Reliable Reef Temperature Monitoring

I’ve been having a few issues lately with temperature monitoring in my reef. When I moved everything to the new setup I thought I could improve on redundancy. I was a little paranoid after reading posts on FB about heaters going haywire and roasting the tank.

I googled different temperature controllers and came across Inkbird ITC-308 which was pretty cheap so I ordered one with European plugs. Of course an Apex or other controller built for aquariums would be cool, but it’s a lot of cash to plonk down in one go, especially as they’re even more expensive here in Finland.

The Inkbird

First impressions were good. Looked simple enough to operate and set up. The probe that came with this version is made of metal which could possibly rust but there were a lot of reviews saying theirs hadn’t rusted in years of use. I’m considering shrink wrapping mine just in case.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on it but this morning when I woke up my tank was 23.8 degrees and the Inkbird hadnt turned on the heater at below 25 like it should have. I am hoping this is some set up error and I went through all the settings again so I’ll see tomorrow what’s happening. Another option could be that my extension cords are overloaded so I’ll have to try and fix that tomorrow if the temperature has dipped. Our house has been so warm that the tank has been over 25 the majority of the time with zero heating.

The main feature I wanted from this controller is that it has minimum and maximum alarms to alert me if something is going wrong. If it’s broken and can’t turn on the heater though.. I’ll have to ditch it as I have zero spare plugs and I’ll need my heater plugged in. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow morning.

Infrared Thermometer

I’ve been quite disappointed in my infrared thermometer recently also as it doesnt seem to be working correctly. I relied on that and the Eheim heater thermometer in my old tank setup. Today I measured the sump and just about had a heart attack as it read 29.5 degrees. I quickly unplugged my heater in a panic thinking it was broken. Then I tested with my meat thermometer (if needs must 🙂 and it was reading 25 degrees and the Inkbird was reading 25.4.

Since all my thermometers were reading differently, I bought a bog-standard analog aquarium thermometer today as well just so I can be absolutely sure that these digital ones are working correctly.

All in all I am not impressed with digital thermometers. They always seem to have something dodgy with them. I hope that now by adjusting the Inkbird reading to the analog thermometer, that it will behave itself now.