Cichlids of Victoria

CichlidsofVictoria.com is dedicated to the discussion and husbandry of African Cichlids especially the Victorian species
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 Post subject: Electricity Bills
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:17 pm 
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Here's one where we probably have an advantage on down under.

How do you guys keep your power bills down? Fortunately here we don't have to deal with cold, cold snowy winters and our electricity (heating bills) are manageable if you use the right heaters.

So what's the go with heating tanks for you?


Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:17 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:31 pm 
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I think because my community gets power from Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant and our mild Central Coast weather, our bill is super low.
Most its ever been is $100, usually 50-60.
I have friends in different parts of California who have had bills over $500.

Things that can help are using Acrylic instead of glass tanks.
Acrylic insulates much better, so the temp does not fluctuate.
have styrofoam sheets under the tank, paint one black and put it on the back and sides.
make a canopy and line it with styrofoam sheeting.
the top is where alot of heat is lost.
So then the only part that is exposed is the front of the tank.

Insulating the room the best you can.

I know Pantera has talked about running solar, if my bill was not so cheap, i'd certainly get that set up.

Heating the room is much more efficient than heating individual tanks.
Gas blowers would be the way to go there.

We use the clothes dryer alot, i'd like to figure a way to run the clothes dryer vent with a filter, that would keep the room toasty all day long.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:53 pm 
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That is so funny as I was just telling Dirk how my electric bill was over $350 this past month and am thinking about swapping out some of my smaller tanks for the larger ones in the garage. This way I can divide the tanks and double my space without having to run the extra pumps, lights, and heaters.

Dirk has currently setup a styrofoam coffin for his 125G in his garage and seems to be working on keeping the tank warm.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Thanks guys

Some good tips there.

My bill runs usually between $250-$300 a month in winter. The only action I have taken thus far though is to insulate the tanks with styrofoam sheets. I know that works from monitoring the temperatures against the heater settings etc

But there's a few other good things there to try. The canopy is a good idea and looking at heating the room rather than the individual tanks looks the go as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:31 pm 
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you could also use a styrofoam face plate for when you are not viewing the tanks.
that way all sides, top and bottom are covered.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:41 pm 
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OK thanx tr6. Probably smart as it's not like I'm looking at the fish 24 hours a day.

Only about 4-5 :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:25 am 
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I concur with TR that the way to go is to heat the room and not the tanks. Acrylic tanks are also the way to go, not only for their insulation properties but no one likes to wake up to water on the floor.

As ISeeFish said above, I do have my 125g cocooned in styrofoam and thanks to his idea, it keeps the heat in the tank very well. I have three sides covered all the time. (TruVu tanks have a mirrored effect on the ends so the fish don't even see it) Once the sun goes down, I velcro the front and top pc to the tank. I am also going to do the same thing with the rack system going into my garage, permanently encasing all three side in styrofoam.

I calculated the total wattage of all 4 tanks and it costs me approx $55 a month. That might be a little high as it is hard to approx how much the heaters are really pulling daily. Now, when Spring comes, it will be down to $0 as I will have solar panels on my new roof.

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 Post subject: Re: Electricity Bills
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:08 am 
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We had a electric bill topping $400 this last month, everything here is electric though and we're finding out the appliances aren't too green. In the process of renegotiating rent now, but still very tempting to pack up and move to a gas heated place. Half my tanks are upstairs in the warmest room in an isolated warm room, so they don't use too much juice.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:53 am 
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This time last year I had a $900 bill. I added a mini split AC/heating unit to the garage fish room and it is only $500 this year. I'm still working on ways to make it cheaper. I think we are going solar this spring.

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 Post subject: Re: Electricity Bills
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:37 am 
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Mine is $200. I do have one huge linear blower to aerate all my tanks so that helps a bunch.
I use in tank heaters on my smaller tanks and on cold nights I run a space heater in my fish room.

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I think I need a bigger tank......


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 Post subject: Re: Electricity Bills
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Mine runs about 400 a month but I also have some lizards turtles and a wife that has to have it 75 dgrees in her room so she has an electric heater on every night. summer is about the same because of the ac, heaters go off but the air conditioner goes on I cant win LOL


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:39 pm 
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If you use a linear air pump with UG and or sponge filters, you'll save significantly over hang on back filters, canisters and sumps.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:19 pm 
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We are going solar this spring. We are putting a 7.7 system up in a couple of weeks. Now we go more in debt. It will pay for itself in 5 years that is going to be great.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:24 am 
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Jim,
Do you have any details on the solar? Maybe start a thread. I was interested in any comparisons you made between products before making a decision. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Electricity Bills
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:49 am 
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Just a thought for the rugged, many moons ago I went to a hippy fest out in the forest with something like 10 thousand people. Anyways they had hung all these black trash bags in the tree's in the "shower area", and indeed it heated the water remarkably well. Not hot, but more than luke warm. I know this would not be a year round or even all day long sollution to heating, but even if just during the day time of spring and perhaps fall and colder days in summer I am sure someone living out away from scornful neighbors could utilize this system for very cheap. Would be like a heated drip sytem. Just figured it was worth a mention.


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