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  • Most energy efficient type of heating

    Hi all today i borrowed a meter which calculates my co2 emissions cost and electricity roughly until i program it to my companies rates.
    So i plugged it into my fishtank and away it went which has gotten me thinking which is the most efficient type of aquarium heater currently i run a 200w inline heater which has the benefit of not being seen however it makes me think its just not as efficient as an internal i will do a test but has anyone had any expirience with undergravel heaters being better or running two heaters at the same time??

  • #2
    i would asume that unless that unless the heat dosent transfer to just to the water it dosent matter what wattage you use, more wattage, less time its on, less wattage, more time its on, would think it would work out similar, so unless your heater is loosing heat that isn't going into the tank, changing heaters wouldn't help

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    • #3
      power consumption depends on how high you have your temps set,
      a traditional heater set at 28c will consume nearly 4x the amount of energy than one set at 24c

      power rating does make a difference, too small a heater and it will cost (therefore consume more electricity) alot more to heat the water to the desired temperature, than if you had used the correct size heater for the tank volume.
      however too large a heater you run the risk of cooking your fish if the thermostat dies.
      Last edited by __CAV__; 10-04-12, 07:08 PM.

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      • #4
        could their be a way to to maximise the heat yet use less or the same amount of energy. I was thinking about making a little heat shield for night time insulating my tank stand as little as these may be id just like to experiment. does anyone else use any other methods to to retain heat in their aquarium??

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        • #5
          you can insulate them with styrophone, i am going to do it with my tanks soon cause it is getting colder.

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          • #6
            If you didn't care what the tank looked like you could wrap the sides of the tank with bubblewrap to retain the heat.
            Cheers,

            Serkan

            Currently breeding 15+ different killifish!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by __CAV__ View Post
              power rating does make a difference, too small a heater and it will cost (therefore consume more electricity) alot more to heat the water to the desired temperature, than if you had used the correct size heater for the tank volume.
              This is incorrect.

              Originally posted by jordan93 View Post
              i would asume that unless that unless the heat dosent transfer to just to the water it dosent matter what wattage you use, more wattage, less time its on, less wattage, more time its on, would think it would work out similar, so unless your heater is loosing heat that isn't going into the tank, changing heaters wouldn't help
              This is correct.


              Heaters are 100% efficient in generating heat regardless of brand/make/model. When an appliance is "inefficient" it is because energy (electricity) is not completely converted into the form that it is wanted. Eg, when you have inefficient lights, the lost energy goes into heat. With heaters, the desired output is just heat so there cannot be inefficiencies.


              Like has already been suggested, you need to insulate your tank and save heat.

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              • #8
                ive been staring trying to think of something new and i got the idea of using the heat from my lights as somewhat of a solar heater. So first i would run air line in a continuous loop on the top of my lights connect one end up to the spray bar of my filter and the other would run into the tank i know this wouldnt make an amazing difference but its a start.

                What got me thinking that the inline was less efficient is the fact that it heats the water that then has to run up the output line exposing it to the cold through the spray bar which pumps it out at the surface. Im no scientist but heat rises now if you put an internal in the tank at the bottom the hot water has to travel upward heating water along the way i will insulate the intake and output lines after the holidays but to say every heater is same because they produce heat is up for debate.

                i doubt ill put a bubble wrap or anything like during the day the tank is their to be enjoyed and the overall look is very important to me however night time is a different story.
                Last edited by Tom.; 10-04-12, 08:31 PM.

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                • #9
                  ok first. You really need to add some full stops into those sentences.

                  Originally posted by Tom. View Post
                  but to say every heater is same because they produce heat is up for debate.
                  Hmm no. I'm certain that's correct. Other than the few milliwatts that's lost through the clicking noise of the relay and the led light, all energy gets converted to heat.

                  In regards to inline vs internal etc. Not sure about that one but I would guess that it is negligible. One could argue that the spray bar could then be pointed down rather than up and therefore produce a better mixing effect and thus be more efficient.

                  The idea of water cooling your lights and using that to heat the water could be good especially for led and MH lighting. The main problem though is that you will need some relatively complex controls to ensure the water doesnt get too hot. At minimum you will need a solenoid thats controlled by a thermometer. If your serious about reducing energy costs without insulation then this is probably your best bet. I also agree that insulation isnt exactly practical for display tanks but definitely the way to go for garage tanks and breeding setups.

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                  • #10
                    Did i just get an F for english?

                    What makes me think all aquarium heaters arent the same are things like quality,age,frequency of use. My guess would also be
                    that a brand new heaters fresh out of the box vs a heater 4 years old somewhere along the line the calibration may go slightly out of wack especially if its an el cheapo. Thats me guessing with no knowledge about the internal workings of a heater but it sounds like you know a little more than me so ill take your word for it.
                    I just did a search then on a high end brand and it claims:

                    Excellent heat transmission – lower wattage to
                    heat the same volume of water
                    New design!!

                    as for the lights i will try it unregulated otherwise id just be spending more money on gear and then electricity to power it.
                    Foolish? Quite possibly but it cant hurt to expirement.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by victork View Post
                      This is incorrect.
                      yeh i understand why its wrong now, the water requires the same amount of energy to heat it, irrespective of the heater size, so it should consume the same or similar? amount of energy just over a longer time?
                      is that right victork?
                      the only thing that would make a difference would be how fast the tank looses heat to the external elements? - correct?
                      and considering a smaller heater couldnt heat as quick as a larger heater wouldnt the smaller heater need to be run for a longer time to heat a tank and keep it constant?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by victork View Post
                        Hmm no. I'm certain that's correct. Other than the few milliwatts that's lost through the clicking noise of the relay and the led light, all energy gets converted to heat.
                        To play devil's advocate, what about the accuracy of the thermostat? Those vaunted Jagers are supposed to hold a very stable temp as opposed to the dodgy AquaOnes that I use, which might make a difference in power used.

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                        • #13
                          True. But that's not really a matter of efficiency since all the energy is still going into heating the water up which is what you want. But I agree that some of the cheaper ones might not have very good regulation. But i got the impression that Tom. has a hydor (since thats the only inline brand i'm aware of) and they have spot on temperature regulation.

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                          • #14
                            you are correct i do have a hydor inline however hydor say that some hydor inline heaters can have 2 degrees of play in them. I also have a hydor internal to which is spot on too.

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                            • #15
                              jagers run with half the wattage with some 'german' tech.
                              "You wouldnt have that problem with a V8"

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