That's it. On Amazon it was listed as Hydor USA Theo 50w.
I guess we'll see when I get home. I bought this because I had heard good things about the Theos and it was small, 7" long. If it really sucks I will return it and try to find something else I guess. It's hard to find heaters that are short though.
This is definitely a theo. if that becomes a constant problem I'd call the manufacturer and ask what is wrong and for them to replace it
A 50watt IS slightly large for a 5 gallon but still works. Some people have even used the 25watt in one gallon tanks with no issues...
I have 3 25watt Hydor theos for my two 5.5 gallons and my 4 gallon and I have a 50watt for my ten gallon and have had no issues. However, right now, the room temp is pretty cold so all of mine have to be set to about 81 for the temp to stay at 78-79. I don't expect them to stay at EXACT temp because my room temp fluctuates a lot at night. Actually, when my room temp dropped 10 degrees the tank temps only dropped about 2 degrees. All in all, I like them. I would not have bought 3 more if I wasn't satisfied with the first one :p
I got the 50w because I had read that the 25w can sometimes have problems keeping up if the room is too cold. These 50w heaters were the same price and size as the 25w, so I figured I'd just go with the 50, that way it doesn't have to work as hard. Right now my house fluctuates from about 66-69F, and I want my tank to be at about 79-80F. It seems to be working great so far, but it's only been about 24 hours, haha. I'm glad I bought two though, so I have a decent heater for my new tank when it gets set up.
Does anyone know in general how long these heaters last?
Not me... My 25watts kept both tanks at 78 when the room temp dropped to 60. Also, I'm not sure how long they last... I've read a few people who have heaters for 3 years or longer, and some seem to crap out a lot sooner. The thing with the Theos is that they have a special setting where the heater shuts off if its not submersed far enough.
I've read many more posts where heaters have broke because someone forgot to unplug them before doing 100% changes than I have where the heater itself malfunctioned. However, that being said, its not impossible. Sometimes you may get a lemon that either doesn't work properly right off the bat or it malfunctions shorty after getting it. One thing I always make sure to do is let the heater sit in the water for awhile before I turn it on so it kind of "adjusts" to the current tank temperature.