Freshwater Aquarium heating alternative - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Freshwater Aquarium heating alternative

Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and relatively new to this hobby/obsession

I have setup a 55g community tank that seems to be going very well now for approx. 8 months. I have just finished building my new garage with office and I want to build up a few more aquariums. If I do, I can see the wife hitting the roof when the power bill comes in.

As someone who is a bit of a tight ass and who also wants to do his bit on conserving energy, I'm wondering if there are any alternatives to heating an aquarium?

I was thinking solar heating, something similar to solar hot water. Has anyone explored any alternatives? I've tried google searches, but have not really found anything.

Your thoughts/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Robbie...
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 05:55 AM
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Hello and welcome!

I don't think you'll find anything on that, as the cost of doing so would be so high as to never even dream of breaking even.

In the grand scheme of things, fish tanks do not take all that much power to operate. I know people tend to look at the heater as "200W" but you have to remember that it is not turned on all the time.

Say it is on for 5 minutes every 15 minutes which I think is high. That would mean it's really only one for 8 hours a day total.

8 hours/day * 30 days/month * 200W = 48000W-hours / month = 48 kW-hours / month

Say your electricity is 14 cents per killowatt hour, that is 48 kWh*$0.14/kWh = $6.72

Lights don't add much, and the filter is hardly anything. Take those numbers with a grain of salt, as there are lots of variables mainly the actual amount of time the heater is on and its actual wattage. But, there is no way a tank will cost more than $8-9 a month to operate, and only during winter. In the summer it's likely much, much less unless you keep the AC on really low (which will cost you way more than the tank will).
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 08:04 AM
How many tanks? If you dedicate a well insulated fish room, you just heat the room, not the individual tanks.

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 08:04 AM
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don't forget, with solar panels, etc you would have to have some way of regulating it.
as far as the concept of solar heating, I would the solar to heat water, and pump it through some coils in the aquarium. Heat exchange. When it reaches the proper temp, the pump would shut off. Cool down, pump turns back on.
I am with geomancer: think this would be too expensive, too little return, and probably (unless you were also going to use them to heat or power the house as well), too much effort. (unless you really REALLY like to tinker).
stick with the electric heaters. I happen to like Sera heaters.

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 08:54 AM
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Yes, heating the room works too, but you need a few tanks and as said an insulated room. But if your office is in there too 76-78 may be a bit warm for you to sit in.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-28-2012, 06:47 PM
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Well insulating the area would help in any event...for you, the tanks, and your energy bill. Beyond that, I would just look for the most energy efficient heaters and make sure that the heat is distributed as well as possible by placement in relation to your filters. Energy consumption is one of the least expensive aspects of this hobby as has been mentioned earlier.

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-29-2012, 06:59 PM
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Hi- I have found that in our house with' in-floor H2O heat' below tile , the 67 gal. tank stays constant 27 C , summer & winter so far. This is a great surprise and relief for me, as my last heater-a good Jaeger, failed one weekend while we were away , overheated, and killed all my Red Coral Pencil Fish and Elegance type Corys- so now- no heater plugged in and no worries about that. Good luck.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-30-2012, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
Hi- I have found that in our house with' in-floor H2O heat' below tile , the 67 gal. tank stays constant 27 C , summer & winter so far. This is a great surprise and relief for me, as my last heater-a good Jaeger, failed one weekend while we were away , overheated, and killed all my Red Coral Pencil Fish and Elegance type Corys- so now- no heater plugged in and no worries about that. Good luck.

Thanks for your input...
Interesting... So does your house temperature stay at 27 Deg? Isn't that too warm?

Robbie...
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-30-2012, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish monger View Post
Well insulating the area would help in any event...for you, the tanks, and your energy bill. Beyond that, I would just look for the most energy efficient heaters and make sure that the heat is distributed as well as possible by placement in relation to your filters. Energy consumption is one of the least expensive aspects of this hobby as has been mentioned earlier.
The temperature stays fairly constant, especially now that I have a circulating pump and the fish seem to like it as well, must give them something else to do I guess. I haven't received this quarters bill yet, so I'll see when it comes in.

Robbie...
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-30-2012, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your responses guys, like I said, I'm pretty new to this so I'm trying to find my feet. I "am" looking at solar power and would like a 5KW system installed which they tell me will most certainly give me credits, but at 10K installed it's a fair chunk of funds that disappears.

Kind Regards,
Robbie...
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