40 litre tank cooling

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40 litre tank cooling

Post  Cam07 on 15th February 2014, 2:55 pm

I am finally home for a week and want to set up the mrs's 40 litre tank, I have looked at a lot of things online and wanted opinions of fan set ups and how they are set up as I have found quite a few people that swear by them and they are a lot cheaper.

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  finfan on 15th February 2014, 9:07 pm

Yep seems to be the new way with electrical costs so rediculous - though not a new method of course.

Here is some info that may assist you -

There are numerous ways to cool an aquarium, they range from the simple and inexpensive, to high tech and pricey options, all depending on how severe the aquarium's heat issue is. Even if your aquarium's temperature is just slightly warmer than optimal, there are a few simple things you can do to bring it down a degree or two.

The primary methods of aquarium cooling fall under these five basic categories:

· Simple fans that run on a timer along with the lighting · Fans regulated by simple temperature controllers · Thermoelectric chillers · Refrigerant based chillers · Alternative methods

Most aquarium literature will state that marine aquariums should be kept between 75° to 82° F, and this is the range that will be addressed. It is important to understand that each situation is different and the temperature of an aquarium depends on many factors including: the size and shape of the aquarium, the ambient room temperature, the type of lighting, the distance of the lighting from the water's surface, the presence of large water pumps, and the surface water movement of the aquarium.

With so many factors affecting water temperature, it may be necessary to "experiment" with various cooling options to find one that works best for your system. Before taking action to counteract a heat related problem, perform a check of your aquarium system and make sure nothing is malfunctioning or incorrectly configured. Is the heater set at the right temperature? Is the thermometer you are basing your aquarium's temperature reading on a high quality device? Many consider the very inexpensive floating glass aquarium thermometers unreliable. It seems that electronic thermometers like those on Ranco controllers are usually accurate. Are the powerheads functioning normally with their output directed properly?

One common source of heat in our aquariums is powerful lighting. Accordingly, the light fixture, canopy, or hood where the lighting is located is the "hot spot" that will be discussed first. For this factor, fans that are run on a timer with the lighting and fans that run on temperature controllers which turn them on when the temperature gets too hot are useful.

For a strip light fixture resting directly on a glass top, a simple medium-sized tabletop fan mounted so that it blows air across the light fixture may take care of any heat problems. If a tabletop fan can't relieve the heat, raising the strip light up an 3cm or so by placing small blocks of wood under each end may assist in lowering the temperature. Caution must be used here - the author is making the assumption that most strip lights contain either normal output (NO) fluorescent or compact fluorescent bulbs. If wooden blocks are necessary to permanently prop up the light fixture, they may be painted to match the strip light or the aquarium's trim. I recommend using paint marketed for the exteriors of outdoor cooking grills. This paint can handle high temperatures and, to an extent, exposure to saltwater.

If your aquarium has a wooden hood or canopy that houses the lighting and has a heat problem, there are a few options. Glass tops over tanks reduce the amount of water that can evaporate and thereby increase the temperature of the aquarium. Removing the top may be a quick solution. If there is a concern about the animals jumping out of the aquarium, eggcrate available at hardware stores can be used to cover the top of the aquarium or the open back of the aquarium. If the heat problem isn't being caused by the greenhouse effect, try using fans to ventilate the hood.

You can find DC (Direct Current) fans (the kind used to cool computers and electronics) and the AC (Alternating Current) adaptors necessary to run them inexpensively from numerous reputable dealers like the awesome Ed's PCs Capalaba. Computer websites like Ed's PCs Capalaba have a large selection of DC fans that work well. Note that attaching one of these fans to an AC adapter will require some electrical knowledge. Direct current fans that move air at speeds of around 85 cfm (cubic feet per minute) are available for around $10, and AC adapters can be found for less than $10.

Alternating current (AC) fans that move 85 cfm are available from electronics stores such as Radio Shack. The advantage of this kind of fan is that an AC adapter (which takes up a lot of space on a power strip and may be difficult to connect) is not required. The disadvantage of this kind of fan is that it uses more electricity to run than the smaller voltage DC fans. Some aquarists also recycle fans from old appliances or use tabletop fans, depending on how much space they have behind their stand or hood.

