Hi all-- this is mostly for my Canadian friends who generally shop at Petsmart. :)
Heating a hospital bowl can be ridiculously difficult-- in my experience, it's almost impossible to find effective heaters meant for anything under 2 gallons that will actually heat the water to an acceptable temperature. In the past, I've bought the smallest size of Marina's Aquarium Heaters
, which heats for under-2.5-gallon tanks. Originally I started with Aqueon's brand of the same wattage, but ironically theirs is cheaper-- about $17, compared to the $28 I shell out for the Marina variety-- and is too powerful for 1 gallon bowls. I use Aqueon 10 watts in my 2-3 gallon keepers, and it's perfect
, keeping the water at a nice steady 79-80 degrees. However, the more expensive, more finnicky Marina heater only hits a max of 79-- usually it's closer to 77-78. Unfortunately, it had been the only acceptable heater I'd been able to find for bowls for a long time.
THEN SOMETHING MAGICAL HAPPENED. (Okay, I'm excited, I apologize.)
My local Petsmart just started stocking Marina's Betta Heaters
. On a whim, I picked one up-- they're eleven bucks
-- but hadn't used it until this afternoon, when I had to isolate a girl who'd jumped. Misleadingly, these heaters are recommended for 0.5-1.5 gallons-- I wasn't expecting much.
Currently I have the Marina Submersible and the Marina Betta Heater in two identical bowls, right next to each other on my kitchen counter. (Keep in mind the submersible is $28, and the Betta Heater is $11.) The Submersible is currently keeping its bowl at 78 degrees, while the Betta Heater has warmed its bowl to a nice toasty 84 degrees
So yes. This is a huge endorsement from me. Dear god almighty I am never buying those crappy little overpriced heaters ever again.