Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip #128: It’s Getting Hot In Here, So Take Out All Your…

There’s some equipment on a saltwater tank that I love. There is other equipment that I hate, but is necessary. The good news is certain times of the year I can take out equipment that I don’t like and make my tank a little safer at the same time.

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Comments for this article (24)

  • Leonard Thome says:

    Thanks for the tip. I have to wonder though about what my water temp would be without the heater. Room temperature in my house is roughly 71-72 degrees and I have LED lighting which does not put off much radiant heat. Would my tank water temperature be expected to drop lower than 78 degrees or so, which is below what we want for a saltwater reef tank?

  • Fay says:

    ugh.. Heaters. Although its not a quick tip – one of the best purchases i ever made was was this

    Its quite pricey but since I’ve got it – I haven’t thought about temperature once. My tank is a comfortable 26 degress all day long, no matter what the weather. I live in Cape Town, South Africa and the weather can be quite extreme. In summer you need a chiller and in winter you need a heater. This has a built in 400 watt heater and UV lamp. I used to run 3 300watt heaters on my 125gal reef and I just run the one that’s in this chiller.

    Not affiliated with tecco is any shape or form. I just wanted to share how much this piece of equipment has helped. It was pretty pricey, but well worth it.

    Thanks for the amazing advice! You’re awesome!

  • dave says:

    HELLO MARK love the tips sometimes a little tip can avoid a big problem. today my question is WHO pick’s out your t-shirts? they are great every time funny. sometimes I go to the site just to see what “T” you have on. thanks dave

  • JasPR says:

    Great idea ! Thanks for yet another ‘outside the box ‘ tip ( the name of my someday website!) .
    My dream fantasy is to live near the warm sea and have a 100% OPEN flow thru system ( since I’m dreaming, lets make it 20,000 gallons!) 😉 — how great would that be over our closed systems!
    One of the very old TFH publications has a photo of an Asian man’s outdoor tank that is completely natural with inverts dominating but fish here and there– driven by nothing but an air stone! Impossible of course in our settings but warm water heaven for those that access to the tides of the pacific. I love that guy! I hate that guy!! LOLs JasPR

  • Matt S. says:

    Unfortunately I dont have a tank controller *YET* Apex is SOON !
    So my heater and my fan constantly fight each other to keep my temp at 79 degrees. I figure with an apex I can have the fan only kick on when the temp reaches 80+ and turn off at 79.. Hope it works like that ! I keep my house at 78 in the summer (wife gets cold too easy) so it would be soo nice to be able to control the fan and the heater properly instead of them fighting each other 24/7 and causing 3 gallons of evap per day on a 40 gallon tank ! (pulls hair out)

  • Chantal says:

    I do not have a heater, but got a chiller and temperature is constant to what I set it too.

  • dave…I get my shirts from this place

  • Jerry says:

    I haaaate heaters! Another good tip on them is minimal size and redundancy. Three 100w heaters are better than a single 300. Should that single heater fail or; even worse, somehow get stuck in the ON position, you’ve got a serious problem. In the same scenario, if one of the three 100w versions go out, the other two can usually pick up most, if not all of the slack. If stuck ON, it should be too small to drastically overheat your tank.

    Controllers are a great help and I prefer those heaters with a separate thermometer/sensor, yet; even with an Apex, I still tale my required wattage and divide by Three. That’s a lot, with three 150 gallon stock tanks as a sump but I definitely sleep better at night!

  • Mark says:

    This is the time of year I also put a couple of two liter bottles water in the freezer. Pull them out on hot days and put them in the sump. Poor man’s chiller.

  • Buddy says:

    Good tip Mark !!! My biggest problem has always been trying to keep my temp down.. Can’t afford a chiller yet.. So I use another of your tip’s from last summer.. Ice in a bottle.. err.. Well.. more like ice in a 5-gallon bucket. So far the summer has been fairly mild here so I haven’t dusted off the bucket yet, but most likely will soon..


  • cypherljk says:

    Yup yup I always take my heaters out when it gets warm…

  • Richard Anderson says:

    Er, you can’t do that if you live in England; summer outside and it’s only
    16 degrees centigrade!
    Be mindful of your global audience!

  • Tom Hanson says:

    Great tip again Mark! Never thought of that, going to take my Aqueon pro heater out today. You still say the Cobalt heater is better though?

  • Matt says:

    Mark, what brand heater do you use?

  • Dave says:

    Jerry – That is an excellent idea – 3 100 W heaters. Mine usually stop working in the ON position – i usually find this out when i see all my fish staying at the top of my tank gasping for air. Great idea Thank You.

  • Montyfish says:

    Lol, its winter over here in NZ so i think my heater will stay in the tank…

  • Martin says:

    Mark thats a gd tip and i would probably do that if i didn’t live in the crazy midwest weather! We just dont know if its summer yet. Lol thanks for the tip.

  • Shawn says:

    Good tip but the days are hot here and the nights are cold. I tried this once. During the day my tank was 82, and I had the heater unplugged and when I came in, in the morning my tank was 72. Psuedo good tip depending on climate!


  • JasPR says:

    Maybe the way to make the decision to ‘remove or not to remove’ should be based on seasons? But I also think it should be based on aquarium volume. And maybe Plexi vs all glass construction. As both these factors can cause rapid change in temperature based on location to windows, AC vents etc.
    Having said that one thing is true yet often ignored by hobbyists that don’t scuba dive and that is– the 24 temperature on the reef can change dramatically as tides rise and fall. In some of reefs I have spent a lot of time diving on in areas such as Belize, the strength/current and temperature fluctuation is not to be believed! And in some areas of the Pacific I have dived in, the water was down right sold! I think we have lost the plot a bit when it comes to worrying about temperature accuracy with 1/2 of 1 degree! JasPR

  • Frank says:

    A controller takes the worry out of your heaters on/off contacts melting in the on position. Something I’m told can happen after a couple of years.

  • Frank..this is true about controllers. A controller won’t do anything for a heater seal failure that causes your tank to get electrocuted though.

  • Richard says:

    Took the heaters out 4:00 Sunday afternoon, wife called at 8:00am Monday morning……… Fish kill… the chiller failed and did not shutoff. Water went to 60 degrees. Dead fish and corals….. nice way to start off a Monday
    JBJ Arctica Titanium Chiller DBA-150 1/5HP not very happy with this piece of equipment

  • Richard…sorry to hear about the issues with the heater. I’d strongly recommend a controller that will cut the chiller off and alert you to the problem.

  • Gregory Wexler says:

    My Arctica Titanium chiller also dropped to 60 degrees. This happened after I had reset the GFI circuit for popping out. Frustrated because all the fish, except a puffer, died due to the cold water. The unit is 5 years old (purchased 5/2010). I’m going to check if there’s some annual servicing necessary for such units as I don’t recall, but I understood these units to be ‘top of the line’ chillers. They should be designed with a setting “salt water fish” or some MIN/MAX settings so that they don’t intentionally try to cool lower than a ‘safety settings’.

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