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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to order some equipment and I need 2 heaters for my sump. I'm just wondering what everyone's thoughts are as far as most reliable and value for the money. I plan to run a controller with it.

I read the reviews but didn't find them helpful because some reviews are quite dated.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thermostat aside, I would prefer something that's not going to explode, something that will last a number of years.
 

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I think you'll be equally frustrated with responses here because there are lemons in every batch. There are success and horror stories with every one. And if you're using a controller, then you've removed the weak link in most heaters. That's what people review, how well does it hold temp, and does it ever stick on. Those are issues with the controllers.

This question comes up at least weekly and I've never seen any kind of consensus, or much helpful info on which are more reliable than others. I've been trying different ones for years and haven't settled on anything. Thought I had a good one with the stealth pro's, then they started exploding. Mine aren't in the bad batch, and haven't exploded, but again I find it time to try another brand when I need to replace them.

What I'd suggest for you is you check out Jehmco. They have some good deals on heaters, particulary if you need a few or more, as they give quantity discounts. They also have some without their own controller as they're made to work with the separate controllers.
 

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prov356 you gave good advice about goingt to Jehmco. If you do not find anything there check out BigAlsonline.
 

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Im using one Fluval E series heater (300W) on my 6' 125G tank and I have no issues with it. Does a great job keeping my tank up to temp even with the tank being in my enclosed porch (coldest room in the house).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies and advice.

I'm ordering a boat load of stuff from Fosters so I'll choose one of the better heaters on that website.

Thanks
 

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PauloSilva said:
Thanks for all the replies and advice.

I'm ordering a boat load of stuff from Fosters so I'll choose one of the better heaters on that website.

Thanks
I'd go with either the Eheim Jager heater or the ViaAqua Titanium Tube heater. Personally, I went with the ViaAqua simply because the same wattage heater that I needed was 8" shorter. From all of the comparison reviews and polls I could find, the majority of people use the Eheim Jager. Those who don't use the ViaAqua Titanium heaters. Both are available on F&S.

Take care!

- Eric
 

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i use the jebo heaters that can be found on ebay. I have had one on my 55 gal for years with no problems and they are very affordable.
 

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Two votes for Eheim jagers, yet I've abandoned them because of problems I've had with them. This is exactly my point. Good and bad in every batch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
SonsOfLeda said:
PauloSilva said:
Thanks for all the replies and advice.

I'm ordering a boat load of stuff from Fosters so I'll choose one of the better heaters on that website.

Thanks
I'd go with either the Eheim Jager heater or the ViaAqua Titanium Tube heater. Personally, I went with the ViaAqua simply because the same wattage heater that I needed was 8" shorter. From all of the comparison reviews and polls I could find, the majority of people use the Eheim Jager. Those who don't use the ViaAqua Titanium heaters. Both are available on F&S.

Take care!

- Eric
On the F&S website it claims that 150w can handle 79g. My tank is a 125g and I want to use 2 heaters in the sump. Will two 150w heaters work. I like that they are only 13" in length. I plan to put them in my pump return well which holds ~ 4.7gal. See pic.

What do you think? Is there a better area to put them in. I've heard conflicting information on where to locate them.

 

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PauloSilva said:
On the F&S website it claims that 150w can handle 79g. My tank is a 125g and I want to use 2 heaters in the sump. Will two 150w heaters work.
Two 150W heaters would be able to raise 204gal (your volume of water) about 14 degrees. If the ambient temp of the room is within 14 degrees of where you want to keep your tank, then they'll work. Heater ratings (Xw for Xgal) vary so much from brand to brand I never pay attention anymore - I just do the math.

PauloSilva said:
I like that they are only 13" in length. I plan to put them in my pump return well which holds ~ 4.7gal. See pic. What do you think? Is there a better area to put them in. I've heard conflicting information on where to locate them.
I highly recommend NOT putting them in the return area. This is the only place in your sump that could run dry if left unattended. A dried heater = a fried heater. I also don't like putting them where there may be a lot of air bubbles (your input chamber for example). In your shoes, I'd raise the scrubbies up and off the bottom a couple of inches with an eggcrate platform and put the heaters on the bottom of the sump in that chamber. It's not the most accessable area, but it's the area that guarantees the heaters to be submerged at all times. Make sense?

The easiest access option is to have them in your input chamber as long as you can ensure smooth sailing (low bubbles) and complete submersion at all times. Sump design/input tube placement have huge amounts to do with these factors.

