cooling down 45L water tank as cold as possible? (for no more than $200) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question cooling down 45L water tank as cold as possible? (for no more than $200)

Hi,

what is an economical way to cool water in a 45L tank? i want the water to be as cold as possible. now the water temperature is 35c.

- if i get a cheap water cooler like this one: https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1BiiVO...9q6xyypXai.jpg
, then connect the cold outlet to the tank and put a water pump in the tank and send it back to the water cooler? if yes, can you help explain it?

- or, these cheap aquarium coolers https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000462429723.html, are they useful? how low can they get the water down, if it is 35c ?

- another way?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-25-2020, 06:16 PM
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Little deep feezers can be found cheap on c r a i g s l i s t or similar. Really depends on how cold you want it... If you want it frozen, get one big enough to put the 45l container in. Otherwise, plumb it through the freezer.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 02:14 AM
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Perhaps the more important question is how much lower than room temperature you need to go. Things like room air conditioners will provide a certain amount of temperature drop and that is also true of many of the cooling items we might use for the tank.
A cooling fan system can make a good difference in the tem but not if the room and humidity are too high. So how many degrees do you feel you need to drop?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 08:52 PM
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what kind of room is it going to be kept in? if everything around it is too hot then you're going to end up burning out the cooling system.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 11:39 PM
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I paid $150 for a 1/8hp water chiller off craigslist. The seller was using it for hydroponics but it is working great on my daughters axolotl tank with a temperature controller. We flushed the cooler for about a week with a vinegar water mix then fresh water... just in case.

I looked around for a lot of different DIY solutions and didn't find anything that people put together that they didn't have some kind of problem with. The chiller does a great job! It does not have a built in thermostat so I use a temperature controller... I see this as one less thing to break.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 12:22 AM
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I'm sure you're aware that an aquarium chiller is very expensive. Over 25 years ago I had a reef tank with MQI lights that I couldn't keep the temp down on and I wound up using the compressor unit of a water fountain -with some help from a very handy friend. I can't recall how he configured it but it worked for a couple of years until the compressor died from overuse. At this point there were T5HO options that didn't heat the water so badly so went with those and fans. The next time time I used a mini freezer and drilled through it and ran loops of thin poly tubing (scores of loops, as much as would fit inside, and you want the least insulated tubing you can get your hands on) that the aquarium water would flow through. In this case, the biggest issue was the freezer running constantly and I feared this would shorten its life. Slowing down the water flow helped a ton, so if you take a DIY approach, keep in mind that less is more as the speed the water goes through is concerned. I didn't document it so don't recall how long it took, but it still burned out from running so much.
Having DIYed 2 chillers now, my inclination would be to spring for something designed to chill water rather than try to build a better mousetrap. Restaurants are closing right and left these days with Covid, if any places around you had a lobster tank, there's a ready-made chiller on those if you can spring a deal.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 01:38 PM
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I just ordered one of these in today's 9/9 sale:
https://www.lazada.sg/products/aquar...401911804.html

From reviews I've read, these solid state chillers seem pretty ineffective on larger tanks, but I just want to cool my little 11 litre CRS tank by a couple of degrees so I'm hoping it might do the trick. For equivalent of $55 USD I thought worth a try anyway. Getting a bit bored of daily water top-ups using a fan to take the edge of.

If you're water is starting of at 35C and you want it as "cold as possible", then that cheap solid-state chiller you linked on aliexpress is 100% not going to work. From reviews I've read, best you can hope for is 3-4C temp reduction on small tank. Most people with anything more than about 20 litres tanks seem to say they have minimal effect.

Best option might be a cheap second hand proper (i.e. compressor, not solid state) aquarium chiller?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 04:04 PM
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Forums are funny things at times!
This OP seems to have popped in only long enough to register, ask one question and never be seen again!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en7jos View Post
I just ordered one of these in today's 9/9 sale:
https://www.lazada.sg/products/aquar...401911804.html

From reviews I've read, these solid state chillers seem pretty ineffective on larger tanks, but I just want to cool my little 11 litre CRS tank by a couple of degrees so I'm hoping it might do the trick. For equivalent of $55 USD I thought worth a try anyway. Getting a bit bored of daily water top-ups using a fan to take the edge of.

If you're water is starting of at 35C and you want it as "cold as possible", then that cheap solid-state chiller you linked on aliexpress is 100% not going to work. From reviews I've read, best you can hope for is 3-4C temp reduction on small tank. Most people with anything more than about 20 litres tanks seem to say they have minimal effect.

Best option might be a cheap second hand proper (i.e. compressor, not solid state) aquarium chiller?

As Rich pointed out the original poster seems AWOL... but I would like to know how that cooler works for you? I have seen many Peltier effect coolers and wonder how much temperature drop they actually achieve.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 07:48 PM
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Pretty sure they can work fine depending on how much electricity you want to throw at them
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/pr...jUm7tYLHYFyF_u

https://rimstar.org/science_electron...iency_test.htm

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 11:40 PM
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Evaporative cooling can reduce tank temperatures by a few degrees fahrenheit if the top is open enough. A mesh lid of some sort is best for this, inasmuch as LOTS of fish in this hobby will jump out of an open top tank. Insulating the tank will improve whatever temperature drop the fan or other cooling method would give you. Also, I suspect that lowering the water level would increase the amount of evaporative cooling that occurs, simply because it would reduce the amount of water to buffer the cooling the evaporation would cause.

Here is an article on newts that explains some ways to cool an aquarium;Caudata Culture Articles - Cooling
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 12:57 AM
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How to cool and still keep the fish safe is always a question but here in the dry Central Texas area, evaporative cooling works good for tanks, so I did go an extra step to build something.
One of the cheaper and still very workable was made with junk computer fans and the plastic strip that comes with lots of the glass lids for the back portion behind the glass.
We have so many computers set out on the curb on Craigslist that I was able to gather several for free and strip out the small CPU fans which work on 12VDC. That made it pretty easy to cut a few spots out of the plastic, screw in four fans and wire them to a 12VDC wall wart power supply. Placing two of the little 2 inch wide blowing in and two blowing out made quite a good airflow across the top of the water and still left the tank fully covered.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oughtsix View Post
I have seen many Peltier effect coolers and wonder how much temperature drop they actually achieve.
Yes, I'm very keen to find out too! Read so many reviews which seemed to be either:
(a) works amazing (seller's own review perhaps?) or
(b) didn't do anything (with an accompanying photo of a tiny peltier cooler hooked up to some 50-100 litre tank!).

I'm thinking it should be able to take the edge off my 11 litre RCS tank temps which sit at about 28C uncooled, or easily down to 27C with a small, silent fan running on a temp controller with manageable water loss to evaporation. 26C with no evaporative water loss would be great and a reasonable expectation.... I think!?!?

Well guess we shall see
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2020, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oughtsix View Post
...would like to know how that cooler works for you? I have seen many Peltier effect coolers and wonder how much temperature drop they actually achieve.
Hi @Oughtsix. Got my mini chiller delivered a few days back and just posted setup info and a short review here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...up-review.html

In short, it's working great taking the edge off temp's my nano CRS tank

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-25-2020, 01:04 AM
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Excellent review! Thank you for the heads up! I really appreciate that you included the chiller specifications.
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