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RyanReef

Adding a new heater

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RyanReef

So this may be a total noob question, but so be it, I want to do this right with my first saltwater tank.

I currently have my heater in the tank, because the one I bought was like 1" too long to go in my return pump chamber on my AIO 24g. So I just got a Cobalt heater that will fit in that chamber.

Is there any trick to adding a new heater and removing the old one, so that I don't mess with the water temp too drastically? Do I just set the new one to my current temp of 79, plop it in and let it run for a bit and then pull the other one out? Having 2 in at a time won't hurt it right...they should turn off when they are at the target temp, right?

Thanks!!

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rough eye

put the new one in the water for 15 minutes before you plug it in, just so it adjusts to the water temp. you can have a heater off for 10 minutes or more if the room temp isn't too cold; i'd just remove the old heater as soon as you turn the new one on.

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Ocean_dreamer89

I agree with @rough eye.  Don't over think it too much.  If you're nervous about the heaters being calibrated to different temperatures, you could get a cheap digital thermometer.  Throw it in the tank, note what it is reading with your current heater, put the new heater in set for the same temp and adjust that temp based on what the thermometer shows.  I hope that makes sense!

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rough eye

thermometer is a must. my first heater i had to set it to nearly its lowest setting to get the water to stay at 78.

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RyanReef

Yep that all makes sense. Appreciate it!!

 

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ajmckay

Even better - if you're wanting to do this right I would consider getting a heater controller.  They're a digital controller with a separate temperature probe and only cost around $20-30.  They take the mechanical thermostat that's used in most heaters out of the equation. 

 

Obviously nothing is perfect, but it seems that heater controllers do a better job of keeping the temps within range (you can set the amount of leeway +/-).  They also have an alarm such that if the heater fails outright and the temp drops too much it will sound. Well I should say some have this feature.  

 

I'm a fan of the Inkbird ones personally. 

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DevilDuck

I would never have a heater in a nano tank without it being on a controller and have a plain old thermometer on hand to do any troubleshooting and verification.

 

I am using something similar to this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QWTJNX2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A1RUFFFCQ74BCW&psc=1

 

I typically set it up in the following way:

 

1. Set your target temperature on the heater (say 77F)

2. Set the controller at target temperature +1 (78F)

3. Set the controller temperature range at 1 degree (so my acceptable temps are between 77-79F)

4. Set high temp alarm at 82F

5. Set low temp alarm at 74F

 

 

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RyanReef

Thanks everyone. Yeah, I do have a thermometer on the tank. I have looked into the InkBird controllers, as lots of people seem to like them and use them.

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ajmckay
11 hours ago, DevilDuck said:

I would never have a heater in a nano tank without it being on a controller and have a plain old thermometer on hand to do any troubleshooting and verification.

 

I am using something similar to this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QWTJNX2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A1RUFFFCQ74BCW&psc=1

 

I typically set it up in the following way:

 

1. Set your target temperature on the heater (say 77F)

2. Set the controller at target temperature +1 (78F)

3. Set the controller temperature range at 1 degree (so my acceptable temps are between 77-79F)

4. Set high temp alarm at 82F

5. Set low temp alarm at 74F

 

 

Interesting! So you use your controller as the backup then?   The only problem I see doing that is you're still relying on the heater's thermostat so you're likely to get more fluctuations and not the +/- 1 degree precision of the controller.  

 

I set my heater's thermostat to a number about 2 degrees higher than I'd like it - then I set the controller to where I want it to be, +/- 1 degree.  That way the controller is doing all the switching and the heaters thermostat is the backup if the controller fails in the on position.  

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mcarroll
On 2/8/2021 at 2:54 PM, RyanReef said:

Having 2 in at a time won't hurt it right

Correct.

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mcarroll
19 hours ago, DevilDuck said:

I would never have a heater in a nano tank without it being on a controller and have a plain old thermometer on hand to do any troubleshooting and verification.

A controller adds more failure points but does nothing for the quality of the heater.  On average, that isn't better.  Plus there's only one failure a controller really helps with, so there really isn't much protection being offered.  

 

Plus, that one failure isn't very common in the first place – bordering on legendary.  On average almost nobody will ever actually experience a heater failure.  And only a fraction of those people will experience the type of failure that a controller would help with.  (On a quick survey, it appears that heaters just stop working a lot more than they stick on.  Controllers failing is not very uncommon either.)  So what are you really getting out of this extra gear other than light in the wallet?  Not much.  

 

IMO these controllers are for heating elements (or chillers) that have no controller built in.  They make perfect sense in this role.

 

6 hours ago, ajmckay said:

Interesting! So you use your controller as the backup then?   The only problem I see doing that is you're still relying on the heater's thermostat so you're likely to get more fluctuations and not the +/- 1 degree precision of the controller.  

 

I set my heater's thermostat to a number about 2 degrees higher than I'd like it - then I set the controller to where I want it to be, +/- 1 degree.  That way the controller is doing all the switching and the heaters thermostat is the backup if the controller fails in the on position.  

6 of one.

 

A half-dozen of the other.

 

What's the difference?  Nothing significant.  👍

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