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Old 08-17-2020, 10:47 PM   #1
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General electricity cost per year for my aquarium

I have this 40 gallon tank and it's been up and running for about 3.5 weeks now, I use it for freshwater:

https://www.aquatop.com/products/rec...=8723321520227

I was looking over the owner's manual today to find out what filters I need to buy to replace, etc. I noticed the water pump has a flow rate of 475gph. I don't know much about aquariums but I couldn't believe that the entire tank's water is fully cycled nearly 12 times an hour! This got me wondering, how much does it cost in electricity to run this whole thing? Between the pump, heater (which I can't imagine is being used much now), the lights (which are LED -- there has to be some savings there right)?, and a newly added air pump for a LED airtube thing that is really cool. Just wondering if anyone would know the ballpark amount of how much it would cost to run this per year on average. We leave the lights on about 12 hours a day.

Also another quick question -- when should I first replace the filter media? I saw some videos on youtube that said in general you shouldn't touch the filters for 2 months after setting up the tank. Is this true, and if so how often should I change media after that? The owner's manual says every 30 days -- but I think most people use this tank for saltwater -- would it be any different for freshwater?

Thanks in advance everyone. Still learning over here, it has been a fun ride so far.
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:43 PM   #2
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For the pump, multiply the wattage by the number of hours the pump runs each day (probably 24) and divide by 1000. THen multiply that figure by your kWh rate.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:59 PM   #3
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With regards to changing to changing filter media. The are 3 types of media.

Biological media, these are usually the ceramic rings. These shouldnt be changed until they are falling apart. This is where most of your beneficial bacteria live and replacing this will result in your filter needing to be re-cycled. If you do need to change this, do it in stages, not all at once. Periodic rinsing is all you should be looking to do. Make sure you rinse with tank water or dechlorinated water or the chlorine will kill off your beneficial bacteria.

Mechanical media, these are your sponges. Generally, like your biological media, this shouldn't be replaced until it is falling apart. This media is also home to significant amounts of beneficial bacteria and replacing sponges will affect your cycle. As with biological media, dont change them all at once, and periodically rinse it out. The exception to this would be polishing foam. I generally rinse this out monthly and replace every 2 months.

Chemical media. This is most often activated carbon or purigen. You only need this if there is a specific need, like removing medication or tannins from the water. If you dont need it, dont use it, it doesnt last long and is expensive. Carbon lasts 2 to 4 weeks before needing to be replaced. Purigen lasts about the same amount of time, but can be recharged rather than needing replacing.

On your, how much to run an aquarium. I just turned off my 55 gallon aquarium and the cost/hour on my smart meter dropped 1p/hour. So my estimate would be about £1.50 / week for power. Not a very accurate test, but might be useful to you.
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Old 08-23-2020, 08:35 AM   #4
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Here is some great information about filter media and what you should use.

https://aquariumscience.org/index.php/7-filter-media/
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fishwonder View Post
Here is some great information about filter media and what you should use.

https://aquariumscience.org/index.php/7-filter-media/
This link is not working for me, do you have another? Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:26 PM   #6
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This link is not working for me, do you have another? Thanks.
Looks like a problem with your browser. Verified it works, but here are others.


http://aquariumscience.org/index.php...er-media-test/


http://aquariumscience.org/index.php...edia-in-depth/



Verified, works.
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Old 10-16-2020, 04:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fishwonder View Post
Looks like a problem with your browser. Verified it works, but here are others.


http://aquariumscience.org/index.php...er-media-test/


http://aquariumscience.org/index.php...edia-in-depth/



Verified, works.
Tried three browsers, none worked. Wonder if it’s a geo thing. I’m in the US.
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Old 10-16-2020, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
With regards to changing to changing filter media. The are 3 types of media.

Biological media, these are usually the ceramic rings. These shouldnt be changed until they are falling apart. This is where most of your beneficial bacteria live and replacing this will result in your filter needing to be re-cycled. If you do need to change this, do it in stages, not all at once. Periodic rinsing is all you should be looking to do. Make sure you rinse with tank water or dechlorinated water or the chlorine will kill off your beneficial bacteria.

Mechanical media, these are your sponges. Generally, like your biological media, this shouldn't be replaced until it is falling apart. This media is also home to significant amounts of beneficial bacteria and replacing sponges will affect your cycle. As with biological media, dont change them all at once, and periodically rinse it out. The exception to this would be polishing foam. I generally rinse this out monthly and replace every 2 months.

