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Old 11-25-2012, 11:39 AM   #1 
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How to heat smaller tanks?

I have a 1/2 gal tank(using it for a quarantine tank for my new girl), a 1 gal, a 3 gal, and a 5 gal. The 5 and the 3 I have heaters for but was curious about how to heat the 1 gal and 1/2 gal? I thought about getting some heat tape(the kind reptile breeders use to heat there gecko and snake tubs in a rack) and taping that to the bottom of the rack i have my fish on and heating them that way.. Has anyone ever tried this? The heat tape would be on a dimmer so I can control the heat. But wasnt sure how it would be to heat a container with water in it.. I just thought that may be easier then all individual heaters. And they resemble the little bowl heaters they sell at pet stores for betta bowls
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #2 
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I heat my 1gal with the preset 25w Tetra heaters and they have been fine.

I have seen 7w and 10w heaters, however, I have never used them to know how well they work for smaller containers.

It can be more of a challenge to heat the half gallon safely, what I would do is float it in the 5gal or use another small container to use for QT that can be floated in a heated tank. Especially since it is temporary anyway...
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:58 AM   #3 
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From what I've heard, it's not safe to use any of the reptile-specific heating equipment on fish tanks. Apparently, the tape or a heat lamp can cause the tank to overheat very quickly. I personally think it's best to have separate heaters for each tank, even if it's a bit of a pain.

In the 1 gallon, you'd be fine with a 7.5 to 10 watt heater. Hydor makes a 7.5 watt non-adjustable, and Newattino (an Italian brand that you can find on eBay if you're not in the EU) makes a 10 watt that I've personally used in a 1 gallon and can recommend. I reckon you may be able to get away with using a 25 watt adjustable in that tank size if it fits properly, but you'd probably have to turn the setting on the heater way lower than the marked temperature.

The .5 gallon is trickier. I'm pretty sure you could use the 7.5 watt Hydor that I mentioned in a tank that small, but let's wait for someone with experience on that to chime in. How about floating your new girl in a small container placed inside the 5 gallon as a temporary solution? I think that's the best way to go.

(edit: OFL beat me to it!)
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:22 PM   #4 
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I use my adjustable 25ws for 1/2 gallons. I have one hagen elite, and one no name brand from china. both work very well. I also heard hydor theo is a notch above these heaters :)
the wattage of the heater is secondary, how well the heater function and ts level of precision is much more important. probably the reason why a 7.5w always over/under heats since it's not as sensitive as the adjustables...

eitherway test with whatever heater you are going to use in a fishless half gallon first for stability
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:25 PM   #5 
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Okay thanks for the help!! :) Looks like ill be picking up a few more adjustable heaters :)
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