Sometime ago, I purchased a wholesale lot of Eheim Jager 3603 Aquarium heaters here on eBay to replenish my back-up heater supply, thinking they had the same quality as the old, green submersible Jager heaters aquarium veterans loved. People loved them for their accuracy, reliability, durability and German craftmanship. Boy, was I wrong! First of all, these new Jager 3603 aquarium heaters REALLY AREN'T submersible although they look like they are! I didn't find this out until after my package arrived and I was ready the literature accompanying the heaters. I thought it was somewhat okay, because the heaters came with a THREE-YEAR guarantee from the manufacturer. I was a little bit disappointed that the seller had listed them as SUBMERSIBLE and she said she was an authorized dealer of Jager. (Tip: Sellers read all of the accompanying literature on items BEFORE listing them! BUYERS, research the products before placing a bid or hitting the buy-it-now button!) If she was an AUTHORIZED dealer she would have known that these heaters were not submersible at all! Unfortunately, the seller did not accept returns under ANY circumstances. Later on, while I was contacting Eheim....again...I was able to verify that she is not an authorized dealer by checking "Find a dealer" list on Eheim's website.
I found out that the Jager heaters just aren't what they used to be. The old green ones were much better quality than their newer counterparts. First of all the newer ones are not very reliable. They go out quickly! If ANY water gets above the water line, it damages the coils and thermostat, causing fluctuations of ten degrees or more. Even my guppies had a hard time dealing with constantly changing water temperatures. Also the heaters' suction cups quickly "loose their sticky" and the entire heater ends up falling into the water. At times, I had to press the suction cups against the aquarium sides so hard just tog get them to stick that I may have caused some very tiny cracks in the heaters, allowing water to seep into the heater and ruin them. Making aquarium heaters LOOK like they are submersible when they really aren't is just plain stupid. Of course it's going to get wet---it's an aquarium heater! If I wanted an aquarium heater that was not supposed to have the water above a certain level, I would have bought a hang-on heater! As for the 3-year warranty, it's more like a three-month warranty, because that is approximately how long each heater lasted. As soon as one started experiencing problems, I would replace it with another from my stash, hope that the one before it was just a dud, and contact Eheim again. About the third heater, I realized that these new Jager 3603 heaters aren't like the old green ones I liked so much. I also started having problems with the electricity in my house. Breakers would flip, lights would flicker. An aquarium heater should not use up that amount of power in order to do that. A few times I received an electrical shock to my hand when I would go care for my fish.
Trying to resolve the problems I was having and to act upon that 3-year warranty, I contacted Eheim several times, but NEVER heard back from them. I went to their website, and I could not even find these heaters listed sometimes. Other times, I could find them listed. I began to wonder if maybe these heaters were counterfeit. I know...why would anyone want to make and sell counterfeit aquarium heaters? Well, if a company gains an excellent reputation and worldwide acclaim for their products, people will try to counterfeit those in-demand products regardless of wether the products be money, designer purses, some brands of cosmetics (such as MAC)...etc. True, the products listed are far more lucrative than aquarium heaters.
I also began to wonder if maybe their was a recall on these heaters. According to the US government recall pages (hint: google search "recall") there were not any recalls for any aquarium heaters. So....I tried to start one by looking at and filling out the forms. (I will try to keep everyone posted on the progress.) Now I am warning people about the new Jager aquarium heaters by writing this guide. I know, it's more of a review, but eBay doesn't have a category for pet supplies in the reviews section last time I checked. Most the reviews are for books, music, and movies. I tried to turn this into a blog, but I would have quickly run out of space because the blogs can only have so many characters.
After loosing several hundred dollars worth of fish and other aquarium inhabitants, including several future angelfish spawning (breeding) pairs and a few wild-caught tadpoles, and spending countless hours to get in touch with the manufacturers, I decided that these new Jager aquarium heaters simply are not worth it!
Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope Santa does not bring you any new Eheim Jager aquarium heaters!