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Where to put my heater

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Well, I'm not really that experienced in this field, but from my short experience, the pros are,

- Aesthetics

- Guaranteed throughput of water past the heater.

Negatives are also the positives though to be perfectly honest.

- Flow can sometimes be too quick or go unregistered by the thermostat and the heater will not function properly

- You can't tell when it's on or off, which worries me personally.

I've currently got a slightly malfunctioning heater and it works much more effectively when it's inside the tank than it does when it's in the sump, so my basis for these statements isn't exactly flawless.

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Running a heater in the sump has inefficiencies but thats what I would do if I used heaters. The best advantage of heating a sump is the fish cant burn themselves or knock the heater around. It doesnt take a boisterous fish much effort to bash a heater against the side and I have even had some fish (BIG fish) eat Jager heaters (2mm glass).

Inefficiencies: Heating the sump is heat wasteful since the water will cool going along the thin pipes to and from the tank and especially if you have a trickle filter (evaporative cooling). You probably will have to set the heater/sump temp slightly higher to get the tank temp you want.

And of course if your water pump ever fails or your overflow blocks, only the sump will be nice and warm.

As a totally different side topic, I have seen sheets of sponge cut and moulded into realistic backgrounds AND only a heater was used to slowly circulate water through using thermal convection. If allowed to drain, the sponge would probably get burnt but it was an interesting concept which hides the heater well too.

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