Using my upcoming 125 gal aquarium as a room humidifier... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
Using my upcoming 125 gal aquarium as a room humidifier...

I've got gas heat so in the winter my house is dry as a bone. So, I've had an idea... I'm about ready to set up my first aquarium at 125 gal and I thought...what if I just left the top completely open (mounting the lighting on the wall behind it) and let the water evaporate to help out my house's relative humidity?

Is this something that's feasible (assuming I stock with non-jumpers, looking at cichlids)? Once I establish a healthy bacteria balance would having to replace 10-20 gal of water a week be ok? An idea might be to direct a fan at the water so evaporation would be accelerated. Or is this idea just haywire? What kind of stress would be put on the tank by replacing that much water every week?

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post #2 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 04:02 AM
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I don't know about the rest of it, but to touch on a few points...

With an open top aquarium, its especially important to be sure to give the fish a "ceiling". This mean to do pretty heavy surface coverage with floating plants, or plants that have floating leaves. (Certain plants from the lily and lotus family work well for this and look stunning when they flower!)

An open air aquarium tends to collect more dirt- dust, hair, and various debris fall easily into the water. This may affect your water quality, this is def something to research.

I would not have an open top aquarium in a house that has cats, birds, or young children.

There is no problem replacing 10 to 20 gallons a week, because you should be doing weekly 50% water changes. But if you use a HOB style filter, you must be sure the water line does not lower past a certain point or your filter will stop working and burn out. Also be aware that your heater must stay submerged to a certain point or it will burn out.

You can research open top aquariums on the web. I hope someone else here can answer the rest of your questions. Good luck!

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 04:26 AM
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Being a HVAC guy, the humidification even at that size, is not worth the risk, not even close.
A normal furnace humidifier (potentially) delivers 18 gallons a day into the air.

Aprilaire Model 700 Whole Home Automatic Humidifier &#124 Complete Humidity Control

I understand and appreciate the idea, but I would not design my tank around it. The tank evaporation won't come even close to that in any given day.

Last edited by Eddie1KRR; 02-07-2012 at 04:30 AM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 07:59 AM
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Open top aquariums are very common in reef aquariums. Fans are used in smaller systems to keep temps under 80 degrees or so.
I have gas heat in my house and a 95 gal system. The air inside the house with the house central fan on circulates the humidity really well. It makes the house very comfortable. I evaporate about 1 1/2 gals. a day. People that have jumping fish often buy a kit from Bulk Reef that has a clear mesh knitting that fits on the top frame.
You have to be careful about not spraying scented air fresheners, etc.
My 57 gal. FW rimless is open topped.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-07-2012, 08:03 AM
Consider that unless you replace the make up water with distilled or RO water ($$) the water in the aquarium will become mineral concentrated and in time likely kill any fish unfortunate enough to live there.
If your furnace does not have a humidifier an inexpensive room humidifier is a much better idea.

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-08-2012, 11:02 PM
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I too have gas heat and I really don't think you have to leave the tank uncovered. Before I had my tanks I had a serious dry air problem. Static electricity and dust also. Once I started fish keeping that was no longer a issue. In the beginning I had 3 tanks that first winter all with glass covers totaling 200 gallons. Matter of fact it can be too much humidity on the warmer days when the furnace don't run as much. My furnace don't have a humidifier on it. I would try it with the tank covered first. I've heard of some fish keepers with problems with mold because of the humidity from their tanks.
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