Monday, March 7, 2011

The Cost of One Catfish

About five years ago, I adopted a wayward catfish and dropped him in my home aquarium with my red-eared slider turtle. But a few months back the turtle, which we had owned for over eleven years, passed away. Now my tank is populated only by the catfish, and honestly, I yearn to finally be free from the burden of an aquarium altogether. While I've long dealt with the hassle of feedings, cleaning, and the purchasing of supplies, I'm now growing aware of the energy drain as well.

The tank is serviced by an in-tank water filter and illuminated by a 17W fluorescent bulb. They are both plugged into a timer that turns them on for 12 hours every day. I hooked the whole thing up to the Kill-A-Watt to see how much power they were drawing. Over the course of one 12-hour cycle, the aquarium was drawing 0.24kWh. That means that during one full year, the tank consumes more than 87 kWh of energy. Continuing to keep a catfish captive really doesn't seem in line with my quest to simplify and become more efficient...

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