built a DIY chiller yesterday

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by skennelly, Jan 3, 2005.

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  1. skennelly

    skennelly Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Well, my tank likes to hover around 82 degrees without any heaters.  I guess its because it resides in my living room and the house is on the warmer side even with the thermostate set low, oh yeah the vho's don't help.  Anyways I tried my hand at a DIY mini refrigerator to cool things down.  I coiled up 30 feet of thin walled tubing and placed it in the fridge.  I drilled 2 holes for input and output and sealed them up with silicone.  I'm going to run it as is and add a water bath if I don't get the results I am looking for.

    I'll post some pictures and effects on the temp once I have everything running.  
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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  4. skennelly

    skennelly Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Thanks Matt...great link. I hooked up the fridge last night but ran into a problem. I planned on storing the fridge in my stand and I think the humid air down there prevented the fridge from cooling down. :huh: Before I went to bed I set a fan blowing on the back of my stand thinking it would circulate better air to the fridge.

    When I woke up this morning the tank was at 77 degrees. :) But the fridge was still not cooling down the way I thought it would.

    I think just putting the fan on the tank dropped the temp dramatically and if its that simple I'm just going to mount 2 desk fans inside the stand blowing out.

    mmmmmm....I'm still tinkering.
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Yeah, they don't recommend putting chillers in stands, so I bet the fridge is no different. :-/
     
  6. Phil5613

    Phil5613 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    The disadvantage to fans is it increases evaporation. What type of top off do you use? Also the fridge does need circulation so it cant be in the stand unless you can find a way to get air to the coils , that is where the problem lies. one last idea i am going to experiment this year is cooling air in the hood rather then water in the tank . I have a belief that if you use the right glass, plexi or acrylic to seal the hood you should be able to cool the air between that and the bulbs with fans which would reduce the heat to the tank and not have huge evap issues. my concerns are what type of shield allows the best light spectrum through and fan congigurations all blowing in or half blowing out etc.. any comments?? i also plan to still leave room to run open tops on the tank. I am going to experiment on a different setup just using a length of coiled line with a high speed fan blowimg on it to try and build a system that will lower the water temp a few degress while not costing an arm and a leg. again the theory here is air is cheaper to cool so if my idea works it could be a cheaper alternative to chillers for those of us that hover the fine 82 degree line.
     
  7. skennelly

    skennelly Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Yeah, I agree. Currently I have an all - glass canopy that I retrofitted 4 vho lights into. I installed 2 computer type fans in the canopy blowing air out so essentially pulling the heat out of the canopy, I cover the top of the tank with just regular glass tops that come with all - glass aquariums. When I was freshwater I used to run no glass.

    If the temp of the tank stays in that 77 range which it has for a day with a fan running I can deal with the evaporation. I won't mind topping it off more frequently. Right now my top of system is completely manual with the exception of a kalkwasser drip I'm afraid to hook up a float switch in case of malfunction and flooding my hard wood floors.

    yikes......that would be a nightmare!! :eek:
     
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  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    If I was reading your chiller instructions right, I'd be willing to bet that you would find greater cooling potential by placing those coils in a container of liquid. The Liquid will retain the Fridges temperature longer and have a longer lasting chilling capacity then having just cool air being blown on it.
     
  10. reiple

    reiple Fire Shrimp

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    Phil - That is right . Using fans over a tank increases water evaporation. Highly undesirable for small tanks as it could impact salinity. It can be a plus for kalwasser user as it increases calcium feeding.

    I use fans over my tank. Temp is from 78 to 80 deg. Without fan runs 80 to 84.
     
  11. OoNickoC

    OoNickoC Bubble Tip Anemone

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    I have the fans on my nano cube hooked to a thermostat...but they dont blow on the water. Instead I have them simple pump the hot air outta the canopy through the top......in my large fish tank the fans do blow across the waters surface though. Ive been thinking about making my own chiller but broke down and bought an Iceworks coolprobe....which is awesome for small tanks from what ive heard. Only summer will tell.