View Full Version : Fish house heating

02-29-2004, 12:21 PM
I am planning to build a smallish house this spring (12"x10" or so) and would like opinions and advice on the most ecconomic form of heating.

Individual tank
Centralised with high wattage heaters (2Kw+)
Gas space heating
Electric space heating.

If anyone has any "real" data (ie you tried and costed several methods) this would be appreciated too.

02-29-2004, 06:52 PM
Radiant floor heating is one of the most efficient way to heat a room. I had it in my old house in Ohio and it could really heat a room quickly and cheaply. But for a small building like yours, I would try a gas heater. But, it also depends upon how many tanks you are planning to have in the building.


03-01-2004, 11:02 AM
I would also like to add that you first may want to choose between electrical and gas heating. This is going to depend on the cost per unit, delivery charges and usage between the two. For example, just because gas is cheaper to run but the heater takes twice as much 'energy' to heat the room. ;)

Once you decide on the what energy type, choosing a heater is a little easier! ;)

03-02-2004, 04:11 PM
Electric = 15% more, but in tank?

gas space heating only, is this less efficient?

03-02-2004, 10:13 PM
You need to remember your tanks are going to be at 82+ your heater may never come on .

03-11-2004, 02:32 PM

The reason why most fish rooms are "rooms" is for the cost savings of heating the room space rather than the individual tanks. The closer you make the room temperature to the tank temperature the less you will need to use tank heaters.

Mike os,

Where are you located? Climactic information will be good to know. Heating may be very easy, however, cooling may be a problem for you in the summer. You'll also have to consider that such a small room can have radical temperature swings from leaving the door open to much. You'll also need to ventilate.

My garage would be perfect in the summer it's up between 70 and 90 in the summer, but it's down to -20 in the winter.

03-12-2004, 12:11 PM
I tried various room-heated set-ups, if you dont have a heat recovery ventilator or atleast a de-humidifier, it can get really nasty and uncomfortable.

I heated the room to 80f, humidity was low so it was ok to work in, problem was my breeders were on the top racks and were too hot 86-88, and the bottom tier was too cold at 78+......... so I added a bunch of fans for circulation and that helped, but eventually I wasn't saving anything on power and went back to heating each tank.

03-27-2004, 04:07 PM
Thanks guys

Im in Wales so summer temps are still a bit on the low side :(, but the winters are fairly mild (28f). :)

03-28-2004, 02:21 PM
Can't help you to much.

My design history is pretty much limited to southern ontario. Issues would still be the same though, you would need to calculate how big the thermal gradient is from indoor to ourdoor, then design for that amount of insulation (typically 100 to 150 mm of batt), you may need more to prevent condensation on the walls. A vapour retarder on the warm side of the wall cavity. Most impotrant will be your selection of finish material inside the fish house, it should be moisture impermeable as the humidty levels will be huge, that way you can avoid most mould issues.

03-29-2004, 11:21 AM
I think that it also depends on how big the room is that you are trying to heat. A small room is much easier to heat and dehumidify than a large room. In a small room, you can easily heat using a central heater however in a large room, you may require smaller but more heaters located around the room. If you do have a larger room, you may find that the cost of heating the entire room is more than heating the tanks.

Humidity is a problem and will need attention. A dehumidifer is good however is expensive to run. The upside may be that is will heat the room. Venting to the outside is also a option and one that Im going to try soon.

Since Im on the topic of humidity, what is the best and most accurate meter for humidity? I have a analog meter and a digital. Both give different readings up to 20%! Which is correct? ???

Thanks ;)

04-11-2004, 02:33 AM
one thing i can recomend is that for your door. u put a small "porch" type on the out side.. ann have a small space heater in there.

when u com ein. make sure the outside door is cloded before u open the inside one

this works for both summer and winter where u are. and should stop any seriouse drops in the fish room.

use ceiling fans. and lotsa insulation

bu tmake sure all wood and painting and everything is water proof.
and a de-humidifier is a GREAT thing to have :)

04-11-2004, 05:27 AM

I've built several humidors and used both analog and digital hygrometers. I've found that the digital hygrometers are more accurate. The analog meters can fall out of calibration and need to be adjusted from time to time. If you're in doubt as to which to trust I would go with the digital. As long as it was calibrated properly at the factory there is no reason it shouldn't be accurate now.
Analog hygrometers give more of a rough estimate of your RH compared to the more accurate digital meters. It also may need to be adjusted or was never calibrated properly from the factory. I can send you the instructions to calibrate it if you'd like. Just drop me a PM.

04-12-2004, 03:43 PM
;) Thanks! That is the reassurance I needed! I more or less started to beleive the digi as the analog didnt make any sense. I put the analog in the livingroom and it read 70% which is hard to believe! I send a PM for instructions as I have at least 2 analogs that most likely need calibration! ;)