Cheap mod for cooling fan? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Cheap mod for cooling fan?

As summer comes on, we will likely see many wanting some form of cooling for their tanks. This is often a place where we don't want to spend a great deal of money as it is a short term item. So that is a great time for a simple DIY fan setup.
This is one I built to replace a large fan as I wanted it set permanent but not stick out in the way. I found I could fit the small cooling l fans like used on computers into the space at the rear of the glass tops on this tank. This is a two inch space where the "normal" plastic shield that we cut to add filters and such is fit to the back of the glass panel.
Being a two inch space, I found a fan that is 50MM X 50MM X 10MM fits in just right. I find these on the auction for less than a dollar each from China if you want to wit a bit but I was in a rush so went with the $4 from the US.
these fans need a very small (.1 amp) 12VDC power so I can run four off one salvage power supply.
In my case, I already use the Inkbird temperature controller with both heating and cooling functions so I simply plugged the power supply into the controller.
Since my plastic was pretty well gone from being used with various equipment, I had to add a small strip of hobby styrene to hold the fans. I also added a plastic "tie-wrap" as a strain relieif on the wiring as I have to assume it will get snagged and pulled at different times. Better to prepare than to try to fix it after it is broken?
Wiring can be very simple with these as they only use two wires. Two wires from the supply to two wires from the fans but in this case, the polarity does matter. Since we are working with such low power and nothing delicate, it is simple to hold the wires together and see if the fan runs. If not swap the two wires. Totally safe to do and much easier than trying to tell you which color will be best as the colors vary from one to another.
I found I got more air moved when I installed two blowing into the tank with the other two blowing out. You can't blow or pull air when there is not way out.
Maybe you can use the idea for a simple, cheap and easy way to cool the tank?
Summer's coming and it get hotter every year, so we have to be ready to adapt.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the big blank space in the above post. Seems Photobucket has failed --at least for right now?

Let's see if we can get the picture up doing it this way???

No way! I've reached some limit on how much space I can use for pictures so can't post pictures any longer.

Last edited by PlantedRich; 05-23-2017 at 04:16 PM. Reason: added info
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 05:46 PM
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Nicely done. I'm guessing you have to increase top offs?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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I would assume more water will be used as it is the evaporation that gives the cooling but on this tank that is not a problem but just do it when changing water.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 11:47 PM
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That is a nice neat build. Do you get the air flowing across the tank an out another side? My experience was the path taken by the air makes a huge difference. I wonder how it will compare to just removing the glass top.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 12:52 AM
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Was amazed at how much cooling effect these little fans can provide. Last summer I did a little experiment out on the back porch. Several days got over 100 degrees out there and I could still keep the tanks under 82 degrees. And yes, there was a large amount of evaporation but for my purpose, temperature control was more important than loss of water.
Those 4 fans should have no problem keeping things cool on anything under 150 gallons.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osmosis View Post
That is a nice neat build. Do you get the air flowing across the tank an out another side? My experience was the path taken by the air makes a huge difference. I wonder how it will compare to just removing the glass top.
Exactly how we each need to set the fans will depend on how much cooling we need. This is a tank that I'm okay with staying near 78, so with the AC cranking the house to 76, I really only need to remove enough to offset what the new LED light and the filter is staking in. So rather than put more wires in place and also move some of the filter tubing around, I went simple. I set them all side by but to get air to move and not leave my jumpers room to get out, I reversed two fans. Two shoot in and two shoot out. Enou8gh air moving for my case but it would move more air further over the water if I had placed two at one end of the tank and tow at the other end, still reversing two. It makes a kind of push here, pull there setup that moves more air but a shorter distance.
Part of what I like about DIY is that I can custom build to fit what I feel needed on that one spot. I'm finding the new light is giving me more than I need and that is leading to an algae bloom-- I think. So I am building a couple blocks to move the light up a couple inches until I find what works on the intensity of the light.
I may find a sweet spot where the light is higher and cooler and then maybe I don't need a heater nor fans. NO! Not likely to be that lucky! But then summers coming so I'm ready.
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