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chipz

On vacation and my A/C broke!

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chipz

So I went out of town for my two weeks of vacation and my house/pet/tank sitter called on Saturday to say that my A/C had stopped working. Had someone out there on Saturday, who confirmed that it was broken, and found out this morning that the replacement will be VERY slow to arrive. Like, probably I won't have working air conditioning until sometime in September. 😭

 

I'm trying to strategize on what I need to maintain my tank without A/C. It's a 29 biocube, with a lid and Steve's LEDs. So all weekend my tank sitter was keeping the tank lid up and running a fan over the top. I've got some mesh ordered from Amazon to hopefully keep my fish from jumping. But I think then I either need a chiller or a new light (although I'm doubtful I can get any of these installed until I get home a week from today).

 

Any advice?

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Guest

There are some small chillers that are fairly easy to Install, but I really don’t any of them could arrive earlier than a week, in my house ac is very weak, because we have added in to the house over the years, but not replaced the ac, so we have these portable acs that just cools like a room or two, and they basically attach to your window, so you could try that for the room your tank is in, they are fairly easy to Install, and they sell them at like Home Depot, lows, and even some targets, check to see if you could get one of those.

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Tired

LED lights would produce a minimum of heat, and have the additional benefit of being brighter than the stock lights. Probably cost more than a chiller, though. 

 

The tank should be OK without a light for a week, though things aren't going to be very happy, assuming you have corals. You could have your petsitter turn the light on and keep the lid open, so they at least get a little of it. Maybe they could rig some tinfoil against the lid to bounce some of the light down into the tank. 

 

Window unit ACs are nice, yeah. You should probably get one for yourself! Gonna be hot without an AC.

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Clown79

Is there a current issue with the temperature rising in the tank?

 

Running some fans around the tank can help, reducing photo period will help. You don't need to turn them completely off as LEDS don't cause as much an issue but with a lid on the tank that may differ.

 

 

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mcarroll
36 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Is there a current issue with the temperature rising in the tank?

This.

 

@chipzwhat is the tank temperature during the day right now?   What is the house temp. getting up to during the day?

 

Both of these matter A LOT before you decide what direction to head in.

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chipz

Good question @Clown79 and @mcarroll. It sounds like initially the house was sitting at 80 the tank got up to 82.6 with the lid shut. Nighttime temps have been going below 70 the last few days and that's allowed my house sitter to get the house back down to 76 in the morning before shuttering up for the heat of the day. The tank itself was running at 77-78 with the lid up and fan over it. We are expecting a hotter day and night on Friday, and I know from one really hot day earlier this summer that the tank can warm up into the low 80s even with the AC, if the AC is struggling to keep up. 

 

I think we'll definitely look into a window unit when we get home, but my impression is that most units will be too heavy for my housesitter to install herself. If it seems like we should get something in before then, we might be able to call on some other friends to help out with the installation.

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DSA65PRO

After Retiring from HVAC after 40 plus years, this sounds a bit sketchy. What is the part that’s going to take a month to get? Does your System use R22?

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chipz
1 hour ago, DSA65PRO said:

 

1 hour ago, DSA65PRO said:

After Retiring from HVAC after 40 plus years, this sounds a bit sketchy. What is the part that’s going to take a month to get? Does your System use R22?

The compressor. Apparently the manufacturer is suffering from covid-related production delays. They were completely shut down for a month and a half, and now  are working at 50% capacity due to safety restrictions. I'd certainly be interested if this checks out, @DSA65PRO, but I guess I'm not shocked given how many other delays I've seen on shipping/production this summer.  I assume it doesn't use R22, as it is only 5 years old (and fortunately still under warranty). 

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mcarroll
10 hours ago, chipz said:

Good question @Clown79 and @mcarroll. It sounds like initially the house was sitting at 80 the tank got up to 82.6 with the lid shut. Nighttime temps have been going below 70 the last few days and that's allowed my house sitter to get the house back down to 76 in the morning before shuttering up for the heat of the day. The tank itself was running at 77-78 with the lid up and fan over it. We are expecting a hotter day and night on Friday, and I know from one really hot day earlier this summer that the tank can warm up into the low 80s even with the AC, if the AC is struggling to keep up. 

 

I think we'll definitely look into a window unit when we get home, but my impression is that most units will be too heavy for my housesitter to install herself. If it seems like we should get something in before then, we might be able to call on some other friends to help out with the installation.

IMO the tank will be fine even if the tank temp gets to the mid- upper-80's.  Might even be fine with the lid down if it's only getting to 80ºF in the house.

 

As it is (77-78) the water isn't even getting warm....I'd say turn your heat up a degree or two.  🙂

 

 

The day/night swings might be a bit much...don't let tank temp. drop more than a couple of degrees overnight.  

 

Running the heaters on a timer to keep them off during the day, but to let them run and minimize that nighttime drop might be a better gambit.  Reefs are tropical...if it's a healthy reef with good flow, you won't have problems until the water get close to, or over, 90ºF.  Which doesn't sound likely, given your description.

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DSA65PRO
10 hours ago, chipz said:

The compressor. Apparently the manufacturer is suffering from covid-related production delays. They were completely shut down for a month and a half, and now  are working at 50% capacity due to safety restrictions. I'd certainly be interested if this checks out, @DSA65PRO, but I guess I'm not shocked given how many other delays I've seen on shipping/production this summer.  I assume it doesn't use R22, as it is only 5 years old (and fortunately still under warranty). 
 

I didn’t know it was that big of an item. Be prepared for a Sticker Shock. Some Compressor Warranties don’t include labor. If it’s a Brazed in Compressor make sure they do a full Nitrogen Bleed into the system while doing all the Torch Work. “Prevents Carbon Scaling on the insides of the Copper, which can cause another failure.” “ This action is especially bad with the newer R410 Refrigerant.” Also you need to have the inline Drier Replaced. On a side note the High Grade Aluminum they make the internal parts out of is also in short supply. Even the Food Grade Aluminum is in short supply. 
 

if your unit is an American Standard or a Trane with the Rotolock Fittings on the Compressor, ask them to use Never-Sez on the Rotolock Threads, and the Rotolock Collar. 

 

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Brewer

 Put ice in a cooler, change it out every few days. Run a power head with about 10 to 20 feet of thinner vinyl tubing. One end sucks up aquarium water. Most of tubing is coiled in the cooler cover in ice water. Tubing returns to aquarium. Use a temp controller to turn on pump at desired temp.

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Reef Infidel

For what it's worth... when I lived in Florida, my 28g tank was constantly at 80-82 in the summer and it was thriving.

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Brewer

Ditto on 82F, was never an issue for about ten years on my last mixed reef

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chipz
13 hours ago, Reef Infidel said:

For what it's worth... when I lived in Florida, my 28g tank was constantly at 80-82 in the summer and it was thriving.

 

11 hours ago, Brewer said:

Ditto on 82F, was never an issue for about ten years on my last mixed reef

Glad to hear that the warmer-than-usual temps should still be ok. 

 

In good news, they are now telling me that they can get a new unit installed by next week. Phew!😅

I'll hang onto these other suggestions in case it drags on longer!

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