Ranco ETC 111000 Digital Temperature Controller

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Rocksor created the topic: Ranco ETC 111000 Digital Temperature Controller

So why would someone use a digital temperature controller?

1. Allows the heaters in the aquarium to be shutoff and turned on at the exact temperature. This is done when a power strip is connected to the controller and the heaters are plugged into the power strip. When a set temperature is reached in the aquarium, the power is cutoff to the power strip. When the temperature goes down by a set degree/degrees, power is supplied to the heaters.

If you use more than 1 heater in the aquarium, you know that there are times when one heater is on more often than the other heater, no matter how close you try to set their temperatures. This is due to not every heater from the same manufacturer being 100% equal. Even the Eheim Jager heaters are not immune to this after using the calibration tool.

2. Prevents the heater in your aquarium from frying your fish if heater is stuck on by cutting off the power to the heaters. You've all heard stories of people waking up in the morning or coming from work finding their fish cooked at 93F or higher. If you have a rare or expensive fish that relies on the heater working properly then it is worth it.

3. Acts as a digital thermometer with the built-in water proof temperature probe. Digital thermometers cost anywhere from $5-35, depending on the features that you want. Pay attention when buying other digital temperature controllers to make sure the probe is water proof. All the aquarium digital temperature controllers have waterproof probes.

4. Allows you to set when the heater goes on. Some heaters wait for up to a 5 degree drop before turning on.

What I ended up doing is buying a Ranco ETC 111000 Digital Temperature Controller. It requires you to be cut wires from a power strip or an extension cord. If using an extension cord and putting a total of close to 900W, I recommend a 14 gauge extension cord, which is the same that you would find on the power strips. I chose the Ranco due to the cost, ease of setting up, and reliability. Many people use it for things such as refrigeration, home brewing, and aquariums. There are other products out there like Finnex, ReefKeeper Lite, and JBJ that come pre-wired, but either the cost or reliability is why I decided against those models. On amazon you can get the Ranco for roughly $43, and if you already have a power strip or extension cord then the cost does not go up. It's best to have wire strippers and cutting pliers in order to be able to setup the Ranco.

Here's a wiring video and wiring guide:


Now for the review of the Ranco ETC 111000 Digital Temperature Controller:

A. It's fairly easy to use since it only has 3 buttons, up arrow, down arrow, and set. The first reading will tell you what the temperature is. The next setting is for F or C. The 3rd setting is the temperature for when you want your heaters off. Make sure that the heaters are set to a higher level than the desired temperature so that they always go on. I set my heaters to 88F, which is one degree higher than the temperatures I use to treat ich, and I set the temperature of the Ranco to 80F. The fourth setting is how far down do you want the temperature to go before the heaters are turned on. I set mine to 1 degree, so with the Ranco set at 80F to turn off, it will turn the power on to the heaters at 79F. The 5th setting is for when you want the power on, and for aquarium use you want this setting at HI.

B. This digital thermometer does not work as fast the digital thermometers that I own, however, the temperature change is much faster than the glass thermometers. The digital thermometer also does not have a tenth degree reading and it rounds down. So 74.6F or 74.2F is still read as 74F (when I compared it to the digital thermometer reading the air temperature and the water temperature.) As for accuracy of the particular one I bought, it had the same reading as my other digital thermometer, and was 2 degrees higher than the glass thermometer in the aquarium. I've seen glass thermometers have different readings from the same manufacturer as well.

C. The grey probe may bother some folks with black backgrounds, and their is no suction cup with the probe to have it stick to the wall. I end up throwing away the suction cups on the digital thermometers because they get hard and fail to stick to the aquarium wall after a year.

So is it worth it to me? Yes because, my heaters are synced up and one heater is not doing more work than the other. I can easily change the temperature of the aquarium without getting water and making sure that the heaters are synced up to the desired temp. The cost of me buying a new digital thermometer was already part of the digital controller. The probe wire on my digital thermometer snapped off after 15 years :(
The following user(s) said Thank You: Goranothos

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tehmole replied the topic: Ranco ETC 111000 Digital Temperature Controller

awesome thank you rock ... i've been waiting to rig something up like this, since i do want to put multiple heaters into my sump. I'll be rigging this up within a week or so.... you're the BEST!!!!

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