an Interpet model and it's never given me any trouble. So what should I go for, Juwel or Interpet? I'd appreciate people's opinions here.

As I have a duff heater/thermostat unit at the moment, I've just checked the temperature and it currently reads 72 degrees F which is OK - just. As soon as I can get out to my LFS I'll be buying a new 300 watt unit.
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Re: Heater possibly not working?

Postby SparkyST » Sun May 05, 2013 7:57 pm

I have used a FLuval E series heater for some time now and never had an issue. Make sure its in good water flow.
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