DIY Complete Chiller

ShrimpShepherd

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Hello, after setting up my DIY water chiller and seeing it able to drop my water to 65-66 degrees in an ambient of 79, I will say for a total of $80, my DIY water chiller is VERY good. I have tested and set this up for just over a month now.

Materials:
IGLOO Ice Maker (manufacture refurbished $50 on eBay)
10' 3/16" ID tubing
1 ~120 gph pump
1 Aluminum cpu cooling sync (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01779U5XI/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Basically I put water in the ice maker reservoir, and drill 2 holes on the plastic lid for the intake and output tubing. Inside the reservoir, there will be the cooling sync and tubing which will chill the water efficiently.

Connect the tubings as you wish just make sure to attach the tubing so it doesn't suck in sand or big debris (small algae gunks or such is fine, just no rocks or sand). It will gradually decrease the temperature, but in 12 hours it should drop it at LEAST 12 degrees from ambient temperature for a 15 gallon aquarium. I have yet to test it on bigger tanks, but this has been so cost effective and efficient that I don't see why one would want to buy a $130 ice probe or a $300 water chiller if you have a smaller aquarium.
 

Hayleyy

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Love it! I have a small bit of filter sponge attached to my intake so if any sand is hanging around the water column during/after a water change or if I have disturbed the substrate, it doesn't get into the chiller. Hope this holds out for you, would love to know how well it works with a larger aquarium.
 

ShrimpShepherd

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I attached a glass lid to my aquarium and it has dropped the temperature to a low of 64.9 and is maintaining a 65.4.
 

Hayleyy

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If you find in summer it is trapping heat you can always DIY a mesh cover. I made one from the frame on the tank (detatched it using a razor) and used silicone to stick mesh screening. Literally $5 :D
 

kojk89

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Hello, after setting up my DIY water chiller and seeing it able to drop my water to 65-66 degrees in an ambient of 79, I will say for a total of $80, my DIY water chiller is VERY good. I have tested and set this up for just over a month now.

Materials:
IGLOO Ice Maker (manufacture refurbished $50 on eBay)
10' 3/16" ID tubing
1 ~120 gph pump
1 Aluminum cpu cooling sync (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01779U5XI/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Basically I put water in the ice maker reservoir, and drill 2 holes on the plastic lid for the intake and output tubing. Inside the reservoir, there will be the cooling sync and tubing which will chill the water efficiently.

Connect the tubings as you wish just make sure to attach the tubing so it doesn't suck in sand or big debris (small algae gunks or such is fine, just no rocks or sand). It will gradually decrease the temperature, but in 12 hours it should drop it at LEAST 12 degrees from ambient temperature for a 15 gallon aquarium. I have yet to test it on bigger tanks, but this has been so cost effective and efficient that I don't see why one would want to buy a $130 ice probe or a $300 water chiller if you have a smaller aquarium.
I would like love to see some pictures of the setup, if you have any. I'm setting up a tank, and this sounds like something I might want to try out.
 

ntny

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aluminium GPU coolers are toxic to amphbians
copper is even more toxic
should try to use marine grade stainless steel coils
thanks
 

ShrimpShepherd

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Actually, aluminum GPU coolers are not toxic to amphibians. Copper is only harmful in bigger amounts and doesn't react fairly enough with water to cause harm to an amphibian - a shrimp sure, but an amphibian, no. If this was the case, all the water chillers people use that use copper would be leaching "toxic" metals into the water and ALL the axolotl's would be getting metallic poisoning which is not the case. In fact, most of America's waterline is by copper or lead pipes.

That's where water conditioners come in. It binds to the very small if any trace amounts of metal ions in the water and makes it non-toxic.
 

kojk89

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Yep I have pictures. I'll try to make a diagram for you as well.
Thanks! That would be great. Right now I'm using a mini fridge, but it hasn't been as effective at cooling as I had hoped. Temperature hasn't dropped any, but it also hasn't gone up. It sits at 69/70f. I'm sure the ice maker would be a better option.

A couple pictures http://imgur.com/a/kHnOBwd
 

ShrimpShepherd

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Yikes! I'm guessing you have more coils of tubing wrapped around inside the fridge?
 

kojk89

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Of course, 20ft of tubing inside. Fridge is on highest cooling settings. I'm more then a little disappointed it hasn't cooled more. Maybe aluminum coils inside would be more effective.. Do you have those pictures? I'd like to setup the icemaker.
 

ShrimpShepherd

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Of course, 20ft of tubing inside. Fridge is on highest cooling settings. I'm more then a little disappointed it hasn't cooled more. Maybe aluminum coils inside would be more effective.. Do you have those pictures? I'd like to setup the icemaker.
PICTURES ARE HERE! Okay, with 20 ft of tubing inside, I'm wondering if maybe you have a HUGE tank? Mind you, I'm using a 15 gallon long aquarium for mine now and it's maintaining a steady 61.5-62.5 degrees.
https://imgur.com/a/WL7GTIS

Edit: I'm actually surprised of your results for the mini fridge since I was thinking that a mini fridge would do a better job. What if instead of buying another $80 worth of equipment, you can try buying a BUNCH of these CPU coolers, and hook them up in a series for the tubing inside your mini fridge?
 

kojk89

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https://imgur.com/a/J02VnOM

Correct, it's a 55gal tank. That's why I assumed a mini fridge would get the job done. I was wrong. A bunch of cpu blocks might work, but thats many more connections I have to worry about leaking. I already flooded the fridge with water accidentally because a fitting wasn't tight enough haha. Plus the filter pump and circulation pump need to work harder the more items that are inline. I'll order a couple blocks and and hook them up to see it the temp changes in the least bit. If not, I'm getting the ice maker.

Your setup looks pretty straight forward but, does it still make ice inside the reservoir? Do you have to take it out when it gets full? How does that part work.
 

ShrimpShepherd

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https://imgur.com/a/J02VnOM

Correct, it's a 55gal tank. That's why I assumed a mini fridge would get the job done. I was wrong. A bunch of cpu blocks might work, but thats many more connections I have to worry about leaking. I already flooded the fridge with water accidentally because a fitting wasn't tight enough haha. Plus the filter pump and circulation pump need to work harder the more items that are inline. I'll order a couple blocks and and hook them up to see it the temp changes in the least bit. If not, I'm getting the ice maker.

Your setup looks pretty straight forward but, does it still make ice inside the reservoir? Do you have to take it out when it gets full? How does that part work.
The icemaker runs on a recycled reservoir. It will make ice inside the icetray, and drop them into the reservoir of water which contains the CPU cooler. When this ice melts into water, the ice maker use that water (or whatever water is in the reservoir) to make the ice again and again and again. Basically, you might not ALWAYS have ice (since it will melt to cool your tank water), you will always have water in the reservoir and will ALWAYS have ice being made.
 
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