Cheap cooling method

Martin88

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Hi Guys,

As you all know me and my partner forum name (munchbunny) had some problems with the temp in our axie aquarium, the tank was 60L and temps were climbing to 28ish on the really bad days. Although it didnt seem to worry our axie it certainly worried us.

We tried fans and ice bottles and neither made a major change which worried us so we ended up moving our axie into an 170L aquarium which now hold the temp at a steady 19, not ideal but alot better off.

I have since had a brainwave for a home made cooler very cheaply and here is the method.It works fantastically and anyone can put it together,

First you will need a mini fridge, these things are highly in-expensive and can be bought for around 10 pounds. You will also need a coffee jar, alot of airline and a small water pump, total cost is less then 30 pounds !! thats 10 times cheaper than a cooler from the store.

1) Take your mini fridge and drill 2 holes in the top wide enough for some airline and space them out abit taking care as to not drill down the sides.

2) Find a small pot or jar which fits snugly in the fridge allowing the door to close, coffee jars work well. Poke 2 holes in the lide of the jar to accept the air line.

3) At your local aquatics pick up around 20M of airline and a small water pump which has adjustable flow, my local aquatics store did one for 11.99. Attach 1 end of the airline to the water pump and place in your aquarium where desired.

4) take the other end of the airline and run it through the hole in your fridge and then through the hole in the jar lid.

5) Coil up your airline in the jar making sure you pack in as much airline into the jar as possible, once your happy with the airline in the jar run the end through the lid and replace the lid. Run the end of your airline through the roof of your fridge insert your jar snuggly and close the door of the fridge,

6) lead the airline back to your aquarium and afix it inside so that it wont come lose.

And now you have your cooler, The pump pushes the water through the airline which is coiled up inside the fridge and back to your aquarium thus cooling the water. The slower the flow of the pump the more time the water is inside the fridge and therefore is colder, the faster the flow the less chilled the water, giving you an element of control. For best results i suggest you seriously coil up that airline for maximum time inside the fridge.

This method eliminates the use of bottles and ice which dont allow much control, they provide a neat little water cooler at minimum cost. Alot of these fridges have warm and cold setting meaning you could use it in reverse in the winter to bring the temp up if needed, The fridges are very low power consumption and the water used is water from your tank i.e already treated.

You can leave the cooler running 24/7 once you have the flow rate set up to keep your aquarium at the right temp giving you peace of mind regarding the temp. I admit in the beginning its trial and error regarding how fast/slow to run the pump but once its set it works great.

I have made up a quick diagram on paint for anyone wanting to give it a go =)




I hope this is beneficial to someone on here =)
 

Mac Myers

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I like that. I've got one I made myself similar to yours except I used a 5 gallon water bottle cooler and a Repticlear filter I already had instead of a pump.

Can you give me a link to the type of fridge you used? I almost tried this with a dorm fridge (Icemaker cover removed) and a Peltier style "6 pack" fridge (couldn't get it cold enough) until I got a free GE Water Cooler. I may step down from the .5" tubing to air hose because the .5 tubing is a bad heat transfer medium and it's so think I can only get about 6 coils in there.
 

Jennewt

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Could you also take a photo of the actual chiller (with the tubing)? A lot of people have proposed this kind of setup, but few have actually attempted it. Nice to know that it works. Can I post your diagram on this page:
Caudata Culture Articles - Cooling
 

sek

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Great cooling method. Thanks for posting this!
 

tmorgan

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I am going to be trying this! I am getting all set up to have some axies and I think that this will work very well for my setup. Thanks for the great info! This is an awesome way to save money!
 

Mac Myers

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I'll be interested in this as well. I tried something similar with a little Peltier fridge (that looked like that) I got from a friend, but it couldn't cool enough to do anything. It could keep cold stuff cold.... but it took 2 days to cool a warm six pack. My tank might just be too large (55 Gal). :happy:
 

Crysta

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I'm going to try this as soon as possible, thanks for the great diagram, and explanation.
 

Martin88

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I'll be interested in this as well. I tried something similar with a little Peltier fridge (that looked like that) I got from a friend, but it couldn't cool enough to do anything. It could keep cold stuff cold.... but it took 2 days to cool a warm six pack. My tank might just be too large (55 Gal). :happy:
Hi,

I hate to say it but the fridge may then be a dud, the one i have cools 6 cans of soda in around an hour, granted mine was slightly more expensive than the 10 pound one as mine was 30 pounds but mine was bought 4 years ago. The ones at 10 pound these days have exactly the same cooling range etc.

I would suggest a more powerful fridge, and with the size of your aquarium maybe a bigger one, Replace the jar with a bucket of some kind and use alot more airline.

Even if you spend 50-100 dollars your still paying a third of the price of a new cooler and you have the ability to say "I made that" :happy:

I'll get some pics up asap

Regards
 

Mac Myers

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I was going to do that. You can get one of those "dorm" fridges with a freezer. Someone told me that you can unscrew the freezer separator and remove it so that the colder air just dumps into the fridge.
I was lucky enough to get a 5 gallon water cooler for free and I used that instead. I'm still toying with the idea of making a titanium coil for the water reservoir to increase the efficiency. :confused:
 
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