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I've been spending time organizing my fish room this week and getting things cleaned up. I don't want to have power strips laying on the floor in case of a flood in the room, so I am mounting all of them. This is also an opportunity to work on storage and organization for each stand.

Mounting a power strip

Most power strips I've seen come with mounting holes on the back, like the photo below. This makes them super easy to mount to a vertical surface. All you need is a drill and some screws that have a wide enough head to hook into the power strip. I just used some small wood screws that I had kicking around. You can hang a power strip with just one screw, but if you want it to stay in place its better to use two.

back of power strip
back of power strip

On this stand I drove two screws into the inside of the cabinet, just under 5 inches apart. To get the exact distance between screws you want to measure the distance between slots on the back of the power strip. Then you just drive in the screws and slide the power strip onto them. If you want to move the power strip later, it will easily slide back off.

power strip mounting screws
power strip mounting screws
mounted power strip
mounted power strip

Tip: use cable ties to color code wires

For this tank I used small colored cable ties to mark the power cords for my two filters. Since one filter has blue on it, I know that the blue cord is for that filter, and the green one is the other filter. This helps a lot during water changes and maintenance. I can quickly unplug the equipment I want disconnected without having to guess.

You can also buy power cable labels that look a little nicer than zip ties to identify your cords.

finished setup
finished setup

With the power strip up off the shelf I have more room for storage under my stand. You can see here this planted tank has 4 powered devices: the heater, the light, and two filters. I know which cord goes to each of these devices without having to trace the wire back behind the tank. Having the strip up above the shelf also helps avoid getting it wet if I spill water or chemicals.

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Since my fish room is in an unfinished section of my basement there weren't any outlets along the wall where most of my tanks will be going. In fact, the only available outlets in the room were on the same circuit as my washing machine, which pulls about 10 amps by itself. I estimated that the number of aquariums I plan to eventually run in this room would eat up 7 or 8 amps, potentially more if I include one or two high-light planted tanks.

I'm taking my time with each upgrade to the fish room to make sure that I build in the ability to expand by adding more tanks if I want to later. (See my fish room sink plumbing as an example) I thought about running an extension cord from a nearby circuit, but ultimately I decided to have a dedicated, 15 amp GFCI circuit installed by an electrician.  Although I'm doing all of the plumbing and building the racks myself, I don't like to mess around with electricity, especially at the service panel.

Fish Room Under Construction - Dedicated Circuit Installed
Fish Room Under Construction - Dedicated Circuit Installed

I had the receptacles mounted a little over 6 feet up the wall so that they would be above the tops of the tanks. With a 15 amp circuit just for my aquariums I'll have plenty of power for the 10+ tanks I plan to eventually run. I'll also have power for additional devices like a sprinkler timer and dehumidifier. Once I start setting up racks this wall will be a lot more full, and I'll be able to mount power strips to each rack without running extension cords along the floor or around the room.