Best way to keep temp down?

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Ryan Smith, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Ok, heres my dilema. I thought I could keep my room temp down with the proper precautions. Keeping my windows and blinds closed, keeping the celling fan on. But it isnt working very well. Today it was 88 degrees and the lowest I could keep my room was 86. My AC wasnt on but, I cant get it to go below 84. A fan cant lower tank temp 6 degrees. When I asked if I could get a small window AC unit or something like that in my room I was told no. A chiller is out of the question, as the cheapest one Iv seen was $400 which is WAY out of my budget. I asked my parents if they had any solutions, they said wait 7 years till you are out of college and on your own. I really hope I dont have to take that advice... If there is anyway to keep my room cooler?
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    There are ways you can influence the tank temperature a few degrees, like using a fan as you mentioned. If you're registering 86 degrees, you'll need a chiller or a room airconditioner or both. The tank usually runs hotter than the room temperature.

    Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

    Nancy
     
  3. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Well, Ill do some more temp calcs. How quickly does 40 gallons of water change? I know water changes temp slower than air temp like air temp could be 60 then the next day 90, and the water will still be cold. but what about small amounts of water? What would happen if a 78 degree octo was in 80 degree water?
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Read through Legs thread and then through Dave's disaster with temp acclimation. A big point of the read is to see the variance in temps and the results of rapid temp changes. Look for water temp ranges of the animal you expect to keep. There is a limit to the time they can tollerate excessive heat or cold (CaptFish mentions reports from other fishermen during this years extreme cold and the huge die off of cephs and fish when the water stayed too cold for too long but I can't remember and did not mark the post).

    Keep in mind that warmer water will be oxygen poor and needs a lot more forced air exchange than cold water.
     
  5. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Not anywhere near as much as a HomeDepot/Walmart/Lowes "personal" fan. The muffins just don't put out as much air (CFM - cubic feet per minute). I used this set up for a couple of years on two tanks. It does not hold up (replace the fans in both units over this time) and the cheaper ones I use now do a better job.
     
  7. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    What kind of personal fan? Im a bit confused by your deffinition of personal fan.
     
  8. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    When my chiller went out on my bimac tank i just duct taped a little fan that sits on my desk to the sump. You could do that option or pay more money for the same kind of fan that just says for aquariums.
     
  9. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I think a "personal fan" is a little plug-in fan (about 5 or 6 inches diameter) that comes with a spring mounting clip. It is designed to clip onto the edge of a desk (or a tank!). What you want is to blow as much air as possible over the surface of the water to cause as much evaporation as possible. The more evaporation, the more cooling. Just be sure to mark the water level in the tank, and keep topping it off with fresh water (with no salt added) to replace what evaporates.

    I know you room isn't, but is your house air conditioned? If so, your best bet would be to keep your windows closed and your door open, so that the warm air in your room can mix with the air conditioned air. If not, then keep your window open, so that you can move that humid air outside (humid because of all the evaporation you are causing) and get dryer air (from outside) into your room, to keep the evaporation going. Before I got AC I had one of those fans that fits in the window and has two fans in it, one can push air out, and the other can push air in. That would expell the humid air for you. If your house has AC, then set both fans to push air out, and leave your door open so that cool AC air will be drawn up to your room to replace what gets pushed out the window.

    The only two ways to slow down heat fluctuations are to increase your thermal mass (more water volume) and to insulate your tank. I have a chiller, but I also have my tank sitting on a 2" thick sheet of Styrofoam. I've also cut styrofoam sheets to cover the back and one side (I covered them with black vinyl (cheap at the fabric store) so it looks good, all held on with black duct tape. It really slows down the heat from the room getting into the cooler tank water. You can add water volume by adding the largest sump that will fit, just be sure to insulate it on all sides. Rigid styrofoam is plenty strong to support the weight of an aquarium, which works out to less than one pound per square inch (no big deal).
     
  10. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Being able to maintain a stable temp is very important. When temperature changes are made they need to be done very slowly so as not to shock the animal. If your room changes temp more than a few degrees a day then you will surely need a heater/chiller to stablize it.

    I cant speak for the indo-pac species but 80 should be fine for the Caribbean species. Legs tank ranged in temp from 76-82, depending on the season, I mimicked her natural environment by recording the temps where I caught her and matching it at home .

