We test your aquarium heaters and determine what’s, Good?, Better?, BEST? | BRStv Investigates

Looking for heaters for your tank? We have some here! http://brs.li/BRS_Heaters

Today on BRStv, we have a brand new episode for our series, BRStv Investigates. In this series we explore popular reefing theories, products, methods, and what the manuals are missing, with a focus on putting them to the test!

Today we look at a variety of heaters and test them for accuracy and ON/OFF cycle swings. Let’s face it, many of us reefers have bought a heater, set the temp and dropped it into the tank or sump with no thought as to whether the heater was completely accurate or not. Yet some of us have actually taken that process a step further and calibrated our heaters to verify we are heating to a set temperature.

In today’s episode we take a look at what you could be missing by not verifying the set temp of your heater, provide insight into what heater may meet your needs and help make reefing a bit more fun and easy for you and your tank!

As always, there’s much more to investigate as we continue this series, so watch for future episodes where we test the efficiency of your filter socks, find out if ceramic media actually works and TONS more!

See you next time on BRStv Investigates !

*Legal Stuff*
The purpose and content of this video is to provide general information regarding the products and their applications as presented in the video. Aquatic Sales Solutions, Inc. and its officers, directors, employees and agents disclaim all express or implied warranties, in any way, related to the products and their application as presented in this video, make no representation or warranty regarding the products and the application as presented in this video and shall not be liable for any direct or indirect losses or damages of any type, including but not limited to punitive damages, or from personal injury or death resulting from or in any manner related to the video, and the products in and contents of the video. The viewer expressly agrees that Aquatic Sales Solutions, Inc. and its officers, directors, employees and agents shall not be liable for any damages or losses related to the products in and content of the video and hereby agrees to hold the foregoing harmless from any such losses or damages.


William Kegge says:

You guys are doing so much for the reefing community it’s fantastic, I have sent several people to your videos when they are considering learning or getting into the hobby. Bulk Reef will always be my go to place for all my reefing needs, you guys rock!

Kenboy325 says:

Wheres the best place (online) to get reef rocks

Dubsy Dabster says:

Egg crate at Home Depot. Is it as bad (toxic) as people say? I would like to use it on the bottom of my tank. It helps my rocks stay in place.

JimSWfish says:

I use Cobalt Neotherm and love them!

soverjas says:

also you guys are knocking it out of the park with your videos. Setting up new reefers for long term success with all these videos.

HalfMan HalfCichlid says:

I can handle some temperature variability. Durability and reliability are much more important considerations. Ask anyone who has lost a tank due to a heater failure, burn out, or however you want to call the failure.

Sarvesh Swami says:

Thank you so much. It helps build trust in BRS.

Franklin Michael says:

0:57 what type of anemone is the tomato clown in?

Emery98 says:

Awesome vid. You can’t get better information anywhere patronize BRS.

Nanoreef007 says:

always have informative videos love this BRS

Anthony Ragan says:

Now this was the quality information I’ve been looking for on heaters. I’ve wanted to try the Cobalt, but that little “problem” they had a few years ago has made me wary. Glad to see they’ve apparently worked it out.

Hamza Razak says:

Is the ehiem the best heater then? Which one shall i get for my 200 gallon reef?

Hamza Razak says:

How much watts should a heater be for a 200gallon reef

T Surro says:

I used that finnex and wasn’t even close to temp showing, used two cobalt heaters great but laying on the glass of my diy sumps-two times the sump cracked not sure if temp swings had something to do with it, now I have two ehiems, and I watched videos and still don’t know how to accurately calibrate them, but they are good!!

Tom Robert says:

I use aquatop titinum heaters and love them digital control separate temp prob. Just my 2 cents

Victor Vazquez says:

If you want to check a thermometer then simply get a cup of ice, add a bit of water, and a bit of salt and stir. Put the thermometer in the cup and measure the temperature of the water and it should be 32.

Ashish Patel says:

Great video. I just bought 2 eheim heaters for my new build. I was considering finnex but after using eheim for the past 4 years without any issues it was a no brainer. Years ago I bought those shatter proof heaters and they claimed to be unbreakable – I believe there was a recall but I had already trashed them..I’ve used Hydors and every brand you can thing off of nothing beats reliability of eheim jager..

Candelz Reef says:

I’ve been doing large water changes and my nitrates won’t come down. I’ve checked every possibility besides pulling my sand bed can this be the cause?

Mike B says:

So why no love for the Finnex standalone heater? Is it just because there is no integrated controller that it didn’t get on your list of good/better/best ? It seemed very accurate with a very little temp swing. Or is there something I missed about it having any issue?

Adam Blanden says:

Hi guys. Another great video. With heaters, it seems to me that the most important parameter that people care about is reliability and longevity. As you point out, with the low cost of entry-level controllers now, most of the people I talk to have controllers as their primary dictator of temperature accuracy and stability. It’s the reliability when hooked up to a digital controller (so the physical thermostat isn’t cycling) that people tout when they talk about the Jagers.

Would it be at all practical to do a stress test on these? Say rapidly cycling them on and off using the triacs on the reefkeeper, maybe while immersed in hypertonic saltwater? Either that or just compile “real world failure” data from all of the tanks you guys maintain?

Patrick Testerman says:

Great review! I think you overstate the importance of accuracy – as you said, if it’s off by 1°, you just change the set point. The variation is much more important than the absolute accuracy. You also kind of contradicted yourself with the temp swings, first saying a narrow window was good, then saying it put too much wear and tear on the thermometer. 
More important than all of these is the reliability of the thermometers. I would gladly forgo a bit of accuracy for reliability. The issues cobalt had a few years ago combined with the company’s response have kind of turned me off to their products.

JR Diaz says:

I’d like to see this test again with the heaters with internal thermostats tested again set vertical vs horizontal

Levi Burns says:

I will only buy cobalt neo-therms.

aside from accuracy, if you have ever actually followed up with how the company has handled huge problems like discharge, you will see undoubtedly that cobalt is the only company worth investing in.

they take risks, yes. but that’s what’s needed when you are trying to reinvent the wheel.

Bryan Tabares says:

Great video although you look very tired.

Jerome Saverimuttu says:

Eheim all the way.

tomas dx says:

Thank you for the awesome videos!
Does anyone know how to get Monos out of the reef tank ? I’ve been trying to get 2 of them out but no luck. I used traps , starved the fish for 2 days but I can’t do that because I have large angles and tangs and they get aggressive if they don’t eat. Any suggestions? 🙁

Andy Rodriguez says:

Will you guys Test Chillers anytime soon?

SPS Dominant says:

Hey Ryan. I’m having a fluctuation of 1.5 degrees in my system. Two tanks plumbed together with opposite lighting schedule. Both are 50 gal but one is shallow. 100 gal all together. I use 2 100 watt heaters and 2 200 watt heaters. All heaters are the Finnex HMO. I’m using an apex to control the temp at 78 degrees.  At 5 in the morning its 78.7 and at 1:30 in the afternoon its 77.3. I keep the room at 70. I have a fan that blows b/w the T5 light fixture and the shallow tank. I have it controlled by the apex to turn on at 78.1 and off at 78. Still I’m getting this swing. Should I buy more heaters or another brand to ad to the system and run the fan more? This is getting expensive to dialed in. My 150 stays almost constant with 3 200 watt HMO heaters but doesn’t on my 100 gal system.

Wichita Falls Fishkeeper says:

I use the Eheim. Thanks for the video

dennis says:

Superb review! well done.

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