Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > General Hardware/Equipment Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 12-22-2010, 11:09 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
uscamaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 861
+1 Rep bro! Awesome post... this should be a Sticky!
__________________

__________________
-Patrick

uscamaro is offline  
Old 12-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: not here anymore
Posts: 5,338
Great post. Thanks for putting the numbers up for everyone to see.
__________________

__________________
Kurt_Nelson is offline  
Old 12-22-2010, 02:05 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Floyd R Turbo's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,682
You have inspired me to screw around at work today.

I went through my water bills for the past year and added up all the water and sewer costs, fees, and taxes and came up with a total cost that varies between $0.0092 / gallon during high useage months (10,000 gallons - I have 4 kids) and exactly $0.01 / gallon during low useage months.

My system was advertised as having a 1.5:1 waste ratio, so I go through 2.5 gallons to make 1 gallon of water. Therefore, my high-end water cost is $0.025 / gallon.

For the reef I maintain, as I put in my last message, I can buy RC on Drs F&S for $55 and makes 167 gallons at Salinity 35, so that runs about $0.33 / gallon to mix, so my total cost is $0.355 / gallon. I don't do regular changes on that one though.

For the FOWLRs I maintain, I try to adhere to a monthly PWC of 40 gallons, because that is one BRUTE trash can full of water. The salt I use for that is Instant Ocean Sea Salt (not RC) and that's $48 on F&S and makes 182 gallons at Salinity 32 (an extra 1/4 cup for every 5 gallons, or a total of 22 cups), so that runs $0.264 / gallon. Total SW cost on that is then $0.289 / gallon.

So a 40g PWC w/IO-SS currently costs me $11.56.

If I was buying water from my LFS at $0.50 / gallon (I don't even know if any of them sell it around here), that would cost about $20, and like I said before, the salinity might not be 32 but probably 29 or 30, and you don't know if they started with RO/DI, RO, or tap water for that matter.

When my DI runs out, I am then forced to go and fill up buckets at the Culligan RO station at Wal-Mart, which costs $0.37/gallon. With that figured into the equation, 40g of IO-SS mix runs $0.634 / gallon, or $25.36. More than LFS, but I know what I started with and what I finised with. But, it involves a 1-hour round trip (including fill) to Wal-Mart, plus the extra hauling of buckets to the car, then into the house to mix it. So it's definitely not the deisred option.

Monthly cost:

WM SW Mix: $25.36
LFS SW Mix: $20
Home RO/DI SW Mix: $11.56

Monthly Savings:

Home savings over LFS: $8.44
Home Savings over WM: $13.8

Yearly Cost:

WM SW Mix: $304.32
LFS SW Mix: $240
Home RO/DI SW Mix: $138.72

Yearly savings:

Home over LFS: $101.28
Home over WM: $165.60

My conclusion: While purchasing an RO/DI system can range anywhere from $50-$400, and yearly replacement of media also varies (maybe $40-$80, maybe less), buying your own RO/DI system is really less about cost savings as it is about being in control of your system and eliminating all other potential variables. The time savings factor is somewhat offset, you either spend time going to the LFS or filling up buckets, or you make your own and then buy and mix the salt.

For a FO or FOWLR system, buying pre-mixed SW might be OK because you're a little less worried about the origin of the water, unless algae is a big problem and you have eliminated all other possibilities.

For a Reef system however, the cost of the RO system and media are grossly outweighed by the cost of potentially losing all your corals during a tank crash due to any number of possible unknowns related to water origin that is out of your control. Plus, since a reef should generally be maintained at higher salinity (and Calcium, Magnesium, etc) than a FO/FOWLR, you really should mix up your own SW (unless it's an all-softie tank and easy corals). IMO, an RO/DI system is a must-have for a full blown reef system.
__________________
My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
Floyd R Turbo is offline  
Old 12-22-2010, 03:19 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post
You have inspired me to screw around at work today.
Great post! I'm a bit nerdy and enjoy numbers so it's interesting to me to see how that goes. I think it's also very helpful to see monthly and yearly figures on upkeep like this. It really puts the cost of upkeep right out on the table!
__________________
NickRummy is offline  
Old 12-27-2010, 10:35 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 185
So has anyone dabbled in electricity costs for their tanks?

