fish tank question

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N4ERZ, Dec 4, 2012.

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  1. N4ERZ

    N4ERZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The time has come for my almost 4 year old to get a fishtank. He has been asking and asking for several months and with the holidays upon us, we will be getting a tank.

    I've read a few horror stories about emissions etc... from the various components. I'm wondering what, if anything, I should be doing to reduce the chance of this happening. I'm assuming ferrite cores on the power cables/supplies, but am unsure what else I can do to avoid any issues.

    The home setup is a Hy-Gain vertical on the shed about 60' behind the house and a K3 a room away.

    Thanks !

  2. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only problem I know of with aquaria (!) is the heater and its thermostat.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A fishtank is no problem at all.

    The fish are.

    An empty tank can stay clean for years, just add tap water.

    Seriously: If you're going to get a fish tank, don't ever use tap water, that was just a joke.

    The RFI problems are mostly from tank heaters and thermostats which make noise. The very good ones don't.

    Don't use tap water unless you like fish doing the up-top sideways float.
  4. KF6ABU

    KF6ABU Ham Member QRZ Page

    On my reef tank, 17m will set off the alarm on my water level indicator in the sump. I wrapped the cable that does to the sensor, and the power line, 5 turns around a ferrite core and that resolved the issue.

    I use magnetic ballast in the HID's and dont have any noticable RF noise from the tank. My chiller also doesn't cause any problems when it turns on. No heaters due to the lights and pumps keeping it plenty warm, I do have to cool it though.
  5. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had some noise from the heater thermostat. Put a Radio Shack choke on the cord and cleared it up. I put another on the lamp cord and pump cord for good measure.
  6. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Ham Member QRZ Page

    kept fish for years
    never had one prob with noise

    never bothered with tank heaters

    most so fresh water tropical fish do fine
    at room temp
    my fancy gold fish thrived in cold water

    always used tap water
    i just let it sit in a five gal buckets for
    a day or two before using it

    dit dit
  7. N4ERZ

    N4ERZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the replies! I will most likely add cores to each cable as a "just in case" measure of prevention. For this application, do you think there is any difference in effectiveness between the cheap radio shack style clip-ons and actually winding the cables through a core? Any specific model's etc... that are preferred?

    Steve - I picked up a book on Amazon about basics so I (hopefully) don't have to explain why all of the fish are floating....

    Thanks again,

  8. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right. Fish are fairly quiet.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  9. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, you can and should let the water sit in the tank for at least 48 hours before adding fish. Use a de-chlorinator and check the PH of the water. Add acid or alkylating agent as necessary to adjust the PH. Do use an undergravel filter if it is a fresh water aquarium, nitrifying bacteria need a place to grow and the plastic filter plate is a perfect environment for them. Use more filter than you need because a filter rated for a 35 gallon tank used on a 35 gallon tank will have to be cleaned way too often.

    As for heaters, here is one that won't cause RFI:

    If you use an air pump be sure it is a commercial one like this:

    Or a whisper pump, my experience with those has been good. If you use good quality components in the thing then it should be pretty radio quiet but all aquarium components can generate radio noise. You may have to add a ferrite or two to the power leads but that's pretty easy to do.
  10. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    White Vinegar or Lime can be used to adjust PH.

    Letting city water set is better than adding chemicals to neutralize the Chlorine, also lets metals and solids settle.

    Most of the time RFI from a fishtank setup is the cheap Florescent lights with Switching power supplies.

    Most everything else runs on a 60HZ magnetic field.

    A incandescent light is good if you need some heat in the winter. No RFI at all. (But RFI comes with Christmas lights)

    Enjoy the new tank.
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