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FlytheWMark

Cobalt Malfunction

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FlytheWMark

I walk by my 10 gallon tank this afternoon and noticed some corals closing up and thought that was odd for this time of day.  I just happen to touch the water and it was quite warm.  I pull out my 75w Cobalt heater and its burning hot to the touch and I'm not getting any blinking temperature reading.  I've pulled it out and and have a fan on the tank to try and get it down from 87 degrees.  Had I not been at home this would have cooked my tank.  Anyone else experience this? Any suggestions for another type of heater that has some sort of cut off mechanism to prevent this??

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RedTheReefer
23 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

I walk by my 10 gallon tank this afternoon and noticed some corals closing up and thought that was odd for this time of day.  I just happen to touch the water and it was quite warm.  I pull out my 75w Cobalt heater and its burning hot to the touch and I'm not getting any blinking temperature reading.  I've pulled it out and and have a fan on the tank to try and get it down from 87 degrees.  Had I not been at home this would have cooked my tank.  Anyone else experience this? Any suggestions for another type of heater that has some sort of cut off mechanism to prevent this??

Inkbird-308s is a simple solution to any heater's thermostat malfunction. I highly recommend it. You can use it as a fail safe incase the heater gets stuck on.

 

I also had a Cobalt Neotherm malfunction where there was a visible smoke coming from the back compartments of my tank. The heater was literally melting. Luckily I was in the same room when it happened. It could of burned my house down!

 

I have since switched to the tried/proven glass/titanium heaters and use my Cobalt warranty replacement (which took about 4 months to receive - terrible customer service) for heating newly mixed saltwater where it is far far away from any livestock.  I even had to pay for shipping my defect heater to their location. Ridiculous if you ask me.

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Clown79

Quite a few of us this summer went through the same thing.

 

Mine malfunctioned and the inkbird was the reason i knew because the alarm went off but it didn't turn off the heater when it hit the max temp setting of 82.

 

Unfortunately it seems this is becoming a common issue with cobalts.

 

 

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FlytheWMark
21 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Quite a few of us this summer went through the same thing.

 

Mine malfunctioned and the inkbird was the reason i knew because the alarm went off but it didn't turn off the heater when it hit the max temp setting of 82.

 

Unfortunately it seems this is becoming a common issue with cobalts.

 

 

Any other recommendations on heaters?  I just ordered two inkbirds (wifi enabled) to help catch this.  Had I not been at home it would have cooked everything in another hour.  I chilled 1 gallon of saltwater and did a 1 gallon water change which got the temp back down to 76-78. Water is still a little cloudy and a few of my corals are still pissed.  I tested paramatars and everything was pretty good.  Anything else I should be watching for since the temp did hit 86?

 

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Clown79
2 hours ago, FlytheWMark said:

Any other recommendations on heaters?  I just ordered two inkbirds (wifi enabled) to help catch this.  Had I not been at home it would have cooked everything in another hour.  I chilled 1 gallon of saltwater and did a 1 gallon water change which got the temp back down to 76-78. Water is still a little cloudy and a few of my corals are still pissed.  I tested paramatars and everything was pretty good.  Anything else I should be watching for since the temp did hit 86?

 

Nothing really at this point. You did a waterchange, got temp back down, tested parameters.

 

It will take some time for the corals to bounce back but i wouldn't continue using the heater.

 

Notify cobalt, if your heater is under 3yrs its still under warranty.

 

I use a different heater now. I'm using an aqueon pro. Its been very reliable, jaggers are good too.

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FlytheWMark
9 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Nothing really at this point. You did a waterchange, got temp back down, tested parameters.

 

It will take some time for the corals to bounce back but i wouldn't continue using the heater.

 

Notify cobalt, if your heater is under 3yrs its still under warranty.

 

I use a different heater now. I'm using an aqueon pro. Its been very reliable, jaggers are good too.

Thanks.  The heater is in the garbage.  Question though, did you say your inkbird DID NOT catch this and turn it off??

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Clown79
1 hour ago, FlytheWMark said:

Thanks.  The heater is in the garbage.  Question though, did you say your inkbird DID NOT catch this and turn it off??

It did not turn off the heater, the alarm went off.

 

My alarm is set to 83, my temp is set at 80

 

the alarm went off but the temp kept rising in my tank and the heater light was still on.

 

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FlytheWMark
11 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

It did not turn off the heater, the alarm went off.

 

My alarm is set to 83, my temp is set at 80

 

the alarm went off but the temp kept rising in my tank and the heater light was still on.

 

Uggg that's the whole reason I just bought two of those, to keep that from happening.  

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Guest

Generally I buy aquatop titanium heaters, they can never shatter like glass ones; and have a separate thermometer that is more accurate and less prone to failure, although just to be safe I also use a device that has a thermometer and a tempature setting, and it only gives said device power when the tempature of the probe gets below x ( x is setable by the user ) I dont know if you can just buy these, because I have gotten mine and old reptile heat pad that had this included.