Just some food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
SonsOfLeda said:
PauloSilva said:
On the F&S website it claims that 150w can handle 79g. My tank is a 125g and I want to use 2 heaters in the sump. Will two 150w heaters work.
Two 150W heaters would be able to raise 204gal (your volume of water) about 14 degrees. If the ambient temp of the room is within 14 degrees of where you want to keep your tank, then they'll work. Heater ratings (Xw for Xgal) vary so much from brand to brand I never pay attention anymore - I just do the math.

PauloSilva said:
I like that they are only 13" in length. I plan to put them in my pump return well which holds ~ 4.7gal. See pic. What do you think? Is there a better area to put them in. I've heard conflicting information on where to locate them.
I highly recommend NOT putting them in the return area. This is the only place in your sump that could run dry if left unattended. A dried heater = a fried heater. I also don't like putting them where there may be a lot of air bubbles (your input chamber for example). In your shoes, I'd raise the scrubbies up and off the bottom a couple of inches with an eggcrate platform and put the heaters on the bottom of the sump in that chamber. It's not the most accessable area, but it's the area that guarantees the heaters to be submerged at all times. Make sense?

The easiest access option is to have them in your input chamber as long as you can ensure smooth sailing (low bubbles) and complete submersion at all times. Sump design/input tube placement have huge amounts to do with these factors.

Just some food for thought.
Thanks alot for the reply. I think I will re-configure the sump accordingly. I might go with 200w heaters and create another area with a baffle just for the heaters, making sure of full submersion at all times.

Thanks again.
 

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I think a simpler solution would be to just remove the bubble trap baffles. Not sure why you expect to have bubbles there to remove. That's typically done in salt water sumps with protein skimmers to deal with their bubbles. Then you've got room for the heaters in the return area. Also not sure why that area would ever run dry. If it does, it means water isn't returning from the tank, so the drains have been blocked and the tank has overflowed and you've got bigger problems than fried heaters.

I'd also forgo the scrubbies. You don't need them, and they'll collect organics that'll be difficult to remove. Leave that area of the sump bottom open. Don't extend the biomedia chamber baffle on the right side any lower than the shelf for the biomedia itself. That'll allow for easy access to siphon anything that settles there, and it will. Then just place the heaters anywhere under the biomedia chamber. All easily accessible and easy to clean.

Just my .02 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
prov356 said:
I think a simpler solution would be to just remove the bubble trap baffles. Not sure why you expect to have bubbles there to remove. That's typically done in salt water sumps with protein skimmers to deal with their bubbles. Then you've got room for the heaters in the return area. Also not sure why that area would ever run dry. If it does, it means water isn't returning from the tank, so the drains have been blocked and the tank has overflowed and you've got bigger problems than fried heaters.

I'd also forgo the scrubbies. You don't need them, and they'll collect organics that'll be difficult to remove. Leave that area of the sump bottom open. Don't extend the biomedia chamber baffle on the right side any lower than the shelf for the biomedia itself. That'll allow for easy access to siphon anything that settles there, and it will. Then just place the heaters anywhere under the biomedia chamber. All easily accessible and easy to clean.

Just my .02 :)
prov, I really respect your posts man. I have a few questions and answers to go along with your response.

I figured that after the water trickles through the media that some bubbles may form. I didn't want the return pump to re-circ them to the display. The return chamber could run dry if the water evaporated. I wouldn't let this happen because it would be checked daily. My idea behind the return chamber is to make it large enough that complete evaporation would take some time, but make it small enough that if an overflow was clogged I wouldn't have 20+gals on the floor. 4.7gal seems like a good number.

I may take your recommendation on the scrubbies. I plan to have a decently stocked setup and didn't want to skimp on the bio. I'll raise the bioballs (or equivelent) with some egg crate and small diam pvc pipe and shove the heaters under it.

Do you have any recommendation for the detritus removal area? I'm undecided. I thought about filter socks but heard of guys having to change them out daily. That's not the biggest deal in the world but I hate to have to worry about a daily thing like that.

Thanks alot.
 

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I figured that after the water trickles through the media that some bubbles may form. I didn't want the return pump to re-circ them to the display.
I have several sumps and have not seen this. Any bubbles that form are large bubbles that break at the surface and aren't sucked down to the pump. Just doesn't happen.

The return chamber could run dry if the water evaporated.
You'd have to be away from home for several days or more as the pump would make a terrible noise long before the sump went dry. This is a concern that has nothing to do with the heaters. If your sump is too small, this could need a lot of attention. I made my sump as big as I could in the space that I had.

