View Full Version : Tank too cold; Bad Heater or User Error?
11-06-2010, 03:27 PM
I bought a Marineland Stealth Pro 100 watt heater for my 29 gallon freshwater tank. I have a digital thermometer in the tank as well. I am pretty sure the digital thermometer is right, because it measured my unheated water temperature at the same temp my house was, and the tank has been sitting and cycling long enough to be room temp. (New tank.)
I have had the heater set on 76 degrees for about 18 hours. It is glowing green, which should indicate that the water has hit the right temp. My thermometer reads 69.2 degrees, and has been at that temp for a few hours.
Could I have started the whole process wrong? I left the heater sitting in the tank for a while before plugging it in. What should I do?
11-06-2010, 03:34 PM
On that Pro, there has been many complaints but that heater is supposed to be RED when heating and green when temps are regulated to the setting. I have to keep my settings much higher to obtain the correct temp for the fish. Also, did you calibrate the heater before plugging it in? I did and it made no difference in 4 of the 5 I have purchased. IMO it's just one crummy heater.
You need to get that heat up or your fish will all be getting ick. That's much to cold for freshwater fish.
11-06-2010, 03:36 PM
I think that is the problem. How was I supposed to calibrate? I looked all over the box for instructions, the leaflet it came with didn't say.
11-06-2010, 03:38 PM
me not calibrating, or the heater being junk.
11-06-2010, 03:46 PM
Some heaters need to be calibrated and that heater is one of them. A small feature that they manage to hide somewhere in the small print. You put it in the tank when you first get it, set it to the correct setting but do not plug it in for an hour. According to them, that calibrates it. Sounds like hooey to me. What's the difference if it's in a box or in a tank if it isn't plugged in????
Anyway, turn that dial up until it registers a red light. You may have to play with the settings to reach the temp you want. I know my next heaters will be factory calibrated.
11-06-2010, 03:48 PM
PS......and save the receipt to this heater as you may need to return it.
11-06-2010, 03:50 PM
I am going to try to recalibrate right now, as it won't turn red even if I turn it to 80.
I will probably be returning it, if I can find the box and all that was thrown away for me. :(
11-06-2010, 04:42 PM
Turn it the opposite direction and see if the light changes. Seems to me the light should be red when off and green when heating but on mine, it's the opposite which confused me in the beginning, too.
My trick is to buy a new one and use that box and receipt for returns. But these heaters are supposed to have a lifetime warrantly (I'd be happy with one week) so keep receipts unless you need to replace it.
11-06-2010, 08:38 PM
I got a stick-on thermometer to check the accuracy of the digital one I was using. It registered within one degree of digital. So, I have heater set on 76, and once it heats the tank to 69 degrees, the light turns green and the heater maintains that temp. I can't get the light to turn red, indicating it is trying to raise the temp, by turning the dial either way.
So, I guess it is back to the store, and time for another one. I think I'll try another brand. I was concerned about glass, but I guess I will try whatever they have.
11-06-2010, 08:45 PM
Depending on the store you might be able to return it with the recept and not the box. I've done that and the LFS accepted it. IMO, stick on thermometers aren't the best. I like to have 2 thermometers on my tanks so I can be sure of the temp. Suction thermometers are also cheap as a second thermometer.
11-06-2010, 09:05 PM
The OP does have two thermometers, one digital and one that's a stick on as stated above. I'd say it's a dead heater. Return for another one and see what happens.
BTW, the numbers on the dial mean nothing to the actual temp of the tank water. Most heaters need to be set higher than the dial indicates for temp to get the water to the right temp. Good water flow past the heater is also essential to get efficient heating. There will be convection currents generated by the water being heated and rising in the immediate area but to get really good distribution of that warm water the heater needs to be in an area of current.
11-06-2010, 09:38 PM
Oops. My mistake.
11-06-2010, 10:54 PM
Why do they even make a heater that is so difficult to operate? Calibrate, schmalibrate... I like the ones that you can just stick in the tank and turn on.
11-07-2010, 10:05 AM
fishsafari.....You didn't mention what wattage you bought but make sure you get the correct wattage for your tank size or you'll have a heater that will stay on forever trying to catch up to it's setting. And don't rely too much on those stick on thermometers. They tend to be a few degrees off, as well. But your heater is definately defunked if it won't come on at all.
My order goes out today for two new heaters, as well, and they won't be the Pro's !!
11-07-2010, 10:29 AM
I'll keep all this in mind for when I need to purchase heaters. Thanks for posting all this information, it really helps us to avoid wasting out money and taking on the added stress!
11-07-2010, 11:43 AM
I have two of the pro heaters and both of them have the same problem of not heating, I won't get another one.
11-09-2010, 01:38 PM
I returned the Marineland Stealthpro and got a shatterproof Aqueon of the same size and wattage. So far I am happy with it. Maybe a 3 degree lag between its thermostat and the true tank temperature, but I can adjust for that.
11-09-2010, 03:39 PM
I agree with kurly that a danged heater is supposed to go in the tank, set for what you'd like the water to be, and forget it. All this nonsense over heaters not heating or frying your fish is ridiculous.
I hope you like the new heater and it works for you. I've heard they can make a clicking noise as reported by some but a clicking noise would not bother me. Some say it clicks for a short time, some say all the time and some report not at all. As long as it HEATS, it can click all day long IMO.
Give it a few days and get back to us to let us know how it works for you. I sure am warning everyone way from those Pro's. COMPLAIN TO THEM.
11-09-2010, 05:25 PM
And, isn't it nice that they hide important instructions like calibrating in tiny print! Most people would likely miss that, altogether.
Since I have a coldwater tank, heating it isn't an issue for me. But it's sure good to know which products out there are reliable, and which ones aren't.
So, thanks for the heads-up, in case I decide I want to go tropical someday.
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