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Posts Tagged ‘computer’

Polar Bear Killer!

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

20.7kW (realtime reading of electricity being consumed at 1.30am 27/10/07)

Maybe I need to change the subject title, doesn’t seem very nice, and what’s this go to do with the FishHouse Blog. You’ll probably hear this term more and more, as we all strive for a greener planet and reduce our carbon foot prints! Has the penny dropped yet! But we all need electricity to run our fish houses, every year I see more and more people leave the hobby, and close fish houses, and it’s not surprising with rising energy costs. But don’t all hobbies cost money!!!?

To celebrate my big birthday coming up in November, I’ve purchased myself a present from Better Generation, it’s a Smart Electricity Meter called a Wattson by DIY Kyoto. I’ve already got a few power meters, that I purchased in October 2005, see my review here these record the power being used by an individual appliance, or if you use a four/six-way adaptor, you can measure combined power, I’ve been using these in my fish house for years. But want I wanted was a device that could measure total power consumed after the electricity meter before the consumer unit (fusebox), transmit it remotely to a display in the house, and finally output and record the information to a PC, so I can compare electricity consumption versus temperature in the fish house and outside during the winter and summer months. Also looking at the electricity used by our Economy 7 Storage and Immersion Heaters.

I pre-ordered this unit, at the beginning of October ‘07, and it arrived yesterday it’s FANTASTIC!. I’m not going to write a review, because there our lots of fab reviews out there about the product, check Better Generation for one.

It’s a designer gadget with mood lighting that measures electicity consumed and outputs it to a PC.

The Wattson smart electricity meter showing 21,000 Watts (21kW) being used at 1.30am last night, when the storage heaters came on! Average consumption is about 3kW in the house. This is mainly the fish house and computers in the house, most other electrical appliances are negligible by comparison, but if high wattage appliance is turned-on, e.g. kettle, Wattson spots it! and flashes changes from purple flashing to red!

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July Update

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The computer is working again… the motherboard died!

The new tanks added reached a temperature of 22 degrees C, without any heating, so I had to add internal Visitherm 200 watt heaters to each tanks, to get the temperature to 26 degrees C, I also had three spare 18 watt lighting units and tubes, so I’ve also added these.

To mature the tanks, I’ve added Hagen Cycle and also removed a single mature Bio Foam from other tanks in the fish house, and added them to each fish tank.

I’ve since added two Serpae tetras Hyphessobrycon eques, two Zebra Danios Danio rerio to two of the tanks to help mature them.

The remaining tanks is currently being used as a quarantine tank for my Wild Male Silver Angel fish Pterophyllum scalare which could be a Peruvian Pterophyllum scalare which has developed a nasty ulcer on the shoulder near the dorsal fin, I noticed it in the display tank, and thought at first it was an injury from another fish, but has got larger, I’ve been treating with Melafix for over 7 days, but I don’t think it’s getting any better. The fish is still alert, eating well, and doesn’t seem to be in any distress, there’s no swelling, blood or fungus, it’s very odd.

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More Fish Tanks!

Monday, July 16th, 2007

You can never have enough fish tanks…

I’ve finally added a rack of three 30×15x12 additional fish tanks to the fish house. These will help with the fish breeding program. These should have been added months ago, but I’ve been trying to paint them outside, and the weather has been foul - it’s not been easy touching up the paint job, when it’s been raining, and also busy with new Kittens, DIY etc etc

I’ve filled them with water, and added Algarde Bio Foam 200 twin foam filters.

I’ve not added any heating or lighting at present. I’m checking to see if there’s enough heat present in the fish house, to heat them spatially.

I’d add a picture if my computer hadn’t overheated and died!

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Mother of a filter!

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

I’ve spent the last few hours uninstalling an Eheim 2313 and 2315 from my 6ftx2ftx2ft tank (sounds like a computer software program!), cleaning all the filter media in the old tank water from the 6ftx2ftx2ft tank, this is very important to keep the bacterial load in the filter media, remember the filter contains the bacteria not the water! and installing a new Eheim 2250 Mother of A filter, rated at 1000 litres per hour, so it should turn the tank over twice an hour.

I filled the 12 litre canister or dustbin as some people refer to it, with the old media from the other two canister filters, Ehfimech - small pieces of ceramic pipes and Ehfifix - “Easter basket grass” both of these are mechanical filter media, I’ve also added some Practical Fish Keeping bioballs, and some pan scouriers, followed by some old Ehfisynth (filter wool) from the old filters and new wool. Using a ‘T’ junction and Eheim double taps, plumbed it back-in line with two output pipes back into the tank.