More important than the type of fan used is the manner in which the fans are positioned. Fans can be used to either blow cool air into a hood or pull cool air into and through the hood (blowing out air that has warmed as it passed through the canopy). Usually, fans are not best applied to pull air through the canopy unless it is nearly sealed except for an inlet for fresh air. This method can be useful, however, when the primary lighting is between the fan and the hole. As an example, the author (clearly not me) has a 15 gallon propagation tank that has an 85 cfm fan located at one end of the canopy and five 3/4" vent holes (in a nice symmetrical pattern) on the other side. The canopy is sealed all the way around except for a rectangular cut in the back, which fits perfectly around the filter. Lighting is provided by a single 250 watt metal halide bulb (it didn't seem like overkill at the time!) and two 13 watt actinics. Despite the large wattage on such a small tank, there are no heat problems as the fan gently draws air past the metal halide bulb and out of the canopy. I have heard that temperature variations caused by a lot of air flow on or around a metal halide bulb could be detrimental to its spectral output. Hello Lights, a popular aquarium lighting company, kindly assisted me and researched the issue of air flow on and around the bulb in the IES Reference Manual. The manual stated, "With HID equipment [such as metal halide], temperature variations have practically no effect on light output." In order to affect the light output the arc tube's temperature would have to be changed, and since the arc tube is running at such high temperatures, any ambient temperature variations are negligible. The bottom line: unless you are blowing a huge fan right on the metal halide bulb, you will not affect its function or damage it.

When a fan is used to pull air through a canopy, it is being exposed to a lot of warm, humid and salty air which may reduce its lifespan. It is advisable to check fans used in this type of application frequently to be sure they are not becoming "clogged up" by debris like dust or salt. In canopies with an open back, a fan blowing cool air into the hood will cause heated air to flow out, thus keeping the hood cool. Fans used in this application should be fitted with an intake filter, which is usually made out of a type of synthetic sponge so that dust is not being blown into the aquarium.

When your coffee, tea, or soup is too hot, you blow on it and it cools it down. The same principle can be applied to an aquarium. Fans may be used to increase evaporation, thereby causing an aquarium to cool down. A fan mounted at an angle or completely horizontal blowing on the water surface can decrease the temperature of the aquarium significantly. Keep in mind that if a lot of water evaporates from the aquarium, the salinity of the water will increase. Since evaporation has such a cooling effect on an aquarium, it is common sense that an aquarium with a small amount of surface area might be more difficult to keep cool. Powerheads can also be used to agitate the water surface of the aquarium and cause evaporation. One final note on fans: an aquarium whose heat is controlled by only one fan may be subject to a catastrophe if it were to fail. I speak from experience!

Another inexpensive alternative is an electronic temperature controller. Ranco makes a model that is commonly used with reef tanks. This type of controller can be set to act like a temperature-controlled light switch. When the tank water gets to a preset temperature (let's say 82º F), the controller turns the lights off. After the tank water cools to another preset temperature (let's say 80º F), the controller turns the lights back on. A controller of this type can be an effective backup to fans. The cost of this type controller typically is in the $70-$100 range. The built-in digital thermometer is also a nice feature that can be used as your primary or secondary thermometer.

If you've tried using fans and controllers to reduce the temperature of your aquarium to no avail, the next step in aquarium cooling may be required - a thermoelectric chiller. Thermoelectric devices, like air conditioners, are based on "The Peltier Effect." According to EIC Solutions Inc., "It [The Peltier Effect] utilizes two elements of a semi-conductor which is constructed from doped Bismuth Telluride. Upon application of a direct current (DC) power source, these devices generate a cooling action, countered by a generation of heat on the opposite side of the device." Although aquarium thermoelectric chillers may function slightly different than the products by EIC, they are still based on the same principle. Thermoelectric chillers are usually either in-line or devices mounted into the aquarium through bulkheads.

If you have severe heat problems, you may need to look into getting a Freon or other refrigerant-based chiller. Liquid refrigerant-based chillers are extremely useful in decreasing the temperature of aquariums. The problem with these devices is that they are extremely expensive and use significant amounts of electricity. Liquid coolant chillers can be either "in-line," or a "drop-in coil" type. With an in-line chiller, water from the aquarium is pumped through it and returned to the aquarium or sump. A drop-in coil has a metal coil (with lots of surface area) that is placed in the sump and cools the aquarium. Chillers range in sizes from around one-quarter horsepower to greater than 1 horsepower. Some liquid coolant chillers have other features like digital thermometers and heaters built in.

