Recommendations for chillers? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Recommendations for chillers?

Hi all -

I have a 20-H that's been set up now for about 6-7 months and living in the region that I live (Sacramento, CA), the summers get very hot and therefore, the fish tank tends to get warmer than I would like. I did a water change a couple nights ago and put some ice cubes in the tank, but last night I looked at the temp and it was up around 84F!! Does anyone have suggestions for a chiller or a method for keeping it around 76-78? We have our thermostat in the house set to 80, sometimes 78, as we're trying to save power (just bought first house and on a serious budget right now!). I've heard of and seen chillers on websites and in some magazines in the past, but never given them much look. Does anyone know of a good, inexpensive one that will do the trick? I probably won't need a really powerful one since its only a 20g, but if I get one, I may want to get one that can handle, say, a 55g tank(future perhaps). Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated!
-Ryan

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 04:55 PM
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If the tank is stable around 84, you should be fine...as long as you can keep it near or at that level most plants will be fine, as well as the fish. Chillers can get expensive!!!

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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I'm finding that the tank gets algae much more quickly when it gets over 80 (hair algae mainly). Sure its probably not dangerous and it may be "ok". But it doesn't seem ideal. I've always had better luck when its been between 74-78.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 05:03 PM
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I think that's probably just a coincidence...that tank is playing jedi mind tricks on you.

Algae is going to be caused by an imbalance in water parameters not temperature. Have you checked your CO2 levels, nitrates, phosphates, micro nutrient dosing?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 05:15 PM
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I stuck a 92mm Vantec Stealth computer fan on my 10gal and the temp dropped from 84* to 78*. You could probably do the same with two of the fans. The only drawback is filling a pitcher of water every morning to top-off the tank...I don't even consider that a drawback though.

- Erik
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 05:20 PM
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am interested in replies to this, as I am a newbe.

not sure of your setup or your relelative humidity- but increased airflow over the top of the water could possibly increase evaporation - nature's way of lowering water temp.

have read elsewhere, that people were putting multiple computer fans blowing directly down on the water to achieve this. It was only a few degree drop-but might be all you want and cheeper than a chiller.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 05:25 PM
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I would recommend a thermo electric model. They need very good ventilation, I actually have a fan sitting in front of mine. If the hot air is not blown away from the chiller, it heats the water further rather than chilling it.

You can google around the net for them. Either of these from Drs. Foster & Smith should be fine:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=11384
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=10671
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 05:49 PM
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Also, don't discount the possibility of a DIY chiller. You might be able to find a used mini-fridge or dehumidifier for very little cost, or a new one for $100 or less.

There are a few sources of plans on the 'net for this.

--Mike
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 06:34 PM
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My home office tank regularly runs in the mid 80s in the summer. This is even after I've gone open-topped and have a fan blowing across it (causing at least 1/2g of evaporation per day).

I've just resigned myself to keeping only fish and plants that can adapt to the summer heat. The Cherry Red Shrimp seem to be able to tolerate the summer months with only a slowdown in reproduction. And my tetras (Cardinals, Rummynose, and Blue Flame), Gouramis, Corys and Otos are doing fine also. Goldfish and Whiteclouds need not apply.

Bill

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2005, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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to add to my original post....I'm just trying to regulate the temp in an area that frequently has weather from 95-105 during the summer, sometimes hotter.
The fish seem to be doing fine, except a tad but of sluggishness perhaps. It's a fairly common selection of fish --- 5 SAEs, 3 ottos and a couple breeding pair(& ~10 various-sized offspring) swordtails and platys.

The fish seem ok and I tend to lean towards the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", but when I let the tank go a week or more between water changes(like last night), there is quite a bit of algae buildup. I also reduced the lighting down from 110W to 55W ---- perhaps may think about replacing soon. I've heard they lose intensity after 6 - 12 mo.

-Ryan

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