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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone use an external inline heater? I'm making a 3D background and would prefer to not hide two 300 watt heaters in my 125. Do you think a 500 watt inline would work? Using a fx6. 72x18x23
 

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I used a Hydor ETH 300W inline heater on my 125G tank hooked up to an Eheim 2260 filter and it kept the tank plenty warm at 78F. The same model heater on the 220G tank w/Eheim 2262 did the same. However both tanks had two large canister filters and glass lids which probably contributed/kept some heat in the tank. No modifications to hook up the heaters as they fit the hose for the filters.

The FX5/6 series filters would need some mods by splitting and/or replacing the output hose with vinyl hose and with a Wye fitting to accommodate the Hydor ETH heater. I think there should be a topic on this DIY on the forum somewhere.

I also think a 500W heater would be too large and if you decide to go with that size, definitely also incorporate a heater controller with thermostat as a secondary safety choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, I did some more researching as suggested and I'm going to take your advice and go with the Hydor ETH 300w. Do you think I should still get a safety controller or is it overkill? Just would hate to cook some fish on accident or maybe the 300w wouldn't get that hot?
 

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I've never used a heater controller myself but others swear by them so it's a personal decision. What you could do since this would be a brand new set up is that once the tank was finally set up and before fish, play with the heater settings and see what the maximum the tank could get to. You could always add a heater controller at a later date if you find the temperature could get too hot.

Just some things to remember with the Hydor ETH heater is to mount it vertically so there is no chance of it running dry, use a piece of electrical tape to 'lock' the temperature dial in place to avoid bumping it inadvertently, and install it in a way that you can service it easily within reach, maybe even installing some quick disconnect or ball valves before and after the heater so you don't have a tangle of hoses when you need to remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Deeda, a valve on each side sounds spot on seeing how I have to adapt to it anyway because of the difference in the FX6 hose. I did read about the importance of vertical. I think I'll mount it inside the backwall/stud of my homemade stand/cabinet. Plenty of room, I built it big enough to house a 10 gallon hospital tank underneath the 125. I'll test it to see how hot it will go before buying a safety controller. Thanks again for the help!
 

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You are welcome!

I hang my Hydor ETH from the rear tank rim using either a short length of wire hanger bent to shape or one of those acrylic wreath hangers and it works great. Using this hanging method does 2 things, it allows easy access to the heater for adjustments and maintenance and it allows the flow from the filter a straight shot up toward the top of the tank.

If you mount the heater under the stand, your filter output plumbing will need to go down from the top of the filter and then back up towards the tank top. This can cause some issues with air being trapped in the output hose after maintenance or when the FX filter does it's 24 hour purge cycle.

FWIW, I never have dips or loops in the hoses from my canister filters to the aquarium rim to avoid trapped air issues, priming problems or potential slight reductions in filter flows. Any canister instructions I've read also recommend having the filter hoses run as vertical as possible to avoid problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You're right, after looking, I don't have the room. I'll take your advise and hang it vertical/inline just before the top of the return/out going back into the tank. Easy to get to also. If you look in the diy thread I have, you can see the setup. I have the doors off for easy access at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have another idea? Instead of hooking the Hydor to my FX6, what if I were to buy a SunSun HW-302 for the purpose of running the Hydor. It's rated at 264 gph. Would that circulate enough water for the heater to work properly? This way, I wouldn't have to cut my FX6 hose and have two filters running. I keep my house temp at 74 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kipnlilo said:
I have another idea? Instead of hooking the Hydor to my FX6, what if I were to buy a SunSun HW-302 for the purpose of running the Hydor. It's rated at 264 gph. Would that circulate enough water for the heater to work properly? This way, I wouldn't have to cut my FX6 hose and have two filters running. I keep my house temp at 74 degrees.
I'm also aware that just because it says it's rated at 264 gph, doesn't mean it really can. I'm assuming in reality around 150 gph, which would turn the tank over at least once an hour. Just wanting opinions if you think it would heat the tank.
 

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Adding the 2nd filter would be infinitely easier than modding the FX6 and as long as the 2nd filter uses the same hose size as the heater, it should work just fine AND heat the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Deeda, I didn't see any reason why it wouldn't, but I'm always amazed with the things not to do or things that don't work, hence the reason I ask. You folks are the best!
 

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No problem!!

Were you planning on modifying your DIY background in order to add the new filter intake/output plumbing or using the same cavities for the new filter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was just going to use the same ones. Plenty of room. I made them that way purposely in case I had to take something out. Is it ok to use the same ones? I already have the DIY background pond armored and sealed in the tank. I went with larger pvc pipe through the background to direct the flow. One straight to the glass to break the surface and one angled to about center of the tank for flow. (Using the dual FX6 head.) I also have a fluval power head for more directional flow. I need to post some more pics in my DIY thread.
 

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I don't think you should have a problem though it's difficult to tell from your DIY thread if the strainer in the background will allow enough flow through to feed both filters. Maybe update that topic with additional pics if you can.

The only thing that might possibly concern me is what if the strainer becomes blocked with debris, dead fish, etc. at some point. Just a thought!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The strainer is 3 inch round pvc shower drain. Worse case, maybe I would have to drill some bigger holes in it?
 

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I think it should be OK, the only way to tell is once you get the tank full of water and the filter(s) operational. Do that before you get ready to cycle the tank and any decor in it.

I don't know if drilling bigger holes would hurt you down the line as far as any fish getting stuck to the strainer. Push comes to shove, you may be able to add another strainer above the existing one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good news Deeda. I got the SunSun today. Everything matched up perfect with the Hydor. I have both the FX6 and SunSun running. No leaks and feeds both filters no problem. Tested the heater and it is within one degree of my thermometer. Good enough. The suction at the drain isn't to bad. I think a dead fish will definitely stick to it, but I don't see a live fish having any problems. I'm going to throw up a couple pics in my DIY thread of the progress. Thanks again for the help and great advise!
 

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You are very welcome and glad to hear the filter set ups are working well with your design. When it comes time to add decor, if any, leave some viewing access to the in-background strainer cover so you can easily monitor blockages.
 
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