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Equipment Discussion Related To Pumps, Lights, Filters, Powerheads And Other Equipment.

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Old April 10th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #1
rdebonis
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Question In Line Heaters

I am thinking of purchasing an In-Line heater. That is, one that is connected in-line to the water flow, so that recycling filter water passes by the heater into the tank. Has anyone had any experience with this type of heater? I have read that it is more efficient at heating the tank than a heater that passively sits in the water column.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #2
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I don't know about more efficient, but it is out of site, a big plus.
No wasted space.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 09:11 AM   #3
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I could see how it could be more efficient as long as the water doesn't pass by the element too fast. I too think that heaters "sitting" in the water column are not efficient.

The whole design is so old that they are simply wrong. Whoever designed these things had half a brain in their head.

We all know from physics that heat raises be it air or water. Unless the heater is placed in an area of very good water movement the heater as they are currently built is very ineficient at doing it's job.

Think about it. The heater element in all the submersible heaters is at the bottom of the heater and the thermostat is at the top. While the thermostat is exposed to to the raising heated water it is not preperly exposed to the water in the tank. That is why a lot of heaters click in and out until they fail and cook your tank.

This can be somewhat corrected by placing multiple smaller heaters that will not "click" as often because their elements takes a lot longer to heat up a body of water. Placing multiple heaters in the tank will also distribute heat more evenly at two opposite sides of the tank. In the even of failure a single smaller heater will also not overheat your tank, because if one is stuck the other will most likely just not go on due to higher temp.

In addition to correcting this design flaw mentioned above I also hang all heaters upside down so that the raising heat doesn't affect the operations of a thermostat. If placed in a refugium i place them so that water flowing though sweeps the thermostat first and then the heater element. It has worked great for me in all these years and off all the different heaters I've had over the years I've never had one fail.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #4
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I have read that it is advisable to use 2 heaters in tanks in fish rooms that get cold in the winter in case one fails, but your suggestion about using 2 at different positions in the tank to ensure the thermostats get more valid readings by averaging out the temperature makes sense.

I also like your suggestion about inverting the submersible heater to get the thermostat in the lower "cooler" water column for more accurate thermostatic readings.

I think combining both methods would make for a more constant temperature throughout the tank.

The only problem I have with this is that in large Community tanks you may find that different fish species like to stay at different temperature levels depending on their preference. Typically, catfish prefer the cooler water at the bottom of the tank and many top dwellers like slightly warmer water.

Thanks for the suggestions, they were very informative.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #5
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just be sure they are totally submersive heaters. I did not relize ebo-jager are not fully submersive, the top has to be a little out of the water.there is a mark for the water level i never noticed.
If it is salt water be carefull if they are metal they have to be titanium, I lost a tank on a maufacturer claim they where titanium, and they rusted and shorted the breaker. the brand was viaaqua.
Titanium does not rust. Titanium is the only metal completely fish safe.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:19 PM   #6
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You always buy these cheap heaters Steve. I don't know how many time i've told you no to cheap out on heaters and buy one that costs more than $10.

I only use glass heaters and prefer visi something from marineland. There is no reason to spend money for Ti heaters if your tank doesn't include what is known as tank busters.


But yes if it is metal and you're using it in the saltwater setup then Titanium is inert and will not corode in the salty water.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:22 PM   #7
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it is visi-therm, and I use them too the yare very good. I just find them cheaper.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:27 PM   #8
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Visi-therm indeed. thank you steve.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 09:14 PM   #9
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Talk about ugly, my first heater back in the day was a two test tumb deal with rubber stoppers that the wires went through
I guess one tube was the thermostat that sat on the bottom of the tank and the yeating element was in the other tube that could never go below the water surface because the metal shaft of the temperature adjustment went through one of the holes in the rubber stopper
Now you get a heater with everything in one tube
The heating element is at the bottom of the tube and the thermostat at the top of the tube
So when you hang it vertically in the tank it heats the water at the bottom of the tank that rises to the level of the thermostat and shuts it off
I always put my heaters in the tank on a diagonal so the heating element is not under the thermostat but don't think I have ever seen instructions suggesting that configuration
With the newer submersible heaters I try to keep the thermostat in the upper third of the tank so the bottom hopefully gets warm without the top getting too hot
I have been intrigued by the inline heaters also thinking that they would heat the tank more evenly as the heated water is jetted back into the tank by the return pump
I am also considering adding an Azoo Micro Temp Controller which is an offboard thermostat
I would set the heater thermostat and the Controller thermostat at my desired temperature and it the heater thermostat were to fail in the on position the Controller would kill power to the heater if it sensed the water temperature was at the target temperature.
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