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Heating a Fish Room

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</DIV><H1>Economical Heating</H1><DIV id=Qtextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Cam04</STRONG><BR><BR>In an average sized bedroom, which I have utilised as a room to put fish, I have 5 * 3fts of various dimensions and a few fry tanks. I am going to seal up the windows with styro and put a mat on the floor to minimise heat loss also.

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The question is, what do you think would be the most efficient way to heat the tanks?

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Currently, I am running heaters in tanks, but along with filters and air pumps, I am creating a bit of a hazard with overloaded powerboards. Is it more cost effective to stick to this heating method, or are there cheaper options open to me? Another problem is that there is only one powerpoint in the room with two outlets.

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Any ideas or your own experiences appreciated.

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Thanks

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Cam

</P></DIV><H2>Replies »</H2><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: b3dlam</STRONG><BR><BR>cam,

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havent got a fish room as such, but i have seen ppl use those oil radiators to good effect. They have 'temperature control' on them so it should be good. The one thing you should also be careful of is the high humidity in the room. You may find your plasterboards getting soft...esp in the upper areas like the ceiling....

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hth...

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: cobalt craig</STRONG><BR><BR>g/day mate

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Reverse cycle air/con heatsing for 9cents per hour

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and you have the advantage of in the summer if the temperature

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gets high you can cool the room down

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regards

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craig

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p/s

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does anyone know how much it cost for the oil heaters to heat the room

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thanks

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craig

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: az</STRONG><BR><BR>There are fan heaters around that also have the temp control cut out on them. IMHO the oil heaters are radiant heaters and will heat up localy rather than a whole room whereas the fan heaters blow the hot air around the room spreading the heat.

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Cheers

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Andreas

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: spedwards</STRONG><BR><BR>Yeah, a fan is a definate must, will heat the room much more effectively. Today Tonight did one of those consumer thingos where they tested a whole bunch of heaters, the reverse cycle A/C came in the cheapest, but with the greatest intial cost. I think the one they gave the thumbs up to was the gas heaters with a fan, if i remember right, they were a little more expensive to run that without the fan but they heated the room a lot better.

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Jon

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Merlin3000</STRONG><BR><BR>If you added up the wattage of all your tank heaters you may be using a total of maybe 1500 watts. If you use a fan heater or similar you would probably be using 1800-2500 watts, which would have more chance overloading the circuit than all those tank heaters. It also makes more sense to me to only heat the tanks than the whole room, maybe sticking styrofoam to the sides and back of the tanks to prevent heat loss.

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Another option would be to use lower wattage heaters to reduce the power draw at any given time.

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: MagicaDiSpell</STRONG><BR><BR>Reverse Cycle airconditioning is by far the cheapest way of heating a room, despite its initial set-up cost. The next cheapest way is a gas heater, but be careful to get a flued gas heater, if you do go that way, because otherwise you will find that undesirable gases will build up in the room, which wouldn't be healthy for you or for your fish. Gas heating also reduces the amount of oxygen in the room (especially if it is well insulated and air exchange is limited).

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Fan heaters with thermostats would probably be the next item on the list. They are good because they deliver a fairly constant temperature and heat the room relatively fast.

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At the bottom of my list would be the oil heater. We have both at home and the oil heater (with the same power consumption as our convection heater) will only take the chill of the room, but not really heat it. The fan action really helps.

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Arj</STRONG><BR><BR>this is a very good post.

i was actually thinking of buying an oil heater once i convert one of the rooms to a fish room. how about those convection heaters and then put a fan in the room? i will be staying away from the oil heater. thanks sabine!

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Arj.

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Baz</STRONG><BR><BR>My father in law is an electrical engineer and last night (talk about timing!) he hooked a gizmo up to my meter board so we could check the amount of current we were drawing on the circuit which has the tanks on it. This machine prints a graph on a tape, kind of like a heart monitor or a lie detector.

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I am not very electrically inclined, and will have to wait for his official diagnosis to give you any figures, but from looking at the graph this morning i can see that the current drawn overnight was very minimal indeed. We live in Woodford where it gets quite chilly and I got a pleasant surprise.

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I am running 6 tanks which means i have 12 fluoro tubes, 7 filters and 8 heaters running all day every day. The other things running on that curcuit until we went to bed were 2 electric radiator-type heaters which is our heating for now. The graph shows quite clearly that turning those room heaters off dropped our power usage by about 80%.

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Now this obviously doesn't mean a room heater is not a good option, dont forget these things are trying to heat my whole house. But what it did show me is that the tanks themselves don't cost as much to run as I first thought.

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All but 1 of my tanks are in 1 small room (this room with the computer in it) and although they have their own heaters, the room still retains wamth given off by the tanks, and then means the heaters do not run continually. I keep the door shut more often in winter for that reason, but am not religious about it. If these tanks were spread through the house my power usage would no doubt go up.

