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  1. #1
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Advice on heating a 4 long fish tank

    Hey !

    Im just setting up a new 4 x 15 x12 fish tank
    for Lake Malawi cichlids

    Local aquarium shop is closing down so I got some amazing bargains.

    Anyways i bought TWO new 200W heater thermostats thinking its good to have a spare but then I thought I can set one at 80F
    and the other as a backup set at 76F ( just in case the other one fails / dies )

    Any thoughts

    Ta !


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  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I can't help ya there...I know zip about fish, but maybe others do & will answer.
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  3. #3
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    200 watts seems like maybe overkill so I'd be caution running two, I'd just run one on an inkbird or similar thermostat personally. I've honestly had amazing luck with my heaters, only had one go haywire in like 20 years of aquariums.

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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    I heat my two QT tanks with Inkbirds controlling Jager heaters, and my two DTs with titanium elements run by Apex controllers (one of which inconveniently died just last night after 13 years of service; there's no getting around equipment failure).

    The ideal situation, I think, would be some dependable element and controller with an app-controlled temp alarm on a completely separate device. That way you can get notified when temps are out of range.

    Your proposed setup will guard against an 'off' failure on the primary heater, though an 'on' failure would still present something of a problem since 5 watts per gallon could overheat a tank in the course of not too many hours (depending on room temp, of course). Not sure how much equipment is worth heaping on for multiple backups, though.
    Last edited by Malum Argenteum; 05-10-2024 at 08:15 AM.

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    Re: Advice on heating a 4 long fish tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Malum Argenteum View Post
    I heat my two QT tanks with Inkbirds controlling Jager heaters, and my two DTs with titanium elements run by Apex controllers (one of which inconveniently died just last night after 13 years of service; there's no getting around equipment failure)...
    For purposes of this discussion, I'd say that's going above & beyond to empathize with the OP- but "great timing". I hope everything is okay & you caught this in time?
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  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Yes, I was here when it quit. No livestock losses, though a bit of a stressful time trying to troubleshoot and then rigging up backup hardware -- I appropriated one of the Inkbirds from a QT, and put the lights on a regular timer, and will have to do top off manually for a few days. Reprogramming the new unit when it is delivered will likely be the worst of it, as I can't get in to the controller (it is completely dark) to copy my settings.

    There are programmable 'failsafe' settings on the Apex, so that when the controller itself dies the outlets (which are separate hardware) know whether to keep something on or shut it off -- so, return and reactor pumps are on, heater and lights are off, top off pump is off. Neat feature, and can help keep a problem situation from getting worse.

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  11. #7
    BPnet Royalty Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on heating a 4 long fish tank

    I decided to put both heater / thermostats in place BUT only one is plugged in


    I check temperatures constantly as Im an obsessive




    Thank you for all your suggestions/comments


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