Aquarium Timers

This post is going to talk about timers and finding the right one for your aquarium setup since there are quite a few different types.

The timer you may be most tempted to buy is possibly a digital timer because you're probably like me and thinking "how high tech would that be?!". Actually this would probably be the worst option to buy for your aquarium setup. If your power ever goes out though (like at my house it happens about once a week) then you may find that a digital timer will reset itself completely when power is lost or when the unit is unplugged. Ultimately, I find a digital timer to become the most annoying, difficult, and least desirable for use on aquariums... unless of course your digital timer happens to come with a battery backup inside of it (is there such a thing?).

Now you've probably came across some aquarium timers that are available at your local pet store. Often times these can be overpriced timers and generally come on a big power strip... although you more than likely don't want all your aquarium setup connected to some timer strips unless they have outlets that stay on continuously (which is typically what you would want to run your filter off of). These range from around $15 to $44 at PETCO, but you could opt to buy regular non-digital timers for less at Walmart or even your local drugstore. Also make sure if it has a power strip (or you use a power strip for that matter) that it has surge protection so it doesn't ruin your equipment that's plugged into the unit, and I personally recommend having one that you can change the settings for the various plug outlets on the grid because you may not want your lights and air diffuser, etc all working at the same intervals. Also, you may find these do not have enough outlets on the power strip for your setup/s and you'd end up having to buy yet another unit or have another basic power strip on hand.

The cheaper house timers which are non-digital timers I find to be the best option. If your power cuts off for a short time it doesn't mess up your timer settings too drastically and it can be easily fixed with a simple twist and re-alignment of the timer. This timer device may only give you 1 outlet but, if you buy a duo/trio/etc plug attachment to connect more than 1 plug into the timer or even attach it to a power strip then you'll add to your outlet issue. There are also a few different non-digital timers, I personally prefer one that lets you adjust it by 15 or 30 minute intervals on the device... where as some may only come with one set of on/off clips for the entire day (which is like the timer below on the right side of the image).
My current setup I am working on.
Here's a link to the type of non-digital timer I use now (see the timer on the left in my above image) which is from CVS and the 3-outlet attachment I put on it from the same store (the timer on the left in the image has the 3-outlet plug on it). IKEA has some KOPPLA 6-outlet power strips if you're looking for more outlets on a budget (they're $5.99 for 2). I hope this post helped you and gave you some incite on timers for your aquarium, leave a comment if you have any advice, comments, or questions.


Aquarium Updates

Lately I find myself being more focused on the outer setup of my aquarium... wanting to change up some of my wiring setup and so forth. I've been debating 'timers' and I think I will actually do a quick post on them to help anyone else looking to use timers for their aquarium setup. I'm still wanting to purchase a canister filter at some point and I'm also looking for another light fixture. I'm also becoming disappointed with one of my Zilla Digital Thermometers so I'll either exchange it or perhaps find something better (any suggestions?). I'm also working on creating my own DIY aquarium lid (if I can figure out what parts I'm in need of) which I think will be very cool so, for those of you out their that may not be fans of bulky aquarium hoods that want something a bit more invisible then you may also be interested in that as well.

As for new things I recently purchased one of Petco's "zebra stones" which I believe is just a chunk of granite, and I'm hoping to find some additional pieces of the stone in the future but each piece is different so it's only a matter of finding ones that appeal to my wants. Also big news, I finally caved and bought another Betta fish yesterday and he's a halfmoon double tail whom I have named Ebo. So, if you want to see pics of Ebo and know more about him then you'll have to come check him out in future posts to come as well... although I may actually be returning him because I noticed he has fin rot and I haven't yet found a decent fin rot remedy thus far.

I've also recently donated an old 10gal aquarium and Top Fin heater to a co-worker of mine who has got on the 'fish boat' with me, YEAH! haha. So now I have my new Aqueon heater in my female guppy tank and they are super happy with that, I even added an undergravel bubbler from Walmart to their tank. Also I think I may have posted before about my homes water system being changed out and my water went from 'Very Hard' to 'Soft', and has now turned 'Very Soft"... I'm not sure how this will affect my fish but I really wish the pH would go down on our tap water, eep. For now I believe that's it for my recent aquarium updates and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask :)


Aquarium Lighting

After a visit to my cousins house recently and hearing my Mother exclaim "Wow, you can really see the fish in his tank!" it made me think how my aquarium lights were lacking in brightness. Then again, I had been going for a faux blackwater style setup awhile back and have become a bit bored with that at the moment. So, I came across an interesting little post while surfing the net about some great cheap aquarium light bulbs at... Walmart of all places. I couldn't help but check out these bulbs at my local Walmart, and well... I'll let you be the bulb judge here (you may be just as shocked as I was!).

Current Aquarium Lighting.
Two of IKEA's G4 12V LED's (these bulbs do not last long!), possibly comparable to these...
Started off with this Aquarium Lighting.
Two, 25W Blue Incandescent Aquarium Bulbs...
Second choice to lighting my Aquarium in the past.
A Single Fluorescent Tube (light bulb came with that unit)...
My most recent light venture.
Two of Walmart's, 10W Aquarium Bulbs (these may be comparable to Aqueon's Colormax)...
Yes, I do realize that these photo's may look like I had went from a dirty looking aquarium to a clean aquarium but it's honestly just the difference that lighting can make.