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Bamzam

Also looking for recommendations for a 200+ watt heater. I usually use eheim Jager in tank, but that size won't fit in my sump. Need something around 12" or less and was leaning toward the neotherm but a little worried after reading this thread

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aclman88

The Inkbird should turn off the heater. I have the cooling and heating unit and it alternates a cooling fan an cobalt heater. It shuts off power to either if the tank gets to hot or cold. I prefer using a heater with temperature settings (vs plain titanium) bc you get two layers of protection. If the heater fails the ink bird should catch it and vice versa

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Matteo

Same old story with Cobalt Heaters. Can't tell you how many forums I have read of those heater basically exploding. 

 

Overpriced for unreliability and its thin profile ain't that cool IMO... 

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Clown79
5 hours ago, FreshwaterFishMan said:

Generally I buy aquatop titanium heaters, they can never shatter like glass ones; and have a separate thermometer that is more accurate and less prone to failure, although just to be safe I also use a device that has a thermometer and a tempature setting, and it only gives said device power when the tempature of the probe gets below x ( x is setable by the user ) I dont know if you can just buy these, because I have gotten mine and old reptile heat pad that had this included.

Titaniums heaters are good but they aren't to be used in sumps or back chambers according to the research i did on them.

 

2 hours ago, Matteo said:

Same old story with Cobalt Heaters. Can't tell you how many forums I have read of those heater basically exploding. 

 

Overpriced for unreliability and its thin profile ain't that cool IMO... 

Its the only heater i ever had that malfunctioned.

I won't use the replacement they sent me.

 

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FlytheWMark

I was looking at some of the Aqueon Pro's on Amazon, review are mixed but I'm leaning towards that.  They seem to either go bad right away or people love them.  For kicks I looked at the Cobalt 50w, its more than DOUBLED in price since I bought it at the end of 2018.  WTF??

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Guest
1 minute ago, FlytheWMark said:

I was looking at some of the Aqueon Pro's on Amazon, review are mixed but I'm leaning towards that.  They seem to either go bad right away or people love them.  For kicks I looked at the Cobalt 50w, its more than DOUBLED in price since I bought it at the end of 2018.  WTF??

Oh wow, I had one in my largest freshwater tank a couple of year ago and it split open killed half my fish, and dumped some rando yellow rock like stuff to the bottom of my tank, I am still finding little pockets of it today, I would really not recommend it, but it’s really your choice.

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FlytheWMark
Just now, FreshwaterFishMan said:

Oh wow, I had one in my largest freshwater tank a couple of year ago and it split open killed half my fish, and dumped some rando yellow rock like stuff to the bottom of my tank, I am still finding little pockets of it today, I would really not recommend it, but it’s really your choice.

Which one the Aqueon or the Cobalt?

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Thrassian Atoll

My cobalt took a crap after 6 months when I had my lagoon.

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Guest
36 minutes ago, FlytheWMark said:

Which one the Aqueon or the Cobalt?

The aqueon. I never even tried cobalt, to worried about failure 😅

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RedTheReefer
6 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Titaniums heaters are good but they aren't to be used in sumps or back chambers according to the research i did on them.

 

How come they shouldn't be used in sump or rear chambers?

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Clown79
8 minutes ago, RedTheReefer said:

How come they shouldn't be used in sump or rear chambers?

Due to the material, they have a greater chance of over heating when placed in small areas. 

 

 

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mcarroll
On 8/10/2020 at 5:56 PM, FlytheWMark said:

Any suggestions for another type of heater that has some sort of cut off mechanism to prevent this??

Some types of heater seem to fail like this frequently.  I had a Marineland Stealth heater (possibly similar to your Cobalt) that never had a problem, but then Marineland recalled them all and discontinued that style of heater altogether.  (I got a new Visitherm...or whatever they're branding them as now...out of the deal.)

 

Good glass heaters generally do not fail at all...at least not if well-treated.  I only run mine as submersible when necessary (water intrusion seems to be a common reason for failure), and when I do it's only where they are very protected and very unlikely to be disturbed or exposed to air under any circumstance.

 

Over the last 28 years or so, I've had two or three heaters that Marineland (nee Aquarium Systems' Visitherm) has replaced under their Lifetime Warranty, but they were o-o-o-o-o-o-old, and simply stopped working.  Nothing catastrophic.

 

I amazingly had one Visitherm explode (implode?) a couple years ago, but it was the o-o-o-oldest one of the bunch, and it wasn't especially well-cared for toward the end.  I suspect that it may have happened because of how overgrown with coralline and other algae the heater was, combined with its age.

 

Mostly due to coincidence I haven't owned any Eheims (nee Ebo Jager) but I suspect you get a similarly-excellent long-term experience with them.  (Tho I don't know if they offer the same lifetime warranty.)

