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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Okay so when I originally setup my first tank (a 10 gallon, originally stocked with a male Betta, now stocked with a couple guppies), I got a Marineland Stealth Pro. It just quit on me, (stuck off at least, not on). I'd like to have replaced it with something else, but this is actually at my girlfriends house, and the room she keeps it in gets very cold at night (older house), even wrapped in blankets with oil filled space heaters nearby it was creeping down below 60F by the next day, so I replaced it with another marineland (only thing available locally, except for a "Petco" brand, or Aqueon that I had AWFUL problems with) Naturally, the 300W Aqueon I was using in my 75 gallon stuck ON at the same time, so I replaced it too (isn't it great how that stuff happens all at once?)

So here's question number one: For some reason, the one in the 10 gallong alternates red and green, alot. Red for 10 or 15 seconds, green for 10 or 15 seconds, etc. Is this normal, or is something wrong? Currently, my 75 gallon is at 82F, so it will be a while before these kick on and I see how they function. (Thankfully, this room is also kept cold, so it only got as high at 86F and held when the heater was stuck on).

Second is warranty returns (for those who have dealt with them.) The lifetime warranty states that they will repair it. Has anyone had any luck getting them to refund the purchase price? I had to buy a new one, it's not like I could wait weeks for it to be repaired. I'm sure folks who have been doing this longer than me have spare heaters and such but I don't, so I had to buy one to keep the stock alive!

Finally, it's a bit hard to get a clear opinion on the latest generation of stealth pro. This one is different than I've used before. Are these pretty good? The new ones come highly recommended by the owner of my (former) favorite LFS (unfortunately, he closed down, but he always praised these new ones when I talk to him). I guess I'll see.

The Aqueon I had in this 75 though, not good. First off, it only lasted a few months. Second, the little black 'fish' that decorate it, flaked off as long as I used it. It has all kinds of 'paint' that was constantly flaking off, and then it got stuck on after just a few months!

-John
 

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So here's question number one: For some reason, the one in the 10 gallong alternates red and green, alot. Red for 10 or 15 seconds, green for 10 or 15 seconds, etc. Is this normal, or is something wrong?
Not normal at all. Usually there are set points about a degree apart. So, if you set it at 78, and assuming it's calibrated perfectly, then it'll come on at 77.5 and go off at 78.5. So, it should be on long enough to raise the temp one degree and go off long enough for the temp to drop one degree. Even in a small tank in a cold room it's not going to change by one degree in 10-15 seconds, ether way.

Second is warranty returns (for those who have dealt with them.) The lifetime warranty states that they will repair it. Has anyone had any luck getting them to refund the purchase price? I had to buy a new one, it's not like I could wait weeks for it to be repaired. I'm sure folks who have been doing this longer than me have spare heaters and such but I don't, so I had to buy one to keep the stock alive!
I've seen several posts where folks have had no problems getting warranty replacements.

Finally, it's a bit hard to get a clear opinion on the latest generation of stealth pro. This one is different than I've used before. Are these pretty good? The new ones come highly recommended by the owner of my (former) favorite LFS (unfortunately, he closed down, but he always praised these new ones when I talk to him). I guess I'll see.
There have been many documented cases of these things blowing out and taking out tanks. Seems to have been one or two bad lots though. I don't have the lot numbers, but I checked mine and they were ok. I'm still using a few, but don't think I'd buy more. Google 'stelath pro heater blow up' and you'll find some interesting reading.

The Aqueon I had in this 75 though, not good. First off, it only lasted a few months. Second, the little black 'fish' that decorate it, flaked off as long as I used it. It has all kinds of 'paint' that was constantly flaking off, and then it got stuck on after just a few months!
I've come to the conclusion that most heaters are cheaply made and prone to be undependable. For whatever reason, we'll pay $200 for a filter, but balk at anything over $20 for a heater. So, they're giving us what we'll pay for. You could try one of the high end controller/titanium heater combos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Prov,

My question about Marinelands warranty regarded refunds, not replacement. I already replaced it, because I need it right now, not later. I guess I'll call them, was just wondering if anyone had any experience getting refunds for their marine land heater.

I've seen stuff about them blowing up, but I am told that was the previous generation (possibly without the LED light like it is now? I'm not sure), not the current one.