Hope this info is helpful - the full and awesome article can be found at http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-06/nftt/

Enjoy

 Cool 

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  Cam07 on 15th February 2014, 11:12 pm

Very informative thank you I think I will try a fan and keep an eye on it while it is cycling

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  Cam07 on 16th February 2014, 12:10 pm

I filled the aquarium this afternoon and started the pump the temp was over 30 and still is at 8pm tonight would a fan cool this enough do you think or should i just look for a chiller?

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  noddy89 on 16th February 2014, 3:51 pm

Mate from experience a fan had minimal impact on my 2ft. Yes maybe a degree or two but a few weeks ago the tanks temp reached a steady 34-35deg. For 3 days. Lids off and a 40cm pedestal fan blowing across the water with the lights (t5s) running minimal hours at the coolest hours of the day/night. Humidity on the days wasnt too bad either (humid ambient air will decrease evaporation.) It had a 'mini'  crash. Lost a couple of beautiful acans and 3 heads off the duncan.  Crying or Very sad dropping frozen 2L bottles of water (carefull of the displacement!) yielded far better results of 4-6deg. BUT is a massive pain. Especially if no one is home during the day!!

I have since bought a chiller and havent regretted it one bit. Everything is happy as @ 24-25deg.I

SO....
Fish only- you can fart around with fans, frozen bottles etc when the temps get too hot
Thinking about corals? Forget it without a chiller.

I know some people have corals without chillers but speaking from MY experience i cant see a reason that you shouldnt get one if you want in on this hobby. (imagine if you lived in greenland and someone plucked you from your home and shipped you to live in Arizona during the summer. With no preparation to naturally adapt to the climate? Id be pretty peed off lol)


Last edited by noddy89 on 16th February 2014, 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Info r.e lights)

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  Cam07 on 20th February 2014, 9:51 am

I played with a pedestal fan and it seemed to have no effect at all, so I thought we would just do it properly to start with and I went and got a chiller yesterday afternoon as the tank is for my mrs and she has to look after it the easier the better I think.

Cam07

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  finfan on 7th March 2014, 1:07 pm

Cam07 wrote:I played with a pedestal fan and it seemed to have no effect at all, so I thought we would just do it properly to start with and I went and got a chiller yesterday afternoon as the tank is for my mrs and she has to look after it the easier the better I think.

Great to hear you got the chiller - they are almost a must in QLD.....we get those hot summer days and tanks life suffer. Now you have the chiller it will remain stable and you will be able to keep cool critters - or your critters cool  Rolling Eyes ...or both

Post up some pictures if you can - would love to check it out..

 Cool 


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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  Cam07 on 8th March 2014, 12:37 am

Chiller has been running for a few weeks, and temps are staying stable we had to unfortunately put the chiller inn the cabinet as we discovered the baby enjoyed playing with it so once I improve the ventilation under there I will be happier. Live rock went in a fortnight ago and seems to be doing well. Today we are off to get a bit more rock and hopefully her 1st livestock for the tank a snail or hermit crab.

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  liquidg on 8th March 2014, 10:54 am

Mix up your hermits a little mate.
Today we got yellow and blue claws, well Simon did.
The yellow for cyano and the blue for hair algae, there are millions of both at most sites.
Pics will be up in the next couple of days, the pics underwater in the water sports section and what was collected in the collecting section..

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  Cam07 on 8th March 2014, 1:01 pm

I'll keep an eye out for the pics I try to look every few days depending on internet hehe we went and got a new light this morning, got another piece of live rock and a snail for the tank looking forward to putting fish in in a few weeks.  I'm going to work on the ventilation fan for the cooler over the next few days off.  When I eventually work out how to put pics up ill do it.

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Re: 40 litre tank cooling

Post  liquidg on 8th March 2014, 1:18 pm

A tip, on making sure your new fish do not get parasite issues!
Put in place a remote bucket or tub from your tank and run fish and crabs from rock pools or bayside and those being extremely hardy with low to no parasite attraction will establish your aquarium totally for new live stock later on.
Run this off your tanks water for a few weeks and it is established to that much life and disconnect and add your delicates and no stress what so ever!

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