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ThermaKoi Heaters by GC Tek

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  • ThermaKoi Heaters by GC Tek

    I was asked to be the guinea pig for the new ThermaKoi electric heaters. It couldn't have came at a better time. I was sent the 1.5 KW ThermaKoi unit to try out on my QT tank. They say it's perfect for a 300 to 500 gallon quarantine tank or pond. We put it to the test to see. I know some of you might say we are in California and we don't get the cold weather like other places. But without heating the tank the water temp would be about 50 degrees right now in it.

    I just wanted to give all of you some info before I add it to my QT tank. It will be installed on a 6' show tank that is on my patio. The tank has 1" styrofoam under it to try to keep some of the cold concrete from chilling the tank. Right now I have 4 - 250 watt fish tank heater in the filter. They run 24/7 and can only bring the temp in the tank up to 62 degrees. I was going to cover that tank and wrap the outside of it to try to keep the heat in. I'm going to hold off on that for now, because I want to see what this heater will do for it.

    Here's a few pictures of the heater.







    One thing I like about it is it has a built in flow switch. That's the white thing on the unit.

    I will need to do a small change to my set-up to get the heater to work. That's no big deal, say tune for how well it does or doesn't do. Tom


    Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com
  • #2

    Tom,

    I saw some at the Atlanta Koi Show last September. It will be interesting to hear from the "road test".

    Wishing and the family a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!!

    MCA
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

    Comment

    • #3

      MCA thank you for the warm wishes. The same goes to you and your family.

      It will be interesting how well it works out. After looking at it and taking it apart, it looks like a well built unit. You know me I tell it like it is, good or bad. It will be intresting how this unit test out on my set-up.

      Tom

      Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com

      Comment

      • #4

        Originally posted by Tom C
        MCA thank you for the warm wishes. The same goes to you and your family.

        It will be interesting how well it works out. After looking at it and taking it apart, it looks like a well built unit. You know me I tell it like it is, good or bad. It will be intresting how this unit test out on my set-up.

        Tom
        I want to know what are the cost of running something like that? Keep us update on your findings....
        The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

        Comment

        • #5

          Based on what I was told 1.5 KW = 1500 watts. But on the unit is said 12 amps. that = 1380 watts.

          If the heater was to run 24/7 and it's 1380 watts it would cost me $154 a month to run. That's based on $ .15 per Kwh. But you have to remember if it's doing it job, and I work on keeping some of the heat in, it will not be running 24/7. The test I will be doing in it is, without the tank wrapped or covered to see if it can keep the heat high enough. After that, the tank will be wrapped and covered to try to keep the heat in so it doesn't cost me as much to heat it. I'm hoping to install it Sunday. I will let you know how it goes.

          Tom

          Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com

          Comment

          • #6

            Originally posted by Tom C
            Based on what I was told 1.5 KW = 1500 watts. But on the unit is said 12 amps. that = 1380 watts.

            If the heater was to run 24/7 and it's 1380 watts it would cost me $154 a month to run. That's based on $ .15 per Kwh. But you have to remember if it's doing it job, and I work on keeping some of the heat in, it will not be running 24/7. The test I will be doing in it is, without the tank wrapped or covered to see if it can keep the heat high enough. After that, the tank will be wrapped and covered to try to keep the heat in so it doesn't cost me as much to heat it. I'm hoping to install it Sunday. I will let you know how it goes.

            Tom
            Are you going to put insulation around all the piping to help with the heat loss?
            The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

            Comment

            • #7

              I don't think so, the reason is I'm only hoping to have the tank up for a few months.