    As D mentioned this year we had a cold snap that killed most of the shallow water fish because the temperature of the water dropped to fast. I saw pretty much every local species dead from reef fish, sport-fish, Cephs (both cuttles and Octos) From what we (the local commercial fisherman) have figured is that anything stuck in the shallows at the time of the front got chilled and died due to a rapid drop in temperature. In the deeper waters around here the temperature stays very stable. we saw very little die off of the pelagic and deeper water species because they spend there time in the deep waters and the gulf stream the temperatures stay very stable and we saw little loss from them. So basically in summary it is very important to be able to maintain a constant temp and the larger the tank the slower the temp changes


    I would get a chiller instead of an RO/DI (I make my own water). I think maintaining your temp using fan will be difficult. It will cool your water but at night it may cool it too much. where as a heater/chiller turns its self on/off accordingly to maintain a constant temp.
     
  11. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Well, I think my dilema is solved. If a fan can drop tank temp by 4 degrees then I will be fine. I believe that is doable, so thanks for all of your answers. I just want to say thanks for everything members on Tonmo. Without you I would already have had a bimac in a 88 degree 10 gallon tank with clorinated tap water that had been sitting in the tank for 5 hours, some gravel and an aerator, and 20 feeder goldfish in the tank. (To any new members that dont know any better, please do exactly the opposite of what I said, actually, learn from other posts.)
     
  12. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    See if you can find a temp controller to plug your fan into, so that it only turns on when the temp goes above a certain temp. Then have a heater set to go on if the temp drops below a certain temp. If you can't afford a temp controller, then maybe a timer will help, just set the fan to be on during the hot part of the day, and off during the cool part. Quick temp swings are a big problem
     
  13. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Oh, and to answer your question, my house does have AC, and my room is the coolest in the house. (we just havent turned on the AC yet) And my room is tiny and easy to cool (my room is 8x8). My strategy is to keep my door and windows closed ALWAYS. My AC system is actually very good. It was only used in 1961 when my house was built, so my house is one of the very few that still have it. I have holes in my floors and cellings that shoots jets of cold air. If its 100 degrees and you stand underneath or above the air jets you will get cold.
     
  14. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    If you use a fan, be sure to top off with fresh water at least once per day, or you risk having saline swings that can be as bad as temp swings. You might even build a DIY ATO (Automatic Top Off). Some are easy, and cheap to build.
     
  15. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Veal cattle have more room than that! (okay, not really, but convicted felons do)
     
  16. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Yeah, well I dont really care. I traded room space for a yard. The only time I spend in my room is when Im sleeping, and soon to be octo gazing. My room has a bed, beauro, a fish tank, and a nice chair next to my tank, and its quite tight in there. What I do like is its warm in the winter and cool in the summer (compairitively). Just wish I had a closet... Oh well.
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Cooling has been a topic on the Atlanta Reef Club forum so I have been watching the threads for other ideas. Nothing new has popped up but one member said they found $9 and $6 clip on fans at Wal-Mart today.
     
  18. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Would there be room to put your tank in your basement? It would be cooler and the temperature more stable AND you wouldn't have to carry water up steps. Another positive is that your parents wouldn't get as upset when you spill (and you will) salt water...

    See this thread... http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/6828/
     
  19. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    My mom is 100% opposed to a fish tank, and she doesnt want to see it. Iv asked a few times, because if the AC is set for 84 the downstairs room is about 74, just because its on a cement slab and there are so may air jets down there. My dad on the other hand doesnt really care, and suggested we put it on a brick planter by the door ( we have the 1960s Brady Bunch brick planters, well only one now, we took one out of the kitchen) So, its not likely. Although it would make my job of tank maintainence so much easier.
     
  20. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I realize that this is probably impossible, but in case it's not I'll toss the idea out there...

    Did I read correctly that your mom requires that your tank (and icky octopus) must be out of her sight in your room, but that you have permission to keep your RO/DI filter in your basement? If so, it would be ideal if you could also get permission to put a sump in the basement, and run two PVC pipes between your sump and your tank. Is there an easy place to run the pipes (or even flexible tubing) between your room and the basement that won't require drilling holes in the floor? (through an air vent or even outside and in through your window?) If you could sell the idea, it would solve a lot of space, heat, and maintenance problems. The fact that this plan would drastically reduce the chances that you could spill salt water in your mom's house, might help her approve it.

    If you think there's a chance that this plan could be approved, I can give you some more specific suggestions of how to set it up.
     

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