Are watts additive?

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  #1  
Old 11-04-11, 01:16 PM
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Are watts additive?

Hello, I believe I have a simple question, but I canít find the answer anywhere. I am planning on moving from California to Indiana and have 4 fish tanks of various sizes I would like to take, including the fish. I know Iím crazy, but Iíve invested too much time and money to comfortably just sell them and start over. I can generally do the trip in 2.5 days but have never done it with the fish. I am hoping to use a DC/AC inverter (Wagan EL2402 SmartAC 200W Power Inverter), which I have already purchased, in the moving truckís cigarette outlet. Ideally, Iíd like to power four filters (15W, 14W, 14W, 9W), three heaters (15W, 15W, 15W), two air pumps (4W and 5W) and five lights (7W, 7W, 15W, 23W, 23W). These numbers were recorded directly from the appliances.
My question: Are watts additive in this respect? Can I purchase a couple power strips and plug them into the inverter and power these items? This inverter has pretty good reviews on amazon (Amazon.com: Wagan EL2402 SmartAC 200W Power Inverter with USB Port: Automotive) and claims 200W of continuous power with a 500W peak surge. Iíve calculated a sum of 181 watts from these appliances. Can I rest assured that everything will stay powered?
Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 01:22 PM
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Yes, the watts would all be added together. That inverter should handle the load. Also, more than likely all the heaters will not be on at the same time. You could also vary the time when the lights are on.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 01:31 PM
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Fish Tanks

How will you keep the water in the tanks?
 
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Old 11-04-11, 02:23 PM
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Awesome! Thanks for the quick replies. And good call on putting the lights in intervals and recognizing the heaters not being on 24/7, that hadnít crossed my mind.
As for keeping water in, my current plan is to lower the water level to 75ish% of normal and wrap the top couple inches with some packaging/electric/maybe duct tape on the outside and the plastic part of the inside. Oppose them sticky side to each other, fold them inward, and then tape a few inches centrifugally on top of them to keep them put and build a small shelf overlaying the tankís inside periphery. As long as the tape stays water tight it should limit water escape to only the center of the top of the tank, which I will have a hood over as well. My other thought is to use a waterproof puddy of some sort with solid plastic shelves pressed on top in a similar fashion as the tape would be. Not sure which is the better option, but it seems like the tape method is less likely to slip. Maybe Iíll even end up combining the two ideas :-P
One thing about the wattage on my filters I found odd was that I have two larger filters designed for 25 and 70 gallon aquariums that draw only 9 and 15 watts respectively, but I also have 2 smaller filters designed for 2 gallon aquariums. I couldnít find the watts for the 2 gallon filters but based off the amps (.12) and voltage (120) I found a website that calculated them to require 14 watts each. That seems relatively high compared to my larger filters but I used that number for them anyway to be safe. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 11-04-11, 02:50 PM
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Electrically speaking, the inverter should be plenty to power the tank accessories; however, there's going to be water sloshing all over the place and that will create a shock hazard. You should make sure to use a GFCI device. An inverter can produce deadly voltage and current.

In terms of the water, I can't fathom how you could make it on a 2000 mile road trip with anything less than a completely sealed container. Tape and putty will not hold. Have you considered transferring the fish to a utility tank like this: Plastic-Mart - 25 Gallon Transport Tank

(link for example only, no opinion on retailer or product)

Or maybe a Coleman cooler with the lid securely strapped down?
 
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Old 11-04-11, 03:32 PM
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Ah, thanks for the advice on the GFCI device. So something like this (Amazon.com: Tower Manufacturing 30338024 2' Length, 15 amp In-Line GFCI And Triple Tap Cord Set With Auto Reset: Home Improvement
I like the transport tank pointed out, which, structurally, is how I envision my tank to look and function should everything stay watertight on the sides. Coleman cooler sounds to be about as messy as my current situation to me. It WOULD be much simpler and less stressful on the fish if I could just adapt my current tank, but that quite possibly might not be feasible/safe.
I guess optimism has me hoping my plan will work better than it actually would. We arenít moving for another 6-8 months so I have plenty of time to figure it out. Iíll check with a few aquarium forums about the otherís experience and what may be the safest and cleanest way to move them.
In the meantime, if there are any other ideas out there for adapting the current tanks Iíd much appreciate them. Silicone caulk maybe?
And thanks again for all the help on the electrical side of it.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 03:57 PM
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To use your existing tanks get two pieces of 3/4" plywood about 3" larger then the tank and 4 pieces of threaded rod and wing nuts. Basically clamp the tank between the two pieces of plywood. Paint the top piece well with nontoxic paint and glue on a rubber seal. Seal could be auto vacuum hose glued on with silicon approved for use with aquariums. If the tanks are large you may need 6 or 8 threaded rods. You can use Tee-nuts in the bottom board so it sets flat with out legs.
 
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Old 11-04-11, 06:06 PM
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Ah, very creative, I like your style :-) Iíll have to do some shopping around, but the project itself sounds pretty straight forward. I could probably keep the tank at nearly full capacity this way, too, huhÖ Very cool, many thanks!
 
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