10-02-2010, 08:16 PM
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Thing is filters use so little power. Even my monster XP3 canister uses only 28 watts. It would be very simple using any means of electric generation to power a filter, but its really not worth it IMO. Considering what takes up the most energy in a tank, finding a way to passively heat a tank would be much more worth while. The 55gal tank that the filter above is on has a 200 watt heater and being a high tech planted tank with 110 watts of light(compared to 30 watts if it wasn't). If you consider that this is a normal 55 gal. Estimate the heater runs 6 hours out of the day, lights 8 hours, and filter 24/7. That gives you 1200+240+672=2,112 watts per day or 2.112 kWatts. Which based on an power cost average of 11 cents, then it costs 23 cents per day to run. Filter makes up 32%, lights 11%, heater 57%. The heater is the big factor and its hard to estimate how long it is running on any specific tank. The best you can do is see how big a difference there is between the tank and the room. Things like a tightly fitting lid and insulating the tank would have a very noticeable effect. Since glass is very poor insulator. You can do things like fix 1" styrofoam panels to the backs and sides of a tank. Since it gets very cold during winter here I often throw a sleeping bag or comforter over basement tanks at night. However be careful if your lights are on a timer as it could be hazardous for lights (especially high powered lights) to run under a blanket.
I also thought one day how efficiently could you heat a tank if you pumped water from the tank through a tube in the hood light, then back into the tank? I've never tried such a thing, but by theory especially if you run the tube round and round in the hood it should cool the light while heating the water. The question is if it does it efficiently enough.... It would probably be more theoretical with higher light systems.