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Anyway, this is all just food for thought. I reckon that unless you are prepared to insulate the entire room and windows and never leave the door open, a room heater may cost more than tank heaters.

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Cam04</STRONG><BR><BR>At the moment, I have heavy curtains drawn and always try to keep the doors shut. There is an obvious temperature difference when these two things are done. The room is a lot warmer, and as someone mentioned earlier, the humidity is a little higher. The tanks are all covered, but there is always condensation on the windows in the morning to give evidence to the humidity factor.

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I am glad someone posted about the oil heaters, as I was condisering purchasing a small one for use in the room. The only other way I can envisage to cut down on in tank heaters would be to have all tanks on a system and heat the sump, and I don't have the $$ or the time to do that right now.

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Thanks for all the replies, and keep them coming.

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: b3dlam</STRONG><BR><BR>The test done of Today Tonight only measures the results after 30 minutes. Radiators are not efficient during the startup phase. But once it gets going, it will be quite good. If you do a return on investment (ROI) calculation on the various options, you can then see the various cost effectiveness of the different heating options. The r/c a/c has lower running costs, but compared to the costs of a oil radiator, it will take you a few years to justify the costs (breakeven point).

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hth

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: cichomaniac</STRONG><BR><BR>I have been using the oil heater to heat my fish house because I could not afford the intial cost for the reverse a/c . The heater has performed really well and has been keeping the temp at a constant 27 deg , the room is well insulated with foam on the walls and ceiling and carpet on the floor.

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I put a small fan in the ceiling pointing down towards the floor and this keeps an even heat through out the room , the top tanks are the same temp as the bottom ones where as without the fan there could be as much as 2 deg difference .

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Now as for the cost of running the heater and fish house , well all I can say is that I have kept all my electric bills going back over two years which was before I even had a fish house and I only had one tank. The diffence between between the oldest bill which is July 2000 ( no fish house )and the one I just got July 2002 with the fish house up and running for 6 months , is $120.00.

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That works out at a increase of $40.00 per month in the middle of winter which I think is not too bad considering I'm also running two air pumps and fourteen fluro lights which are on 12 hours a day.

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: blue gularis</STRONG><BR><BR>Hi all,

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A word of warning about using a reverse cycle air conditioner it is placing all your eggs in one basket. I have used one for years untill 5 weeks ago when it blew.

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Since then my fishroom has become my least favourite place every time I go out to it there is another tank of dead bodies, had close to thirty containers holdind fish and fry and only have 3 left with fish

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The average size of my tanks is 18x10 and I thought a heater for each tank was a bit of a waste also keeping killies and blue eyes they can handle a lot cooler water than other tropicals.

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Gary H-H

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</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: hyperdive</STRONG><BR><BR>Sorry to hear that Gary.

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Cam, Have you considered running a central filter?

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My new rack of 6 4x2x18 tanks will be run from one BIG minireef filter with one 7000 l/h pump and two 300 watt jager heaters in the minireef. The lights are house power and at the most I'll use three 2 output airpumps, so I'll have the need for a 6 output powerboard at the most. I've insulated the roof with foil and 50mm fibreglass, and put up masonite on the walls to stop draughts and create an airlock between the outer wall and inner wall

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Insulation is by far the most important part of heating a fishroom. If you own the house, and don't care how it looks inside the fishroom, put up sheets of polystyrene painted with copper-sulphate paint (to stop mildew). The tanks will heat the room sufficiently enough not to need external heating if that's how you want to go. It is the cheapest alternative in the short term.

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Long term and more expensive is plasterboard and fibreglass batts in the roof coupled with reverse cycle aircon.

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<P><STRONG>Author: cobalt craig</STRONG><BR><BR>does anyone know how much the oil heaters

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cost to run per hour

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ta

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craig

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: Alan Caboolture</STRONG><BR><BR>Craig,

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Depends what size oil heater you are using. I use a 3.6Kw heater to keep my 30'x20' fish shed with over 100 tanks at a minimum of 20C thought winter. On tarrif 11 @ 12cent/KwHr it costs about 44 cents per hour to run while the heater is using power. My power usage goes up 17 to 20 Kw daily during winter so it is costing between $2 -$3 per day to keep the room at 20C or above which works out at a couple of cents per tank.

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The whole shed is insulated with 30% fibreglass roof so some days the heater only comes on for an hour or two at night.

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Unfortunately this shed gets too hot in Summer for some of the fish I would like to keep. So looks like I an going to have to go to R/C airconditioning in the future.

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Alan.

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PS when doing water changes I use a solar system so any new water does not have to warmed up to room temp. That saves a good bit.

</P></DIV><DIV id=Atextbox><P><STRONG>Author: chorrylan</STRONG><BR><BR>Alan,

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I'm interested in how the "solar system" is rigged up and operates... care to elaborate?

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