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Chiller alternative

DHyslop

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#1
This link is for anyone who's ceph tank is a little warmer than they'd like it to be, but doesn't have the dough for a chiller.

Reef Central: beat the heat for cheap

This is a further derived version of the old fan-over-sump trick. You're spraying water through a vertical PVC column with fans blowing through it. Efficiency = beaucoup evaporation, so anyone setting up one of these should also have an auto-topoff, which can realistically be made DIY for under $50 (floatswitches)

Dan
 

Feelers

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#2
A cool idea, I was just gonna ask a chiller related question here - if I chill my aquarium, how much difference would polystyerine insulation on all but the front window make? I was thinking about insulating the sump too. Sound like a good idea? Is there any material that would be better to use?

I have my heart set on a 1/2hp chiller , I cant wait :grin:
 

DHyslop

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#3
I don't know how much it would help, but it wouldn't hurt! The other option is going acrylic.

Just how much cooling are you looking for on what size tank? I'm curious because it seems like a lot of people look at a chiller as a last resort due to the cost, noise and power consumption.

I intend to build one of these cooling towers if I find myself with a bimac during the summer and it isn't too humid. If you dig deep into that thread there's a discussion of circulating tap water through the tower and then through a titanium heat exchanger in the sump. Advantage is you don't need to top it off with RO/DI water, disadvantage is you need another topoff system for it.

Dan
 

Jean

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#4
Feelers said:
A cool idea, I was just gonna ask a chiller related question here - if I chill my aquarium, how much difference would polystyerine insulation on all but the front window make? I was thinking about insulating the sump too. Sound like a good idea? Is there any material that would be better to use?

I have my heart set on a 1/2hp chiller , I cant wait :grin:
If you lived in Dunedin you wouldn't need a chiller........we rarely get those Canterbury nor-westers :lol: So tanks stay nice and cool for our cool water buddies!!

J
 

Feelers

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#5
Well I was looking at this chiller :


Aqua One Chiller 1/2HP 400L CC50

Titanium heat exchanger for use in both fresh and saltwater.
Temperature range 6-37°C (cooling only). Up to 15°C temperature reduction for 400L.
Utilizes super high efficient UL/CE rotary compressor.
Digital computerized temperature controller, LCD displays water temperature.
Dimensions 14.4"x12"x10.2", 5/8" Inlet/Outlet
350 to 1200 Lph pump not included. Can also be connected to the output of a canister filter.

$899.95


I was thinking about keeping the tank at 10-12C in the winter and 15C in the summer. My tank is 79G and the sump will be 15G maybe, at the mo I'm gonna upgrade my sump to get a much bigger fuge.

Oh and I'm looking at a much bigger tank too - there is a very cheap 780L tank that I may decide to get :grin:


Yeah Jean in the winter the temp in my flat once got down to 3C !! You know its cold when the fridge is 25% warmer than the ambient room temp haha. But in summer it gets to around 25C at times.

As for the chiller being a last resort - I love the idea of having a chilled aquarium, hopefully I can keep some of the local wildlife such as sponges ect in the tank too. Down here the coldwater life is considered to be some of the best in the world.
 

Jean

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#6
Feelers said:
Yeah Jean in the winter the temp in my flat once got down to 3C !! You know its cold when the fridge is 25% warmer than the ambient room temp haha. But in summer it gets to around 25C at times.
Know what you mean, we've had ice and snow on the shore before.......makes shore scrambles somewhat dicey! Top temp in summer down here is about 20 - 22C (although occasionally it gets much warmer and we all melt!)

J
 

Feelers

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#7
Hey Jean a question on a tank for a P Condiformis, would 792L be large enough? The one I'm thinking about is 150cm*60cm*88cm high.
Please say yes as I dont think I can get any bigger without exploding. :grin:
209G is a biggun'. The ultimate tank, well for me at least.
 

cthulhu77

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#8
I have an old japanese aquarist's magazine filled with hobbyist's tanks...one of the enterprising lads made a chiller using a standard small cube fridge (65 bucks here, new), and few drilled holes. Tube goes from tank to fridge, through the wall, through a long spiral coil inside the little thing, and then returns to the tank.
Pretty dang ingenious.
 

