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My experiments with Aquarium cooling
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Ravinder
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:42 pm Post subject: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 
My  experiments  with  Aquarium  cooling

  I  started  keeping  the  aquarium  in  June,  2006  and  gradually  came  to  know  about  the  required  temperatures  etc.
  It  was  easy  to  keep  the  water  warm  in  winters  as  we  get  thermostats  quite  easily,  but  it  was  always  a  challenge  to  keep  the  water  cool  in  summers  here  in  Rajasthan  (India).  The  room  temperature  rises  up  to  about  35  Degrees  at  times  and  water  temperature  starts  going  above  30-32  Degrees  despite  simple  efforts  of  keeping  the  lid  of  canopy  open.
  I  always  wanted  to  keep  the  temperature  below  28  Degrees  but  it  was  difficult.  The  first  thing  I  changed  was  the  removal  of  unwanted  light  after  some  calculation  about  that  (I  feel  we  tend  to  use  more  light  than  it  is  required).  The  second  thing  I  did  is  to  fix  a  small  PC  fan  as  “exhaust”  in  the  upper  part  of  the  canopy  and  synchronized  it  with  the  light  such  that  it  starts  when  the  lights  are  on.  This  was  effective  and  lowered  about  3-4  Degrees  of  temperature.
  The  wood  work  for  our  kitchen  was  being  done  a  few  days  back  and  I  prepared  a  simple  frame  kind  of  a  thing  out  of  scrap  to  fix  a  PC  fan  on  it  and  place  it  inside  my  canopy  over  the  glass  edge.  After  a  few  days  I  assembled  a  12  Volt  supply  and  started  the  fan,  it  further  reduced  the  temperature  of  the  water  about  3-4  Degrees,  so  the  total  effect  I  could  see  was  of  the  order  of  5-9  Degrees  depending  on  the  ambient  temperature,  humidity  of  atmosphere  and  the  duration  of  fanning.
  Now  a  new  problem  arose,  if  I  kept  the  fans  “on”  round  the  clock  I  found  the  water  temperature  dropped  down  to  about  25.5  Degrees  in  the  morning,  and  if  I  synchronize  the  fans  with  light  on/off,  the  temperature  tend  to  rise  in  the  night  which  I  felt  was  against  the  nature.
  I  tried  bimetallic  thermostat  of  some  broken  thermostat  heaters  to  control  the  fans  but  could  not  succeed.  They  were  not  sensitive  enough.  I  searched  on  net  and  found  some  circuits  to  control  the  extra  fans  in  the  computer  columns  for  cooling  the  computers.  I  assembled  one  of  the  circuits  with  the  use  of  a  thermistor.  And  connected  my  fan  over  the  water  with  the  output  of  this  circuit,  this  is  wonderful,  now  the  temperature  of  my  aquarium  fluctuates  between  27  to  28  Degrees,  the  fans  are  “off”  when  the  temperature  goes  below  27  Degrees  and  fans  are  “on”  when  the  temperature  goes  up  above  28  Degrees  (This  is  called  hysteresis  and  there  is  provision  to  reduce  it  and  it  can  be  as  low  as  0.5  Degrees  also).   I  attached  the  “Sensor  thermistor”  with  a  long  wire  and  placed  it  between  the  glass  of  my  aquarium  and  a  thermocol  already  placed  on  the  blind  side  and  back  wall  of  the  aquarium,  and  it  works  from  there  quite  effectively.
  The  exhaust  fan  has  one  more  utility  that  it  removes  the  humidity  created  by  the  evaporation  of  the  water  by  the  fanning  on  water  surface.  And  it  protects  the  electric  lights  etc.  The  reduced  temperature  in  canopy  also  protects  the  light  failures  in  summers.
  This  kind  of  electronic  thermostat  can  be  used  for  heaters  also  in  winters  with  slight  modifications.
  This  scheme  of  introducing  a  small  control  circuit  gives  following  advantages  in  my  view,  as  far  as  aquariums  are  concerned:
 1. Fan  runs  for  only  desirable  duration.
 2. Temperature  can  be  controlled  between  very  narrow  ranges  of  about  0.5  Degrees  centigrade  (Hysteresis  can  be  kept  very  narrow).
 3. Fanning  duration  is  altered  as  per  weather  (As  heat  and  humidity  changes  the  fanning  duration  is  altered  automatically).
 4. Electricity  is  saved,  for  you  are  not  forced  to  run  the  fan  round  the  clock  even  if  it  is  not  required.
 5. Water  temperature  does  not  go  below  a  pre  defined  temperature.  And  likewise  does  not  go  above  a  desired  temperature.  It  is  possible  to  keep  temperatures  around  24-25  Degrees  in  winter  and  around  27-28  Degrees  in  summers.
 6. It  restricts  the  evaporation  of  water  as  it  is  limited  just  to  bring  water  to  the  required  temperature  and  not  beyond  that.
 7. Reliability  of  these  circuits  does  not  change  with  time.
 
