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On Sat, 23 Sep 2000 04:11:37 -0400, Jared Weinberger wrote:

> I think the moral is to use two heaters (perhaps smaller-sized) in any
> large or important tank.

Why bother with *two* smaller-sized heaters?  How about just one tiny
 heater or none at all?

Some listers have recently made convincing arguments that there is no 
such thing as pH shock.  Now I can't help but ask:  In a large freshwater 
aquarium, is there really such a thing as ... what to call it ... thermal 
shock? (aside from being boiled by a malfunctioning heater)  Aren't 
aquarium heaters over-rated?

A lot of the fish we keep come from relatively shallow waters, where
the temperature fluctuates significantly between night and day, and
between full sunlight and complete shade.  Fish swim around, too, in
and out of areas at slightly different temperatures, not to mention
underwater currents.

For a large freshwater aquarium (>75 gall.), which is completely
covered, made of acrylic, brightly lit, and sitting in an apartment with
central heat and air (68F / 20C in winter and 77F / 25C in summer),
is a heater even necessary?   (I'm assuming the tank will always run a
few degrees warmer than ambient.)  When setting up my next tanks, I
was going to try leaving off the heater, or at most buying the lowest-
wattage heater I could find. 

It's probably worth mentioning that in these particular tanks,  I'm not
trying to spawn fish, grow them out quickly, or raise fry or keep discus.
But I do want healthy plants and my fish (rainbows, tetras, SAE, rummy
nose) to live long and happy lives.  

Any thoughts?

David (B.)