Heater stuck

For all general discussion. Ask your fish keeping or other questions here.

Moderators: Jombi21, TheFishGuy, Don Danko, tankmates, LewC, Hilary, IThinkFast

Post Reply
User avatar
Kyle May
Posts: 1512
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: NothEast Ohio, USA

Heater stuck

Post by Kyle May » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:56 pm

Maybe this hasn't happened to you....and good for you if it hasn't.

I had a heater stick sometime in the last few days.
I lost an entire crop of bushy nose plecos that were ready for sale.
I looked in the tank to see the entire tank gone as well as the adults.
The heater was cracked and boiling water inside. What a crappy deal.
The disappointing thing is that it was a good heater. I usually buy the
budget heaters from Ken's fish at Extravaganza. Those cheap heaters
can have a high failure rate, but I've not had one of them stick and
kill off a tank.

Failure is part of fish keeping but it is not something that you get used to.
Word to young aquarists: The tank that I lost was a 15 gallon. If this tank had
been a larger tank...maybe a 40 breeder or 75 gal, the sticking heater would not
have been able to kill off the entire tank. It's another reason why the smaller tanks
are greater liabilities than larger tanks. It's funny that when we start in this hobby,
we often start with the tank that's the hardest to control. I wonder how many people
have quit the hobby before they've really got started due to having a bad experience
with a small tank. Whether it's heat, disease, or water quality...a larger tank is much
easier to control.

As for heaters, if the tank were larger I'd have heated it with two smaller wattage heaters.
When paired, one heater can fail without disaster. If it sticks on...the paired heater will
remain off. If one heater fails, the other paired heater will be able to keep your tank within
the minimum safe temp zone until you notice. Your fish may get chilly, but they'll still live.

Of course it's impractical to use two heaters in a 15 gallon tank, but if you are determined to
have a row of smaller tanks, you should be checking temps regularly....something that I failed to
do this week.

Kyle
Kyle May
Ohio Cichlid Association
Northern Ohio, USA

Dan Woodland
CichlidRoom Expert
Posts: 3048
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Dan Woodland » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:15 pm

The last time this happened to me it was with a wild colony of Theraps coeruleus... the water was over 90+!!! Fish soup!! AND I had fish guests over so it was doubly painful!!

User avatar
jcunningham0295
Posts: 634
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:32 pm
Location: Newport, MI
Contact:

Re: Heater stuck

Post by jcunningham0295 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:16 pm

That stinks. Sorry about your lose on your plecos. I just had this happen to me yesterday on my 125 gallon, however just as you mentioned the other heater kept the tank at 68 until I could get my backup heater in there to work its way back up to 78.


Josh
Cunningham Cichlids

1830 gallons of African Cichlids and growing

Cunningham Cichlids
Josh
Cunningham Cichlids, LLC.
Over 4,900 gallons of quality African Cichlids

Cunningham Cichlids

User avatar
Kyle May
Posts: 1512
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: NothEast Ohio, USA

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Kyle May » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:27 pm

I checked the heat in tank and it was 91.3 degrees.
I know that they are only a tank of fish, but I feel horrible
because they were captive and can't get away.
30 yrs in the hobby and still bugs me when I take losses.

kyle
Kyle May
Ohio Cichlid Association
Northern Ohio, USA

Tim Craig
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 3:55 pm
Location: Northern Ohio, USA

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Tim Craig » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:09 am

Sorry about your losses, Kyle. I hate when that happens too.

When I set up a new rack of tanks, I took the time to test heaters. With 50 tanks, I can't buy $50 heaters. What I did was add a certain wattage and turn it all the way up (no fish in the tanks yet, of course). I found the wattage that would only take the temp into the upper 80's, no more, if it should happen to stick on. Turned out that 2 - 2.5 watts per gallon was perfect. A lot depends on your fish room temp, so it can vary for you. So, in my 30's and 33's, I use 75W, in my 10's I use 25W, etc. In my small 2.5's and 5.5's, I use those betta bowl heaters or similar that simply boost the temp a few degrees. You can find them in various wattages and styles.

Hope that helps someone.
Tim Craig

Ehall67SA
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:00 pm

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Ehall67SA » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:34 am

man Kyle I hate to hear that about the fish ...

I think I am with you on this I do not care how long I will be in the hobby it would always bother me to from the first pink convicts I lost in my classroom because I had the tank sitting on a heater and it got turned up during the night and boiled my fish ... not quite the same as you I did something dumb but still bothers me ..
Eddie Hall

User avatar
Kyle May
Posts: 1512
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: NothEast Ohio, USA

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Kyle May » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:04 pm

@ Dan...wow....that's a loss....at least I lost $1 fish ....not wild stock.

@Tim: that's genius and I never would have thought to test them this way. I am also in a position where I cannot afford to buy
$50 heaters, but have many tanks needing heat. Thanks very much for this advice. I will begin to switch out all of my smaller
tanks using your advice.