 Note:   This  arrangement  can  be  useful  only  in  the  drier  parts  of  the  country,  where  dessert  coolers  are  popular.  In  humid  areas  evaporation  is  difficult  and  hence  the  temperature  may  not  drop  to  the  desirable  point  by  this  technique.
 
 Following  sites  are  useful  in  this  regard,  and  interested  readers  can  go  through  them.
 
 http://www.craig.copperleife.com/tech/thermo/
 http://www.instructables.com/id/Heat-activated-cooler-fan/
 http://www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/ronj/hy.html
 
 With  Regards,
 Ravinder  Singh
 Jaipur


Last edited by Ravinder on Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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deepesh
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:51 am Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 This  is  nice  and  a  great  DIY.  And  I  absolutely  think  its  great  that  hysteresis  is  being  factored  into  the  equation.   Thumb Up  
 
 But  why  are  we  fixated  at  28  degree  Celsius?  I  mean  this  as  a  fundamental  question,  not  as  a  criticism.
 
 My  tanks  go  up  to  31  -  32  in  summer  and  down  to  17  -  18  in  winter.  Am  I  doing  something  wrong?
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GokulK
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:59 am Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Good  one.  I  think  this  doesn't  work  in  cities  like  chennai,Kolkata  and  Bombay  where  the  humidity  is  really  high.
 
 Chiller  is  a  must!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:20 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Hi  Deepesh,
 Every  fish  has  a  liking  and  endurance  limits  of  temperatures  and  it  is  suggested  to  maintain  that.  all  of  my  fish  in  a  community  tank  in  general  has  limits  from  24  Degrees  to  28  Degrees,  That  is  why  I  attempted  that.
 In  Humid  areas  it  is  true  that  chillers  are  the  common  option  or  something  with  Peltier  Cell  can  be  worked  on  as  DIY.  But  I  could  not  get  Peltier  Cells  here  in  Jaipur,  even  they  are  said  to  be  capable  of  reducing  the  temperature  about  5  Degrees.  One  can  search  about  them  on  NET.
 
 With  Regards
 Ravinder  Singh
 Jaipur
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:36 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 You  are  very  lucky  to  get  that  kind  of  cooling  from  a  fan.  In  Mumbai  it  would  only  go  down  2-3  degrees  max
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:37 am Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 my  marine  tank  after  the  chiller  stopped  working,  even  afte  3  pc  fans  and  1  huge  aquarium  fan,  the  temp  reaches  29C  in  day  time.  so  what  i  do  is  night  ac  is  on,  then  afternoon  i  tell  my  mom  to  switch  on  the  ac  for  an  hour,  and  in  eve  i  float  2  ice  bottelles  one  after  another,  this  keeps  my  temp  26-27.5  during  day,  and  25.2  during  night......  Smile
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menonabhishek
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:53 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Nice  DIY  ...   Clapping
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:20 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Hey  Veeral,
 
 For  how  long  do  you  keep  these  ice  bottles  in  the  tank?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:46 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Thanx  for  sharing  your  experiance.
 
