Thinking of downgrading from 400W bulbs

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by seminolecpa, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Talking to Bryan, because 1) this is his thread, 2) I know he has his sump/fuge/growout down in his uninsulated non heated basement and I have no idea how your set up is ;)
  2. your dart pump for close loop use 165 watts.That is your main energy comsumption.:)mag 18 draw 165 watts,mag 7 draw 60watts.That alot energy there.

  3. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    15g * 2422 Whr/g = 36330 Wh / week or 5190 Wh/day.

    2 400W MH's 5 1/2 hrs each (~92% efficient) 2*400*5.5/.92= 4783Wh/day
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Evaporation could be big too, every gallon translates to about 2400watts of power being pulled out of your tank (the key is how quickly that occurs!). However the rate at which evaporation occurs is quicker when there's a larger gradient in temperature (translation: the colder it is the faster your water will evaporate), so you might be very well off to completely cover your sump, frag tank, fuge, as much as possible since those are in your basement. You'll create a humid barrier of warmth that lowers the overall rate of evaporation, you can still leave your display tank uncovered though (although your canopy most likely provides some level of cover as well.
  5. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Well you commented right below my post containing similiar info to which you were replying about so can you see how I just maybe thought you might be replying to me ;)
  6. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    Some suggestions

    lose the skimmer : ) (for a month or put that on a timer and run part of the day)
    Kill 1 heater
    Change 1 of the lights to 250 to see if you like it, I am sure you can borrow a ballast from someone.
    Dump the Maxijet and get a MP10.
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I could, but knowing your attention to detail I figured you'd see the time stamps on the post and see it was less than 1 minute apart, 10:27am on both. Well I can type fast, but not when I'm thinking about what I'm typing.
  8. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    No way I would kill the skimmer sorry i am not of the same school of thought as you on that.

    MP10 vs. Maxijets is not realistic as the long term savings on the electricity pales in comparison to the cost outlay for new equipment

    If I was going to change the ballasts I would do all or none. I only have 2 bulbs and I think it would look a little odd with one as a 250 and one as a 400 and i am not sure it would really show me the true impact.
  9. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    Didn't think you would lose the skimmer, but it runs 24X7 - how about on a timer where you can have it off durring your feeding times for like 2 hours a day?

    Can you put the OM on a timer? you can have a low tide period for part of the day, not sure if it could.

    Eileen used to have her tank light by 400 and 250, the 400 was alittle brighter and then she went with both 250. My suggestion was to borrow a ballast to see if you even like the 250 color scheme, before you buy one.

    Get a bigger tank, then you don't need a frag tank it all could be one : )
  10. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Doesn't the constant on and off of the skimmer pump put a bunch of wear and tear on the pump itself?

    Not sure the OM draws that much energy. the issue with putting the CL on a timer is that fish could swim into the outflows with it off and be crushed when it turns back on. (hence my idea to shut it off alltogether and cap it off)

    Using a single 250W bulb with the 400W bulb might give me a little perspective but not sure it will help that much as there is clearly some overlap from the lights.

    Sorry I like my display tank to be generally frag free and not "display my frags". Plus a bigger tank means more frags. I also would like to have my bigger tank in my house vs. at a LFS :)
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    What skimmer do you have again Brian? BM200? Or did you upgrade? That sicce pump really doesn't use THAT much power. Maxijet, if you're running it stock, you're wasting a lot of power, I would suggest spending $20 or whatever for one of the maxijet modifications that increases the flow by a factor of about 5 or more (I forget what they claim).
  12. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    I am running the mods for the 2 900's in my frag tank. The MJ 1200 that feeds my GFO/Carbon BRS reactor needs to run as standard as that is the design. The 600 is more to circluate the drip from my 2 part so modding it does no real good. The 1200 in my fuge I want to be more directed to get the nice tumbling effect on the Chaeto. Modding a smaller one would spread the flow out and defeat the spin.
  13. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Sure does, every time it starts :) I never turn my skimmer pump off, even to clean it.
  14. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    So it sounds like from what I am hearing changing out the lighting in the long run really makes little difference and don't mess with what works.

    Any thoughts about ditching the OM and CL and capping it off for a 4th vortech? I know the CL is a little more old school but I kinda like it and it was how the tank was originally designed.

    Old schoolers?
  15. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    If it ain't broke don't fix it, your tank looks great and all of your corals are healthy.
  16. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    No NO UPGRADE!!!! bigger, badder, and most of all, more expensive :lol:
  17. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Would the counter for that be then

    ....if your broke..... fix it?
  18. northbay-reefer

    northbay-reefer Honorary Member


    Since your sump and frag tank is in the garage you can do several thing to help with energy saving: I don't think changing light alone will save much but if you do a combination of things you will notice more savings. I did some of these things myself and notice some saving so you might give it a try.

    Use halide for your frag tank and have it reverse photo when it is cold at night, have it turned off when it is too hot in the summer and kick in the t5 instead. Your heaters will run less.

    Cover/insulate your sump and the sides of your frag tank, this will help heating cost. Insulate the garage and don't open it too much.

    Have your hood fans turned off when the tank is cold, use the halide lights to help heat the tank in the winter. In the summer have the halide turned off when temp is too hot.

    I wouldn't turn off and on the skimmer too much because that will ruin the pump.

    Halide from 400 - 250 icecap is fine, but I wouldn't go HQI 250 (this defeat the purpose) I saw the new dimable ballast that can turn 50% to 100% and go from 250watt to 400 watt so you might take a look at those.

    Your tank is awesome right now, every change you make will effect it (esepcially when it comes to flow because your corals colonies are used to certain flow) so do it slowwwwwwly
  19. the only change i would do is dump the mag 18 and replace with eheim 1262 or 1260.i would leave the close loop alone since u like it.

  20. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yeah lighting is going to have very little effect. Unless of course you grow a pair cut a few holes in the roof and bring some solar tubes down to light the tank and tell that wife of yours that's what you're doing now go fix me a pie! :D

    I think you probably can save quite a bit of evaporation if you cover all the tanks in the basement, maybe even go so far as putting styrofoam on 3 sides of them.

    I forget your system, you have a CL supplied by a pump plus the pump from the sump to the tank? That CL pump you mentioned was a Dart I think earlier, which is a fairly efficient pump 150W or so. Compared to a vortech's 20-30watts (depending upon the mode you put it on, would save you 120watts x 24hrs x 30days or about 86.4 kWh per month which is a pretty significant hunk of energy, maybe even so much to drop you into a lower tier for. However even at 30cents per kWh that's only about $26 a month. So payback on that Vortech will be more than a year.

    Bottom line when you go big, you're going to lose a lot of energy anyway you slice it, highly doubtful there will be one big solution that will make it significantly cheaper, however if you nickle and dime here and there it can add up.

    Cheapest solution, insulate your basement tanks/sump.

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