Unfortunately, everything in Aquaria has gotten cheap. People get ANGRY with me when I tell them what they REALLY need for their fish. For example, someone asked me how big of a tank they needed for a goldfish for their daughter. I said, "Well around 75 gallons or more is really best for most goldfish species, since they are so messy and active. If your wanting something for a small, 10 gallon tank, Betta's and Otto's are good"

She told me I was an idiot and "goldfish have a three second memory they don't care if they are in a little bowl" and said that was what she was gonna do.

Forget paying $20 for a heater, I can't get people to pay $15 for a 10 gallon tank!

Honestly, if your going to invest in this, invest in this. This isn't one of those "spend as much as you want, performance will vary" things. People think buying fish is like buying a car, "Leather seats would be nice, but, I'd rather pocket the $1,200", it's not! All of these things you need you NEED, and some degree of quality is a MUST for survival!!

/end-preaching-to-the-choir-rant

-John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, my 200 watt in my 75 gallon isn't working at all. Stuck "off" out of the box. The 100 Watt is working, but not the 200. The 50 in the 10 gallon also appears to be working.

I'm thinking their all going back to Petco, there's gotta be something better than this junk out there. 2 DOA? That's a bit much.

Any reccomendations? I'm thinking I'm gonna go Ebo Jager, if I can find one, else order one.

-John
 

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That heater you describe with the little black fish painted on it is not an Aqueon heater. That is a characteristic of Tetra Acura Heaters. Aqueon heaters have clear glass tubes that are unpainted. The label is on the inside of the heater.

Andy
 

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The heater with the little fish on it it sounds like a Top Fin brand. I have had them before and they all do the shedding. Does anybody test their products anymore?
 

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John27 said:
Well, my 200 watt in my 75 gallon isn't working at all. Stuck "off" out of the box. The 100 Watt is working, but not the 200. The 50 in the 10 gallon also appears to be working.

I'm thinking their all going back to Petco, there's gotta be something better than this junk out there. 2 DOA? That's a bit much.

Any reccomendations? I'm thinking I'm gonna go Ebo Jager, if I can find one, else order one.

-John
Just an FYI..... I have a brand new Ebo Jager 250 watt... that is DEAD.. won't even turn on.. DEAD right out of the box... still trying to see how to deal with warranty on this thing since we got it from John at Jehmco..

Shipping cost to return and replace a single heater would almost defeat the whole purpose as I could buy a new one for not much more.

All heaters will fail at some point...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
cichlid_baby said:
John27 said:
Well, my 200 watt in my 75 gallon isn't working at all. Stuck "off" out of the box. The 100 Watt is working, but not the 200. The 50 in the 10 gallon also appears to be working.

I'm thinking their all going back to Petco, there's gotta be something better than this junk out there. 2 DOA? That's a bit much.

Any reccomendations? I'm thinking I'm gonna go Ebo Jager, if I can find one, else order one.

-John
Just an FYI..... I have a brand new Ebo Jager 250 watt... that is DEAD.. won't even turn on.. DEAD right out of the box... still trying to see how to deal with warranty on this thing since we got it from John at Jehmco..

Shipping cost to return and replace a single heater would almost defeat the whole purpose as I could buy a new one for not much more.

All heaters will fail at some point...
Right, but some degree of quality and longevity should be expected, oh well. Quality doesn't matter anymore if you can market the heck out of it.

The one I had must be Tetra then, I thought it was Aqueon, my mistake. I have Aqueon heaters in my 29G growout, that must be it.
 

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I think part of the problem with heaters being junk right out of the box is because at the "chain" pet stores, people return bad/broken heaters and they put them back on the shelf. Next time your in one of these stores, closely inspect the packaging on the heaters, many of them have obviously been opened/re-packed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all,

It was sealed in the original clamshell retail packaging. Not to say it hadn't been opened and then carefully closed (having worked retail, I know that issue. People don't know our return policy nor desire to find out, so they try to very carefully seal the packaging, and then tell us they hadn't use it, just didn't need it. We would have gladly returned it as a defective, but instead we end up putting it back on the shelf, how are we to know?)

The one 200W marine land started working after unplugging it and plugging it back in. Those two (a 200 and a 100) are holding the tank at a nice 78F. The other tank, the ten gallon, got as low as 62F despite blankets and heat, so currently it's only at 74, I want to raise it slowly. It's holding at 74, obviously working, but I still wonder why it does that "on/off" thing. Is it possible it just isn't designed for such low temps?

I have two baby apple snails, guppies, and tetras that have so far survived the low temp spike. Thank God!

-John
 
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