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Discussion Starter #1
I have to ask this with the ever elusive "quality" heaters on the market today.
What heater have you found the most reliable, on today's market?

I used to use all Ebo Jager's, but after the company changed hands, the quality went down and they failed miserably. After that I tried a few different titanium heaters and still couldn't find a truly reliable one. I finally moved on to the Visi-Therm Stealth heaters and have had extremely good luck with them - until lately. In the past month or two, I've had two or three of the Stealth's completely quit working after only being installed for a few months. :(

So, what has been working best for you?
 

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It's really been the visi therm stealth heater for me.
 

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Well, I have the same thoughts about the Ebo's. My recent favorites (and probably all I'll buy in the future) are the in-line Hydors.
 

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I use Visi-Therm Stealth heaters almost exclusively with the exception being the Rena SmartHeater on my two tanks with Filstar canister filters.
 

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All Stealths here too, I have about 6 in use now and no failures, but I do want to try one of those inline Hydors soon.
 

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Among the heaters that I have used, Tetra Submersible Heater is the most reliable. Not a single one had failed on me.

Visi-therm's customer support was good. When I called them about a 3-year old heater that would not turn-off, they immediately sent me a replacement.
 

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I use Stealths - I too was a big fan of the old style Ebo-Jaegers.

I've also heard good things about Finnex titanium, Hydor inline and would try one if Stealths dried up.
 

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I know exactly what you mean Jan. After a great start with the Stealths, they all failed on me one after another (mostly not turning on which is much better than not turning off). Then I tried the titanium and stainless steel with mixed results. Some are still going strong after a couple years and others failed after a short time. I only have one Hydor inline and after about a year it's still accurate and going strong. I like having the heater out of the tank too, much neater and I don't have to worry about anyone or anything getting burnt. I plan on replacing my current heaters with the Hydors as I need to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, great input everyone!

I guess if the Visi-therm customer service is that good, I should at least give them the courtesy of a call to see what they can do.
My fish and plants are tolerating the room temperature results since our house is pretty consistent, but I sort of buy heaters for a purpose. ;)
 

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The Hydors that I installed on my 180g tank over two years ago have never been touched. During that time, the temp hasn't ever varied more than one or two degrees F. Except for a monthly temp check, I almost forget they're even there. Their smallest model might be too big for anything but at least a medium size tank. I think the smallest is a 200W unit.
 

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I use visitherm stealth heater,
Pro:
unbreakable and life time warranty...

Con:
NO LED/Light that lit when the heather is on...
so, you would not be able to tell if the heather is ON or OFF
 

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The one thing that I really miss on my Visi-Therm Stealth heaters is an indicator light showing when they are on. Other than that that are perfect.
 

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In applications where they are necessary, I use only the hydor inline. I've never had anything as reliable, they're far more convenient to set/adjust as needed, and, best of all, they don't clutter up the inside of a tank! (this does not apply to quarantine or other, non display tanks)

Truthfully though, I don't use heaters in plant tanks. The plants and fish both thrive without heaters, so why spend the money?
 

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The Hydors and Stealths are both good heaters. I have used the old Ebo-Jaegers too. The inexpensive 25W Submersible from Wal*Mart has been good as well.

I guess I have been lucky cause the only bad heaters I have had were the hang on the top edge non-submersibles, many years ago, that came with something else that I bought. The cheapies (shudder) were the cause of much expense and grief...they were not cheap! The only way they get sold at auctions, usually, is to be sold with something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just an update. I'm now up to about 6 failed Visi-Therm's with the last one being in my frag tank. That one was easy to spot when the corals were all looking very under the weather.

I contacted Marineland and they said they hadn't heard of any wide spread problems like that, but to just return them and they'd replace them all, even though I no longer have the receipts. Can't ask for much better service than that. :)
 

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Hi Jan S, wow, 6 failed heaters? Is it possible you are using heaters which are rated a little low for the size tanks you are heating and your weather conditions? I've heard buying heaters rated above the size of your tank can prolong their life, and buying under can stress them and cause them to fail faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That's a good thought, but all of them are way more than the tank needs, and if it's a big tank I use 2 heaters rated for more than what the specs call for. I honestly don't know how I got so many bad ones in a row, but I did buy them all from the same place (Foster and Smith), unless they got a bad run all at the same time.

I guess I should say too that I have a quite a few that have run flawlessly for a long time, and of those, they are the best I've used after the Ebo's changed. :)
 

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Marineland Stealths are my favorite if they were to quit making them i would go to either the Hydor Inline or a Ebo-Jager, I do wish they had a ON/OFF Indicator though.
 
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