@Eddie: sorry that you learned that lesson the hard way. Again, I wonder how many have left our hobby due to some tramatic
incident that happened to them early on....

Kyle
Kyle May
Ohio Cichlid Association
Northern Ohio, USA

User avatar
carlt54
Posts: 510
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:08 am
Location: Cleveland Ohio,west of the burning river.

Re: Heater stuck

Post by carlt54 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:15 pm

After my 125 split a seam one October,I lost all my prized Africans including my syno's.I must have had at least $1500 of fish that I lost. I was so upset that I took a hiatius of a couple of years away from the hobby. I still get p@#$ed thinking about it.
OCA Board Member
Bowl Show Czar
Future Raffle King
Refreshment Guru

Ehall67SA
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:00 pm

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Ehall67SA » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:29 am

Kyle May wrote: @Eddie: sorry that you learned that lesson the hard way. Again, I wonder how many have left our hobby due to some tramatic
incident that happened to them early on....

Kyle
I guarantee a lot ...

I bet come a lot from over stocking your first tank like you said leading to poor water quality and dead fish ...


when you are a first time fish owner you either need to join a forum or read a book
Eddie Hall

LewC
Posts: 3086
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Norwalk, OH

Re: Heater stuck

Post by LewC » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:00 am

...or join a club!

robert evers
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:57 pm
Location: Westlake, Ohio

Re: Heater stuck

Post by robert evers » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:00 am

Kyle

I had a 30 extra high tank with my Red Mellon Pair, and all their young babies. I had one large heater that stuck. It was about 115 degrees. The parents were well...., well done, but I luckily 8 of the babies lived. I now try to put 2 smaller watt heaters in my larger tanks. I wll need to get some smaller watt heaters for my smaller tanks.

User avatar
Kyle May
Posts: 1512
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: NothEast Ohio, USA

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Kyle May » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:22 am

I'm really taking Tim's advice to heart and will review each tank in my room and revamp.
It's probably just an excercise of switching many of them from one tank to another.
I've also got to make heat checks a regualar part of my routine. I've got an infrared
thermometer, so it's just a matter of a few minutes.

km
Kyle May
Ohio Cichlid Association
Northern Ohio, USA

Dan Woodland
CichlidRoom Expert
Posts: 3048
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Heater stuck

Post by Dan Woodland » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:38 am

Any way you slice it, it sucks for you and the fish.
Kyle May wrote:@ Dan...wow....that's a loss....at least I lost $1 fish ....not wild stock.

@Tim: that's genius and I never would have thought to test them this way. I am also in a position where I cannot afford to buy
$50 heaters, but have many tanks needing heat. Thanks very much for this advice. I will begin to switch out all of my smaller
tanks using your advice.

@Eddie: sorry that you learned that lesson the hard way. Again, I wonder how many have left our hobby due to some tramatic
incident that happened to them early on....

Kyle

jjensen6823
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: Perry, Ohio

Re: Heater stuck

Post by jjensen6823 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:08 pm

Very sorry to hear about your loss-I actually know how much that sucks. I had a gorgeous tank of very rare and expensive saltwater fish, including a Moorish Idol if that means anything to anyone. Well, when we went on vacation, I asked my grandparents who lived right up the road to come over every couple days and JUST feed them (big mistake, they'd have been okay without eating for a week!) Well, my grandparents are frugal, and when they saw that we had left the AC set to 75 degrees in an empty house in July, they kindly turned it off for us...

As long as we're on this topic, though, I could use some advice! I'm in the process of setting up a fish room in my basement for breeding purposes. I guess I caught the bug at last weeks meeting, because when I started keeping cichlids six months ago, it was going to be one display tank in the living room. Believe it or not, in the last few days I have set up six tanks (55, 37, 30 and three 20's so far), all from stuff I already had stored in my basement--stands, tanks, lights, filters, etc. Only things I've had to buy are an air pump (I still need some sponge filters) and heaters! I used to do only saltwater, and I didn't actually use heaters in most of my tanks. With the number of pumps, filters and high wattage lights I was running, keeping the tank warm was never a problem--the challenge was keeping it cool! Anyway, I need to buy a bunch of heaters, and I am trying to decide if I need to buy submersibles, or if the inexpensive hang-on-the-backs would be sufficient. When I did use heaters for my saltwater, it was always submersibles, but for a row of tens and twenties, I'm not sure. What do you all think?

Jim Jensen

User avatar
jcunningham0295
Posts: 634
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:32 pm
Location: Newport, MI
Contact:

Re: Heater stuck

Post by jcunningham0295 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:47 pm

I use Marineland visitherm heaters, but have started to switch to ehiem jäger heaters. Eventually I will complete my fishroom and heat it so I don't need heaters at all.


Josh
Cunningham Cichlids

1830 gallons of African Cichlids and growing

Cunningham Cichlids
Josh
Cunningham Cichlids, LLC.
Over 4,900 gallons of quality African Cichlids

Cunningham Cichlids

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”