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  • Heating the garage

    I've been breeding baby clown fish in the garage and I now have 5 more fish tanks in there. Winter is not too far from the horizon. Just wondering what's the most effective way to keep them warm.

    Although main fish tank is in the living room, I've been keeping the sump in the garage for easy water changing and avoid messy water splashing and flooding. In the pass winter, I was able to use 3 aquarium heaters, 100W + 100W + 300W, to kick in at various temperature to keep the water temperature constant. Now that I have 5 more fish tank in there, just wondering anyone have any idea to keep the room warmer so that I don't have to use that many aquarium heaters.

    I'm also thinking just keep using aquarium heaters would be more efficient, since I don't need to warm the room. As long as the water is warm is good enough. Idea?

  • #2
    Insulate the tanks.

    The only other thing you can do is get a cover for them so the heat does not simply get out the top or dissipate through evaporation.

    i just do not know what you would need to do to properly ventilate though. You would not want your fishies suffocating.....

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    • #3
      The tanks need to have the top wide open for air exchange.

      I thought about insulating them as well, but it would be extremely difficult having lot of stuff hanging in and around the tanks. That's why I'm only considering heating the entire room or just the water.

      I may try to just insulate the entire garage to make it air tight, but I still need to have something to warm the room.

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      • #4
        Conect the tanks to a loop cooling an I5@5.2 and a few insanely OC'd GTX 580's and run Folding@Home. You win, fish win, Stanford wins, we all win.
        When you girls are done kissing, I've got some asskicking for you!

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        • #5
          LMAO! Now that is an idea!

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          • #6
            If I remember right, clown fish can be salt or brackish water, yes?

            Would it be detrimental to the health of the fish if you circulated the same water between all tanks? If not, you could use an intermediary tank and heat the water in that tank, then circulate to the others?

            Why not just get an in-water thermometer and insert into each tank? That's what we used to do with our fresh and brackish water tanks.
            Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
            Originally posted by Ranshackle
            I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

            Comment


            • #7
              The intermediary tank you mention is what we call the "sump". My living room tank doesn't have any heater in it. It rely on the 3 heater in the sump that's located in the garage. That one is fine since the circulation between the living room tank (which is a 125 gallon) and the sump is very fast.

              For the baby fish tank, I cannot have too much current since the fish are much smaller and the tanks are much smaller as well. All the baby fish tanks current share a sump as well, but I'm sure it won't be enough to keep the tank warm enough relying just from the heated sump water, since the garage is so cold.

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              • #8
                Wes, you can try to put foam core around the tanks (that thin wall insulation, about 1" thick). You can then hold it onto the sides with elastic bands or some other crude method, the key is to just limit the tanks exposure to cold air.

                As for the top, you can still close them in, but you would need to find some way to circulate the air. You just want to slow down that circulation so it does not act like a giant cooling fan.

                As for the garage, if it is a separate structure, good luck. If not, your biggest waste will be at the door, unless you have gotten an insulated door. Next would be windows, unless those are at least double pane glass, and then lastly would be the remaining walls and ceiling. You may need to insulate those.

                The only problem I see in that is that the better you insulate it, the better your cars will be at killing you when you start them up in the garage...

                One thing you may want to try. Put an old fridge (or freezer) out in the garage. If the garage is insulated well enough, that will HELP heat the room (the colder it is, the less likely the freezer will kick on and the less likely it will heat the room.).

                One last idea? If your garage is attached, try keeping the tanks up against the wall that is shared with the house. You WILL want to make sure no salt water gets out and penetrates your wall (it corrodes like nobody's business!!!), but the one face will be insulated.

                The more volume you have clumped together, the less exposed surface area you will have for heat loss. 4 tanks clumped together will lose heat slower than one.


                Hope some of this helps! GL!

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                • #9
                  What is the average temperature of your garage in the winter?

                  Are the tanks in an area where the temperature fluctuates a lot because garage doors are opening and closing?
                  Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
                  Originally posted by Ranshackle
                  I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

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                  • #10
                    The garage is pretty much just a storage room now. I only open it when I need to move something big in and out. In winter time, I would never open it. I'm pretty sure I'll use some plastic sheet and duct tape to seal off the garage door.

                    My house is a high range and the garage is part of the downstair. 2 walls of the garage are connected to inside wall. But we don't use downstair at all and have the heat set at just 60F. In winter time, the garage is very cold, since it's not heated. I would say it is most likely just a few degree higher than outside, if not the same as the outside temperature.

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                    • #11
                      Well, if it were me, I think the logical answer is getting the temp of the room up to a range that an in-tank heater can take over.

                      My first step would be controlling the temperature of the air in the garage. By keeping the surrounding air warm, the water is unlikely to get to a temperature much lower than the surrounding air. You live up north - you know better than me how to accomplish that .... Radiator? Space heater? Heat pump? I don't know.

                      If you can control the heat of the room within about 5-10 degrees of where you need the water to be, install a small temp-controlled heater in the water to do the fine-tuning adjustments.

                      If this is for a hobby, I guess you do not care about dollars spent, because it is your passion and enjoyment.

                      If this is for business purpose, then you probably should calculate the wattage you will require and compare the cost to the profit you may achieve from the best possible yield of fish.
                      Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
                      Originally posted by Ranshackle
                      I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

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                      • #12
                        Yea, that's what I was thinking as well. So, what is a good way to heat up a garage?

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                        • #13
                          Radiator.

                          Get a plumber in to install one and insulate the garage. Make sure you have a way to either turn the heat off (valve) or control the temperature (separate zone/thermostat).

                          You heat an un-insulated garage and you will be paying through the nose this winter.

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                          • #14
                            Hmm... Don't have the budget to hire someone to do that. It sounds expensive. I guess I'll learn how to do the copper plumbing work.

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                            • #15
                              I think sealing and insulating the room is probably the better starting point, personally. Our local electric company will come out and do an inspection of your place to tell you where you have air leaks, I think it is a free service. If you post a picture(/s) of the space, we can get a better idea of what is involved with insulation.
                              Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
                              Originally posted by Ranshackle
                              I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

                              Comment

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