Chiller Question?

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by KDS, May 15, 2008.

  1. KDS

    KDS O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Hi, I just got my first chiller today. When I bought it, I thought it came with everything it needed to be set up. But it didn't come with any hoses and it the instructions said it needed a pump. I must not be understanding how chillers work, because I thought the chiller itself brought water into it to be chilled. I got a Prime Mini-Water chiller 1/15 HP with a Dual Stage from PetMountain. What kind of hoses and pump do I need for this contraption? Is there anything else that I missed? Sorry about such a dumb question; I am new to cephs and am soooooo not a gadget person.
    Thanks,
    KDS
     
  2. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    If you could post a picture of it, maybe we could help. Some chillers have a metal coil that drops in the water, if you direct water over the coil, it cools the water. Is it drop-in or in-line?

    I googled your chiller and it looks like it is in-line. There should be an input and an output - you need to plumb the chiller to your system. You could modify your tank so that the output of your pump goes to the input of your chiller and then the output of the chiller returns to the tank.
     
  3. KDS

    KDS O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Yes, I do think it is an in-line; it doesn't have any coils. I don't know what you mean by " your pump". I have a Fluval 4Plus filter and a hang on the back skimmer; that's it. Do you mean I could attach the input hose of the chiller to where the water comes out of my filter?
    KDS
     
  4. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Do you have a sump tank, I think she means your sump tank pump.
     
  5. marinebio_guy

    marinebio_guy Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    The chiller box should say what the optimal flow rate should be, and then buy a pump with a flow rate in that range. As far as tubing you can use regular clear tubing that you can get at home depot.
     
  6. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Yes, there is an optimum flow through rate for your chiller. Too slow and water could freeze inside the chiller, and/or your chiller would be inefficient. Above the optimum rate of flow doesn't buy you anything, and your pump will be working harder than it needs to work, and adding more heat to your system than it needs to.

    Watch out for the "rating" of flow on your pump. That rating assumes that there is no resistence in the plumbing, and that you aren't lifting the water. Your flow will certainly be less than the rating on the pump. My best wild guess would be to get a pump rated for 25% to 50% more flow than you need.

    While you are at home depot getting clear vinyl tubing, you might want to get a length of foam pipe insulation to fit over the tubing. It's cheap, and uninsulated tubing adds a lot of surface area that will soak up heat from the air, making your chiller work harder. Home Depot also sells semi-rigid foam insulation panels that you can cut to size and put under your tank, and on the back (or even the sides) to make a HUGE difference in how hard your chiller has to work. That's how I set up my bimac tank, which I keep at 58 degrees in a 75 degree room.
     
  7. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Sorry, I did mean the pump that moves water through your system... You don't have a pump because you have internal pumps in your filter and skimmer.

    How big is your tank?
     
  8. KDS

    KDS O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Its a 50 gal. So I need to buy a pump and put it in the tank, attach it to the intake tube, and then just stick the output tube some where in the tank?? Sorry about the silly questions but I am completely lost.
     
  9. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    That is correct. You want a pump that will take water from your tank and push it through a tube into the "intake" of your chiller. Then connect a tube from the "output" of your chiller and back into the tank. Your chiller can use either 1/2" or 5/8" tubing (inside diameter). There are a couple things to consider about which pump to buy:

    Based on the specs of your chiller and pumps, my ballpark estimate is that you can only expect a 5 to 10 degree pulldown below the room air temperature (unless you insulate the tank). You said you intend to put the pump in the tank. That would be a submersible pump as opposed to an external pump, which would be in the air, outside the tank. A submersible pump will add more heat to the water than an external pump, and make your chiller work harder, or (more likely) not be able to keep the temp as low.

    What animals do you want to keep? A power head can be a "tenticle blender" for a curious octopus, so an external pump would be safer for an octo. Also, the extra tubes going in and out of your tank would need to be made escape proof for an octopus.

    This is a bit off topic, so feel free to ignore the following :grad::

    Before you run water through this chiller (and maybe lose your ability to return or exchange it) You want to be sure it will be powerful enough to do what you need. What animals are you planning to keep? How many degrees below room temp do you want to keep your tank? Is your tank insulated? Is it glass or acrylic?
     
  10. KDS

    KDS O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I actually already have an octoupus (still don't have a positive ID) in the tank. The temp is currently at 70 deg. For a couple of days it went up to 72, so I went ahead and got the chiller (since the tank is in the basement I thought it would stay cooler, but it didn't). Like you mentioned I was concerned about the equipment being dangerous for the octopus. I didn't even know they made external pumps. Would an external pump be more expensive. As for my tank, it is glass and it is not insulated. I really don't know how much I will need to take the water temp down once it reaches summer, but for now only a few degrees.
     
  11. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I'm not sure if external pumps are more expensive, but I would guess that they are. I think I've seen people use maxi-jet powerhead externally, so maybe they can lean both ways. Ask at your LFS, or look around online.

    If as the days get warmer you find that your chiller is running most of the time, and maybe still not keeping up, you can greatly ease the demand on it by insulating your tank so the room heat can't warm the water as quickly. I use 2" thick rigid insulation panel (from Home depot or a lumber yard) to help keep my bimac tank at about 60 degrees. I cut pieces to fit under my tank, and on the back (sides optional). It makes a huge difference, especially on a glass tank (acrylic transfers a lot less heat than glass).
     

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