My approximate electricity rate is 11.6 cents per kWh. That means 11.6 cents per 1,000watts. That's 0.0116 per watt.

(4) 24" VHO bulbs - 74w x 4 x 8 hours = 2368 watts per day
Mag 9.5 - 93w x 24 = 2232 watts per day
Mag 7 - 70w x 24 = 1680 watts per day
(2) Kolaria 750 - 4.5w x 2 x 24 = 216 watts per day
300w heater - 300w x 12 hours = 3600 watts per day (just a guess, not sure how often the heater is on during the day)

Total = 10,096 watts per day. 10,096 / 1000 = 10.096kWh per day.

10.096 x 11.6 cents = 117.1136 cents per day

$1.17 per day
$35.10 per month
$421.20 per year
__________________
NickRummy is offline  
Old 12-27-2010, 01:39 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Floyd R Turbo's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,682
Just a clarification on your units (I'm an electrical engineer, so I can't let it slide!!) your math is correct but the "watts per day" is really watt-hours per day...so 2368 watt-hours/day or 2.368 kWh/day. Other than that the only thing I can think of that you're missing is the ballast kWh which is probably on the order of 5-10 watts in addition to the lamps, plus any loss factor but you're in the ballpark...

The best way to get a read on it would be to have everything on it's own circuit and then clamp a monitor around the wires and have it record for a week and look at the average. But I digress.
__________________
My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
Floyd R Turbo is offline  
Old 12-27-2010, 02:23 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 185
Thank you for that clarification! I definitely left that out and would make a difference technically. I even had the "hours" written out in the equation! haha

I was wondering about the ballast. Figured it would require something but wasn't sure what. My brother has one of those plug in meters, then you plug in your appliance to that and it will read usage. I wonder how accurate it is.
__________________
NickRummy is offline  
Old 12-27-2010, 04:39 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Floyd R Turbo's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,682
It's probably pretty accurate. The ballasts don't really take up much energy, at least not on a standard recessed 2x4 fixture in an office environment. For old T12 fixtures we figure for every 2 lamps or fraction thereof requires 1 ballast (old magnetic type) that consumes 10 watts, so a 3-lamp fixture would need 2 10W ballasts. T8 electronic ballasts can go up to 4 lamps and only consume 5W. As for aquarium specialty lighting, I would say that a 4 lamp VHO fixture might consume as much as 15W but that's only a somewhat educated guess.

I see this is now a sticky...
__________________
My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
Floyd R Turbo is offline  
Old 12-27-2010, 05:11 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post

I see this is now a sticky...
Well that's surprising?

Back to the ballast talk though. I read that the icecap power factor is around 60%. Someone running (2) 39w T5s was actually pulling 2.12A at the AC outlet. How does that work? 2.12A @ 120v is around 254 watts right? Factor in that power factor and you're down to around 152 watts. Is the ballast really soaking up 176w or is it actually over driving the T5s?
__________________
NickRummy is offline  
Old 12-27-2010, 11:43 PM   #20
AA Team Emeritus
 
cmor1701d's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,814
OK, let's start a new thread for the electricity calcs. I made this one a sticky for the RODI calcs.
I will close this thread now.
__________________

cmor1701d is offline  
Closed Thread

Tags
ro water

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Protein Skimmer yet to produce any skimate? sroot17 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 15 06-20-2010 07:02 PM
If doing 40% water change weekly will skimmer not produce jasno999 General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 4 03-05-2006 11:07 AM
Do snails produce any ammonia? Joey17 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 10 09-28-2005 12:10 PM
Fresh produce?? PiscesLou Saltwater Reef Aquaria 3 12-27-2004 07:46 PM
my lights produce alot of heat............. zomby555 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 3 10-12-2003 04:30 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.