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Old 30th June 2014   #1
Kyle G
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Default DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I am planning on getting some axies but i cant keep the temperature below 70, its been at 73-74 and i keep my room pretty cold and have fans blowing on the water to keep it cooler. Do you suggest doing a DIY chiller using a mini fridge or spending the extra money on a chiller?



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Old 30th June 2014   #2
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-a...k-chiller.html

^I think this is a great idea! I might give this a try if I was you, and if it doesn't work than I would just buy a chiller. -Seth



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Old 30th June 2014   #3
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I'd be curious as to what brand of chiller people tend to prefer? I live in an apartment where the temperature can go from 60 to 80 depending on the weather outside, even with the air conditioner/heater on. Stability is what I'm most nervous of.



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Old 30th June 2014   #4
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I would suggest build a diy one for the fraction of the price and see how it works for you. How big is the tank? Store bought chillers are insanely expensive so only get one if you literally have exhausted every other possible option and just can not keep your tank under 70.



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Old 30th June 2014   #5
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I have a 50 gallon tank. I was just going to coil up some water hoses in it and let the water run in and cool off



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Old 1st July 2014   #6
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

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I have a 50 gallon tank. I was just going to coil up some water hoses in it and let the water run in and cool off
Sounds good to me. I live in an apartment and I have a 50 gallon, I keep it cool with a small fan and I use an AC vent deflector to push the ac vent that is right above it straight down towards the tank. Keeps it at about 64, apartment is at 72.



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Old 1st July 2014   #7
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I bought one, but I only bought one because I have my Axies in a 300 gallon tank. I think I would try a DIY one for a smaller tank



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Old 1st July 2014   #8
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I've read that DIY chillers made out of a mini fridge aren't that great because the mini fridge gets overworked and burns out quickly. Anyone know anything about that? Could still be worth it if it lasts long enough, just get a used mini fridge so it's not too much.



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Old 1st July 2014   #9
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

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Originally Posted by Cacique View Post
I've read that DIY chillers made out of a mini fridge aren't that great because the mini fridge gets overworked and burns out quickly. Anyone know anything about that? Could still be worth it if it lasts long enough, just get a used mini fridge so it's not too much.
Well if it took 6 months to burn out all you have to do is go get another second hand one and put the hose in the new one, it would still be way cheaper than buying a chiller. It would take like 3 or 4 years of buying mini fridges to equal one purchase of a store bought chiller which could potentially burn out within those 3-4 years. This is all being very liberal, I doubt the mini fridges would burn out every 6 months.



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Old 1st July 2014   #10
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

maybe I'm missing something but why would the mini fridge burn out in 6 months? I've had mine coming on 3 years with no problems whatsoever... maybe a used one might not be that great ( i honestly have no idea) but mine isn't showing any signs of stopping



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Old 1st July 2014   #11
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

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maybe I'm missing something but why would the mini fridge burn out in 6 months? I've had mine coming on 3 years with no problems whatsoever... maybe a used one might not be that great ( i honestly have no idea) but mine isn't showing any signs of stopping
It wouldn't but someone was trying to make a point against a diy chiller stating that they can burn out sometimes, I was countering that point with logic/made up numbers.



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Old 1st July 2014   #12
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I bought a chiller. I guess when I was researching axolotls I just assumed a chiller to be part of the total cost of owning an axolotl. They are cold water animals after all. I don't notice many of the experienced members sticking with diy longterm and most seem to use chillers. The diy stuff also tends to look very diy and the aesthetics of that doesn't appeal to me either. Why make a beautiful tank for a beautiful animal and have all these ugly components everywhere?

I'm happy with my store bought chiller, it's a nice piece of mind to not have to worry about the temperature in the tank or my place flooding.



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Old 1st July 2014   #13
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

The mini fridge chillers look quite nice to me, IMO. The reason I asked the question was that in another aquarium forum they were saying that the mini fridge would be running constantly, since the warmer water will be going into it and would burn out quicker. I have no idea how quickly, or how the warmer water flowing through it would really affect it.

