Reef Winterizing: Tweaking your tank to save money during the cold?

BRS

Do you have a plan to "winterize" your reef tank?

  • YES (tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 27 9.7%
  • NO and I will not

    Votes: 195 69.9%
  • I will think about it now

    Votes: 49 17.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 2.9%

  • Total voters
    279

Isis77

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Georgia
1. Switch to DC devices. Even before they paid for the difference in a year - and now with the looming rate hikes, even faster.

2. I'm going to turn my protein skimmer and possibly one reactor off at night, ramp down my two pumps from 45% to 25% and look at possibly shortening my light schedule by 2 hours.

2a. I'm also toying with the idea of possibly lowering the temperature by 1-2 degrees and turning my UV off for 8 hours every night, but this means redoing all my temperature settings and alarms - and I consider the UV a mission critical component.

2b. Suggestions to reduce shower times at lower temperatures was met with "you don't have the same amount of hair", dimming the lights with "unlike you some of us aren't blind" and not putting up the Xmas lights this year with "you can sleep with your fishes then". Guess I'll be looking to cancel my Netflix subscription...
 

smoleral

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Orlando
Where’s my Floridians at?!
We can’t wait for winter. We can finally turn the AC off after 9 months of full blast, and no more extremely stressful AC failures that occur in the summer. Winter is the season of cost savings for us. Time to finally get the tank heaters out of the dusty storage and plug them in for the first time this year.
 

attiland

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
2,453
Reaction score
4,076
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United Kingdom
This thread by @zoa what inspired our QOTD today!

winter is coming GIF


So yes winter is coming and is already here for some of you and with that comes higher energy bills. Of course lights, pumps, heaters and all of our aquarium equipment add to the mounting increase is costs so what can we do about it? What do you do about it? Let's talk about it!

1. What are some things you can do to help bring down the cost of your aquarium during the cold months?

2. Do you have a plan in place to reduce cost or do you just absorb it and leave everything like it is?

reef winterizing.jpg
In the house the temperature is the same as in most of the summers so no changes for me. Finally happy that in the uk is the same all year around. Cold and wet :)
winter is coming white walkers GIF
 

design.maddie

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
271
Reaction score
337
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
CENLA
I drop my temp down 2 degrees lower than peak summer temps. I adjust the temp over 3 months. So 3 months at 78, 3 months down to 76, then 76 for 3 months, then 3 months back up. My entire house operates like this so not really a "Reef Tank" thing, I just follow the trends and don't fight it with my heater. I replace my heater before it gets cold every year.

Winters here are between 10-60f
 

DeniseAndy

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
6,361
Reaction score
8,182
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Milford, Ohio
Mine is pretty simple. I add back in the heaters to the systems and remove the chiller and chiller pump on my large system. The hardest part is cleaning out the chiller. Then I wait for spring to again clean the chiller out from sitting around all winter and adding it back in line.
 

scvc620

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
40
Reaction score
24
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Micco, Florida
Where’s my Floridians at?!
We can’t wait for winter. We can finally turn the AC off after 9 months of full blast, and no more extremely stressful AC failures that occur in the summer. Winter is the season of cost savings for us. Time to finally get the tank heaters out of the dusty storage and plug them in for the first time this year.
I'm in Melbourne area and it looks like we are gonna have a warm winter according to the Almanac. I don't really do anything to winterize anyway. Hubby puts on long johns below 68 and I put on short sleeves instead of tank tops. LOL Fish just keep on being happy. Love my little piece of the ocean.
 

laxer23

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
9
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Raleigh
This is actually a cool topic, we keep our tanks at a constant temp all the time. If you look at ocean temps at the Great Barrier reef for example the temp from their winter to summer ranges from 75F to 86F. What would be the effects of replicating a natural temperature cycle? Better growth? Spawning? Nutrition needs lessening during Winter temps?
 

Greybeard

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
3,094
Reaction score
8,306
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Buffalo, MO
Hm.

Contrasting the power usage of my 150g tank, using all DC pumps, LED lighting...

I have a big, old, inefficient, ranch style home, with two 3.5 ton heat pumps, swimming pool, hot tub...

Winterize the tank? Eh. Drop in the bucket. Happily, energy costs in rural Missouri aren't what they are in other states.
 

austibella

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
312
Reaction score
308
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Port Richey
No no change for winter. Living in south Florida our air is on 24/7. Cant wait for winter to hopefully get one or 2 days we can shut off the A/C and open the windows!! I usually open the doors in the morning for a half hour just to get fresh air in the house but its just to humid and hot ...
 

mdb_talon

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Messages
3,009
Reaction score
4,417
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Illinois
My cost is less in the winter. I have a room ac that runs pretty much nonstop 8 months a year for both temp and humidity control in fish room. Central hvac is turned off to thay room. The coldest months i turn it off and crack a window. If it gets too cold(below zero) i close the window.
 

Shooter6

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
648
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Yes after last winters texas freeze, I've made some huge changes and I. The process of finishing up.

I suffered a huge loss of high end sps, and an overall plunge in my 180g display, 290g overall system due to the power outages.

Tor it apart, salvaged frags of what I could and set up a new system.

New system is a currently running 400g with 300g Rubbermaid tote sump. With a 320g plumbed into the system but not yet filled.
The 400/300 tank and sump are in a heavily insulated room I built inside my garage.

I ran a 110v 12k minisplit in this room.
Also having an electrician run a secondary fuse box, with 10 breakers for the system. Its going to have an auto power switch so when the house looses power it will disconnect this fuse box from the rest of the system. And there's a dedicated generator with an auto start.
The rest of the house will be running of 2 additional generators. Also ripping out the entire central air system and replacing it with 2 seperate 240v minisplit systems with the cassette style registers.
I have found that I no longer need a heater for the system, probably saving 1500 watts of power doing so. The minisplit keeps the fishroom at a constant 78, and the water stays between 78.5 and 79. The storm was a blessing in the long run.
 

DeniseAndy

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
6,361
Reaction score
8,182
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Milford, Ohio
OH, I do drop my temps in the winter in my tanks. I allow them to get sdown to 76 and max at 77.8. In summer type months it stays between 78 and 80. So I do have some swing seasonally. Forgot to mention that in my winterizing methods.
 

Sunny in Miami

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 30, 2021
Messages
55
Reaction score
92
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami, Florida
Here in Sunny Miami? Where we are just about to FINALLY cool down to 65 by Saturday? Not going to do much except keep the aquarium heater at the same temp. as it has been all year long. I remember only one year back in 70s where it snowed in Miami and I covered the aquarium which was out in the screened patio with towels over plastic. Don't think that will happen this year though.
 
BRS

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 131 24.4%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 278 51.8%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 41 7.6%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 44 8.2%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 35 6.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 8 1.5%
Top