Equipment & Supplies • Best Heater for the best price?

For discussion regarding filters, lights, heaters, pumps, etc.

Moderators: Deeda, Kanorin

Postby PfunMo » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:13 pm

I can agree with what blur says but take it a bit further. I like to look at the reasons heaters fail and then look for a design that does away with those reasons. Taking the contacts out of the heating tubes does a lot for failed contacts. Taking the adjustment off the top of the tube lets the tube be truly sealed as it does away with the problem of trying to seal around a moving shaft. A fully submerged heater does away with the problem of heaters coming out of the water when water is lowered on water changes. Most heaters warn they should not be run dry. That is one sure way to distort the temperature setting springs. They do say they shut down but what they don't say is that they may be ruined in the process.

If my new heater of choice only lasts a year, I will be back to dump on them big time but for now they seem good.
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Share On:

Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter

Postby limpert » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:18 pm

I've had a jebo heater for a few years on my 55 and it seams to work well... You can get them for less than 20 shipped on ebay. I think the key with the adjustable heaters is not fully submerging them, but only to the min water level line. Just my 2 cents
User avatar
limpert
 
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:26 am
Location: Texas

Postby nodima » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:39 am

PfunMo wrote:I can agree with what blur says but take it a bit further. I like to look at the reasons heaters fail and then look for a design that does away with those reasons. Taking the contacts out of the heating tubes does a lot for failed contacts. Taking the adjustment off the top of the tube lets the tube be truly sealed as it does away with the problem of trying to seal around a moving shaft. A fully submerged heater does away with the problem of heaters coming out of the water when water is lowered on water changes. Most heaters warn they should not be run dry. That is one sure way to distort the temperature setting springs. They do say they shut down but what they don't say is that they may be ruined in the process.

If my new heater of choice only lasts a year, I will be back to dump on them big time but for now they seem good.


...and I'll let you take chances with "unproven" new designs while using the tried and true EboJager. :D :D :D

FWIW - I agree with you on the water changes/levels being a culprit in shortening a heaters life. I have mine on the power strip I shut off when doing water changes (along with sump pump etc), which alleviates the "O carp" moment just before the heater goes "BOP"
nodima
 
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 12:06 pm
Location: Mass

Postby PfunMo » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:57 am

I agree with both those thoughts but only up to a point. For myself, I have found I have to do anything practical to avoid mistakes. With heaters there just seems to be lots of ways to make those small mistakes and ruin them. Keeping them above the water line is good but only until the suction cups get sloppy and dunk the thing. Big fish help this happen but it happens when I move the top or if I'm moving wires underneath and behind the stand. I get done with some small item and find the heater hanging two inches under water. Too late to kick myself. Turning off the power works but only as long as I remember to do it. Sorry to admit it but I think they call what I'm looking for ---"Idiot Proof".

I like to look at the design and see if it is really an improvement or just marketing BS. I took the cover off the heater I mentioned and was impressed with the electronics it used. Rather than a simple set of bimetal springs it actually uses a nice electronic circuit board with real components--diodes, transistors, coils and relays. Looks like a nice board that was run through a wave soldering machine rather than an individual lead solder job. Very nice clean well built board.I really like the relay as it is a totally molded unit. Part of me says I would like to tear it down and see the contacts but I'm settling for the feel of it. When it pulls up, I can feel the movement which should indicate a nice hefty sets of contacts. I can't see it but I can feel it.
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Postby nodima » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:04 pm

PfunMo wrote: Too late to kick myself. Turning off the power works but only as long as I remember to do it. Sorry to admit it but I think they call what I'm looking for ---"Idiot Proof".


a Mountain biking buddy of mine and I don't believe "Idiot Proof" exists. What you are searching for is "Idiot Resistant"... :D
nodima
 
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 12:06 pm
Location: Mass

Postby PfunMo » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:11 pm

You are so right! :thumb:
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Postby cjacob316 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:04 pm

so far, the best heater for the price I have found is the Hydor Theo heater. I have them in half my tanks and they do great.
see my tanks for details
cjacob316
 
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:18 pm
Location: Lafayette, La

Postby PfunMo » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:45 pm

Unfortunately we all have some that last a long time and others have the same that bummed out. If it were more uniform in performance we could get a better idea of what was best. In my case the Hydor Theo was the one that put me on the chase for better. Once the rubber around the top gets dried out and a bit brittle it will not stand up to the occasional water dip that happens. Where the shaft goes through the top rubber, it rubs away at the seal and at some point it leaks. Once water is seen inside the tube with the electronics, I stop using them. I've never had one actually turn that water to steam but it seems something to avoid. I think the sudden steam might have enough pressure to blow the top off and let the whole thing open to water. Being around the oil industry, you probably have a good idea of how quick steam can turn ugly.
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

Postby the blur » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:51 am

Biggest piece of garbag I have ever owned.

cjacob316 wrote:so far, the best heater for the price I have found is the Hydor Theo heater. I have them in half my tanks and they do great.
the blur
 
