Because much of an aquarium’s equipment is on all of the time, they can consume quite a bit more power than most people think. Lights, heaters, filters and air lines all require electricity to keep going, so if you’re looking to cut costs, or you’d like to be more environmentally friendly, then you really should think about how you can reduce this power drain.
Low-consumption bulbs are the norm in many houses these days, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t look to fit one in the hood of your aquarium. All bulbs will give you an energy rating, so you can compare different ones and find the lowest power rating you can. Many often assume that a brighter light will make the tank look better, but in reality, it’s often the colour of the light that will help the fish look their best. It might also be worth putting your light on a timer if you’re forgetful – there’s no need for it to be on all of the time – check how much sunlight the fish in your aquarium would normally have in the wild.
Filters generally aren’t too bad when it comes to power consumption, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a look. Most are measured by flow rating, which tells you how many liters of water they clean each hour – this is generally a good indication of power consumption, but if available, it’s much better to look at the actual power rating. External filters are often more economical too. Keeping the filter media clean will also make sure that the unit isn’t having to struggle.
Elements are one of the most power-hungry pieces of equipment, and there’s little you can do to avoid using one. You can make things better however, by giving things a little thought. Firstly, keeping your aquarium out of draughts or colder rooms will mean that the heater doesn’t need to work as hard to keep the temperature right – this will go a long way to reducing costs. Second, make sure that you have the correct heater size. If you’re using an excessively large heater for the volume of the tank, then you’re going to be wasting power. Some people use two smaller heaters, especially if they’ve upgraded tank size, but this is less efficient than using one piece of equipment that’s the right size.