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Old 01/14/2019, 08:17 AM   #1
kevin21
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Two Heaters in a 50g?

Hello all,

I have a waterbox 50.3 and my tank is struggling to maintain 78 degrees. My house typically sits at 65 degrees during the winter. I have an eheim jager heater rated up to 75 gallons. Not sure why it can't maintain 78 degrees?

I have noticed the tank dropping to 74 (!) at night and gets up to only about 76.5 by mid afternoon. Do not like the tank dropping that low as night. I am early in the process of my upgrade and transferred over some coral. My fish and remaining coral were supposed to be transferred over in a few days if all was well, but thinking I should fix this temperature problem first.

Any issue adding a second heater? Should I? Do I just replace the heater I have with one larger heater rated for 100 gallons?

Thanks!


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Old 01/14/2019, 08:24 AM   #2
dubmaneh
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The gallon rating for heaters is dependent on the difference in ambient air temp vs tank temp. If the difference is too great, the size of tank the heater will adequately service will be reduced.

Iíve run into this several times. If you have a temp controller, I would go with two heaters. Otherwise one oversized heater.

FWIW I have three oversized heaters in my 60 gallon setup. Sump is in the basement so it takes a lot to keep temp constant.


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Old 01/14/2019, 08:49 AM   #3
kevin21
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Got it. Why the need for a temperature controller? I cant just have both heaters running set for the same temperature of 78?


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Old 01/14/2019, 09:09 AM   #4
nereefpat
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House is 65? Burrr

Controllers are used for redundancy. If a heater fails (they usually stick on) the controller will shut it off at a temperature setpoint.

Adding another heater is a good plan. A lot of folks run two heaters, again for redundancy, anyway.

Another option would be to just run your reef at about 75 degrees during the winter. That shouldn't be a problem at all.


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Old 01/14/2019, 09:48 AM   #5
kevin21
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Yeah we don't mind wearing a sweatshirt around the house in the winter. Depending on how cold it gets on Long Island, if we know we will be home, we will kick it up a couple degrees.

I will add the second heater. There is room in the same chamber and I wasn't planning on adding anything else in that one anyway. Thanks! I believe the other heater I have is rated for up to 53 gallons. So that should work well. I will definitely keep an eye on the temperature, have heard of horror stories of heaters staying on and cooking tanks. I try to replace my heaters once every couple years to be safe. I will also keep the tank at 76-77 for the winter!


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Old 01/14/2019, 10:09 AM   #6
mcgyvr
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78-65 = 13F
For that you likely need ~4-5x water volume in heater wattage..
So for a 50G tank you likely need 200-250 watts of heaters to keep that stable enough and heat it up in a relatively short time so the heaters aren't constantly running..

Usually about 3x is sufficient for a 7-10 deg ambient difference..

Can you get by with less.. Sure.. It will just take longer to heat it up and may not reach the desired temp..


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Old 01/14/2019, 11:05 AM   #7
kevin21
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That would make perfect sense. My current heater rated up to 75 gallons is only 150 watts. I am going to add the heater from my broken down 28. That heater is 125 watts.

Thanks for your help guys. Think I will target 77F as the temperature as well.


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