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Old 10-21-2003, 04:00 AM   #1
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Heating multiple tanks

Just found this great Forum. Plenty of things to keep me going on the DIY side of things.
The one thing I haven't been able to find anywhere is DIY Heating.

I am currently in the process of setting up 10 2ft tanks, but dont want to speend a fortune on heaters for each one and then the bill of running them.

I have been tossing around the idea of using 12v camping water boilers connected to thermostats, all running off a bank of car batteries that are recharged from solar pannels. The setup cost may be a little bit more expensive but there should be almost no running costs.

This is just one idea that I have.
Does anyone has any thoughs on this??
Will it work??

Thanks
Brett
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:44 AM   #2
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This is way out of my league, LOL. My biggest concern though would be the fact that the water boilers could actually boil the water should the thermostat fail. I would definitely try to figure some redundancies into the system to prevent your fish from boiling
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:50 AM   #3
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how about a solar heat resivor...

you'd need a large plastic rain barrel with a good lid, paint the whole barrel black

if you plumb all the tanks together into a central system, you can just include the barrel in that system. the water in the barrel will be heated by the sun and circulated into the system - at night, the water will hold it's temp for a long time, especially with the volume you are talking about.

alternately, you could light each tank using incandescent bulbs, and the waste heat from the bulbs should warm the water some.
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:16 PM   #4
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Put them all into one well insulated room and keep the temp in that room at 78f via two thermostatically controlled heaters?

Apparently even a small 100w aquarium heater can use about 2 1/2 kw in a 24 hour period (if it's on all the time which it won't be) so that would get expensive like ya said

This is from what I have read, I have not tested that, but I can believe it.

If you opt for the room heat, maybe try these e-heaters, they claim to run as low as 3 cents per hour, which would still be over twenty bucks a month though.
http://www.eheat.us/

How about a single 12v boiler (if it could keep up), and the solar panels and bank of batteries, and a small 12v water pump in a closed loop utilizing copper pipe dipping into each tank, control the whole batch of tanks with just a flow valve and thermometers to monitor. Once it gets set it should stay constant.

Make sure to wire batteries in parallel and not series... hehe

That sounds like a cool setup man let us know what you decide to do

I have floor heat now, and I grew up in a solar house so I am always interested in that stuff I think it is neat.
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:25 PM   #5
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My main concern about trying to heat all of the tanks at once would be that if something goes wrong then it goes wrong on the whole system.
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:36 PM   #6
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I agree Terry.... that is a good point

I wonder if somewhere one could get a list of power consumption, by brand, of submersible heater?

Something like an ebo-jager I bet would probably be the most efficient due to higher quality?

Hey, to save costs he could get 10 good quality submersibles, hook them all to a power inverter powered by a bank or parallel batteries with a solar panel and a regular house 110v wired in for backup.

Or get a bunch of electric eels..........
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Old 10-21-2003, 12:44 PM   #7
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In my store i have 56 aquariums and they are all heated seperately, the cost is roughly £5.50 a day but that includes the lighting as well. The heaters are mostly 100w and there are a few 150w a couple 200w and one 300w. the cost is more than if i heated the room or had a central system but if something goes wrong it happens in only 1 tank.
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Old 10-21-2003, 06:58 PM   #8
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The other reason for heating the tanks individually is that i want to keep a variety of fish and the temperature requirements of them are different.

I had thought of the inverter but the solar pannel I would need to keep the batteries charged would be huge and cost a fortune.

Thanks for the replies and advice.
Brett
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:32 AM   #9
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I think the natural rain water in a black barrel is a cool idea.
Good luck
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:59 AM   #10
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How do you control the temp of a black barrel in the sun? Or do you just flow "warm water" until the tank gets to X degrees and it stops?
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