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Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

02/27/2010 11:12 PM

I just installed a 20 gallon fish tank, filled it with tap water, gravel, and some live plants. It is lit by an Incandescent bulb and has a water filter - no fish yet. It seems that ever since I installed the tank my home wifi signal is flaky. Signal strength has gone down throughout the house. The router and tank are in adjoining rooms but don't share a wall - as a matter of fact they are on the two furthest walls apart. I've tried rebooting the router, getting a new router and I've turned off the filter and light bulb - no improvement. We've got three computers and a wireless printer on the network all were working perfectly before the tank.

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#1

Re: Can a fish tank interfere with wireless network?

02/27/2010 11:43 PM

A quick Google search shows that a fish tank can interfere with a wireless network, which is news to me.

From the 'net:

If the signal strength drops or fluctuates, there usually is interference. Try the following to correct issue:


  • Change the channel on your access point or wireless router.
  • Change the location of your wireless products. Subtle changes (2-3 feet) can make a big difference. Do not put the access point or wireless router in a cabinet or enclosure.
  • 2.4GHz phones, X-10, and bluetooth devices will interfere with your wireless network. Change the location of the base for your phone.
  • The wireless signal will degrade (or die completely) when going through brick (fireplace), metal (file cabinet), steel, lead, mirrors, water (fish tank), large appliances, glass, etc.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Can a fish tank interfere with wireless network?

02/28/2010 11:32 AM

Thanks, Sue. I should of googled it myself. The tank is on a wooden cabinet which has metal tubes capping the lower ends of the legs into which the caster wheels go. That's probably also interfering.

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#2

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

02/28/2010 7:37 AM

Although my wife gets really upset every time I tell her to move, if she stands between my laptop and the router hub, I have no signal.

The tank may be either absorbing the signal or reflecting it, I don't know.

Go with sue's advice.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

02/28/2010 10:37 PM

A wife induced communication problem, who would have thought it?

BAB

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

02/28/2010 10:40 PM
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#15
In reply to #2

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 10:39 PM

Geez Lyn are you on the verge of living dangerously or what??

On a serious note here folks, propagation studies here in "End-of-the-Earth", Oregon for some local hotels have, time and again, shown that water features and other decorative structures both degrade the signal AND cause some truly bizarre reflections.

The only true "solution", is to get the management personnel to "walk" with you and observe the fluctuations as they actually occur. When they see that the placement of the Access Point within a convenient concrete pillar was a nice use of a cavity but the rebar only allowed five feet of signal, they DO change their collective minds.

Do you have a signal meter or a 'Hawking' utility in your laptop??

Please advise. I know of no other solution other than the hard work of diagramming the situation. It is worth it, though!!

As always, way ta' go Sue!!

r/s, Gar

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#3

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

02/28/2010 10:42 AM

That sounds fishy!!!!

But looking at the Ariel designs and the explanations of HAM radio gurus the width of the tank may be critical - swing the tank by a few degrees and test again.

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#7

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

02/28/2010 11:02 PM

Already answered well by #1.

My 2 cents...

Home wireless RF at 2.4 GHz is near one of the water resonance frequencies used in MW ovens. While metal structures (shelve, cabinets, etc.) could either be a barrier or a reflector (the latter enhancing network performance), one would expect a large tank of water to absorb this RF signal with minimal reflections. The water in the fish tank does seem to be the cause of your problem.

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#13
In reply to #7

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 11:04 AM

Are you saying I'm "cooking" myself using the wifi?? That doesn't sound good. Is there anyway to protect from this? There are at least 5 other wifi's from neighbors that I receive on my computer!

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 11:31 AM

Are you absorbing some of your WiFi signal? Certainly. Before you freak out, the energy levels you absorb are TINY! On the order of 1E-9 Watts. About 1E-12 times smaller than in a typical microwave oven. That's 1/1,000,000,000,000 of a MW oven!

You are exposed to far more radiation, toxins, pollutants, and other physical hazards from so many other daily sources that WiFi signals should not be on your "worry" list!

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#8

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

02/28/2010 11:11 PM

A problem could be the arc noise of the fluorescent bulb. This broad spectrum white noise will lift the noise floor and degrade your signal to noise ratio.you might try a faraday cage on the bulbs on the tank tank by the use of the extra thin metal films use on windows or metal fly screen, make sure no water drips from the metal into the tank, Heavy metals = bad for fish. You could use LED lamps.

I do no think the presence of a tank of water will bother the wifi unless it is in a direct path.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 12:08 AM

It is lit by an Incandescent bulb

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#10

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 12:27 AM

Simple fix:

Turns any electrical power outlet into a network connection

Enables high-quality video streaming, gaming and VoIP over a home network

Delivers up to 200 Mbps to any outlet†

http://www.netgear.com/Products/PowerlineNetworking/PowerlineEthernetAdapters/HDX101.aspx

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#11

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 1:26 AM

I knew it was going to happen. Filter all water....Filter all water....Filter all water.... government has launched nanobots to steel our wifi signals and to spy on us.......even in the shower!

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#12

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 9:14 AM

pull the router out of the tank. Or get a bubbling diving man or treasure chest repeater.

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#16

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/01/2010 11:13 PM

OK folks, let's get a little bit serious here!! NOBODY ever records propogation data prior to a dismal event. That said, was there an event history before the installation of the tank?? In reference to the initial query, there are wi-fi devices in many rooms. Were some more "spotty" than others?? Have all of the "move and shake" options been explored??

With all of the variables involved here, I would first do a baseline test such as: http://www.speedtest.net/ . Remember, most of this is just "geography" writ small.

Keep in touch...

r/s

Gar

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#17

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/03/2010 6:07 PM

Try unplugging your fish tank heater and pump. Does the Wifi signal get better? Fish tank heaters are notorious sources of Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). Many times when investigating a customer RFI complaint, we find the source to be a neighbor's fish tank heater.

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#18

Re: Can a Fish Tank Interfere with a Wireless Network?

03/08/2010 12:34 AM

bring electric eel into the tank, the problem will be solved..

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