 To  add  my  experience  adding  a  little  bigger  fan(  which  is  a  UPS  fan  than  a  PC  fan)  I  could  easily  bring  temperature  to  24-25  easily  and  I  was  amazed  to  see  it.  Amazed  because  I  never  expected  it  come  down  from  all  along  28-29  degrees  to  24-25  degrees  with  a  single  fan,  now  I  am  planning  to  add  one  more  fan  and  wanted  to  see  if  adding  another  one  can  make  any  difference
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 9:35 am Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 My  friend  and  Guru  Aseem  and  one  of  my  known  person's  worker  has  got  fixed  the  fans  on  their  aquariums  and  report  good  results.  The  temperature  is  rising  here  in  Rajasthan  up  to  41  Degree  Celcius  these  days.  They  are  using  them  without  electronic  regulator  and  handle  them  manually.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:31 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Hello  Friends,
 I  recently  bought  and  tried  a  Temperature  Controller  bought  on  eBay.  If  some  body  is  interested  he  can  get  it.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:53 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

                                                   
Ravinder  wrote  (View  Post):                
Hello  Friends,
 I  recently  bought  and  tried  a  Temperature  Controller  bought  on  eBay.  If  some  body  is  interested  he  can  get  it.                

 
 What  was  it?  What  is  the  functionality  it  has?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:53 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Dear  Shelly,
 As  I  mentioned  in  my  posts  above  I  used  a  computer  fan  over  the  surface  of  my  aquarium  water  and  controlled  it  with  a  self  fabricated  circuit.  Now  I  have  found  that  some  fabricated  circuits  and  small  gadgets  are  available  on  eBay.in  to  control  the  cooling  from  such  fans.  So  I  thought  I  should  inform  hobbyists  in  case  they  do  not  find  it  simple  to  assemble  the  circuits  themselves.  Just  open  the  eBay  site  and  search  for  Thermal  Controllers  and  you  have  many  options  to  choose  from.  I  hope  I  am  clear  now,  but  I  request  you  to  read  my  older  posts  also.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:20 pm Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Whoa,  cool  results.  That  is  quite  an  achievement,  with  only  a  little  effort.
 
 If  you  use  some  sort  of  solder  in  this  setup  of  the  thermistor,  Tin,  Silver,  Copper  and  Lead  can  leach  into  your  water.Could  be  bad  for  living  organisms.
 
 Best  case:  your  thermistor  will  fail  after  a  while.  Worst  case:  fishes  affected  in  the  long  run.  And  the  long  run  effect  is  what  worried  me.
 
 If  you  cannot  physically  isolate  this  solder  or  thermistor  unit  from  water,  condensation,  or  any  part  of  the  inside  of  the  tank,  better  use  a  thermistor  which  works  on  the  basis  of  ambient  temperatures,  or  the  temperature  of  the  glass  from  the  outside.
 
 If  you  can  spend  2xxx  more,  use  an  infrared  setup  to  detect  temperatures  inside  the  tank.  You  could  also  look  towards  using  a  thermistor  rated  for  underwater  use.
 
 That  being  said,  I  am  only  a  newbie  to  this  hobby,  and  wanted  to  let  you  know  the  dangers  of  common  electronics.
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Ravinder
IAH New Member
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Joined: Jul 19, 2012
Posts: 47
Location: Jaipur(Rajasthan)

Status: Offline
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:35 am Post subject: Re: My experiments with Aquarium cooling Reply with quote

 Dear  netherwinterknights,
 I  am  Sorry  for  I  am  replying  you  so  late,  it  was  because  I  had  some  health  problems  last  year  and  I  had  to  go  through  the  long  treatment.  Your  thoughts  are  appreciable,  but  as  I  mentioned  "I  attached  the  “Sensor  thermistor”  with  a  long  wire  and  placed  it  between  the  glass  of  my  aquarium  and  a  thermocol  already  placed  on  the  blind  side  and  back  wall  of  the  aquarium,  and  it  works  from  there  quite  effectively."  probably  my  statement  is  not  clear  and  I  repeat  that,  The  thermistor  is  not  inside  the  water  of  the  aquarium  and  is  sandwiched  between  glass  and  a  thermocol  sheet  used  to  isolate  the  Aquarium  from  heat  transfer  from  the  two  invisible  sides  of  Aquarium.  Because  of  this  it  is  affected  by  the  temperature  of  aquarium  more  than  the  ambient  temperature.
 I  hope  it  is  clear  now.  If  not  please  feel  free  to  ask  me  further.
 With  Love,
 Ravinder
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