A selection of useful tidbits of information and tricks for the marine aquarist submitted by Advanced Aquarist’s readership. Readers are encouraged to post them to our Hot Tips sticky in the Reefs.org General Reefkeeping Discussion forum or send their tips to firstname.lastname@example.org for possible publication. Next month’s Hot Tip theme will be “Mantis Shrimp Removal Tips“.
Electrical Savings Tips:
This is the rule of thumb in my house: No one in the room, lights off in that room.
Why does the AC need to be at 74F? In the middle of the day? Bump it to 78F when you leave for work.
Don’t take long hot showers. (applies for electric hotwater heaters) I am trying out luke warm to cool showers. Feels great in the mornings!
Don’t leave TV on.
Close window blinds that have sunlight that shines in.
Keep doors closed.
Submitted by: pwj1286
I replaced all of the incandescent bulbs in my house with compact flourescents. It doesn’t help my tank’s electrical use, but I hope it at least off-sets some of the consumption from my tank.
I also set up my display tank in a finished basement room this time around, where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate greatly and it never gets too hot or too cold. So hopefully that will save some heating costs (and cooling costs if I used a chiller, but I don’t).
Submitted by: PitPat
I keep my sump at roughly the same elevation as my show tank in order to save energy. This reduces head pressure and allows me to run a smaller return pump and still achieve the flow volume that I desire through the sump. There is a second benefit for those using submergible return pumps: smaller pumps typically add less heat to the system, resulting in decreased cooling costs.
Submitted by: SciGuy2
I let my tank have seasonal temperatures – I run 77-79 in the winter and 80-82 in the summer.
Also, I was able to avoid needing a chiller by using a big fan – I got a 6″ clip on desk fan and clipped it to the back of my canopy. Then I plugged it into a single stage Ranco Temperature Controller – when my tank hit 81, the fan would come on, and when it hit 79 the fan would shut off. The 6″ fan really moved a lot of air and the tank stayed cool.
Submitted by: jayo
When you’re setting up a new tank, PLAN for the electricity use. Do some comparason shopping and compare how much power each piece of the tank will use.
Weigh the cost of the ‘better’ (meaning lower wattage) piece versus the higher wattage. Sure, there are cases where you need that big of a return pump, and only 2 companies make them. But for most cases there are many pumps that will suffice.
Things like heaters you can’t get away from. If your tank needs a 250w heater, your choice is one 250 or two 125’s. Either way you’re using 250.
Don’t get the brightest lights you can. Sure, your tank will look great with three 400watt halides, but think of that first electric bill! Also, do you really need actinic supplementation? I’ve found that Phoenix 14KK bulbs are perfect (for my eyes) without actinics. So my actinics (I chose T5’s over VHO) will be on only for an hour before the halides, and an hour after. Just giving the dusk/dawn effect. So instead of running two 39w lamps for 10 hours, I’m running them for 2.
Submitted by: Bingo