What size heater do I need?

The general rule for choosing an aquarium heater is 3 - 5 watts per gallon of aquarium water.

For example: In a 20-gallon tank, you will need a 60 - 100 watt heater?

If your tank is placed in a colder room <69°F, that means the heater needs to work harder to maintain the tropical water temperatures and you should consider a higher wattage heater.  If the tank is in a place with fairly moderate air temperature >70° F year-round, the lower wattage should suffice.

Using two smaller heaters can be smarter than using a single higher-wattage heater; the extra element gives you a backup of sorts. For example, using dual 100-watt heaters in your 50-gallon tank will be a better approach than using a single 200-watt heater. This way, if one heater fails then at least you have a backup working heater that shouldn't allow temperatures to fall to dangerous levels while you get the broken heater replaced.  

Finally, don't forget to check the heater's dimensions and ensure it fits into your tank or sump compartments.  Some heaters are surprisingly LONG and you have to submerge them so it's important to double-check.  Physically measure the space you have in your tank if you think it's going to be a tight fit. Most heaters can either be mounted horizontally or vertically, as long the heating element portion is SUBMERGED AT ALL TIMES. This is important because if a heater is left to run dry, it will overheat, short out, and possibly be a fire hazard.

How do you control a titanium heating element?

The BRS Titanium Heating Elements does not have a built-in controller or thermostat to automatically turn the heater on/off as needed to maintain water temperature. It will require a separate temperature controller to manage temperatures in your aquarium.

The InkBird Wifi Controller is our recommended choice because it works well and provides the user with easy access to your tank's water temperature, even if you aren't home. Better yet, you will be alerted directly should the heaters fail or overheat when you are away. It also accepts two heating elements and has dual temperature probes for accurate measurement. 

You can also use an aquarium controller like the Neptune Systems Apex to control the heating elements.  In fact, using a temperature-specific controller like the InkBird alongside a comprehensive controller like the Apex is the best way to protect yourself from heater failure. Using both controllers together, you can have redundant protection against overheating. Use the InkBird to turn the heating element ON/OFF throughout the day. Then you set the Apex with a HIGH and LOW temperature alarm that notifies you directly when temperatures fall too far out of range. You can even program the Apex to automatically shut down power to the InkBird in the event it gets stuck in the ON position and starts overheating. 

Example: Set your Inkbird to 76-78° F and plug it into the Apex Energy Bar. Configure the Apex Energy Bar Socket to turn OFF power if the temperature rises above 80°F. Set up notifications to email or text you directly should temperatures rise above 80° or below 74°F. In the event you get a notification, you should have enough time to address the problem (or call someone who can) before it's too late.  

Do the BRS Titanium Heating Elements have a warranty?

Yes, the element comes with an industry-leading 3-year manufacturer warranty. 

How long do aquariums heaters last?

Aquarium heaters have the highest rate of failure out of any piece of aquarium gear. They are the #1 source of tank failures and problems. The part of the heater that fails most often is the internal relays or thermostats because of the moving internal components. Heater controllers and heaters with built-in thermostats typically fail sometime within the first 1-2 years of use. The heating elements themselves can last much longer (3+ years) but they are essentially useless without a working controller.

How often should I replace my aquarium heater?

With most standard aquarium heaters that have a built-in thermostat, you want to replace them every 12 months whether they are working or not. It is best to just plan ahead rather than experience an overheat or heater failure because it will eventually happen if you are not proactive about replacing them. In this scenario, no matter what component of the heater fails (controller, heating element, switch, etc..), the entire thing is useless and must be replaced.

When using the BRS Titanium Elements, there are no moving internal parts that cause those common failures and the controller is separate. So as long as you replace the heater controller (Inkbird) annually, or at a very minimum replace it when the warranty runs out, you should get 3 years of safe operation out of the Titanium Element.