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Solar Powered Marine Fish Tank

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Posted by mike on December 9, 2004, 7:02 am
Ok my fish tank is one of my biggest energy uses. I am wondering if I can
buy 12V electronics for it.

It uses three electronic technologies.
1. Pumps. I have tried binge pumps, but they are too loud.
2. Heater
3. Lighting (not just standard florescent) I will need florescent lights
that use their energy in the blue specrum.

One obvious option is to convert my 12V DC into 120V AC, but short of that
is there quiet dc powered water pumps, water tight 12V heaters, and 12V
florescent balast and lighting (110 watts)?

One thought I had for lighting my tank was to buy a sky light and tear
open my roof. I don't think my wife would appretiate that one.

Any other solar hobbiest keep fish?

Any ideas? Please let me know.

Posted by Kent Hoult on December 9, 2004, 2:13 pm
For pumps, take a look at pond pumps. Many are 12V, quiet, and designed for
continuous operation. They
are nomally submersible water pumps, so you might have to build your own
filter, tubing adapters. If you
need an air pump, that's a different story...

For the lighting, one thing you might consider is white LEDs. They are
actually blue LEDs with a
phosphor to get the other colors. But there a still a lot of blue left in
there. Using my 1W LED headlamp
at night, I notice that any reflector/florescent item really lights up from
it (seems like more than a typical
flashlight does). It's probaby worth the trivial experiment to borrow a LED
flashlight, and shine it in the
tank to get an idea how well it lights up your fish.

With LEDs, you can also take the more direct color approach of using a
strings of multiple LEDs, with colors
mixed as desired. this way you can directly choose you overall spectrum, and
even get some colored spolight
effects if you like. You can even add a few UV LEDs in the mix to get extra
glow from florescent items.


Posted by William P.N. Smith on December 9, 2004, 3:32 pm
While you probably could kludge something up, your best bet is
probably to go with an efficient inverter appropirately sized for your
maximum load and appliances made for fish tanks.  It'll be far less
expensive and more reliable, plus easier to repair.

Could you insulate the bottom, unused sides, and maybe the top of your

Posted by George Ghio on December 10, 2004, 11:39 pm

Pump: Plastic electric fuel pump. Auto parts store. I used one for years
for cooling my TIG torch.

Heater: Raid the auto wreckers for the heater from a Volvo car seat, use
under the tank.

Lighting: Use your existing fluro run from a inverter from Choice
Electric. These are an electronic ballast and work a treat, last for

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