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Wondering if I could put my filter pump on a timer to go off for an hour at different times during the day. Would save a little power costs as long as it won't harm the fish and plants. I currently have a 20 and 35 gallon planted tank with fish.
 

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Yes, you will need to run it 24/7.

Fish poop/pee 24/7. Plant debris will rot 24/7. And you will lose some beneficial bacteria from extended power off as well. Most good efficient filter are around 10w which cost around $1 per month.

I do turn off my powerheads 12hrs outside of photoperiod.
 

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Should be fine for up to a few hours. But how much power will that really save?

It costs about 15 cents to power any 1000 watt device for one hour (one kilowatt hour). An eheim 2217 uses 20 watts, or 1/50th of a kilowatt, meaning it costs 15 cents to run the filter for 50 hours. So about 7 cents a day. Times 365 and you're at about $25 a year in electrical costs.

Now consider the cost of a timer, and possibly replacing the pump early because of the frequent stop/starts.


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Some filters are a little reluctant to restart after a power outage (from timer or otherwise).
I would not trust it.

The filter is providing circulation of the water which is keeping all the conditions stable throughout the tank:
Temperature- right next to the heater it will remain warm enough, but the circulation is needed to keep the rest of the tank evenly warm. Conversely, on a hot day, the water circulation helps to cool the tank.
Oxygen- The fish could come to the surface is the O2 is depleted in the lower levels, but this is stressful.
CO2- The plants cannot swim around finding the optimum levels of CO2. It must come to them.
Fertilizer- See CO2
The beneficial bacteria are high oxygen demanding. Without water circulation through the filter and throughout the tank they will deplete the oxygen around them rather quickly. While you probably won't lose a lot in just an hour, why risk it?
 

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I think the benefits of keeping your filter running 24/7 outweigh any cost saving by shutting it down for a while. As Diana stated filters do not always restart consistently.
 

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lighting your tank for less hours or lowering your heater temp a degree or two would likely save far more energy than your filter being off, and would be less detrimental to the tank.
 

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I've often wondered this myself. Not really to save money, but for the benefit of the fish while trying to sleep while the lights are off at night. I sometimes turn my filters on the lowest setting at night instead.
 

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It costs about 15 cents to power any 1000 watt device for one hour (one kilowatt hour). An eheim 2217 uses 20 watts, or 1/50th of a kilowatt, meaning it costs 15 cents to run the filter for 50 hours. So about 7 cents a day. Times 365 and you're at about $25 a year in electrical costs.
This is the cost if you plug it in in Wisconsin. Southern CA the kwh rates start higher than that and the tiered system quickly climbs to 3 and 4X that 15 cents. And although I'm a long way from a "tree hugger" there are other reasons to conserve energy besides the monetary cost. All that being said, I still don't think the filter should be turned off and on. Leave it running.
 

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This is the cost if you plug it in in Wisconsin. Southern CA the kwh rates start higher than that and the tiered system quickly climbs to 3 and 4X that 15 cents. And although I'm a long way from a "tree hugger" there are other reasons to conserve energy besides the monetary cost. All that being said, I still don't think the filter should be turned off and on. Leave it running.

Oh I totally agree. (And am fortunate to be paying what is probably an artificially low and unsustainable price for energy) But in the grand scheme of things, we're all much better off saving energy via other methods like not using expedited air shipping, driving slower, turning down our thermostats, etc. Not that I'm any good at doing these

Sorry to derail the thread...looks like others have made some useful comments!


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