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Old 06-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #1
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My DIY water chiller for small aquariums

My idea for this water chiller is to have a water pump of some sort connect to airline tubing and pump the water out of the aquarium and through a small cooler full of ice. The tubing will be coiled inside to cooler to maximize cooling time. The now cooler water will then be pumped back into the tank, hopefully cooling it. (The actual tank water will not come into contact with the chlorinated ice cube water, just run through it inside the tubing) I will have to restock the small cooler with ice nightly.
I'll post a drawing when I get home from work and will also post pictures along the way.

I have an empty bucket (or I will find a 10 gal Rubbermaid) that I will be testing the pump on and monitoring temperatures over the next few days.

This chiller will be for a 10 gallon tank and will only be in place until I save up an extra $200 for a mini chiller.

Any help, thoughts, opinions, advice, and personal experience are very welcome.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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Sounds pretty logical, I don't see any problems with it. I recommend the aqualifter water pump, I use it on my overflow box and it works great; doesn't push a lot of water but for a small tank it'd be great
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:48 PM   #3
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Is it available at PETCO or should I look it up on line?

and with the testing I'll be able to see how much it drops the temperature but my only concern is how much it will fluctuate later in the day as the ice melts. the cooler will most likely be under my bed in the dark.

I had an extra pump lying around but now I cant find it!
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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I set a bucket of water out for 5 hours while I was at work and when I came back it read 77degrees Fahrenheit. So I'm going to need around 7-9 degrees of cooling.

I'm going to try to find a bigger container to test on and hide it in my extra bathroom Lol.

Air temperature was 74 degrees by the aquarium.

I think I'm also going to extend the intake tube on my aquaclear 30 (since cold water sinks) and try to have the incoming water from the "chiller" come out of some sort of spraybar that runs the length of the tank to try and avoid hot and cold spots.
And will have it spraying downward from above.
Idk if that makes sense, or if It's necessary on a 10 gallon, but hopefully that will give me good circulation.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarpon
Is it available at PETCO or should I look it up on line?

and with the testing I'll be able to see how much it drops the temperature but my only concern is how much it will fluctuate later in the day as the ice melts. the cooler will most likely be under my bed in the dark.

I had an extra pump lying around but now I cant find it!
I'm not seeing it online at the petco website; I got mine with the overflow box on Craigslist- I'm not sure if there's a store to buy it from but I found it at other online stores for around $10-$15. It's one of the only water pumps I've seen that does it with airline tubing tho, and it pumps 3.5gph.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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Is this a super short term thing, or are you going to fill the ice box every day? What if the water gets to cold, yull be running a pump to cool, then a heater to warm, then melting ice faster and burning the ice maker?

Why not do this idea with the pump and all, but instead attach your own heat sink with a little fan? I'm not sure how hot it is in your home. All my tanks seem to stay at 79-80, and its about 74 in the room. Something simple like what I described would get it a few degrees cooler if I needed it.

Good luck!
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