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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, here's what happened. I have a 50W heater in my 2.5 gallon tank. There was always some algae on the bottom end, covering the rubber portion. 2 days ago, some algae got on about a 1 square inch portion of the glass tube part. The algae became dried and hard, solidified on the glass tube.

I noticed, because my betta fish was fascinated by the bubbles coming off of the algae, trying to catch them. I planned on removing the algae but didn't do so immediately.

Then today, I heard a really quiet whirring coming from the heater. I removed the heater and scratched off the dried algae. I noticed the "lining" over that part was now gone, a layer of material over the glass tube with a fish pattern. So there'd be less insulation, which would make more heat, and possible cause the bubbles.

I turned on the heater outside the tank for a very small time at low temp, to make sure it still functioned, and it did(it had been fine for 2 days so I thought it wasn't imminently about to fail). I put it back in my fish tank, and didn't hear the whirring. There was only one small bubble on the exposed glass portion(without lining), instead of the stream of bubbles coming from the dried algae before.

But then I heard the whirring again... the whirring is near the top end of the aquarium heater, sorta by the dial. So I turned off the heater again.

Is my heater compromised? Did something overheat? The tank gets cold quick up here in Northern Wisconsin so I'll have to go get a new heater fast..
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update, I actually unplugged the wrong thing so my heater was on for the last 15 minutes or so. I noticed the heater light was on and there was no noise, so I think the quiet whirring might have just been caused by changing the temperature dial, so the heater adjusted it's output. And I just never noticed it before since I don't adjust the heat much...
 

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Update, I actually unplugged the wrong thing so my heater was on for the last 15 minutes or so. I noticed the heater light was on and there was no noise, so I think the quiet whirring might have just been caused by changing the temperature dial, so the heater adjusted it's output. And I just never noticed it before since I don't adjust the heat much...
I don't think heaters should make whirring noises. Perhaps a soft click now and then as it cycles on and off but no whirring. Could the sound be arcing?

scraping off the design isn't going to affect the heater. Be sure you don't scratch the borosilicate.
 
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