aquarium control uni

17 Oct 2008
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United Kingdom
i've got an idea, to sort out wiring for my aquarium which i'm about to move from my mum's to my house.

i want to make it on it's own circuit from my consumer unit, regular rin main circuit, except i don't want it on an RCD at the consumer unit. i ten want to plug into a double socket (or wire it up in some way to handle all the load at once, and i don't think one 13A socket would be enough) and wire in another consumer unit, with rcds for each individual thing. i want the lighting to have an rcd and a timer, which i understand i get as a rail mount unit and keep things neat, i want the pumps on an rcd, with the main return pump from the sump on its own rcd and the internal circulation pumps on a separate one, and the heaters on another rcd.

is this feasible / safe / likely to be allowed?

i'm in scotland, would i need a building warrant / whatever to do this?
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Sounds way OTT with RCDs etc. How will you know before it is too late if the heater RCD trips?
What sort of current are you talking about - how big an aquarium?
Personally I shy away from RCD protecting anything to do with my aquarium - just plug it into a regular power breaker type RCD adaptor when I am working on it.
it's about 250 gallon's of reef aquarium. it might be over the top withthe rcd's but is that a bad thing?

as for knowing if the heaters haev tripped or whtever, there's an elecxtronic thermometer with alarm if it gets too hot or too cold, so the annoying bleep from that should let me know something was wrong.

i'd rather be safe than sorry, and well, i'd like ot sort ou the rats nest a little, have as much of the wiring hidden out of sight as possible and neatened up a bit.
I'm not entirely sure on tropical marine aquariums, all I have on my aquarium is one of those cable tidy blocks with one set of terminals for the heater, one for the pump, one for the filter and one for the light.
Do you also need to make sure if the electric goes off for a while the filter doesn't restart with marine?
What sort of wattage are the filter, light, air pump and heater?
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if the pwoer goes off, i wouldnt want the return pump restarting.

the control units for some aquariums wouldnt be anywhere near sufficient for this tank.
i've got 3 powerheads in the main tank, a return pump, a pump on the protein skmmer (salt water's version of filter) three different lights, which are on at different times, two heaters in sump and one in the main tank. a LOT of plugs and a total rats nest of cables.
In my experience of keeping marine aquariums the more you mess and fuss over it the more complex it is the more chances it will go wrong.I hope the life you put in it will only come from captive bred sources.Be careful with it
What about a couple/few RCBOs, and then try to split the loads up over them such that in the event of a trip you don't loose all of your heaters/pumps/lights.

If it were me, and a 250gallon aquarium does sound expensive, I'd be inclined to consider a UPS too... secondhand APC ones rated at around 2KVa go on eBay all the time, that way in the event of a small powercut (less than say 20mins) you wouldn't even notice it.
it's about 250 gallon's of reef aquarium.

Oh, and since it's Friday, time for an aquarium based joke....

250 gallons? It must weigh a tonne!!

(gallon of water = approx 4kgs. 4kgs x 250 = 1 metric tonne)
I'll get my coat :LOL:
Take a look over on

You should get some good advice on there.

I'm kev s
do what you like really, still going to look sh*t

Your problem seems to be not so much the load but the cables for everything, or to be more precise the too much cable for everything.

say a small pump, how much cable will it have 3m or 10m? how far will it be from the power supply? 2 feet?ok 4 feet, you still have too much cable, you cant coil it as it will over heat, why not decide what is going where, make sure you are happy, then cut all the cables down to shortest managable length, no rats nest of excess cables :)

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