Jump to content

Non Aquarium Water Heaters


Recommended Posts

I've been looking for a couple heaters for a couple different tank set ups as I slowly pull the pieces together.

Here's what bothers me - every single heater I can find on Amazon (which inherently includes what you'll find at your LFS) has at minimum 5% all the way up to 15% of 1 star reviews. Within those reviews, you'll consistently find some version of this story:

"Shorted out in the tank and killed everything"


"Overheated and killed everything"


"Exploded and killed everything"

This seems like a completely unacceptable level of risk to me. Has no one made a heater that has enough fail safes that these scenarios are almost impossible?

I am aware of AquaVia titanium heaters and their reputation, but they also seem to be extremely hard to find. Even the more reputable brands and pro levels of those brands have these kinds of reviews. Outside of this, are there any water heaters that may not be sold for aquarium use but could be used as such, and have a more fail proof safety record?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can get one with a digital thermostat they will tend to fail off instead of on like the bimetal thermostats in the cheaper heaters, the explosions that I have heard about have all been glass heaters and probably half of them were improperly installed I have never heard of a metal heater exploding (that does not mean it can't happen. As for the short circuit just making sure you cords are in good condition and remove the heater at the first sign of trouble is your best bet. You can add extra fail safes with an external thermostat or a controller like ckyuv said which would remove the risk from the heater. That being said I just switched over to the neotherm heater it has a digital thermostat and you can beat on it with a hammer and it won't brake, they had a bad batch get out when it first came out that caused some bad reviews but the folks at brs recomended it as well as a college buddy who runs a tank maintenance business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I run mine off my apex as fallback. You can get a secondary thermostat as well, but it probably doubles the total cost of the heater setup. In the long run, it's likely a worthwhile investment if you can't use a controller for backup. $50 in equipment is nothing compared to losing an entire tank or even a few fish in many cases.

I haven't had explosions or fail-on problems but I have had shorting problems with some heaters in the past. One thing to note is that heaters are most likely to explode if they are run dry which I expect happens way more often that people admit in their reviews. A shorted heater won't trip a gfci until it is grounded so I still check my tank for line voltage every few months after getting the crap shocked out of myself.

Also, something to consider, is almost every person who has a failing heater will post a review of it, where 1/100 with a good heater will do the same. I suspect that if you go with a reputable brand and treat it well, there isn't going to be an economical way to get a more reliable way to heat a tank unless you can accurately control the room temperature.

Via aqua titanium have been great. I also have an inline hydor on my FW tank that has been going strong for almost 8 years now. Still just as accurate as any I've ever used.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its not the heater so much as the controller. Use a heater with a good controller and run it thru a Reef Keeper or Apex or Angel with a second level of control as well as an alarm and you'll be all good. If you do not want to run a reef controller then buy the heater with a digital controller and run it thu a second controller and you'll be OK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...