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1/11/04 - Cooling your nano


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#1
caja

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Many factors can contribute to excessive heat in your nano tank which can cause problems for the tank inhabitants. Lighting seems to be the leading contributor to heat build up and can cause temperature fluctuations in the tank during a 24 hour period. Another thing to consider is the ambient air temperature in the room where the tank is kept.

What kinds of methods have you found to be successful in keeping your tanks temperature at an acceptable level with minimal temperature fluctuation?

#2
wetworx101

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Halide Lighting Believe it or not.
With PowerCompacts, we often put the lights right over the water surface, and then we put a glass cover over the tank too. This creates an air pocket over the water that the lights heat up. PowerCompacts may not be as hot as halide, but between the air-pocket and the proximity to the water surface...it transfers alot of heat.
With Halide, we can use pendants, and open aquarium tops. They are often mounted higher above the water as well. Since I have had halides, my temps have gone down. And there is another reason...
With Compacts, in order to get a good photoperiod, we oftenhave to leave on the lights for 12-14 hours every day. Sheesh! With a halide I can cut that down to 6-8 hours. That also lets me run the entire light cycle in the evening, when it is cooler, and I can watch the reef anyways. This shorter lighting time also results in lower heat transfer from the lights.

The only other thing I can think of is a big sump. I like big sumps. If I have a 20 gallon display, I like 25gallons of sump as well. The extra sump water serves as a good buffer.

#3
bobioden

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I had a major heat problem with my 12gal Eclipse with 2x32w PC's, The temp always hovered around 84 when the lights were on. That is even when I kept the lid open.
Since I switched to the MH Pendant 175w 10k and 2x32w actinic my temp never goes above 78. There is a 4" fan in the pendant and it is hung 4" above the water. I get more evaporation, almost 1/2 gal a day, but with adding a top-off system I won't have to add water every day.
I purchased a Icecap chiller for this summer, but am hoping I won't need to install it.

#4
AnthonyNguyen

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instal a 3 or 4 inches computer fan, run by a phone charger, its gonna cool your water down.

#5
Dingo

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Add a sump.

I tried to add a sump to my tank last week, and the temperature dropped 3 degrees before I pulled the plug. The heater could not maintain the temp setpoint, and I will have to buy a larger one before I try again.

I keep my tank in a cool basement, so I may have an advantage in cooling there. If I ever had heat trouble after adding a sump, I would simply throw in an extra ten feet of tubing on my return which would leak plenty of heat to the air on the way back to the tank, or alternatively, run the water over a plate on the way down into the sump for increased cooling of the water into the sump.

#6
birdman204

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Fans. I have 2 computer fans installed in the hood, both blowing cool air in. Also , floating a bag of ice cubes is a temporary fix. only float a few at a time till they melt so the temp change is slower.
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#7
TiGs

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Ambient room temp is a big issue in my place since we dont like to use the AC or heater for cost reasons. In the summer it can get very warm inside.

I depend on a IceProbe chiller and a fan in the MH hood to help with the heat.

#8
tylernt

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wetworx101 you have some very valid points. That's why I made an effort to put some serious airflow around the bulbs in my 2.5g with a 40x40x20mm fan that blows 7.7cfm @ 12v. The theory being, if the light compartment never heats up, it's not going to transfer to the water.

Well the principal was sound but two factors still make my tank 83-84 degrees. One is the ambient temperature at work, 78 degrees. This is because I'm right next to two 7' tall server racks dissapating a couple kilowatts of electricity. I don't wear long sleeves much. :rolleyes:

Second is my use of two powerheads. I used two so the flows would hit each other and create some turbulence, but I pay the price in heat dissapation. Each PH draws 4 watts, which is the equivalent of having an 8w heater in my tank -- on all the time. A HOB would transfer much less heat into the tank since most of the motor housing is exposed to air. AquaGlobes probably heat the water less than a traditional PH, too.

So, I let some of the air from my light-cooling fan hit the water. This makes for a lot of evaporation, which is ok since I have an ADTO (Air-Driven TopOff) now.

Hmmm. You could get a separate tank of tapwater, and seriously overcool it with evaporation. Tap water is (nearly) free, so replacing the water is no big deal. Then you just need a heat exchanger plumbed into your tank to move the tank water in a closed loop into the tapwater tank and then back again... hmmmm... always a problem finding an efficient heat exchanger that will stand up to saltwater though. :(

#9
Chamkeeper

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Wetworx101,

EXACTLY!!! I removed a 96W PC from my 30L and added a 175MH and lost a couple degrees of daytime temps on warm days. I use no fans and a simple open backed and mostly open topped hood. I was worried about fan noise in the family room but there is no need for the fan.

#10
brahm

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Remove your thermastat!.. Lol jk, adding a sump, shorting photo period, run fans. I also read a great tip for cpr users, take The Muffler / Hose from your cpr backpack and run it out a window, or through something cool so your getting tons of cool bubbles running through your Skimmer.

#11
nalbar

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have a house with an over-sized air conditioner and a wife who is not afraid to use it. i have to wear long sleeves in my house in august!

and wet is right of course. open top all the way!


nalbar

#12
Carl_in_Florida

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My temp in my Eclipse 6 stayed around 85 with the lights on and I would have the little access door open all the time. I propped open the back of the hood a quarter inch off the tank and now my temp stays around 79 degrees!

#13
bobbyb323

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The temp in my Nano-Cube was 82 with the standard 24 watt bulb. I want to know what it would be like with 2x32? I put in a 60mm computer fan and 12 volt plug in transformer to blow air in. The vent grate in the back with the provided screw holes accepts a 60mm fan and 1-1/4" stainless screw as if it meant to have it in the first place. My tank now runs at 78 and the heat cycles. I do have to add a pint of water a day because of evaporation. I tried two fans, the evaporation was too much and the heater ran all the time. The whole set-up cost at $30 at Radio Shack.