 

image.png.84e46a429117c9185dac67bea70c1a3a.pngimage.png.cf6c3fb4321bef60838a000be08894f7.png

 

A Backup Control Widget Like Inkbird

Backup control (e.g. Ranco, Inkbird, Reefkeeper, Apex, Aquatronica, GHL, etc) is fine IMO as long as you trust the backup more than the heater itself.  

 

If you're using some generic heater...or maybe just a heater that doesn't have a thermostat (rare)....then you may feel the need for a temperature controller.  Makes sense.

 

But in general I would trust either of these brands more than the available external control options.  

 

There might be some other good heater options out there, but I would consider them as experimental where livestock is involved.  

 

Titanium heaters are safe from cracking or explosion, but do not otherwise seem very reliable IME.  I've seen even more dead titanium heaters than glass heaters...just not cracked or exploded.  I would look at those if the tank being heated wasn't safe for a glass heater for some reason, such as one of the animals being big/strong enough to eat or otherwise damage the heater.

 

Redundancy

If I had to heat a reef with neither Eheim nor Marineland heaters available, then I would probably build in even more redundancy to the heating system than I usually do (ie use a higher number of smaller heaters vs using one large heater) instead of trying to introduce more control with another widget.  Control like that doesn't really solve the problem of a defective heater, as seen in the posts above, and it introduces a new set of risks (control failures) to the equation which I don't like.

 

With redundancy designed into the heat system itself, at least the size and scope of any failure will be reduced.  In most cases that increases the time available to you for response before conditions in the tank get beyond tolerances.  

 

That's usually better than an alarm.  Alarm may be all you'll really get from widget control.  You should be checking your tank's temperature about every time you feed anyway, so I don't see any great advantage to the widget alarm....other than making me look at the tank's thermometer...which I was about to do anyway. 🤷‍♂️ 

 

Instead, design that redundancy into the heating system and that alarm/emergency is transformed into (e.g.) you simply noticing, because you have LOTS of time to notice, that one of your heaters seems to be running all the time...and it seems the tank temp is a little high for the time of year:  "Time for a replacement!"  Nothing bad has really even happened.

 

FWIW, I tend to design some redundancy like that into all my systems while using these excellent heaters at the same time.  Seems like the best way to me.  If it seemed appropriate in your situation, even an extra control/alarm widget could be complimentary...but I think it's a mistake to lean on something like that as a failsafe.  

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Tamberav
On 8/10/2020 at 4:56 PM, FlytheWMark said:

I walk by my 10 gallon tank this afternoon and noticed some corals closing up and thought that was odd for this time of day.  I just happen to touch the water and it was quite warm.  I pull out my 75w Cobalt heater and its burning hot to the touch and I'm not getting any blinking temperature reading.  I've pulled it out and and have a fan on the tank to try and get it down from 87 degrees.  Had I not been at home this would have cooked my tank.  Anyone else experience this? Any suggestions for another type of heater that has some sort of cut off mechanism to prevent this??

Yeah I won't use cobalts...two of mine went bad. One was cooking everything. They cost a lot of money but seem to be pretty junky. My cheapo eheims have been way more reliable. 

 

 

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Guest

One thing you cane use as a failsafe if your not looking to spend a bunch of money is using two half sized heaters, that way is one malfunctions and shuts off, you will still have some heat in the tank, and if one malfunctions and doesn’t turn off, it won’t be able to heat that tank to crazy temps

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RRsNano

Mines doing the opposite! It bought it new a few weeks ago. Finally got my tank setup last night and have been running it for 12hrs in a IM 25g lagoon. I have a RKL itemp probe and the heater can't get over 79.6f!? I tried with the heater in the 2nd chamber and it's not been in the display for 1 hour and it hasn't changed at all. I touched the heater and it's warm so it's on, it just can't keep up. My homes AC is 74-75f.

 

I have the temp on the cobalt set to 84f and my itemp is set to 80.5 with a hysteresis of +/- .03 . I checked with a digital thermapen thermometer and it read 79.2f so my itemp is spot on.

 

Should I return the heater?

 

 

EDIT: Heater size is 75w.

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Guest
1 minute ago, RRsNano said:

Mines doing the opposite! It bought it new a few weeks ago. Finally got my tank setup last night and have been running it for 12hrs in a IM 25g lagoon. I have a RKL itemp probe and the heater can't get over 79.6f!? I tried with the heater in the 2nd chamber and it's not been in the display for 1 hour and it hasn't changed at all. I touched the heater and it's warm so it's on, it just can't keep up. My homes AC is 74-75f.

 

I have the temp on the cobalt set to 84f and my itemp is set to 80.5 with a hysteresis of +/- .03 . I checked with a digital thermapen thermometer and it read 79.2f so my itemp is spot on.

 

Should I return the heater?

depends, if it is bigenough for the tank then yes, but if you bought an undersized one then they will probably not take it back because it was not their fault.

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