Dealing with condensation on glass - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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How do you guys deal with condensation on the front glass of your terrariums? I've tried partially opening the canopy to allow some humidity to escape but I need to leave it almost completely open in order to get it to stay clear. Maybe I need to drop the temperature of the water a bit. I think it's around 78F right now.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 12:55 AM
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Hhmm.. the water temperature, air temperature, and dewpoint all play a role in condensation.. that's if I understand my meteorology! Have you considered instead adding a muffin fan for better circulation?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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I considered a fan as a last resort. I've got several sitting around from my computer-tinkering days. I'm going to try drilling a few holes in the cover to see if that helps first.
You're right about one thing for sure - the air temperature in the room is usually fairly cool. Maybe if I raised the heat in the room a bit.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 06:55 PM
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I use a PC fan on a timer.

I have the fan cycle on for 15 minute increments about 6-8 times a day.

I made a hinged top out of plexiglass drilled a large hole (~4" diameter) in it, covered the hole with nylon screening material and place the fan on top. I also have smaller screened holes (2") evenly spaced across the top.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-15-2003, 06:20 AM
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I think I am going to switch to drip irigation for watering plants, and make a seporate humidification chamber to keep things balanced, spraying is just way too messy. But now I have great forearms, I look like "Popeye the sailor man!", just kidding.

A mini CPU fan with a little restriction works great. Unrestricted it creates hurricanes in my vivarium, little dust cyclones spinning in my 55 Gal. Looks neat though!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 07:38 AM
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wax your glass with auto wax
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 07:39 AM
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Or even rub some parafin wax on a clean cotton cloth and rub the cloth on the inside of the glass until smooth, this will help prevent fogging (sorry for the double posts)
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 08:54 AM
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This style of ventilation works great for me when I don't have a fan in the tank. The temperatures also play a major role in dew buildup.

Rule of thumb, the greater the temperature separation the greater the potential for dew buildup. Ultimately, this will also depend on your humidity as well. With an inside temp of +10 degrees, (ten degrees greater than the outside temp), condensation will always be present at humidity of 70%. If you reduce your humidity to 60% and you reduce your inside temp to +5 degrees, you will have less condensation on the glass. This is all due to glasses poor heat insulation properties. Having thicker glass or an additional insulator on your glass will further reduce this condensation. Or, as I choose to do, you can have a slow and constant source of cooler and dryer air constantly flowing inside the tank.

To "FORCE" a steady flow of cooler/dry air into your tank, you have to rely on the natural thermal property of air current convection. This also keeps air inside from getting dank and stale. The angled Plexiglas is the important part, as well as the vent in the back. The angled Plexiglas only has to come as far down as the black rim, with a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch gap on the lower/front of the angle. This keeps the cooler air sticking close to the front of the tank, further exaggerated by the temp of the glass itself.

See the picture for more info...
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 09:21 AM
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This would be my idea of an ultimate hood. With tank cooling and light cooling. The blue lines would be bent acrylic, and lexan. The lower thicker one would be acrylic, because of clarity and UV pass through. The upper thin blue line would be lexan, because of its UV blocking. I would also paint the back of the lexan sheet white, or silver, followed by a coating of black. This would reduce light passing through and still allow it to reflect some useful light. The reflectors would be your regular "Home Depo" aluminum flashing sheets that you use to do roofing. Flashing goes under a shingle at the corners of your house to help stop rain from pouring in. They sell it in 10 foot rolls, about 8 inches wide. The lights would be T5 with the new electronic ballasts, because they produce brighter light, and use less power, with almost no audible hum. (That also translates into colder lighting).
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