Chemical media. This is most often activated carbon or purigen. You only need this if there is a specific need, like removing medication or tannins from the water. If you dont need it, dont use it, it doesnt last long and is expensive. Carbon lasts 2 to 4 weeks before needing to be replaced. Purigen lasts about the same amount of time, but can be recharged rather than needing replacing.

On your, how much to run an aquarium. I just turned off my 55 gallon aquarium and the cost/hour on my smart meter dropped 1p/hour. So my estimate would be about £1.50 / week for power. Not a very accurate test, but might be useful to you.
I have these carbon infused media cubes that came with the tank: https://www.aquatop.com/collections/...edia-cubes-80g

It also came with these phosphate and nitrate removing media cubes: https://www.aquatop.com/collections/...edia-cubes-80g

Both of these are under their “chemical filtration media section”. Are you saying I don’t really need to use these?

The other filters I have are:

Filter sponge (mechanical media): https://www.aquatop.com/collections/...=5929717301280

And

Quartz rings (biological media): https://www.aquatop.com/collections/...z-jar-mesh-bag


Are you saying I don’t need to use the two chemical media listed above? I haven’t medicated the fish and I’m not trying to remove tannins. I have replaced half of each of these a few weeks ago. I left the other half of the filter box with the old ones. I did see a change after this and some fish died, including a crawfish. Not sure if it was related or not.

So half of the chemical media has been in my tank since I got it, which is 3 months now. Are the old cubes doing more harm than good now?

Do I just need to periodically rinse out that rectangular sponge and rinse the quartz rings and make sure they aren’t falling apart? I did replace half the quartz rings too at the same time.

I’ve had this tank for about 3 months now. I use it for freshwater fish. Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:25 PM   #9
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The carbon cubes are activated carbon. This will probably last a couple of weeks, maybe a month. It will absorb tannins (colouration), phenols (odours) and many medications. Once its exhausted, it will leach some of these impurities back into the water. After a couple of months its probably gone through that process as well, and will now simply be providing surface area for beneficial bacteria and be acting as biological media. Personally i dont use it if i dont need to. Its expensive.

The phosphate and nitrate cubes, i honestly have no idea if it serves a useful purpose. Im sure the majority of the hobby manages just fine without using it. Not overstocking and doing your water changes would be the best way of controlling nitrates and phosphates.

The 15ppi filter sponge is a fairly course sponge. I would periodically rinse out, maybe every month or two. Make sure you use tank water or dechlorinated water. You shouldn't be replacing this unless it is literally falling apart. It should last a few years.

The quartz rings similarly should be periodically rinsed out with tank water or dechlorinated water. Again it shouldnt be replaced unless it is falling apart. They may even last you decades. The site fishwonder is directing you to will suggest you use pot scrubbers as an alternative to these rings. Many people do this. If you want to look into this but cant get the link to work just google "aquarium science filter media".

If you do need to replace the mechanical or biological media, dont do it all at once. You will lose some of your beneficial bacteria. Probably do some research if you get to the stage you need to do that.

TLR i wouldnt use chemical media unless you are using it for a specific reason. Mechanical and biological media should be rinsed with dechlorinated or tank water periodically. Only replace when absolutely necessary.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
The carbon cubes are activated carbon. This will probably last a couple of weeks, maybe a month. It will absorb tannins (colouration), phenols (odours) and many medications. Once its exhausted, it will leach some of these impurities back into the water. After a couple of months its probably gone through that process as well, and will now simply be providing surface area for beneficial bacteria and be acting as biological media. Personally i dont use it if i dont need to. Its expensive.

The phosphate and nitrate cubes, i honestly have no idea if it serves a useful purpose. Im sure the majority of the hobby manages just fine without using it. Not overstocking and doing your water changes would be the best way of controlling nitrates and phosphates.

The 15ppi filter sponge is a fairly course sponge. I would periodically rinse out, maybe every month or two. Make sure you use tank water or dechlorinated water. You shouldn't be replacing this unless it is literally falling apart. It should last a few years.

The quartz rings similarly should be periodically rinsed out with tank water or dechlorinated water. Again it shouldnt be replaced unless it is falling apart. They may even last you decades. The site fishwonder is directing you to will suggest you use pot scrubbers as an alternative to these rings. Many people do this. If you want to look into this but cant get the link to work just google "aquarium science filter media".

