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Old 12-02-2009, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default Best Aquarium Heater?

I'm planning on moving my fermentation to a bucket inside a rubbermaid container full of water in my basement. It stays in the upper 50s down there. What size/wattage heater do I need to keep it at ale temp? Any preferred models? Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-02-2009, 10:33 PM   #2
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I recommend one of the 'shatterproof' style, fully submersible heaters. main reason is they have a good shutoff if they get too hot. traditional submersible heaters are made of glass, and if its on and gets pulled out of the water, it'll heat up INSANELY FAST and the second it gets wet, the glass explodes.

i would check out Big Al's fish store or Drs Foster Smith...both are online and have really good pricing. Ebo-jager and Visitherm are good brands.

for an aquarium you usually aim for 3 watts per gallon of tank capacity.

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Old 12-02-2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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What size of container are you planning on using for fermentation? I would recommend Rena heaters, they are easily adjusted to a specific temperature rather than just a + or - for heat. Petsmart carried them when I worked there, and by the time you pay for shipping they are about the same price. If your looking online the cheapest is probably petsolutions.com

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Old 12-03-2009, 05:23 AM   #4
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i'd also suggest a small pump in your reservoir to keep the temp steady throughout

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Old 12-03-2009, 10:22 AM   #5
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I use Marineland Stealth aquarium heaters. They are shatterproof (i.e. all plastic) and have pretty accurate temp settings in my experience. I used to have a cheaper version, but the thermostat failed (which seems to be pretty common with the cheap heaters). I believe I'm using the 75W version in a medium size plastic tote (maybe 5 gallons of water?) in a basement that stays around 50F in the winter. I also use a tiny ($5) submersible water pump from Harbor Freight to keep temps even. This setup also works great for bottle conditioning.

Two other recommendations: use a splash of bleach in the water bath and put something between the plastic tote and the basement floor for insulation (I use a few layers of cardboard). It's surprising how much heat a cold concrete floor will absorb.

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Old 12-03-2009, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twst1up View Post
i'd also suggest a small pump in your reservoir to keep the temp steady throughout
Do you think that is necessary?

I would imagine the reservoir water would equalize well before it had any major affect on the liquid inside the fermenter.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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I like the stealth heaters as well. Used em in my tanks when I had a bunch running and have used them for keeping temps high enough for fermentation.

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Old 12-03-2009, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
i would check out Big Al's fish store or Drs Foster Smith...both are online and have really good pricing. Ebo-jager and Visitherm are good brands.
I'm gonna disagree that Ebo-Jager is a good heater. They used to be great (the green ones), but since being bought by Eheim quality has gone down significantly.


Heater thermostats WILL fail. All of them eventually. You're better off spending the extra bucks and having a Ranco or something to control it.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:54 PM   #9
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how can anything by Eheim be poor quality? they were the Cadillac of pumps when I was more into the aquarium hobby.

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Old 12-03-2009, 11:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
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how can anything by Eheim be poor quality? they were the Cadillac of pumps when I was more into the aquarium hobby.
Same thing that happened to Cadillac, maybe?
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