Inert Metal Pipes for Inline Cooler?
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:56 PM   #1
tizzite
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Inert Metal Pipes for Inline Cooler?


hello, I want to experiment with making an inline cooler for my 20g shrimp tank.

I want to take a CPU processor fan that's connected to a heatsink and attach the heatsink to a metal pipe that has a hose barb on either end. There would be no temperature control- the fan would just run all day, but I was thinking of using a potentiometer to control the fan speed.

Is anyone familiar with CPU liquid cooling? What metal should I choose for the pipe, and how could I attach it to the heat sink? Price is definitely a factor.

Would I have to weld it? Has anyone done something like this? Would it work?
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
scotty b
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i cant sat what metal is safe but i know there is a compound glue like stuff for pc liquid cooling heatsink
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:35 AM   #3
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What is heating up the shrimp tank water? If it is the room air that heats it, the cooler won't work, because it needs a heat sink that is at a lower temperature than the tank water. And, blowing warm air over a metal heatsink won't cool it off.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:37 AM   #4
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I am familiar with cpu/gpu liquid cooling, that being said most "contact" surface areas are copper, or plated (nickle/chrome/gold) copper so not at all wanted for a invertebrate tank. But in liquid cooling cpu/gpu's all the heat that gets transferred into the water is then pushed through a radiator generally (have seen inefficient waterfall style evaporation cooling) Again this will not work since other hard metals would be introduced from the flux and tubes. A way around this is using a separate loop with a heat ex changer for the fluids you want separate, so fish water would go into this area where a piece of metal would transfer the heat to the other side where that water would be being put through a radiator fan setup.

But from what I read in your post it sounds like you are looking to hook a metal pipe up to a canister setup and then attaching an air heat sync. A more efficient method would be for the pipe to be custom constructed with multiple fins and to house the fan/fans on the fins to blow/suck the air over them. Again you are faced with the selection of metals, which for pc cooling you want best thermal performance(copper) but for this application you are looking for the least reactive to water for your faunas health, this information I do not have. I know boats use nickle on their underside to help prevent the water from destroying the main metal, but I do not know if it is bad for inverts.

After a quick google search it seems most aquarium chillers are made with titanium, but I do not know how well it transfers heat(would require another search), and all the chillers seem to be phase change units (condensers). Other than simple fan setups to blow on the water (advanced evaporation cooling)
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:06 AM   #5
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ok, thanks so much for the tips. This may not be a simple diy after all. The warm texas air might be the main factor as to why this won't work.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:45 PM   #6
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Yeah, Hoppy said it well. I've built a few projects like this for various "that sounds cool" type things. Now if your lights are what's heating the tank and not the ambient air you could do some stuff like this to draw the heat from the lights away before it warms the tank (and over engineer it to have some fun with liquid cooling in the process )
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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Ok, something like what I had in mind exists:
http://chillsolutions.com/products/c...uarium-chiller

This costs $200, but I think this will be limited to air temperature too, right? Their manual says it can lower temperature of a 20g tank 10 degrees below ambient. How can this be possible?

Someone's experiences with it:
http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/32192...hiller-review/
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:10 PM   #8
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Default Inert Metal Pipes for Inline Cooler?

Looks like a nice little chiller, but again, with no condenser it's really limited by air temps around it to transfer the heat off the heatsink. With my axolotl tank, I had to base it's placement pretty much solely on where the AC unit would be. It works well, and if you need extra cooling you could always DIY somekind of HVAC hose onto one of the AC vents --> tank.

Luke
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:15 AM   #9
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Do you have a cold water source near by? Some of the reef guys that have big tanks with sumps use a coil made out of pex (flexible plastic) pipe in the sump to heat the aquarium and they use an electronic valve controlled by a thermostat. Maybe you could rig up something similar but with cold water to cool instead of heat. I don't think it would have to be that complicated. You could have a simple heat ex changer made from a piece of PVC pipe with one of the hoses from the canister filter running through the pipe, and you could vary the length depending on how much you would need to cool the tank water. Does that make sense?
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:04 AM   #10
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thanks dan, that sounds like a good idea but I'm also concerned with how much space it'd take up in the cabinet.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:05 AM   #11
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Does anyone know how the chill solutions chiller cools tank water 10 degrees below ambient?
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tizzite View Post
Does anyone know how the chill solutions chiller cools tank water 10 degrees below ambient?
Something called a solid state refrigerator, I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_cooling
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tizzite View Post
Ok, something like what I had in mind exists:
http://chillsolutions.com/products/c...uarium-chiller

This costs $200, but I think this will be limited to air temperature too, right? Their manual says it can lower temperature of a 20g tank 10 degrees below ambient. How can this be possible?

Someone's experiences with it:
http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/32192...hiller-review/

This unit has a thermo electric cooler in it. These parts cost like 10 bucks on the bay.

Actually just type thermo electric cooler in the bay search. There a couple of kits that might easily retrofit into something you want. Lets us know what you do. Those thermo electric coolers are pretty cool. No pun intended..
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Something called a solid state refrigerator, I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_cooling


It's the magic that is the electron.

I have a large scale unit used to cool down computer closets. It just uses electricity, one side gets hot the other gets cool.
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