We took a vacation from aquariums for about a decade (maybe a little less than that) and I wondered if there has been anything truly new and exciting in product development for aquarium heaters? The reason I ask is that the heaters I’ve used, whether they were big-name brands or little-known brands, whether electronically controlled or bi-metal thermostat control, they all could fail stuck in the ON (heat) mode, as well as the OFF (no heat) mode.
Have there been any new entries in the aquarium heater market line-up that make them more reliable, or at least have a failure mode of no-heat instead of cooking the fish like a sous vide cooker? Yes, I exaggerate a bit here, but still, too much heat can kill, and faster than too little heat.
If there have been no great improvements in heater technology, perhaps there are backup devices to “catch” a heater that failed in heat mode, and it can both warn me that an out of control heat event has occurred and work as a thermostat to control the stuck-on heater? I think there were devices 10 years ago that could do this, but what have you found to be worth having that really worked for you, perhaps saving your fish from being cooked?
One other thing that might be useful if the temperature was going out of bounds but slowly would be an alarm of some sort. I’ve seen cheap ones in the past, but what have you found that worked reliably well, also possibly saving your fish at some point?
And one last thought, have you done a DIY circuit to control any of this, perhaps adding both an alarm and a backup-thermostat that works with your heater? I’m considering possibly figuring out how to design something like this that your heater would plug into, and if your heater went too high, it would regulate the heat by cutting off the heater and working like the heater’s thermostat should be doing. It would alarm if the temperature went out of pre-set boundaries. If someone has already come up with a reliable solution like this, I’d like to read about it.