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Old 10-02-2012, 02:34 PM   #1 
NorthernLights's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
25 watt versus 50 watt heater

Hi all!

I've been heater shopping and I am debating between a 25 watt Hydor Theo and a 50 watt regular Aqueon (since they don't make a 25 watt) adjustable heaters...from what I have read the 50 watt AquaTop and Cascade heaters are not that reliable.

It's for a 3 gallon aquarium, and it will probably have to deal typically with room temps in the low to mid 60's much of the time. Some people seem to think a 50 watt can be used in smaller tanks (below 5 gallon), but I am a bit worried. One pet store employee told me it would fry my fish (of course, he said that about the 25 watt also).

It seems to me that the reviews for the Theo are overall better than the Aqueon, but the Theo is nearly twice as expensive (it's about $30 at the LFS and the Aqueon is about $17).

What do you all think would be best?
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #2 
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Location: Newfoundland
I've never used Aqueon, but I have heard good things.

I HAVE the 25W an 50W hydor Theo. Love them. My boy loves his 25. And loves the steady 81
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #3 
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I'd go with the Hydor. It's a quality heater.

That said, any heater that's working properly will shut off at the set temperature and won't overheat your fish.

My Aqueon 50W does keep the water closer to the set temperature than my Hagen 25W. But it's only a matter of a couple of degrees.

Always use a good thermometer to check your temps. The heater settings are not as accurate.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:39 PM   #4 
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Location: Ontario Canada
for a 3 gallon all you need is the 25 watt. and the theo heaters are really good and they are adjustable so you can adjust it if you need more heat.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:16 AM   #5 
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i have a 25 and 50w hagen elits. looks the same... works the same...
the 50w is servicing 2 gallons of water whilst the 25w is heating the 1.5g
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:25 AM   #6 
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I have the 50w version of the Hydor Theo in my 3.5 gallon tank, and before that, I had it in a 2 gallon Fluval Spec. It works (and worked in the 2gal too) perfectly and keeps the tank at a steady 79.5 to 80 degrees all the time. I prefer my flat in the low 60s much like you, and even then there's no issues. Just be sure to set aside a day to "calibrate" the perfect temperature with a good glass thermometer, because as Hallyx said, the dial on the heater doesn't correspond at all to the temp it's heating at.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:47 PM   #7 
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Since I keep my house very cold in the winter time (read: am too cheap to turn up the heat because heating oil is $4 a gallon), I went with the 50 watt heaters. I have had one in a 3 gallon since July and it's always the perfect temperature.

I have those Aquatop ones you are talking about - I got a really good deal on them on Amazon, so I don't mind that they aren't as good as the Petco brand ones that I have. They keep the water warm, and are adjustable, so I'm happy. However, they are huge - the Petco 50 watts fit much better in my small tanks.
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