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:55 pm
Location: cyberspace

Postby newcichlidiot » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:27 pm

I think with the reliability issues of almost all heaters, the only way to go is the way PfunMo suggests and get two of a smaller wattage. IMO the redundancy factor is hard to argue against. It may cost a little more up front but catastrophes are less of a problem. It may not be idiot proof but if I am involved nothing is.
55 with various Malawians Eheim 2217 + HOB
55 Oscar Eheim 2217 + HOB + sponge filter
29 ridiculously large former feeder HOB
20 gal long fry tank w/2 AC 30's
User avatar
newcichlidiot
 
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:50 pm
Location: Colorado, Monument

Postby the blur » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:52 pm

As a redundancy engineer, I have been using 2 heaters of 1/2 the wattage for 15 years.

although I have had many heaters fail, never lost one fish due to frying.
I have always found the failed heater before damaging live stock.
the blur
 
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:55 pm
Location: cyberspace

Postby Ron R. » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:05 am

The old Ebo-Jagers were really good. About 6 years ago I started using 2 500w titanium heaters. These heaters do not have an internal thermostat. I bought them at Jehmco.com. They are a good outfit. John is a great guy.

I bought 2 of the TSH-500-LC models. They are $46 each now. Here's a link:

http://www.jehmco.com/html/heaters.html

I got the ones with the 20 foot cord. I have them sitting on the bottom on the sand in my 180g wc moba tank.

You have to attach these heaters to a controller. I use a commercial-grade single stage electronic temperature controller. I use a Johnson controller like this one:

http://www.etcsupply.com/johnson-a419ab ... p-111.html

I have the Johnson controller mounted inside my cabinet and plugged into a surge protector. I have both my 500w heaters plugged into the Johnson by way of a double plug adaptor.

I set the low setpoint at 77 degrees and the upper setpoint at 79 degrees. During the summer when my home's AC is set around 73 degrees, my tank water slowly drops to the room temp. When the temp hits 69.9 degrees, the Johnson kicks both heaters on until the water heats up to 79 degrees and then the unit turns off the heaters. The cycle repeats itself as the water slowly cools down. When I do my weekly 50% water changes, my water out of the tap is often warmer than 79 degrees so I really don't have to worry.

During the winter, I like to keep my home heat temp around the same 73-74 degrees room temp. When my water temp drops below the lower setpoint of 77 degrees, the unit kicks on again until 79 degrees is hit.

My heating unit cost me about $150, but has been worth it to me. Just one of my wc mobas costs that amount. I have 10 wc adult mobas and usually several F1 fry and juvies in my 180g tank. Right now I have over 50 F1 fry and juvies and a wc momma or 2 holding eggs.

I know this set-up may not be for everyone. This set-up is very reliable and accurate. I use a Lifegard Big Digital Thermometer that I have attached to my wall right above my 180g so I can easily monitor my water temp, especially during water changes.

I have heard too many horror stories about boiling fish due to a stuck heater.

Hope this helps someone out there.
180 g Oceanic. WC Moba Frontosa Colony & numerous fry. Equipment: 2 2217 Eheims, 2 6080 Tunze Streams, WISA airpump, Johnson temp controller....fishkeeping since 1988.
User avatar
Ron R.
 
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Postby zimmy » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:33 am

Very helpful post, Ron. This thread has had me thinking about going the controller route. I'm thinking about the ones put out by Jehmco or this one:

http://www.jbjnanocubes.com/contents/en-us/p10986.html

I'm only heating a 108 gallon so 500W might be too powerful.
User avatar
zimmy
 
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:50 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby cjacob316 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:25 pm

the blur wrote:Biggest piece of garbag I have ever owned.

cjacob316 wrote:so far, the best heater for the price I have found is the Hydor Theo heater. I have them in half my tanks and they do great.



My experiences would say different, I have had one bad one, the dial wouldn't turn, so i returned it and got a new one before it ever went into my tank, all my others have been great, and they are on the small side, not as bulky as the stealths or some others. maybe if you actually talked about what happened and how many of them had the issue then your post would be more viable. But as it stands, i think my experiences would hold more weight than you trash post.
see my tanks for details
cjacob316
 
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:18 pm
Location: Lafayette, La

Postby PfunMo » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:05 pm

I appreciate the input from RonR. He has a different spin on it as I don't have the type fish that warrant spending that much. We all have to find the level we want. That takes lots of different opinions to cover the different levels. While I don't reach the same thinking as cjacob on the Theo, I do agree with him that posts are more informative if they provide more detailed facts of what failed. So far every heater I've used had good points and bad points. The only way to sort them is to know the things that the adverts don't tell us. If you want to know the good points of a Ford, ask the Ford dealer, then go down the street and ask the Chevy dealer for the bad points! Got to get both sides of the story.
PfunMo
 
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:41 pm
Location: Pflugerville, Tx

PreviousNext

Return to Equipment & Supplies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Maximus74 and 2 guests