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Old 12-11-2007, 01:20 AM
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Default Trouble heating viv

I have a 29 G Viv with a false bottom that holds about three gallons of water. I have a 50W heater that heats the water to 84F. I thought my air temp would raise to a similar level but at ground level the temp is 72, and near the top its 77? I have a 36W T-5 light running over the tank. Even after two days with the tank sealed completely, the temp at ground level is 72.

Do you think I should switch to some compact flor bulbs to increase the heat? Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:09 AM
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What is the room temperature? The easiest and at times the safest way to heat a tank is to control the room temperature. Also what are you using to measure the temperature? Have you checked the water temp? 84 is a bit high, and in most cases should raise the tank temp to a bit too high.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:35 AM
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Kyle,

Increasing the room temp is not an option. The house temps are between 62-68(winter temps). I'm using two different themometers in my tank: a stick on and a mercury aquarium type. I noticed one was acting funny so I replaced it and the temp read 74.

Quote:
84 is a bit high, and in most cases should raise the tank temp to a bit too high.
I have it at 84 attempting to increase the air temp. I thought in a closed system I could get the air temp up a bit higher than it is. Is 74 at ground level acceptable for leucs? Maybe I'll try insulating my tank with foam panels.

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Old 12-11-2007, 02:41 AM
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Room temperature is recommended for a reason as many other options have killed frogs, and or cracked tanks. A heat mat maybe a good idea, depending on how large your water feature is. But remember if the frogs go in the water 84 is a bit high for most species. Mid 60's is a better tank temperature than 80 with many species.

My tanks are in my basement and run from about 68 or so to 78 depending on the time of year.
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Mid 60's is a better tank temperature than 80 with many species.
So if mid sixties is ok than I have nothing to worry about. I quess my 74-77 during the day should be fine and my 70-72 nights will be fine. I will still add some insulation so i can get the water temp down. Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:44 PM
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Your tank temps are fine for now, however, if you keep things the same, you'll need to be a little cautious in the coming months. The reason the 84F water is not raising the rest of the tank's temps, is because of the heat loss/transfer from the tank to the lower ambient temp of the room. If the ambient temp of the room goes up, so will the temp in the tank. During the winter/spring transistion time, your room temp may shoot up to the 70s for some number of days. The tanks temp will rise closer to 84F when that happens. That will be too high.

Right now your 50W water heater and tank are basically trying to heat the room. Aside from raising the ambient temp of the room, you could improve the above situation by adding insulation around the tank, and then lowering the water temp to something safer. You'll also save on energy costs. You don't need to insulate all the sides but the more you can do the better overall. This is one advantage to a foamed background. It provides some insulation.

Another point to consider is that it is very important, IMO anyway, to provide a temp gradient in the tank. In other words there should be warmer and cooler spots in the tank for the residents to use to regulate their own body temps. Heating the water reserve in a false bottom can be risky in that it tries to heat everything uniformly. If it's too high, then frogs have few places to hide and since heat rises, they can't climb to get away from a hot substrate. When that happens, they'll usually stay close to the cooler glass to stay comfortable. In addition to needing to regulate their temps, frogs also need to regulate their moisture content. 84F water in a water feature or an 84F moist substrate may be too hot for them to use, leaving fewer options for them.

Lastly, the cheaper aquarium heaters used to use what's called a "bang-bang" type controller with bimetal temp sensor. These can fail to a full on condition. Not good. Better heaters use "proportional" control and/or have an over temp safety shutoff. In either case it would be smart to always keep a second temp sensor in there to monitor the water temp just in case the water heater fails.
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:02 PM
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I'm adding some insulation to the tank today. I also turned the heater down and will keep the water temp around 76F. As the house temp increases I will adjust or completely turn off the heater.

Quote:
Another point to consider is that it is very important, IMO anyway, to provide a temp gradient in the tank.
This is happening in my tank now with about a 4 degree difference between the top and bottom. So it sounds like insulation is all I really need.

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm very excited about this hobby.
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