Jean

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#9
Feelers said:
Hey Jean a question on a tank for a P Condiformis, would 792L be large enough? The one I'm thinking about is 150cm*60cm*88cm high.
Please say yes as I dont think I can get any bigger without exploding. :grin:
209G is a biggun'. The ultimate tank, well for me at least.
Sorry no, ours is 3600L (951 G) and is just barely adequate for an adult, don't forget these octopus reach ~2m arm spread and ~15Kg (officially, we've had them bigger, Goliath was 3m arm spread and 20kg) weight, they are BIG and you wouldn't want to feed one for any length of time. They won't eat shore crabs (too small) so you need to get large cancer or paddle crabs (20-25 cm carapace width) which means either buying heaps from a friendly fisher or getting out there with a crabpot yourself. They can eat up to 15 or so a day when young!

Stick with midgets! at least you can have more than one to a tank of O. warringa/huttonicomplex..........they'll fight but so long as there are enough hidey holes they'll sort out a dominance hierarchy.

J
 

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#10
Will their behaviour be adversly affected by the prescence of the others? ie: will they hide more if there is more than one? Do they actually interect, or only in a competitive sense?
 

DHyslop

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#11
cthulhu77 said:
I have an old japanese aquarist's magazine filled with hobbyist's tanks...one of the enterprising lads made a chiller using a standard small cube fridge (65 bucks here, new), and few drilled holes. Tube goes from tank to fridge, through the wall, through a long spiral coil inside the little thing, and then returns to the tank.
Pretty dang ingenious.

Perhaps disingenuous.

I was just reading an article on RC about mini-fridge chillers. It appears they're thermodynamically impossible: a small refrigerator just doesn't have the BTU-moving capacity to do any real cooling. The fridges are designed to cool a very limited volume very slowly, this application would be like keeping the door open and using it as an air conditioner. The author of this article had experience with modifying room air conditioners into chillers (considerably more hp), even though he admits at that point its cheaper to buy one.

In the face of impermeable thermodynamics, the author posits that people who report results from mini-fridge chillers aren't liars, they just haven't done a controlled experiment: when they add the chiller they've typically also done other temperature-reducing things like shortening their photo-period or removing pumps. Not disingenuous by any means, I just thought it was a fun play on words :o)

I can try to look up the article on RC if anyone is interested (which is not quite as easy as finding a bimac in an Eclipse).

Dan
 

Jean

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#13
Feelers said:
Will their behaviour be adversly affected by the prescence of the others? ie: will they hide more if there is more than one? Do they actually interect, or only in a competitive sense?
Can go either way, if the tanks big enough :grin: they may set up territories ATM ours (Gidget and Gadget :roll: ) stay pretty much out of each others way. Gidget is the biggest so has the preferred trophon shell home! Gadget has to make do with the turban shell :lol:

In a smaller tank they will sit at opposite ends and periodically make a dash across the tank and do war upon each other. Generally the more even sized they are the more battles they will have (tis a size based hierarchy), but I wouldn't put in animals that were too different as the littlest may still end up as dinner for the biggest!

J
 

Feelers

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#14
Well, thought I'd renew this thread.
Finally got a chiller, for a really good price!!! :grin: . Its a 1/2hp chiller, I got it unused for $450nzd ($298 usd). It can take the temp down to 5C, (which is damn cold!!). I think its rated to drop the temp by 15C on a 400L system.
Ill let you guys know how it works out, for the price I got it at it was a huge saving.
First impressions are its fairly loud, although I have heard that this is actually a very quite model. Its also quite a bit larger than I was expecting. I think I'm gonna have the intakes ducted from outside, to hopefully save a bit of power. Another good thing is it'll heat my room.
I'm gonna go nuts on insulation around the tank aswell, when I get to that stage.
 

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