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Old 08-08-2005, 05:38 PM
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Default DIY Aquarium chiller up and running...

Good news...

The chiller I put together is running now. The tank is a 100 gallon Xenopus biotope. It is not filled all the way, so it is roughly at 70 gallons perhaps. The tank temp was at 74 originally, but when turning it on, it dropped the tank temp down 4 degrees in around 2 hours.
I have not tested yet for "maximum" pull down yet, but so far, 70 degree water is all I need for my Xenopus tank...
The chiller coils were not submerged fully, perhaps about 3/4 covered. It sits in a sump that is a 18 gallon rubbermaid container, and because of the little holes near the top, i have no clue how to seal them off to fill my sump higher to cover the coils fully. If somebody can tell me how to seal this, let me know. (epoxy and silicone will not work because its a rigid plastic)

the chiller is made from a dehumidifier with the cold coils bent out of it. This was the trickiest part, but with care, it works well. I additionally coated the copper Ubends on the coils with epoxy resin to keep minimize corrosion. The dehumidifier is hooked up to a temp controller for a fridge that has a 4 degree differential for $50.

A second temp controller is hooked up to a Rio powerhead that has an adjustable temp differential, RANCO brand from DIYreef.com... sat at 70 degrees.

The water is pumped through tubing which is connected to Titanium tubing that I cut and connected with John Guest Pipe fittings for a heat exchanger. The down side to this chiller is, well, you need a heat exchanging medium, as you cannot put the aluminum coils directly into the water of the aquarium's acidic conditions. I have not calculated fully yet the pulldown.

Right now, the tank is cycling and the epoxy background is mounted in the back. I need to buy T5 lighting...

Doug
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:42 PM
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Congratulations! I know you have invested blood, sweat, and tears into this project Looking forward to the pictures...

Marcos
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:44 AM
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knowing me, i have a ton of trouble with cameras, as i cannot zoom in. I bought a cheapo outdoor camera which i took pics of my epoxy backgrounds and the dehumidifier with bent coils, but i haven't taken a pic of what it looks like with the big ugly sump. I need to take a few pics with a flash because this project is in the basement.

I'm wondering now how it can be modified for water features for terrestrial frogs.

Here's an idea. Have water flow out through a bulkhead, but NOT DIRECTLY into an open sump. Instead, let the water go through coils (preferably titanium) into the sump with chiller, but have a sealed chamber with a water pump (like a canister filter) pump the now cooled water back up into the vivarium.

Obviously, if you modified it this way, it'd be best to have a cabinet or large enough stand to accomodate the humongus (is that how you spell it?) contraption.

No matter if you buy or make one, a chiller makes noise. That is one thing that will NOT make a difference.
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:11 PM
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Doug,
Congratulations with the working chiller. You can close the holes with a bolt, rings and nut. Example take a Stainless steel bold thatís passing in to the hole close as possible. Place on the bold a Stainless steel ring, and than a rubber ring. Put the bold with the two rings trough the hole and place on the other side a rubber ring than a Stainless steel ring and nut and fasten it. You have now a water tight hole. (The Rubbermaid is in-between the two rubber rings). You can make rubber rings your self with two hollow pipes
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Old 08-13-2005, 04:03 AM
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How about if I put a dap of silicone on the inside of the washer when I screw it on?

Now, all i need to do is an affordable way to inject CO2 in my aquarium, as well as put money out for T5s. :roll:

I'm really hoping I can aquire marbled patterned Xenopus laevis. There are several color forms of them, but very few have been bred in large numbers. Some even have yellow bellies.
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:55 PM
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Silicon on the inside of the washers will work. If you do this, do not tighten it the first time. Put some silicon on the washer and fasten the nut till you have a space of about 1 mm (1/20 inch) between washer and Rubbermaid material. Let dry for minimum 24 hours and than fasten the nut. You have now a silicon ring between washer and Rubbermaid material. Sorry for the inconvenience about the washer. I had not translated ring (Dutch) in washer.
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:45 PM
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Thought I might bring this back up.

I am planning on making smaller, peltier based chillers for my little vivariums (NOT huge, oversized 1/4 HP like for the 100 gallon)... I only need two of them. DIY peltiers aren't too expensive, so I have yet, another crazy invention scheme.

I am planning on cutting a hole/ square in the back of my tank, and put over a little bit of sheet metal, such as grade 2 titanium or a food grade type of stainless steel (the kind for beverages). Mount the peltier cold side against it, run my water feature over it. Simple, basically the same principle as the Iceprobe.

Problem. I do not know of any good sheet metal supplier that can give me a piece only 1 square foot (obviously, only a small amount would be cut to cover the cold side) of such expensive types of metal. And the biggest problem, how to adhere/ seal the metal to acrylic or to glass? How do you attach the cold side of the peltier to the sheet metal?

Can anybody point to a good supplier? (other than McMaster)
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:00 PM
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Would a stainless steel cookie sheet (example) work?

Bev
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Old 12-29-2005, 09:48 PM
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it could, but is it thin enough? (conduct heat well?)
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