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Old 10-21-2019, 12:15 AM
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Default 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

My viv conversion (55g aquarium) is in an advanced state but I've hit a roadblock when it comes to ventilation/circulation. I've been reading up here (a lot) but I can't wrap my head around the best system for a tank viv - there are so many different ways to do it, so it would seem.

Constraints:

Glass aquarium.
Glass top constructed of three panels which will rest on the rim front to back (therefore no place to easily put a screen).
No holes / vent strip at the bottom of the front of the tank for passive venting.

So, I thought that this system might work to bring circulation and, when required, some ventilation. Diagram shows a tube drawing air from the top of the enclosure meeting, when manually adjusted, cooler/drier air drawn from the room, then exhausting down and out into the tank directed at the glass.

I suspect this might not work so well for keeping the glass clear but will it be adequate for air movement if I have it on a timer? If it would work, should I have this system mounted at the back or the front of the tank? Need to know before I get the glass drilled.

I hope this pic is self-explanatory! Your thoughts?



This is the 55g tank thus far completed:

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Old 10-21-2019, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

Probably not what you're looking for but you could cut one piece of the glass and make a vent, cut it so that there's an open/vent space in the middle of the tank. Not as useful as a vent strip going the length of the tank but maybe better than nothing...
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

That wouldn't be a problem, construction-wise (I'll just get narrower glass panels made to accommodate a full width mesh panel, but are you suggesting running a fan on top of it, blowing in? Or just rest it on top as-is?

I was originally just thinking of:

.............sliding glass pane
glass pane - mesh panel - glass pane

Kind of like:

_______________=================_______________

so I could passively regulate airflow. However, there's no vents at the bottom so how would passive venting work?

Even if it did I'm sure it wouldn't alleviate condensation to any degree, would it?

Am I overthinking this?


Last edited by PBM3000; 10-21-2019 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

Forcing the air in your setup will also force you to worry about the timing and duration of running the fans. While this is not impossible, it adds an element of research and another thing that could fail. In all of my tanks, I follow fishingguy's advice and I have ventilation in the form of areas covered by mesh. Then, I have a fan on the inside the tank that runs whenever my lights are on and moves air around inside the tank. Since the fans are located up next to the vents and they blow air across the inside of the top vent, a little bit of exterior air is introduced all the time. I find that I have a lot easier time controlling the humidity in my tanks using this type of setup.

Best of luck,

Mark
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:49 PM
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Thanks Mark. How much vent screen area do you have (should I have) and where? What size fan(s)?
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

I like to have more vent than necessary then I cover up what I don't need. It's a lot easier to do it this way than to make vents too small and try to figure out what to do about that problem. In my 90, I have about 2 inches of exposed vent all the way across the back of the tank. I have a really small fan in that one, but it is being driven really fast and I have other fans in the cabinet that are cooling the lights so there is some air movement and exchange associated with those, as well. I would say that for a 55 that only opens at the top, maybe use 2 fans (one on either side?) that are around 60mm? This would allow you some flexibility in where you point them to knock down condensation, etc. I would be sure that you have the ability to make them go faster or slower to suit your needs, as well.

Mark
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:42 PM
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Thanks again. I could construct a vent along the back but then I wouldn’t then be able to rest the glass on the lip. Glass spanning 4ft would surely sag if I went for length-wise panels? Do you have any pics of your setup?

I'm really just seeking various opinions on how people would tackle this particular set up so your comments are appreciated.
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Last edited by PBM3000; 10-21-2019 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

Ah, until you said this, I didn't see that you were in the UK :-) In the US, it is common for tanks to have a cross brace that attaches to the molding from front to back that allows the manufacturers to use thinner glass :-) This also acts to hold the glass top up in the middle so that you can use two different pieces of glass to cover the length of the tank. It makes the glass stronger for supporting things set on top of it and it avoids sagging that way. This is what the brace looks like. You could probably make your own by siliconing a piece of plastic or wood across the gap. It wouldn't be to brace the tank for water, but it would be for holding up the glass pieces in the middle.

