Nano Aquariums & Heating - What's Best?

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by Superman, 13 Oct 2009.

  1. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    So winter is on it's way, and I'll have to look at heating my 14 litre nano once again.
    During the early months, I used an in-tank heater but I want to keep as much out of the tank as possible.
    I could get the smallest (200w!) Hydor in-line heater but am worried that the 200w might be a bit too much wattage for the size of this tank?
    I'm also thinking of maybe a heating mat, either under the tank or wrapped around the filter, but that way the tank will always be x degrees C above the room temperature.
    In addition, when I move to the new house, we can't have the heating on too much for the walls to dry out properly.

    Any tips, comments, experience would be very welcome! :thumbup:
     
  2. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Flintshire, North Wales
    probably not much help but i use latent heat for mine. the nano is on a cupboard above the sky box which pumps out heat all day :lol:
     
  3. whitey

    whitey Newly Registered

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Hi. It require some diy skills but no rocket science.
    30cm PVC pipe with two end caps at least on of the end should be with thread to look inside sometimes :) .
    http://www.koicarp.net/pvc_plumbing/pvc.html
    inlet/outlet fittings
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1-Male-Thread...s_UK?hash=item53dd2d23ae&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
    cable gland, to secure cable
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/searchtemplate.asp?criteria=WATERPROOF CABLE GLANDS
    or
    http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38&_nkw=cable gland
    some stainless steel wire to make sort of "stars" put on heater to keep gap between PVC pipe and heater (I hope you know what I mean :) )
    25W heater with thermostat (the ideal heater will be with circular shaped cable for better seal)
    Some silicone or teflon tape or pcv glue.
    The trickiest part of the job is seal properly heater cable, rest should be pretty easy.
    I made for my tank sort of inline heater (all in one) from water filter housing, but that will be overkill for 14L tank :lol: .
    [​IMG]
    The main issue might be price, but as I've calculated that will be about £10-12 for housing itself, so it's probably worth to try.
     
  4. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Wowiee, that looks fun to try. I think I'll give that a go and report back.
     
  5. whitey

    whitey Newly Registered

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Again me, see that link:
    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/16002-diy-external-heater-housing-4.html
    I think I saw somewhere on the Internet similar redy-to-go solution you can buy. Probably was american site. At the moment I'm "googling" but without luck. I'll post a link if I'll find something.
    So as you see actually thermostat knob can be outside the housing, and then you have plenty possible solutions. I quickly looked on cable glances in my workshop, and some of them are more less size of the heater so instead of cabe you can put whole heater trough glance (put some silicone before), adjusting temperature will be much easier, and I think whole job might be easier (you can use sort of container with lid). see my picture :) :
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    I would have to drill the pvc end caps then for the hose to fit in.

    Design 2 looks easier although #1 might be a better option for my setup.
     
  7. sr20det

    sr20det Member

    Messages:
    714
    Location:
    East London
    Has anyone read the book 'Ecology of a planted aquarium'

    I did many moons ago, and it suggested that a heat mat is ideal for planted aquaria, heat rising causing water currrent flow through the subtrate aiding plant nutrition and growth as well as heat to roots?

    Same time maintiaining tank temps?

    Sounds like a kill two birds in one stone sort of thing to me?

    Is that still the case theses days?
     
  8. whitey

    whitey Newly Registered

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    I think that was not heat mat but heat cable. Heat mat not causing water circulation in substrate, just heating whole substrate thats all. With the cable is slightly different situation because you've got currents going up (hot water between grains of substrate) above cable, and going down (cold) between the cables. I might be wrong, someone more experienced should check it.
    In terms of heating water, both of methods are the same, but what about temperature control? Is there any thermostat with heating cable/mat?
     
  9. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    You can get hydor or aqua el (not sure which) that sell slimline heaters.
    Heat mats work well though.
     
  10. hunter001

    hunter001 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    17
    Im tempted to try this on my 300litre but combine it to make it a CO2 reactor as well. I looked before at getting a hydor external heater and then an aqua medic co2 reactor but having both inline on one filter is definatly going to kill the flow. My only other choice is to add another filter which i dont really fancy doing so this is the solution to the problem really
     
  11. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    I had both on my 180 litre with a 1,500lph rated filter and it didn't seem to make much difference.

    Just going through all of this in my head to see if I fancy giving DIY a go.
     
  12. whitey

    whitey Newly Registered

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
  13. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
  14. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    The trickiest bit will be finding the water-tight union used at the top. It might be easier to find one to grip the cord and be waterproof like the waterproof cable connectors and have the heater totally inside the pipe. The other fittings I'd use PVC for and you can get a huge range of those from Henderson's Plastic online.
     
  15. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Someone's suggested that the 200w ETH will be fine? I know it will be but are the risks of it not working and boiling the tank?
     
  16. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Having an over-large heater will mean the heater will heat the tank up more quickly but, as long as the thermostat doesn't get stuck it won't boil the tank. It will mean it cycles on and off more though. If you're worried then you could fit another thermostat on the cable set a couple of degrees higher than the ETH - I don't think you'll need to though. Just check there's no minimum water flow through the ETH though.
     

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