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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This subject has been covered here before but I think it’s worth discussing again. I purchased and installed a Hydor inline heater January 2010 and last week I came home to an expensive tankful of dead fish. The thermostat failed and the water temperature was at 98*. I knew this was a possibility and the solution was to install a temperature controller. I was going to get one but I was lazy and I figured I had time because Hydor advertises this heater as follows:
â€Å"The self-limiting PTC heating element guarantees maximum safety against any risk of overheating. The exclusive technology and the high quality of the components guarantee a long lasting productâ€Â
 

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Unfortunately, over the past year I know many of us have learned a valuable lesson about heaters. They are all junk, and they can't be trusted, and I'm not just talking about marineland. I've had heaters from 3 different companies fail. I'm pretty sure hydor is not even a USA based company, so getting service will probably be a joke. If you do get service it will only be a replacement heater, they will not cover the loss of your fish.
 

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First off, sorry for your losses.

The guarantee and what they will cover varies and is in the fine print. And it will probably only be for repair or replacement of the product, not any damage it causes. No lawyer would allow language in a warranty that would cover incidental damage. Just the opposite. Marineland covered some of these incidentals, but probably just a PR move, not because they had to. And as shellies said, if you read here long enough, you'll find that there are lemons in every batch. Next heater, reduce the wattage. If that heater took your tank to 98, it was way oversized. More power is never a good idea when it comes to heaters. Get one that only has the ability to take the tank to the mid to upper 80's and no more. Test it out before you add fish by cranking it up all the way to see what temp it'll get to. Also consider seasonal temps. If your room gets warm in the summer, consider seasonal heaters, one with less wattage for summer.

You don't need a controller. That wasn't the solution. Nothing is 100%. Controllers can fail too. Everything breaks down eventually. Don't oversize the heater and you can buy a cheap one. An appropriately sized heater is the solution.

A dead heater will never kill your fish. An oversized one is like a ticking time bomb.

Last thought, write them again, or email and link this thread, so they know the hobbyist community is getting an earful about their product and whether they stand behind it. It can make a difference.
 

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I don't trust heaters. Unless your house has extreme temperature variances, or you keep tanks where the climate is not controlled, they are really unnecessary. The tank water should stay relatively close to what temperature your house is at, maybe a little warmer due to pumps, etc adding a little heat. I keep my house anywhere from 70-74* and my tanks stay right at 78* without heaters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Tim. I appreciate your response. You make a lot of sense especially about the heater being oversized. The size I bought was based on the manufacturer's recommendations. I'm thinking 150 watts for a 55 gallon tank. Does that sound about right?
 

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Choosing a heater wattage depends on a couple different factors.

Average room temperature
Size of aquarium
Water flow/circulation, especially with an in-tank heater
Fish temperature requirement

What size aquarium is this heater for?
What is the average room temperature?
What kind of fish are you keeping?
 

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The size I bought was based on the manufacturer's recommendations. I'm thinking 150 watts for a 55 gallon tank. Does that sound about right?
What Deeda said. It depends on a lot of things. If the room stays in the 70's, I'd be tempted to try a 100w first. It can cost some money to test this out, but once you know, you know. And it's cheaper than replacing fish.
 

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Too bad to hear about your bad luck with the Hydor inline heater. I know Hydor's submersible heaters (Theo) have a terrible reputation, but I had heard no horror stories about the ETH line yet, and I have several of the ETHs running on my tanks. I am feeling a little worried now.

As for the controller, I just ordered a Ranco ETC-111000 for my 240G tank. My Via Aquas died a quiet death - just gave up working - after about 5 years of service. The Ranco controller seems to have an awesome reputation in the marine community. I guess I'll find out how it works with my setup.
 

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I agree with Tim's recommendation of trying a smaller wattage heater. I would definitely consider a 100W heater for your 55G tank. We are beginning the start of the summer and any heater you choose will definitely not be coming on very often.

What kind of filtration are you using? The model number will be helpful in determining how much flow/circulation you have in the tank.

I also use the Hydor ETH heaters on 3 of my tanks and have not had any problems in the few years I've had them. I am running one 300W on a 220G, one 300W on a 125G and one 200W on a 75G. My average room temperature is 68F during the heating months and they have had no problem maintaining my tanks at 78F.

On my non-canister filtered tanks, I am using Eheim Jager heaters. They've been in use for over a year and I'm pleased with them.
 
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