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Old 05-13-2011, 11:32 AM   #11
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Make a radiator. On the pump to the tank, split line into 5 0r 6 lines. cover the lines in copper. Then blow fans on them. Then bring them back together to go into tank. It would take some trial and error but I think it would be possible.

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Old 05-14-2011, 03:21 AM   #12
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would fans cool the water enough to get down between 50s-60s? that's his goal, not just normal water temp

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Old 05-16-2011, 03:02 AM   #13
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Fans can only cool to ambient. Beyond that, you need some sort of refrigeration.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:15 PM   #14
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Fans can very inefficiently cool below ambient - The process of evaporation. When I lived with my folks, my room would be a nice 88 to 90 degrees in the summer. I hooked up 3 12 volt Computer fans to a piece of plywood and aimed them down at the water - the tank cooled down to 4 degrees below room temperature. (84ish) to save my fish when I wasn't around to do cool water changes. The water level would drop quite a bit... almost half an inch a day on a 44 gallon corner tank.

*edit* just saw 50-60*f... Yeah, no way with this method. *foot in mouth*

Ever heard of these:

Piezoelectric coolers - Relatively efficient, but you'd need a big one!!! Nice thing is that they are silent.

There are some portable fridges that use this - You might be able to cannibalize one for 60 bucks? I have one at my desk at work made by mobicool.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:31 PM   #15
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The easiest way would be a mini fridge with copper tubing coiled in a tub of water, where you then pump water through the tubing. A similar way would be to use a TEC (thermoelectric cooler), but these are fairly inefficient, and the hot side gets very hot, where you'd need a pretty big radiator (relative to the size of the TEC)
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:21 PM   #16
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The problem with a mini fridge is they are meant to keep foods cold, not to cool warm foods. Without going into a bunch of science mumbo jumbo, a mini fridge is a weak cooling system. If all you need are a couple degrees then it might work for you.

I've heard a de-humidifier or air conditioner can be used to cool tanks fairly well. The cooling system on those units are quite powerful. Set it up as a cold water bath, and run a coil into the bath, and another coil in your sump. A temperature controlled water pump circulates the water between the two coils.

One thing to keep in mind on a DIY cooling system. When the cooling system turns off because the water is cool enough, will there still be a large volume of cold water cooling the tank?

I'm planning a temperate/cold water fish tank sometime in the future and this is how I'm currently planning on cooling it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:59 AM   #17
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You could look into water cooling and extreme cooling for computers to get ideas. I use to do water cooling years ago, I'm sure there are things that could be taken from there and applied to aquariums, and for a reasonable price. I saw a guy cool his cpu down to -29 F, spending $ 150 for parts at a junk yard. I don't think it should be to hard to keep an aquarium at the temps you want. You'll just have to do research out side the realm of this hobby to get some more ideas.

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