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Old 05-18-2013, 10:10 PM   #1 
Seki
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Help with heater

I'm having issues with the heater in my 2.5 gallon tank. I noticed the pilot light on almost constantly last night, so I went to check the temperature... my heater is set at 79 and my tank was up to nearly 85! I unplugged the heater and let the temp get back down to an appropriate temperature, but I was worried the tank would get cold, so I plugged the heater back in before I went to work today. Well, the tank got back up to about 83 or 84, so I decided it might be time for a new heater. So now I have a few questions...

1) It says to just rinse the heater before putting it in the tank. Do you guys think that's sufficient?
2) Has anyone ever used a TopFin heater? My previous one was Hydor, and it seemed to work great for about a year, but now, like I said, it's started superheating the tank. Plus, the water has turned cloudy... is this from the heater?
3) How long do I need to constantly monitor this new heater before I can be reasonably sure it is keeping the temp stable? I am a bit worried about getting the tank heated through the night... I need to go to bed in a few hours so I can be up for my 6 am shift.
4) The new heater has settings for 79 and 82... which should I go for? The ambient temperature in the house is ~72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me!
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:46 PM   #2 
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I'm gonna go ahead and set it for 79 and see how things go. I need to make sure it is operating well before I go to bed!
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:12 AM   #3 
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1) Don't know about this one, I would guess just a rinse in hot water is fine, but if you want to be sure you could rub it in a vinegar/water mix.

2) Top Fin is not super high quality. Be sure to keep an eye on the water temp in the future. Look up reviews about Top Fin heaters to see what others have to say.

3) Most heaters aren't faulty when brand new.

4) I would go for 79 for now (as you have)
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:44 AM   #4 
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What is happening is that your heater is powered for a bigger tank, which is fine, but since it is a smaller space it will heat up faster. You need to put it down at it's lowest setting and work your way up to the 79 degrees that your thermometer says it's at, not what your heater says it's at. This is why it's important to have thermometers :D I hope this helps some :)
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:20 PM   #5 
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Since the indicator light was constantly on, that means that the heater was on, even though the water was warmer than to what it was set. Some heaters are more precise with their dials than others, so it's always a good idea to test it in a bucket or something first. I received a new heater for one of my quarantine tanks not too long ago, because I gave the old one away to someone. Well, I set it to about 80 or 82, not concerned of it would go higher as the ultimate temp I was taking it to was 88 (all new fish receive heat treatments in quarantine). Woke up the next day to find all the fish dead - threw a thermometer in there - read 105, and the light was still on. They can come broken out of the box, which is why it's a good idea to test the heater in a bucket.

For anyone's information - the bacteria colony was unaffected by the extremely high temp, something I wasn't sure about. I have since had one batch in and out with another batch of fish currently in without any problems.


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Old 05-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #6 
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Thanks for the advice, guys. It wasn't a new heater, though, it was over a year old and had been functioning perfectly in that tank until recently when it started spiking the temp. Maybe that's all the longer Hydor heaters last? I don't know. The new TopFin one I have is doing just fine for the moment, although I do know that new products almost always function perfectly (at least at first). I might actually be upgrading the tank tonight, so if that's the case, the heater should be ideal since I would upgrade to at least a 5 gallon.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:22 PM   #7 
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Something to keep in mind . . . a lot of manufacturers have lifetime warranties so you may be able to get the Hydor replaced.

I had a Top Fin but I didn't like the bulk of it once I had it home so I took it back. I like the Aqueon & Fluval heaters the best.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:54 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
Something to keep in mind . . . a lot of manufacturers have lifetime warranties so you may be able to get the Hydor replaced.

I had a Top Fin but I didn't like the bulk of it once I had it home so I took it back. I like the Aqueon & Fluval heaters the best.
I actually didn't know that. I still have the information from the Hydor, so maybe I can get it replaced after all. I certainly liked the look of it better than the TopFin. It was much smaller and fit better in the tank.

I also like Fluval (I have one in my 5.5 gallon... it's sleek and attractive looking, unlike the bulky TopFin), and Aqueon looked pretty good, too. But I have the TopFin and it's working well, so I'm willing to sacrifice attractiveness for the safety of my fish. :) And... I hid it behind a screen of plants hahaha
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