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8

The brace allows a glass top like the on in the picture below to be used on both sides. Hope that makes sense. There are two pieces of glass that are joined by a plastic hinge that allows you to lift the front without disturbing the back piece of glass. I usually just have that back piece cut a bit less deep (if I am DIYing it) or just buy it as in the picture and pull the plastic back strip off and use that gap for the vent. I then hot glue mesh over that open place in the back.

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

Thanks for that. I've canned the idea of glass for now as bracing etc doesn't really appeal to me but thanks for the suggestion. After the installation of a Mistking I'm a bit skint, too!

To illustrate the current state of play, I have a Mistking installed, nozzles mounted on three clear 4mm acrylic strips (left, centre and right in pic), plenty rigid. The two main panels here are 5mm walled polycarbonate. I reckon I'll need a fan in or on there but I'm guessing that given there's no passive vents at the lower front of the tank, placement of a venting strip (cut out of the polycarbonate) at the back (as opposed to the front) won't make any difference? Besides, putting them at the front will weaken my leverage on the lid handles somewhat.

I've used walled polycarbonate (perhaps temporarily) because it's usually cool/cold here and we're comfortable with our home between 64 and 69F most of the time. The walled poly will keep temps up.

• What would you do with this set up and what am I looking for in terms of a mains powered fan controller? I've looked on eBay but can't find much that would be suitable?

If it helps, I'm running the Mistking on four nozzles:
6am for 10 secs
2pm for 10 secs
9pm for 5 secs
Lights on 12 midday to midnight ish.

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Old 10-28-2019, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

I don't know much about polycarbonate, but if it's like plexiglass, there is a very likely chance it will end up bowing over time. Just make sure to keep an eye on it and catch that happening before any gaps form that would let frogs out.

As for vents, you will still need them, and a fan would likely be helpful, as you said. For a controller, I have had good luck with gadgets like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vbestlife-C...MAAOSwwG1dehh1

Not sure if that would work for you, or not.

Mark
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

Cheers,

I ran walled polycarbonate lids on my aquariums for years - they kept straight as a die!

I've installed some vents along the back (pics later) and thanks for the suggestion of the controller. How does it connect to AC power?
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBM3000 View Post
Cheers,

I ran walled polycarbonate lids on my aquariums for years - they kept straight as a die!

I've installed some vents along the back (pics later) and thanks for the suggestion of the controller. How does it connect to AC power?
Glad to hear it. Controller connects directly to the electricity at the wall. Just make sure you get one with your version of the plug ;-)

Mark
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

I ran active ventilation for years and only recently stopped when my rack broke and I'm currently re doing everything.

If you aren't running into issues i.e. fogging glass, heat, wet substrate, constant 100% humidity etc you don't NEED active ventilation. Having 2 vents spaced as far apart as possible on the tank will give you adequate passive ventilation.

My active ventilation was much simpler than your set up. I had a low speed muffin fan by AC Infinity setting on top of the screen vent blowing air into the tank for 15min a couple times a day. Orchids really like it, other than that I noticed no difference unless I was trying to drop temps during the day in summer or had foggy glass.

Now that I'm currently not using the ventilation fans I mist a little less.

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Old 11-15-2019, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: 'Forced Air' ventilation for aquarium?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrogTim View Post
I had a low speed muffin fan by AC Infinity setting on top of the screen vent blowing air into the tank for 15min a couple times a day. Orchids really like it, other than that I noticed no difference unless I was trying to drop temps during the day in summer or had foggy glass.
I now have a fan ready to deploy but I'm struggling with placement. I want to avoid dropping temperature and/or humidity so I guess mounting it internally would be better. Mounting it is a PITA tho. I've also read that some simply have one blowing across the top vent however my enclosure has no lower front vent so would that have any impact?. One guy placed his fan blowing in directly from the top vent but covered with a plastic box. Decisions, decisions...
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