If you do need to replace the mechanical or biological media, dont do it all at once. You will lose some of your beneficial bacteria. Probably do some research if you get to the stage you need to do that.

TLR i wouldnt use chemical media unless you are using it for a specific reason. Mechanical and biological media should be rinsed with dechlorinated or tank water periodically. Only replace when absolutely necessary.
Thank you so much, you have been incredibly helpful and I reference your posts in this thread often.

Another quick question, my tank has been rather cloudy for the past 2 weeks or so. I’ve done partial water changes, vacuumed the gravel, and also changed half of the filter media about 3-4 weeks ago. I was doing a small water change yesterday and thought I would check on the actual pump and it was actually pretty clogged pretty good, I think it was restricting the flow of the pump. I cleaned it and the original flow has been restored, which I believe is 475 gal per hour. I was expecting the water to be much clearer today, but it isn’t really. Maybe a tiny bit. Anyways, should I take out the chemical filter media (I have two boxes/canisters) which would just leave that large rectangular sponge and the two boxes/canisters of the quartz rings?

Water parameters seem fine. No ammonia spikes and everything else looks good. I’m thinking it’s a bacteria bloom but I thought it would have dissipated by now.

Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTUHoopsFans View Post
Tried three browsers, none worked. Wonder if it’s a geo thing. I’m in the US.
Try another computer... These work.

https://aquariumscience.org/index.php/7-filter-media/
https://aquariumscience.org/index.ph...view-of-media/
https://aquariumscience.org/index.ph...l-media-index/
https://aquariumscience.org/index.ph...tration-media/
https://aquariumscience.org/index.ph...rifying-media/


Does NOT work:
http://aquariumscience.org/index.php...edia-in-depth/



Entire web site has been updated.
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TTUHoopsFans View Post
Thank you so much, you have been incredibly helpful and I reference your posts in this thread often.

Another quick question, my tank has been rather cloudy for the past 2 weeks or so. I’ve done partial water changes, vacuumed the gravel, and also changed half of the filter media about 3-4 weeks ago. I was doing a small water change yesterday and thought I would check on the actual pump and it was actually pretty clogged pretty good, I think it was restricting the flow of the pump. I cleaned it and the original flow has been restored, which I believe is 475 gal per hour. I was expecting the water to be much clearer today, but it isn’t really. Maybe a tiny bit. Anyways, should I take out the chemical filter media (I have two boxes/canisters) which would just leave that large rectangular sponge and the two boxes/canisters of the quartz rings?

Water parameters seem fine. No ammonia spikes and everything else looks good. I’m thinking it’s a bacteria bloom but I thought it would have dissipated by now.

Thanks.
Bump, just checking in. Thanks. Still cloudy water over here. (Aiken Drum)
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:10 PM   #13
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The carbon cubes are activated carbon. This will probably last a couple of weeks, maybe a month. It will absorb tannins (colouration), phenols (odours) and many medications. Once its exhausted, it will leach some of these impurities back into the water. After a couple of months its probably gone through that process as well, and will now simply be providing surface area for beneficial bacteria and be acting as biological media. Personally i dont use it if i dont need to. Its expensive.

The phosphate and nitrate cubes, i honestly have no idea if it serves a useful purpose. Im sure the majority of the hobby manages just fine without using it. Not overstocking and doing your water changes would be the best way of controlling nitrates and phosphates.

The 15ppi filter sponge is a fairly course sponge. I would periodically rinse out, maybe every month or two. Make sure you use tank water or dechlorinated water. You shouldn't be replacing this unless it is literally falling apart. It should last a few years.

The quartz rings similarly should be periodically rinsed out with tank water or dechlorinated water. Again it shouldnt be replaced unless it is falling apart. They may even last you decades. The site fishwonder is directing you to will suggest you use pot scrubbers as an alternative to these rings. Many people do this. If you want to look into this but cant get the link to work just google "aquarium science filter media".

If you do need to replace the mechanical or biological media, dont do it all at once. You will lose some of your beneficial bacteria. Probably do some research if you get to the stage you need to do that.

TLR i wouldnt use chemical media unless you are using it for a specific reason. Mechanical and biological media should be rinsed with dechlorinated or tank water periodically. Only replace when absolutely necessary.
Hey Aiken Drum, just following up to see if you can reply to my latest post to you.
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:15 PM   #14
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Is it cloudy like suspended particles or cloudy like coloured / milky?
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