What is Your Monthly Power Cost For Your Aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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What is Your Monthly Power Cost For Your Aquarium?

So I was talking with my roommate and I mentioned I was going to be getting another aquarium. He mentioned his concerns over increased power consumption, which makes sense because our power rates with GRU are downright farcical and we do everything possible to save every month. He suggested that a large aquarium costs around thirty dollars a month to run and I said no way. It got me to thinking, what does my aquarium cost to run each month?
$10.09 USD (for a long month)

This is a couple dollars higher than I would have expected but it is a conservative estimate based on the heater running six hours a day. I have always planned on getting another aquarium (and another...and another...a BIG ONE) and it is reassuring to know that it doesn't make that much of a dent in the bill.

As I mentioned, power rates where I live are high (the highest in the state of Florida in fact) and I would like to know what everyone else is paying?

Calculating Power Consumption:
The wattage information for aquarium equipment is always listed somewhere and of course you know how long the stuff on timers runs for. For me:
Hagen AquaClear 70: 6 watts
Marineland Heater: 250 watts (6/24 of a day)
King 160 power head: 10 watts
Coralife Dual T5 NO: 54 watts (8/24 of a day)
78.5
6 watts + (250 watts X 6/24) + 10 watts + (54 watts X 8/24)=
96.3 watts/hour

Conversion to Kilowatt Hour:

kilowatt-hour = watt × hour / 1000

31 Day Month=744 Hours

So the consumption in kilowatt-hours for a billing period is-
96.3 watts X 744 hours / 1000 = 71.6 kilowatt hours

Calculating Monthly Cost:

Usually the cost of power is listed on the utility bill as cost per 1000 kilowatt-hours or cost per kilowatt hour. For me the cost is approximately $141.00 USD per 1000 kilowatt hour.
So 71.6 kwh X ($141/1000 kwh) = $10.09 on each bill

So what is everyone paying to run their aquarium?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 12:07 PM
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With 24 tanks (2 more tomorrow!) and REALLY close to 1000G of water in two rooms in the basement, each one with a heater ranging from 75W to 250W all set at 80 or better and lights over each one, I would need a day or two to figure it out. But in the summertime, my entire electric bill for the house runs $175 - $200 at about 9 cents per KWH. A good guess would be approaching $100 a month. Admittedly, I'm about90% converted to LED's. I found an undercabinet light bar on Amazon that comes in a 6500K that works perfectly in the fish room. I just ordered 12 of them to finish the conversion from T5 and I'll be illuminating just shy of 300G with 36W of LED. That's down from about 240W of T5 and LED. It's an investment.

Angelo

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 02:42 PM
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Something to consider: If you live in an area that is hot more than it is cold, in other words, you run the air conditioner a lot, then you're also using energy to pump all that aquarium heat outside.

If you live in a cold climate (I don't) then you actually "get back" some of the energy used by your aquariums because it all ends up as heat and that just goes to heating your house.

I live in Texas. Its late September and I'm still running the air conditioner.

99% Of all the energy used by your aquarium ends up as heat. Your pumps run, they churn the water and send it uphill. It falls back down hill and everywhere along the way turbulence are created which turn into heat.

Your lights produce heat right from the get go (even the LEDs) then, what light actually does escape the fixtures, falls on the tank. A small amount of that light is used by plants. They convert the light energy into chemical compounds. This is just about the only energy used by your aquarium that doesn't immediately turn into heat. The rest of the light that doesn't get used by the plants, well...that turns into heat too.

Your aquarium heater...yep, that makes heat too. It is the most "efficient" device in any aquarium. It is almost 100% efficient at making...heat.

So, basically you can take the total amount of electrical energy that you put into your aquarium and expect it to end up as heat. In cold climates that's great. You've been able to use that energy twice--once to service your aquarium and once to heat your house. In hot climates the opposite is true. You're paying twice--once to service your aquarium and once for the air conditioner to remove the heat from your home.

I don't mean to sound pessimistic. But you need to take that "waste" heat into account when evaluating the "total" energy used by your aquarium. If you live someplace cold where you are constantly using more energy to heat your home then all the energy you put into your aquarium costs you "nothing" because it is fully used to heat your home.

On the plus side: winter is coming (at least for the northern hemisphere) and we can all use our aquarium energy twice--once to service the aquarium and once to heat the house.


As for my own energy use totals, I'll have to check when I get home tonight.

-------------------------------------
The coolest fish I've ever owned were some fish sticks in my freezer.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 10:07 PM
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well my wemo timer that im using for my light fixture says im using about .98cents a month for lighting my 20 long. that's about 30 watts for light then need to add filter and i'll be over a dollar.

i don't use a heater, yet.
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