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Old 12-27-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
ArtVandelay
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Default Aquarium heater

I'm trying to get a little more fermentation temp control so I'm working on a swamp cooler/heater. I got a 17 gallon bucket and looking for an aquarium heater, however most of the heaters I've seen are a little high on the temperature side (68F+). Does any body have any heaters recomendations with a lower temperature range (hopefully in the low 60s on its low end)? I'm thinking a 75W would be adequate

I realize I could run a temperature controller on it but I'm trying to stay cheap on this set up and would prefer to just use the built in aquarium controller.

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Old 12-27-2009, 11:30 PM   #2
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The lowest I've seen is 65* on this Ebo:
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/196271/i/1/product.web

but I've not researched it heavily, as I have the opposite problem and need to cool mine.

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Old 12-27-2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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I was using a Marineland Stealth heater, which went down to 65 but it recently died on me. I just replaced it with an EHEIM Jager heater. The numbers on the dial go down to 64, but you can calibrate it so I was able to start my latest APA off at 62 degrees.

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Old 12-27-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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This is the brand I use:
http://www.amazon.com/Jager-100-Heater-inch-Approved/dp/B001EUI3J0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1261960239&sr=8-2

It goes down to 64F. I haven't tried it yet, but I think I have a method to get it into the low 60s (assuming the ambient is lower than that). For that, I plan to use a storage bin for the water bath that is large enough to hold my fermenter and a 5 gallon bucket. Put water in the bucket and put the heater in that water. Then put the bucket with the heater into the storage container with the water bath. The key is to make sure that the water level in the bucket is higher than the water level in the storage container. That way, you won't get perfect heat transfer between the water in the bucket and the water in the storage container. The water in the storage container will be cooler than the water in the bucket. You'll have to experiment with what to set the heater to so that you get the correct temperature in the storage container. See the picture below to see what I'm talking about.

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Old 12-27-2009, 11:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helms View Post
I was using a Marineland Stealth heater, which went down to 65 but it recently died on me. I just replaced it with an EHEIM Jager heater. The numbers on the dial go down to 64, but you can calibrate it so I was able to start my latest APA off at 62 degrees.
Nice. I was wondering if you could get down to 62 by tricking it into thinking it was 65. Good to know.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response guys. That EHEIM jager looks like just what I need and if I can trick it to go lower, even better.

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Old 12-28-2009, 02:03 AM   #7
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Just realize that most aquarium heaters are NOT rated to be fully submerged unless explicitly stated on the packaging. The stealth heaters referenced early are pretty widely used in the aquarium hobby because they are submersible and are made of plastic so will not shatter like many glass heaters.

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Old 12-28-2009, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jescholler View Post
This is the brand I use:
http://www.amazon.com/Jager-100-Heater-inch-Approved/dp/B001EUI3J0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1261960239&sr=8-2

It goes down to 64F. I haven't tried it yet, but I think I have a method to get it into the low 60s (assuming the ambient is lower than that). For that, I plan to use a storage bin for the water bath that is large enough to hold my fermenter and a 5 gallon bucket. Put water in the bucket and put the heater in that water. Then put the bucket with the heater into the storage container with the water bath. The key is to make sure that the water level in the bucket is higher than the water level in the storage container. That way, you won't get perfect heat transfer between the water in the bucket and the water in the storage container. The water in the storage container will be cooler than the water in the bucket. You'll have to experiment with what to set the heater to so that you get the correct temperature in the storage container. See the picture below to see what I'm talking about.

Doing all that is not necessary if you are not circulating the water in the storage container and the container is big enough. The heater I have goes down to 16* C which is 60.8* F. Because the water in the container is not moving, the water by the heater will be much warmer than the water over by the fermentor. I actually have the water heater cranked up to about 70* just to keep the fermentor bubbling away at 64* (during active fermentation, after that I turn up more) according to the fermo-meter. Ambient room temp is around 50* I would guess.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingSailor View Post
Just realize that most aquarium heaters are NOT rated to be fully submerged unless explicitly stated on the packaging. The stealth heaters referenced early are pretty widely used in the aquarium hobby because they are submersible and are made of plastic so will not shatter like many glass heaters.
I have the 100W stealth heater and used it last winter, worked great for me.
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
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Also, be aware that most of these heaters have notoriously inaccurate/faulty thermostats. It is not unheard of for their thermostats to be more that 10 degrees F off what you have them set at. Most aquarists who are serious about there temperature control will run separate controllers that operate the a heater and chiller. This may not make a difference in your system but just a heads up.

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