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Old 03-26-2012, 11:24 PM   #1 
boalt
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Help! Temperature dropped to 68 degrees. . .

And my fish is acting really weird.

I came home after work to realize that the heat in my building had been turned off and Chester's (my fish) temperature had dropped to 68 degrees (it is normally 78 degrees. I keep my apartment really warm, so I didn't have an aquarium heater). Chester was moving really slowly (not really swimming. More like floating), so I freaked out and went to Petsmart and picked up the first heater I saw. I purchased a 25 watt Top Fin Aquarium Heater (I have a 5 gallon tank. I followed the directions, but it doesn't seem to be working (the temperature is now 72 degrees even though it is set to 78). It's been 5 hours since I turned it on, so I think it might be broken.

I've been reading alot of horror stories about malfunctioning heaters, and I'm scared to go to sleep with the heater plugged in. I know I can't leave Chester heater-less as long as the heat in the building is off.

Is there anything I can do? Like keep a lamp on him all night until I can pick up a space heater in the morning or place a heating pad around his tank.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:34 PM   #2 
ao
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if you have a table lamp an incandescent light bulb, you can try shining one into his tank and see if that will help heat it water, it definitely helped with my 1 gallon last time I had a temperature drop but 5 gal might be a bit too big... the heating definitely wont be even either. How is the fish doing now? you might want to get a 1 gal container with a lid (to keep heat in) and test it to see if the temperature will stabilize around 78 with the lamp at a certain range..... might work, best I can think of right now.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:51 PM   #3 
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never buy one of those preset heaters they never worked for me. iv been keeping fish for lil over a year now and no heater problems. used or using elite, marinland, fluval, aqueon, and hydro. im not saying bad things cant happen with heaters i just thing its alot more likely that heater will be off window will be open ext.. so id say get a nice heater.

you'll just have to see if it did any damage i would think hell bounce back. a heating pad would prob work just make sure it dosnt get to hot. a light can also work. you can slowly very slowly put warmer water in a lil at time.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:54 PM   #4 
boalt
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Thanks for responding. He's still acting weird (staying in one spot) but he seems better than he did when the temp was 68 degrees (it's now 74). I think I'll take your advice and put him in a one gallon container and shine a light on him because I'm way too scared to go to sleep with that heater in the tank (I'd probably have a nervous breakdown if it burned/electrocuted him).

Do you think the light will interfere with his ability to sleep?
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:55 PM   #5 
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If the temp is rising the heater is working. Aquarium heaters are meant to warm the water slowly usually about a degree an hour. It could take the night for the water to reach the correct temperature. Extreme temperature changes are bad even if it is moving back toward the ideal temperature. Fish will get stressed with temp swings and prefer smooth slow temperature changes like they experience in their natural habitats. Also with 5 gallons of water a lamp will not really effect the temperature.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:56 PM   #6 
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Preset heaters are only designed to heat the water to so many degrees over room temperature, so I don't think it is broken. I would leave it in - 72 is better than 68. I would also cover the top of the tank in clingfilm if you have it, to trap in humidity and heat (of course leave some room between it and the water and make a small ventilation hole). I would also wrap the tank in a blanket or towel. These would be better than using a lamp, which could stress him out. :)
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:58 PM   #7 
boalt
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Originally Posted by bankruptjojo View Post
never buy one of those preset heaters they never worked for me. iv been keeping fish for lil over a year now and no heater problems. used or using elite, marinland, fluval, aqueon, and hydro. im not saying bad things cant happen with heaters i just thing its alot more likely that heater will be off window will be open ext.. so id say get a nice heater.

you'll just have to see if it did any damage i would think hell bounce back. a heating pad would prob work just make sure it dosnt get to hot. a light can also work. you can slowly very slowly put warmer water in a lil at time.

Which heater would you recommend? I saw an Elite heater (on Amazon) and it seems to have pretty good reviews. I'm still kind of scared to get one, but I know I'll probably have to.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:00 AM   #8 
bankruptjojo
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i like the fluval heaters so far but dont think that make one small enough fro a 5g. elite is in my 2.5 and works fine so far.(about 3 months)
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:02 AM   #9 
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I've used preset heaters and they usually get with in two degrees either way in my experience. Heaters IME are finicky things even with adjustable ones. I just added a sponge filter to my tank and had to rework placement and the temperature gauge for it to get the water to the correct temp. I have found placement of the heater in the tank to be more of a impacting factor than if it was preset or not.

I personally use the hydor theo 50w in my 10 gallon tanks tanks. Though not really necessary if you work with the placement of the preset heater usually have to find the sweet spot near the filter where the water isn't moving to fast or slow they will hold the necessary temperature. I use the tetra 50w in my 5 gallon tanks and just had to work the placement more than the hydor as it doesn't have a gauge to adjust it. All my tanks keep the correct temp with the same consistency. IMO there is more to heating a tank than throwing in a heater and plugging it in. Maybe I'm just anal lol.

Last edited by freemike; 03-27-2012 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:03 AM   #10 
Micho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boalt View Post
Which heater would you recommend? I saw an Elite heater (on Amazon) and it seems to have pretty good reviews. I'm still kind of scared to get one, but I know I'll probably have to.
I have two Elite brand heaters both work perfectly. I can say that Elite is one of the best heater brands out there.

Also it seems like your heater is doing its job, the temperature is supposed to go up slowly and not quickly or it'll shock your Betta.
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