using my crawl spaced for a chiller

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Marie0912, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. Marie0912

    Marie0912 Fire Shrimp

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    I have a 120 gallon tank and i am having problem keeping the temperature down. I have ac but hate using it if we dont need to. So my husband had this idea of using the crawled space under our home to cool the tank.

    Our crawled space is 4 feet so it s easy to worked down there. His plan is to go down and dig a hole, buy some clear tubing which would go from the tank to the hole. In the hole you would have maybe 25' of tubing. Basically we would use the ground to cool the tank. I would need a pump to return the water to the tank.
    What do you think ?
     
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  3. homegrowncorals

    homegrowncorals Ribbon Eel

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    i have had thoughts along the same line when i set up a frag tank in the green house. just not sure if it will be enough to overcome the heat here.
     
  4. Golden Rhino

    Golden Rhino Spaghetti Worm

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    A system like that would work, given enough tubing in the ground, and proper circulation. The only potential I see for problems is winter. You'll need to drain the tubing, then flush it out in spring to prevent pumping a fair amount of stagnant water into the DT.

    One quick question- Just how hot is the tank getting, anyway?

    Here's a good article on the subject...

    Reef Tank Temperatures - How High is Too High?

    Cheers
     
  5. Marie0912

    Marie0912 Fire Shrimp

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    My tank goes from 80 to 84. It freaks me out when it@ at 84. I figure if we build that chiller my tank might be more regular temperature wise. Well at first i thought my husband was crazy but now seems to be a good idea. Thanks
     
  6. Golden Rhino

    Golden Rhino Spaghetti Worm

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    FWIW, 84 is not that high; In fact, that's exactly where I keep my tank. Around the reefs, water temps generally range from 80 to 89. Not too sure where the "recommended" temps in the low to mid 70s came from.
     
  7. ReefSparky

    ReefSparky Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Since the ground at depth is of uniform temp annually, it seems at first glance to be a good idea. As for the stagnant water issue, you could probably run the earth chiller year-round, and run a heater in DT during the winter as usual. It just might run a bit more than in an average tank.

    The only potential sticking point I see would be the tubing you decide to bury. Plastics, nylon and rubber; which I think comprise the majority of tubing sold (non-metallic)--are excellent insulators. This means that even though the earth might be 73 degrees, the 80+ degree water travelling through would have to travel both very slowly, and over quite a long distance for this to be effective.

    It's a cheap enough endeavor, and who knows--you might be on to something.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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  9. sailorguy

    sailorguy Torch Coral

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    The idea is not crazy,does sound possible,but a small fan or two blowing across your display tank and/or sump would probably be much easier and would work well.The fans could be controlled by a timer to come on with your lights or a controller with a temp probe.You could also try just changing your light cycle so that they're on in the cooler evening hours.
     
  10. Marie0912

    Marie0912 Fire Shrimp

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    I have built in fan in my canopy so should i put another fan in the dt. I just bought a little 9$ fan for the sump, so maybe i will try the fan in the dt next. And if no result i will try the crawled spaced chiller.

    This entire 6 months that i have been doing this hobby people have been telling me a tank in the 80 is not good and now some of you are telling me different. It makes me feel better that my fish are not suffering. Thanks for all advice
     
  11. M-Ocean Man

    M-Ocean Man Flame Angel

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    Agreed entirely - unless you use a metal, or highly conductive tubing, you would have to run many more feet than it would make it worth it to pump water through. On the flip side, if you do run enough tubing, you would certainly dissipate some heat. You can use a double-walled system where you isolate the circulating water from the DT water (much like a steam powered hot water generator does). But that gets very complicated. But that will not stop everybody!!! Good luck whatever you do!!! ;D
     
  12. droopymatt

    droopymatt Bristle Worm

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    i work in geothermal hvac, and you'd need to be at least 3-4ft under ground before there would be enough energy to cool that water, also poly/plastic tubing does not transfer heat very well and would require a large volume of water in that tubing to be effective. lastly youd need a VERY durable pump. One capable of at least 35' of head. By the time its all said and done you may be better off just getting a small chiller. I dont know a lot about marine aquariums but geothermal is my business
     
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