With the other two filters, and the L001 growing and “poohing” more, I wasn’t getting the desired tank turnover rate.

Just have to keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrite levels, whilst this 12 litre filter fully matures.

Oh, and I dropped a 50kg UPS on my hose pipe, and cut it in half!

Need another hosepipe now!

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Fish House Electricity Cost!!!

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

At the end of October, I posted an entry Do you suffer from high electricity bills?. I’ve been looking for a power meter to measure kWh for many months to establish Fish House Electricity costs, and I eventually managed to purchase one from JLB Electronics.

The results are now in for half of my fish house, the fish house is split between into two ring mains, so this is ring main one. (It also allows me to draw up to a maximum of 20A per ring main!). Ring main one supplies electricity for 9 aquariums.

Ring Main One Summary

  • 120W of fluorescent lighting.
  • 2.7kWh of aquarium heating.

Items connected to Ring Main One:-

  • 3 x 40W Aquaglow fluorescent lights.
  • 1 x 50W heater.
  • 3 x 150W heaters.
  • 2 x 300W heaters.
  • 2 x 500W heaters.
  • 1 x Hydor 300W external heater.
  • 1 x Hydor internal combined Filter/300W heater.
  • 1 x Eheim 2260 External Canister filter.
  • 1 x Hagen Biolife 55 Internal Filter.
  • 1 x Project PH600 Powerhead.
  • 1 x Hagen 201 Powerhead.
  • 1 x Personal Computer with 150W power supply.

The maximum wattage drawn by the electrical applications was 2.1kW on Friday 25 November at 4.03am.

In the last 32 days, the electricity consumed by ring main one is 605 kWh. A cost recorded by the power meter of 49 pounds. I’m charged 8.1p per kWh by nPower.

I’ll measure ring main two, and post the results on the blog, in a few weeks.

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Sturisoma Aureum Eggs Hatch

Monday, November 7th, 2005

As I type the Sturisoma Aureum eggs are hatching into perfectly formed mini versions of their parents. I’ve been trying to take pictures, but I need to have a macro function on my camera, and it is proving difficult trying to take pictures of something approx 6mm in length. So, I’ve not had much time to play with computer things.

I’ve also been installing a new 20ft USB cable to a USB Hub that I can connect all USB cameras, this will make it easier to locate all the cameras nearer interesting aquariums. Ths fish house is tuning into a computer room.

Because I’ve removed the temperature probes, and re-connected them to a different USB port, on the computer, they’ll need recalibrating. (again!). Hence, the external temperature is not 4 degC!

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PC Thermometer Trial

Friday, October 28th, 2005

This was a project I started many months ago, but like many projects, I started it and didn’t completely finish it, due to time, and juggling life the universe and everything. You’ll notice on the side-bar on the right, a real-time update of temperature from the fish house, measuring internal fish house temperature and external (outdoor) temperature. I still need to calibrate the temperature probes correctly.

The webcam computer breaking has given me the chance to re-install the operating system, and correctly configure it with the excellent PC application created by Spiny aka Alan Norman at The application pctemp.exe runs on a standard PC using a midi or game (joystick) port. It’s an excellent application, and also logs to a *.csv file for import into a spreadsheet, also graphs the output to screen, and can upload the data to a webserver. It easily allows me to view the temperature of my fish house, and later fish tanks anywhere in the world via the internet. I didn’t have a game port on my micro-pc I use in the fish house, so I’m using a USB game port controller, isn’t just about everything available now in a USB connection. Full details of how to configure and connect, create your own temperature probes is on Spiny Norman’s website.

Many Thanks again to Spiny for his efforts in developing this application.

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Webcam computer hard drive failure

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

I’ve recently moved the computer that controls the webcams to make room for two new aquariums in the fish house. One of my colleagues complained about the lack of webcams from the fish house, so this evening I’ve relocated the computer to a new location in the fish house, only to find the hard drive has now failed in the computer!

I’ll have to find a new hard drive, and rebuild the operating system before Angelfishcam is back.

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More fish tanks!

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005

I’ve found space in the fish house to add another two 50 litre fish tanks, 24″x15″x12″ this space was where the computer controlling the webcams was occupying. Sorry, I need the space, and it just so happened, that I had two fish tanks, that needed collecting from my family in South Wales!

I’ve spent a few hours this evening, filling with existing aquarium water from my other tanks, moving “cycled and mature” air operated sponge filters from my 6″x2″x2″ tank into these new tanks, I hope to cycle these quickly. so I can use them later next month.

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Angelfishcam Service Status

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

I’ve had to re-locate the computer in the fish house temporarily, so the webcams are offline.

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