              Tom

              Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com

              Comment

              • #8

                Nice unit Tom!
                You might try covering the outside of the tank with some bubble wrap. In my experience most heat loss occurs on the water surface. An insolating cover works wonders. It's good to cover it but you still need air circulation. I put a cover over my Qtank but was also still having trouble with the condensation in the room. I solved that by hooking a vent hose and tiny 5 watt exhaust fan under the cover. The fan is up near the ceiling. This vents the air outside from under the Q tank cover, keeps the surface under a slightly negative pressure making it impossible for water vapor to come outside the cover and keeps a steady but not excessive amount of air circulating about the water's surface.
                B.Scott
                Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat

                Comment

                • #9

                  Well it's Christmas day and all the gifts are open and my wifes starting to do some cooking. So I went out and installed the heater on the QT tank. Last time I checked the temp in the tank was 62 degrees. It has been cold at night and the temp even came down more in the tank. I got a new digital thermoeter for X-Mas and it reads 55.6 degrees in the tank right now. Will see what this heater will do in 24 hours. I will only bring the temp up a few degrees a day so I will keep you up-dated on it. After a week of testing it without it being wrapped, I will wrap the tank and cover it to keep the heat in. Say tune for what happens.

                  Tom


                  Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    That looks just like the heater on our hot tub - except for the koi sticker.


                    steve

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Day one down and what happened

                      Day one is done with testing of the ThermaKoi heater. It took about 4 hours to bring the temp up to 60.8 in the tank. The real test was done last night on it. It got down to 39 degrees so could this heater keep the temp at 60.8 degrees without covering or wrapping the tank? Yes it kept the temp in the tank within a degree. I'm sure it made the heater work a little harder that it should of, but it did it. We will bring the temp up some more today and see what day two will bring.


                      More to come tomorrow.


                      Steve does your heater have a name on it?


                      Tom

                      Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Tom,

                        I crawled under the house to look at it and can't find a name anywhere - but suspect it may be Jacuzzi or Whirlpool. On closer inspection, it is not exactly the same as yours, but pretty close. The long metal tube where the heater element goes is about 17-inches long. The element appears to screw in with a 1.25 inch thread. Unlike yours, there is a tee at one end of the metal tube and water enters from the side. Without the flow switch, t looks like the first item on this page:
                        http://www.spadepot.com/parts2004/127.pdf
                        Attached to the inlet side of the tee is the flow switch in a white plastic box like yours. At the end of the element is a plastic box with thermostat, reset switch and indicator light.

                        steve

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          Day two is done with testing of the ThermaKoi heater. It took about 4.5 hours to bring the temp up from 60.8 in the tank to 64.8 in the tank. Last night it didn't get as cold as the night before, but it still got down to 42 degrees.. Still the heater kept the temp at 64.8 degrees without covering or wrapping the tank? Yes it kept the temp in the tank within a degree all night. I was shocked again because it's harder to keep that higher temp stable like that. Today I will bring it up another 3 to 4 degrees.

                          More to come tomorrow.


                          Tom

                          Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            Well it's been a week since I installed the ThermaKoi heater on my QT tank. It has been set at 69.8 degrees for the last few days without wrapping or coving the QT tank. I was told I wouldn't be able to keep the temp in it stable without coving it or wrapping it. I have to say it only dropped about a degree on one night when the temp outside hit 38 degrees.



                            At this point I have to say the heater is incredible. The show tank is on the patio with only some 1" foam under it. I don't have the tank covered or wrapped because I did want to see what this heater can do. I got a few emails saying no way in hell it will do the job without coving it or wrapping it this time of the year. One said it's like driving down the road with the heater on and the car with the windows open. They said theirs no way to keep it warm. Well, it's been set at 69.8 degrees for the last few days without wrapping or coving the QT tank. I have to say it only dropped about a degree on one night when the temp outside hit 38 degrees. Don't get me wrong, this heater has been working it's butt off to keep up with the cold. Almost every time I look out to see if the heaters on, it is. I don't know if I could bring the temp up much more without coving it and have it stay stable. At this time I don't want to take the chance of temp swings in the tank. That's because I have my better koi in it. I will be wrapping the outside of the tank today and coving it to work on keeping the heat in. For those that are thinking about a heater that will do the job for your QT tank, I highly recommend this unit from Cary Cryer at AquaBead. You can find out more about the heaters at www.aquabead.com. For those dealers that don't heat cycle your new koi, this would be the answer for you. Since your not going to run it for months, the cost of running it will not be all that bad. Tom

                            Keep it simple, keep it straight Koi-Bito.com

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              Now I would be interested to know how many KW of electricity you have used with this little feat and what it is going to cost you. Have you been keeping track?
                              Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat

                              Comment

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