My idea behind the return chamber is to make it large enough that complete evaporation would take some time, but make it small enough that if an overflow was clogged I wouldn't have 20+gals on the floor. 4.7gal seems like a good number.
That's the fun stuff and what I spent a lot of time on for each of my sump designs. Mine can go about two weeks or so before the water gets low enough for the pump to start sucking air. And depending on pump strength, you may still have 4 inches of water in the sump. Be aware of this. It draws a little whirlpool down from the surface.

You want the max amount of water in the sump possible when running. Calculate the amount that will flow down from the returns and tank when you power off. There are forumlas for cylindrical volumes (drain pipes) on the Internet. It's not that much though, as most comes from the tank. There's a lot to it. I can take a look at and comment on what you've come up with, if you'd like.

I'll raise the bioballs (or equivelent) with some egg crate
I use egg crate. You can do many things to raise them up. My sumps are acrylic, so I just added a ledge for the eggcrate to sit on. Egg crate isn't very strong, so if you have a wide expanse of 15-16" and lots of biomedia, it may need center support as one of mine did. I attached pieces of acrylic standing on end under the middle.

A couple of pics. You can see my suggestions for you tend to look like what I did.





Do you have any recommendation for the detritus removal area? I'm undecided. I thought about filter socks but heard of guys having to change them out daily. That's not the biggest deal in the world but I hate to have to worry about a daily thing like that.
That's why I don't go with filter socks, too much attention needed. I use drip trays. That area was a concern, but you didn't ask. :) I think you'll find, as designed, it'll need daily maintenance or the water will just overflow into the biomedia chamber. Overflows on wet/dry's pick up a lot more than some think they will. You could keep it as is, and go with a coarse sponge, just make it so it leaves a few inches to back up before it overflows. So, say a 4" wide sponge that sits at the bottom of that chamber.

How are you going to disperse the flow from that chamber over the biomedia? Oh, I see, drip tray. I incorporated my prefilter pad into the drip tray. That's what many do. Easier for me to do, as I was able to fabricate and customize with the acrylic. I added a 3/4" piece all around the tray to hold the filter pad down and avoid bypass. But, I do like your design of separating the prefilter from the drip tray. I think I'd go with that.

Anyway, here's a pic of the tray without the filter pad. In the first pic above, you can see the plastic storage trays that I was originally going to go with. But, they were too problematic in many ways for me, so I built my tray.

 

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More thoughts and things that I forgot. On my fish room sump pumps I added and elbow turned down toward the bottom of the sump and use the mag drive pumps that can run out of water, so my fish room sumps can get much lower before they start sucking air, but still leaves about 2" of water in the sump.

Consider an aumtomatic topoff valve for topping off the sump. They're fairly cheap and easy to install. Kind of like installed an icemaker supply to a fridge, etc. No real plumbing skills needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have several sumps and have not seen this. Any bubbles that form are large bubbles that break at the surface and aren't sucked down to the pump. Just doesn't happen.
Perfect... I may just scrap that idea all together.

You'd have to be away from home for several days or more as the pump would make a terrible noise long before the sump went dry. This is a concern that has nothing to do with the heaters. If your sump is too small, this could need a lot of attention. I made my sump as big as I could in the space that I had.
mine is 48"x15"x15" which is pretty well the biggest I could fit using the materials I could find. I made it out of 1/4" glass but still need to add all the baffles. If you look at the design the capacity of the sump is ~47 gals and I figured I would have ~21gals of water in it. I suppose I could bump this up a lil more and still have capacity for drain back during power out. More water the better they say.

That's the fun stuff and what I spent a lot of time on for each of my sump designs. Mine can go about two weeks or so before the water gets low enough for the pump to start sucking air. And depending on pump strength, you may still have 4 inches of water in the sump. Be aware of this. It draws a little whirlpool down from the surface.

You want the max amount of water in the sump possible when running. Calculate the amount that will flow down from the returns and tank when you power off. There are forumlas for cylindrical volumes (drain pipes) on the Internet. It's not that much though, as most comes from the tank. There's a lot to it. I can take a look at and comment on what you've come up with, if you'd like.
I hadn't realize it would start sucking air with 4" still in. That's really good to know. I plan on using a 90deg elbow pointing down which should help with this.

I should have more than enough capacity for drain back.

I use egg crate. You can do many things to raise them up. My sumps are acrylic, so I just added a ledge for the eggcrate to sit on. Egg crate isn't very strong, so if you have a wide expanse of 15-16" and lots of biomedia, it may need center support as one of mine did. I attached pieces of acrylic standing on end under the middle.

