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Old 12-12-2011, 03:11 PM   #11 
PewPewPew
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I feel like 50w is too low for 15 gallons.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:39 PM   #12 
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I use a 50W for my 14g, and it keeps the temperature perfect. I use an Elite adjustable heater. Perhaps he just needs to use a better brand heater :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:41 PM   #13 
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I don't know, I thought 50w was good up to 20 gallons. Guess I may have been wrong.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:42 PM   #14 
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I use a 50W (i think - need to double check at home) for my 20G and keeps that tank right at 80/81. I do keep my apartment a little warmer though :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:09 PM   #15 
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I have a 50w in my 29g & it maintains temp right next to the Front Door (which is quite drafty). It doesnt heat the tank very fast, but it holds it there & I am in idaho so its pretty cold here (low teens outside). This said its also a very good heater (eihm jager) and the tank has a full hood so it doesnt loose much heat that way. With a room temp that low I would oversize the heater by a fair amount to be sure that the heater wasnt having to overwork itself (200w or more). Even if you have to mount it horizontally.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:17 PM   #16 
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Ok, I also have a full hood. It's an eclipse 1. I'll turn the heater up and see what happens. If it doesn't work, I'll try returning it and getting a higher wattage heater. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:17 PM   #17 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettafish15 View Post
I would try turning the heater up, and putting some sort of insulation around the tank. I have to, since I'm up in northern canada, but it certainly works.
What do you use to insulate your tank?
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #18 
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50 watts is 10g to 15g but there are some caveats to this:

Dry air increases evaporation cooling.
Cold air increases cyclic current speed on the sides.
Powered filters create little heat exchangers out of their lids.

So this circumstance we are looking at:

Slow the evaporation: carefully tape over most the holes in the lid.
Adding insulation to the sides and back: bubble wrap!
Stopping the heat exchange: more bubble wrap!

Two ways to do the bubble wrap around the tank, best I've seen is actually to wedge paper clips carefully up under the edge of the tank rim and fit the bubble wrap up under them. This keeps from having to unstick tape from the tank. You can run thread/string through the loops on the paper clips to keep it from bowing out but you need to run that string all the way around the front and use tape on the corners to keep it from getting stuck.
The other is to hold it in place by backing it with cardboard, I prefer not to use cardboard because the betta will still be entertained by the view out the back through the bubbles. Cardboard is also a source of mold and mildew and not a good material for betta to nom.

Tank top cold evap is usually as simple as taping up all the top's holes and then putting bubble wrap strips everywhere but the warm area above the light.. this usually ends up being a strip on the back AND the front. You can pop the bubbles on the ends and just tuck it in under the lid. Hard Core would be to get a sheet of plexiglass plastic window, either acrylic (easy) or lexan/D (hard hard) to make a fitted lid. They sell these drag-hook-knives to cut plexiglass with... they won't do the job. If you've got a friend with shop tools just make a careful poster-board cutout with room for feed-hole (one inch diameter) and filter, heater wire, air-stone hose hole, etc. Give it a couple half inch deep 3/8 notches at each end of the back edge for longevity. OR you can "go ghetto" and use polyurethane sign board (the stuff like cardboard but all plastic) and do the same cut work. Pinch the ends closed or tape them over to keep air flow out of the card and remember to cut out the gaps for lighting under the lights, most bulbs - even fluorescents - will overheat the plastic. The plexiglass doesn't suffer from this and you can even skip using the hood and use a desk lamp.

The filter is pretty simple, just cut bubble wrap or plastic wrap to fit up under, if you use plastic wrap use a couple layers. Snug either on by wrapping it up around the edges of the filter's lid and boom.

Its very important to get your tank heat up over 76, the bacteria will be very sluggish and natural decay at the bottom won't occur.

My advice on the heater is not to get a much more powerful heater, just get the next size up and run both in the tank. This way you won't get the over-run of a huge heater but you will get the wattage you need.
Ask around at the pet store to see what increase in heater size someone there had to do for your conditions. Don't take guesstimates.

When the water is VERY cold remember to siphon the bottom on time or you can get layered stagnation.

Last edited by Thunderloon; 12-12-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:19 PM   #19 
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I just have a blanket/clothes wrapped around three sides of the tank. :) Then I don't have to spend money/time finding styrofoam and cutting it.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:51 PM   #20 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderloon View Post
My advice on the heater is not to get a much more powerful heater, just get the next size up and run both in the tank. This way you won't get the over-run of a huge heater but you will get the wattage you need.
Ask around at the pet store to see what increase in heater size someone there had to do for your conditions. Don't take guesstimates.
I can second this suggestion. I had a 25W preset heater that was not getting my tanks above 72 degrees. My landlord controls the thermostat for all the apartments in my complex, so turning up the heat was not an option. I used my 25W with my 7.5W I have for hospital tanks for 32.5W total. That was enough to keep my tanks at 78 degrees during the day. But at night my apartment temp would drop to 68 degrees and I had to wrap up my tanks in blankets from 11PM until 7AM (or you can use the bubble wrap Thunder suggests). If you have a 25W heater you can use with your current 50W heater, then the two together should solve your problem during the day. If you have to buy a second heater, then only buy a 100W to replace your current 50W.

I currently use 50W adjustible heaters in my 5 gallon tank so I don't have to wrap them up in blankets at night anymore. I need double the watts suggested for a 5 gallon tank to make up for the fact that my tanks are in rooms that range from 10-6 degrees below standard room temperature (76 degrees). If you keep your home colder than usual, then your heater has to be bigger than usual to make up the difference.
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