cheep summer chiller idea

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Script_Kitty, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Script_Kitty

    Script_Kitty Member

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    I have a small 32 gallon biocube that i have modded out with a sump and apex system.

    I am starting to plan for the summer, and worried that if we have some hot days, that the fans integrated wont be able to keep up (no ac in the house)

    I was thinking of taking an old 5 gallon water cooler. And using it as an emergency chiller if this get bad.

    My thoughts are fill it up with water and ice. And coil about 10 feet of 1/4 inch tubing inside of it below the water line.

    Then configure the apex to turn on a small water pump if the temperature gets above a certian setting.

    Has anyone tried something like this before?

    Another option uses the same concept but with a sealed jug if water is a small beer fridge , but that always runs into the critical risk of taking up space that could be better used for beer.
     
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  2. Jeepguy242

    Jeepguy242 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I have seen the mini fridge used with titanium tube lined all around the inside walls. Worked great and still had room for beer
     
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  3. laverda

    laverda Active Member SCMAS Member

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    Fans should be able to keep your tank cool unless it is really hot there. Just make sure you have a good ATO to handle the evaporation.
     
  4. Logan A.

    Logan A. Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You seem like a kind of do it yourself person. Fans should be able to handle the extra heat go pick yourself up some 120mm computer fans with variable controll around $15 ea wire them together and into the outlet you can even frame them up nice. If you are worried make it so they can run off batteries during a power outage.
     
  5. Script_Kitty

    Script_Kitty Member

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    Thanks. I have thefans inplace already, both one in the cover,and two in the sump, just worried if the temperature gets to be over a hundred in the room that they wont be able to keep up.
     
  6. Jeepguy242

    Jeepguy242 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    if it gets over 100 in the room a chiller won't be able to keep up either... you should consider a portable air conditioner...

    my reef is in my living room, and with the A/C set to 75 the tank gets up to 80 before the chiller kicks on... the reefkeeper starts kicking off the lighting 1 bulb at a time at 82,83,and 84... i have had it kick off 1 light twice now..... but the chiller will run for 3 hours and again after the light go out for the night for about 45 minutes
     
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  7. Airwarf

    Airwarf Member

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    You have an Apex and not enough for a chiller?

    If you're near Chicago I have a JBJ 1/10HP I'd sell for $300. It has about 16 months run time on it.
     
  8. Caseyoidae

    Caseyoidae Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Hudson Valley Reef Keepers Catskill Reef Member

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    I plugged my window air conditioner into my apex last summer. Not the most conventional method but it worked great. Now I have a cheap 4 fan unit that clamps right on the rim of the tank. I think it was $25 off amazon. I also set my lights back to come on in the evening rather than the heat of the day during summer months.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  9. Airwarf

    Airwarf Member

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    Whoa... As long as it's not past the 8000BTU mark I admire this setup. Using an Apex to use fans first, then window AC next is awesome!
     
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  10. Caseyoidae

    Caseyoidae Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Hudson Valley Reef Keepers Catskill Reef Member

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    It's 8000 btu lol kept my tank below 83 and my upstairs apartment was nice and cool when I got home. thinking this year I'll run my lights in the evening again rather than mid-day. T5's heat my tank up quick!!
     
  11. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Active Member

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    Here are a couple of thoughts. I built a heat exchange unit out of PVC (not the best but it won't corrode) and then ran it thru an old car radiator with a fan behind it. Fired it from my Apex and it certainly works up to a point. I also keep lots of frozen milk containers which I can drop into one of the tanks on the circuit. Picked up a free standing A/C at the dump and set it to blow on the glass of my sump and that worked pretty good. I think this year, I'll point the A/C at the rad.
     
  12. Script_Kitty

    Script_Kitty Member

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    The cost isnt the driving factor (assuming my wife dosnt find out about it).

    I had planned to get the one you mentioned, but got concerned when watching some BRS viseos about it.

    I live in San Jose, and rest a place without ac. It usually only gets “real hot” a Few days a year, and i have some some portable ac usints for that.

    I was worried about getting a chiller and integrating it but not having it activate except a few times a year.

    How do people who need to chill only a little usually run?
     
  13. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Active Member

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    By dropping frozen milk cartons into the tank when it gets too hot.
     
  14. Jr'sReef

    Jr'sReef Active Member

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    Mini fridge is the way to go, plus you can store the frozen foods in there as well and beer as previously stated
     
  15. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Active Member

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    Are you saying use titanium so you can create a heat exchange that can be immersed in salt water? Where would you get the titanium?
     
  16. Jeepguy242

    Jeepguy242 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    that was how it was described to me... metal for a better heat/cold exchange.... the guy was an evil genius... i dont know where he got the 3/8 titanium tubing, it looked like he spent a heck of alot of time on it too essentially he did a zig zag pattern all over 3 sides of the fridge with the tubing... best guess there had to be 50-60 feet of tubing lining the walls of the fridge... he would have had to do it with a tubing bender and for the tight bends he had viynal tubing connecting the titanium....

    he had a small pump, looked like a maxi jet in his sump that pumped water to the fridge and then back to the sump... used a controller to turn the pump on and off....

    the times i went over to his house for frag swapping he always offered a beer and pointed to the fright and said to help ourselves.... fridge was right next to the tank with a couch and coffee table 5 to 6 feet directly in front of the tank.... it was a beautiful setup...


    titanium is like the only metal that can be submerged in saltwater and not leach junk into the tank... the water flowed on the inside of the tube...

    there was always at least 20 to 30 beers in the fridge
     
  17. Jeepguy242

    Jeepguy242 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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  18. Cae

    Cae Member

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    Honestly if you have heat like we did in Queensland Australia last month which was over 40deg C then you will need a lot more than fans. I know cause I bleached all of my coraline algae at 30 deg C. My fans were running all day and it didn't help. My best advice is the bar fridge idea with coiled hose (a lot). Or it might be cheaper to just take the plunge and buy an aircon . I have a chiller but it heats the room too much.
     
  19. Shaun Sweeney

    Shaun Sweeney Active Member

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    My kind of guy. Thanks for the info. I'm thinking of refining my car rad gadget by positioning it so the A/C can blow directly onto it.
     
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  20. Jr'sReef

    Jr'sReef Active Member

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    If it were me I’d drill a hole into the back of a mini fridge, run a 100ft waterline/ice maker tubing from a small pump in the sump into the fridge have the tubing coiled up inside it then back out the back of the fridge out the same hole and back into the sump. Silicone or foam in the hole that was drilled and call it a day. Kind of the same idea used for the drinking water in a refrigerator so that it will pour out cold.
     
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