A couple of pics. You can see my suggestions for you tend to look like what I did.



What are the baffles with all the holes drilled for?

That's why I don't go with filter socks, too much attention needed. I use drip trays. That area was a concern, but you didn't ask. :) I think you'll find, as designed, it'll need daily maintenance or the water will just overflow into the biomedia chamber. Overflows on wet/dry's pick up a lot more than some think they will. You could keep it as is, and go with a coarse sponge, just make it so it leaves a few inches to back up before it overflows. So, say a 4" wide sponge that sits at the bottom of that chamber.

How are you going to disperse the flow from that chamber over the biomedia? Oh, I see, drip tray. I incorporated my prefilter pad into the drip tray. That's what many do. Easier for me to do, as I was able to fabricate and customize with the acrylic. I added a 3/4" piece all around the tray to hold the filter pad down and avoid bypass. But, I do like your design of separating the prefilter from the drip tray. I think I'd go with that.

Anyway, here's a pic of the tray without the filter pad. In the first pic above, you can see the plastic storage trays that I was originally going to go with. But, they were too problematic in many ways for me, so I built my tray.

Yeah the filter socks just aren't looking too appealing to me. I think I'll use some coarse sponge and maybe some filter floss. I need this sump to be the jack of all trades. I want it to be efficient in both mech. and bio filtering as it will be the only form of filtration I will use. No canisters or HOB's. The ATO system sounds like a great idea but no access to plumbing in the area of the tank. If I get real frustrated with the constant topping off of water I'm going to be creative and try and run something there.

So basically right now I'm just waiting to order my materials. Considering I want to order from Fosters and they have by FAR the best deals on the items I need, but they don't ship to Canada. I live in a border town and they have a ferry from Canada to the USA and you can send items to the ferry in the US and they bring them over to us for 5bucks a package. BUT, they aren't running right this moment because of river ice. Hopefully soon.

I'm going to order the 1500 overflow kit from glass holes
Mag 18
2 heaters
A couple glass canopies (to min. evap.)
Master test kit

among a few other things odds and ends

What do you think of the idea of returning the water from the sump via UGJ. I'm hoping I can try and direct as much detritus to the overflow as possible. I would plumb up and over the tank and create a siphon break. I would paint the PVC black and will also have a black background(painted). I know the pipes will still be visible but hopefully not an eyesore.

Thanks for all the help. You really are an asset to this hobby.

BTW I really like your sump construction. Very professional looking.
 

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mine is 48"x15"x15" which is pretty well the biggest I could fit using the materials I could find. I made it out of 1/4" glass but still need to add all the baffles. If you look at the design the capacity of the sump is ~47 gals and I figured I would have ~21gals of water in it. I suppose I could bump this up a lil more and still have capacity for drain back during power out. More water the better they say.
That's a good size. I'd go for more like 30 gallons running. That'd be about 10" of water with enough to take 16 gallons during power outage. What do you have in the way of drain configuration at the tank? Internal or hang on overflow? Have you estimated how many gallons will drain from the tank? I see below, it looks like a hang on overflow? So, how many gallons will drain? If you've got 10" of water, total of 30 gallons, I really don't think you're going to be dealing with evaporation problems. Close up the system about as tight as you would the tank. It'd probably take two weeks or so like mine before you had a need to top off. If you're doing weekly water changes, you won't be topping off at all. I never do.

What are the baffles with all the holes drilled for?
Plants. Tried it for a while, but wasn't worth the hassle. That's what the light was for too, but I just use it now to see what I'm doing. If you want to use plants, use a fast growing ivy type house plant and just put the roots in the sump. I keep thinking about it, but haven't gotten around to setting it up.

The ATO system sounds like a great idea but no access to plumbing in the area of the tank. If I get real frustrated with the constant topping off of water I'm going to be creative and try and run something there.
You can run flexible copper line from dozens of feet away from a cold water pipe in the basement or wherever.

What do you think of the idea of returning the water from the sump via UGJ.
Not necessary or worth the hassle of hiding all that equipment, and you'll still be dealing with detritus removal. I'm not a fan of UGJ's.

Thanks for all the help. You really are an asset to this hobby.

BTW I really like your sump construction. Very professional looking.
Thanks, sometimes I'm not sure if I'm being helpful or annoying.

Regarding the acrylic, anyone that's handy with hand power tools and the interest can make these types of things with acrylic very easily. That was part of my very first acrylic project. It's easier to do than it looks.
 

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Eheim Jäger for me :thumb:
 
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