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Crazy Ideas...

JakeCK
JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
I have a decently large aquarium in my living room that I keep heated to slightly over 80f using a multiple submersible resistance heaters in a sump.

Have any of you heard of an aquarium heated by either a boiler and heat exchanger or even a hpwh in a home setting?

Like I said crazy ideas but resistance heating is expensive and it runs year-round.

Comments

  • You could be the first on your block.

    It certainly sounds do·able; just a miniature one that they use in the commercial aquariums.

    Probably a PITA when all is said and done.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
    edited December 2021
    You could be the first on your block. It certainly sounds do·able; just a miniature one that they use in the commercial aquariums. Probably a PITA when all is said and done.
    It would be a pita. A Royal one. But there is a reason I have multiple heaters and isn't because I need that much heat. A single one can maintain the temperature just fine as long as the house is a sensible temperature. But I have had several heater failures over the years. And failures both ways. The last one was during summer and it failed to turn on and was not catastrophic. The last catastrophic failure was one that stuck on. It nuked the whole tank. And they use a lot of power. 

    At the end of the day I probably would never do it unless and until I have my man cave in the basement. This is more academic than anything else atm.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,021
    There is a recent post here with some guy using his wood boiler with temp valve to heat his 120 gallon aquarium.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,228
    Hi and happy day! Getting maybe a bit too creative here, how about such a big aquarium in the room that it becomes the heater for that room? Anyone know what the heat output per foot of aquarium is? :D

    Yours, Larry
    JakeCKPC7060
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
    edited December 2021
    Hi and happy day! Getting maybe a bit too creative here, how about such a big aquarium in the room that it becomes the heater for that room? Anyone know what the heat output per foot of aquarium is? :D Yours, Larry
    Its enough that it throws off a zwave temperature and humidity sensor by a few degrees. lol
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 983
    If it goes wrong, then you get to have a fish dinner. :*
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 878
    That reminds me of my poor late father. He loved his aquarium. His 3-4 goldfish were 10+ years old. They were large with the crowns on their heads. One time in the summer he forgot to turn off his aquarium light, and it was over... they were cooked.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,556
    edited December 2021
    in a home setting? No. But at work we had a 10,000 gallon fish tank that we heated with heating hot water through a heat exchanger. You might be able to do it with a domestic hot water heater thru a HEX.

    Edit- I might be wrong about the HEX. There were also two holding tanks; one about 1000 gallons, the other about 5000 gallons that were in mechanical rooms where RO water was warmed with ambient air and salted. It was a complicated system. Temp was kept around 70.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
    MikeAmann said:
    If it goes wrong, then you get to have a fish dinner. :*
    I had it go wrong with an electric heater once. By the time I noticed all the fish were dead and it was 100+ in the tank.

     Tom_133 said:
    That reminds me of my poor late father. He loved his aquarium. His 3-4 goldfish were 10+ years old. They were large with the crowns on their heads. One time in the summer he forgot to turn off his aquarium light, and it was over... they were cooked.
    Luckily most in the hobby have transitioned to LED lighting. The heatsink still gets toasty but nothing like incandescent, florescent, and halogen lights. With both full spectrum(I use this term lightly because led) fixtures at full intensity they use about 100watts total. And they're blindingly bright. It will surprise most people just how much light you need to reach through 24" of water so plants on the bottom can grow. 
    SlamDunk said:
    in a home setting? No. But at work we had a 10,000 gallon fish tank that we heated with heating hot water through a heat exchanger. You might be able to do it with a domestic hot water heater thru a HEX. Edit- I might be wrong about the HEX. There were also two holding tanks; one about 1000 gallons, the other about 5000 gallons that were in mechanical rooms where RO water was warmed with ambient air and salted. It was a complicated system. Temp was kept around 70.
    Salt water? 

    I just have a tropical tank so not nearly as complex, or sensitive. One of the reasons I went large was for stability. The larger the water volume the easier it is to maintain water parameters. Why I added a large oversized sump too.

    At 70f little to no heating would be necessary as long as the building was heated to a sensible temperature. If I let my house go to 77 - 78 in the summer the heaters don't run at all. If I let it go over that the tank starts to slowly overheat.. Waste heat from the lights, pumps, and solar gain and just gain through the wall does it. Winter I suspect that it would track closer to the ambient and would not over heat. I have insulated the sump and bottom of the display tank to help a little bit.