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[AGA Member] Heaters

About 20 years ago I  had  two Supreme heaters in a 55 gallon tank with
about 100 African Ciclids.  During a weekend trip both contacts in the
heaters fused and I came home to about 55 gallons of opaque fish soup (very
messy).  I replaced the heater with a solid state one and had no problem
until the Oscar grew to about 13 inches and smashed the tube creating a loud
pop.  Being in Amateur Radio I was familiar with OP amps and a thermisistor
available through Radio Shack for a couple of dollars.  I believe I had it
trigger a larger relay and  had a hysteresis circuit with the OP amps so it
would go on at one temp and off about a degree higher.  I must have used it
for quite a few years in NJ in a room that got pretty drafty.  I forgot
about it as I was traveling a lot and my wife sold the tank and contents for
me when we decided to sell the house and move.

I would think a solid state thermostat including a solid state relay would
be the best way to go (no physical relays or contacts or bimetallic strip).
The parts themselves are very inexpensive if you were going to make it
yourself and were good with electronics.  Below is a reference to a FAQ at
The Krib for a very high quality heater for $65.  I don't know how old the
reference is, but on Google I found many references to solid state heaters.

Steve P.

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