I definitely agree with Jonjey that unless it was to burn out very fast, it would still be worth it. I'm curious if anyone knows how many degrees a mini fridge chiller could lower the temperature in a tank by itself?(without any fans)



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Old 1st July 2014   #14
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

A chiller would be a lot more energy efficient than a fridge with a garden hose curled up inside. Some people try to make a chiller with mini-fridge parts but they don't realize that chillers have titanium heat exchangers solely to prevent the heavy metal leeching. Which is a big reason for their price.



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Old 1st July 2014   #15
Jeff
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

Eh, my perfectly logical rebuttal that was within the guidelines of site rules was deleted, can't defend your opinions on caudata, can only be offended.
Velice the water never comes in contact with any fridge parts. Simply runs in a hose that is being cooled by the turned-on-fridge.
Cacique, I don't know how many degrees because I don't have one. I simply have my tank below an ac vent with an ac deflector pushing the ac down to my tank, as well as a small fan on the rim of my tank. With that my tank stays around 64 degrees, it's a 50 gallon.
If I were going to make a chiller, personally I'd do something with a water cooler (water dispenser, you know the things at the doctors office etc?) but the mini fridge would be easier to do as it's as simple as drilling two holes putting a hose in them and connecting a pump.



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Old 2nd July 2014   #16
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Velice View Post
I bought a chiller. I guess when I was researching axolotls I just assumed a chiller to be part of the total cost of owning an axolotl. They are cold water animals after all. I don't notice many of the experienced members sticking with diy longterm and most seem to use chillers. The diy stuff also tends to look very diy and the aesthetics of that doesn't appeal to me either. Why make a beautiful tank for a beautiful animal and have all these ugly components everywhere?

I'm happy with my store bought chiller, it's a nice piece of mind to not have to worry about the temperature in the tank or my place flooding.
Granted I've never made a chiller, but I don't see what makes an aquarium chiller more beautiful than a refrigerator.

Why would you be worried about flooding with a system of tubes going through a fridge?

And regarding heavy metals, again I'm speaking from reasoning and not from experience, but if fridges leaked heavy metals wouldn't that make them unsafe for human use?



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Old 2nd July 2014   #17
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

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Originally Posted by Jonjey View Post
I would suggest build a diy one for the fraction of the price and see how it works for you. How big is the tank? Store bought chillers are insanely expensive so only get one if you literally have exhausted every other possible option and just can not keep your tank under 70.
Do NOT make a real DIY chiller. What I mean bye this is if you make one with a fridge, or fan or whatever that's fine, but if you actually try to imitate the chillers you find in the store than you could kill you axolotls and shock yourself badly. I have read that even store bought chillers can shock you, and that ones made at home are really dangerous and aren't a good idea.

So go ahead and make one with a fridge or a foam cooler, but don't try and make a 'real' chiller, it wont end good -Seth



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Old 2nd July 2014   #18
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

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Originally Posted by sde View Post
Do NOT make a real DIY chiller. What I mean bye this is if you make one with a fridge, or fan or whatever that's fine, but if you actually try to imitate the chillers you find in the store than you could kill you axolotls and shock yourself badly. I have read that even store bought chillers can shock you, and that ones made at home are really dangerous and aren't a good idea.

So go ahead and make one with a fridge or a foam cooler, but don't try and make a 'real' chiller, it wont end good -Seth
No one is talking about making a shifty device... Talking about running water through a hose in a fridge...



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Old 2nd July 2014   #19
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

Ok I was just clarifying so that someone doesn't get hurt.



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Old 5th July 2014   #20
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Default Re: DIY Chiller or spend the money for a store bought one?

I got a 4cubic ft magic chef and put a ehime canister in it total cost under 200 it dropped the temp down to 67 F I put ice bottles in the mini fridge it cycles on and off about as much as the one in the kitchen and I have a fan on the tank with the spray bar on the glass and now I have cold drinks with out a trip to the kitchen



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