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Old 06-18-2007, 11:03 AM   #1
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Excess temperature of tank water

I am finding that I am unable to keep the lighting on my tank from really heating my tank up. I have a 110 gallon with 6x55w CF (330 w total) 2x55 - 5500k; 2x55 - 6700k; and 2x55 - 7800k. Plants are doing well and algae is almost non-existent. However, I am cooking my fish!

Over the weekend the tank hit 87 degrees and I am losing fish so I just unplugged the heaters and turned off 2 lights (the 6700K) so I now have 220w total lighting. I am concerned about running only 220w (2 wpg) as my tank is 29 inches deep.

My question is, what are peoples thoughts on running a Chiller on a fresh water aquarium? I am still running 83 degrees in the morning hours so the tank is not cooling down. My house temp is 74 constant.

I have seen other threads here that don't seem to recommend a chiller.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:30 AM   #2
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Try a fan blowing across the top of the water, and maybe increasing the distance between your lights and the top of the tank as an intermediate fix. The fan will really help remove the heat from the water as well as push the away heat being generated by the lights before it has time to interact with and heat the water.

I thought about a chiller for a while but the above two steps made it so I didn't need to go that route. Hopefully other will be able to chime in to answer your question directly. Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:34 AM   #3
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What kind of lights are they. Some lights (Current USA Sattelites for example) have optional "stands" you can purchase to move them further from the water's surface. Check into that.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alshain
What kind of lights are they. Some lights (Current USA Sattelites for example) have optional "stands" you can purchase to move them further from the water's surface. Check into that.
I have a canopy over the tank that is about 6-7 inches high. I purchased the lights, ballasts, and wiring supplies from AH Supply in Phoenix. To mount them, I glued in 1"x1" boards across the inner sides of the canopy, then mounted the lights onto 3" x 1" boards that run the length of the tank. I simply placed the 3" x 1" boards on the 1x1's and then slide the light strips where I want them. Problem is the canopy area is enclosed and retains the heat. I have mounted the lights as high as they can go and have slightly less than 2 inches between the lights and the tank.
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:26 PM   #5
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Is this a wood canopy. A good DIY project would be to drill large holes (you need special drill bits) in the back of the canopy and mount PC fans inside. One blowing air in, one blowing air out. 2 good 120mm fans would be nice and you can even get them LED lighted for moonlighting :P Then you just need a power source. If you have any electrical skill (which you should if you build the light ballasts from pieces) then you can get a 12 volt brick and wire it in. That would help cool the area between your canopy and the glass hoods that I know you have under that canopy right?
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: Excess temperature of tank water

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30searay
I am finding that I am unable to keep the lighting on my tank from really heating my tank up. I have a 110 gallon with 6x55w CF (330 w total) 2x55 - 5500k; 2x55 - 6700k; and 2x55 - 7800k. Plants are doing well and algae is almost non-existent. However, I am cooking my fish!

Over the weekend the tank hit 87 degrees and I am losing fish so I just unplugged the heaters and turned off 2 lights (the 6700K) so I now have 220w total lighting. I am concerned about running only 220w (2 wpg) as my tank is 29 inches deep.

My question is, what are peoples thoughts on running a Chiller on a fresh water aquarium? I am still running 83 degrees in the morning hours so the tank is not cooling down. My house temp is 74 constant.

I have seen other threads here that don't seem to recommend a chiller.
Plug your heater back in. If the tank water is warmer then the heater is set at it will not turn on. ALL tanks should have heaters IMO, and should be set 1 degree or so higher then the hottest temp the tank would naturally see (not in your current case obviously). When used this way the heater's job is to prevent a temp fluctuation that would stress the fish.

Where is your thermometer? Where is it in relationship to your heater? What sort of filtration/powerhead do you have in the tank? You'd be surprised how quickly stagnant or low flow areas can have drastically different temps then the rest of the water. And if your thermometer is near the surface and the heater is near the substrate your heater might think the tank is colder then it really is (if properly circulated).

When I do my weekly 50% PWC I turn off the filter and the PH. It takes me about 10min or so to get the water prepared to go back in (ferts for the plants). When I put my hand into the water to match temps I can clearly feel a difference near the surface (say 1-3") and midway down the tank (~6"). My tank is a 20gallon high with a 65w CF bulb so we have almost the same wattage per amount of water. In a tank with poor circulation you might have a thermal layer where your thermometer is reading higher temps then the bulk of the water.

So if you find your temp measurement is accurate you really only have 2 options:

1. Increase evaporation (most efficient way of cooling down the tank, but CO2 loss can be problematic)

2. An active cooling solution such as a chiller or a radiator setup. The chiller IMO is not practical but an inexpensive radiator setup could be just the ticket to keep your temps manageable.

HTH
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:42 PM   #7
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I'm not sure about Ohio, I have had problems in a previous 75 gallon tank with overheating (up to 90 degree tank water) in the Arkansas summers. I tried everything I could think of to keep the tank cool with no success. At the time I had two powerheads running my filtration. After trying a couple different brands of powerheads with no success, I removed the powerheads and went to air pump and hang-on-the-back filtration. I no longer had overheating issues. I know people here have said a powerhead will not cause excessive heat, but in my case it did.

My current tank is a 125 gallon with two canister filters and I do not have any overheating issues so far.

Good luck!

Rupret.
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupret
I'm not sure about Ohio, I have had problems in a previous 75 gallon tank with overheating (up to 90 degree tank water) in the Arkansas summers. I tried everything I could think of to keep the tank cool with no success. At the time I had two powerheads running my filtration. After trying a couple different brands of powerheads with no success, I removed the powerheads and went to air pump and hang-on-the-back filtration. I no longer had overheating issues. I know people here have said a powerhead will not cause excessive heat, but in my case it did.

My current tank is a 125 gallon with two canister filters and I do not have any overheating issues so far.

Good luck!

Rupret.
PH's will not cause overheating of any sort. The power they draw and subsequent heat generation is minimal. What they DO however is keep good circulation below the water line. This minimizes the amount of surface turbulence and subsequent evaporation that cools the tank.

HOB's are excellent for temp control because they offer the chance for large amounts of evaporation from the waterfall they create. This is a boon during heat waves, but is frustrating with a CO2 injected tank because that cooling effect is coming at the expense of keeping the CO2 in the water.

My tank is also suffering a bit this week (we expect 95F today with relatively high humidity). I have not yet installed the window AC unit in the office were the tank is and will have to do that today. In the meantime I removed the top cover on my HOB filter. This should increase the evaporation significantly and should help to keep the tank comfortable for the fish. My CO2 level however is going to hurt for a couple days. No algae, no algae, no algae!

HTH
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Enigma
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupret
I'm not sure about Ohio, I have had problems in a previous 75 gallon tank with overheating (up to 90 degree tank water) in the Arkansas summers. I tried everything I could think of to keep the tank cool with no success. At the time I had two powerheads running my filtration. After trying a couple different brands of powerheads with no success, I removed the powerheads and went to air pump and hang-on-the-back filtration. I no longer had overheating issues. I know people here have said a powerhead will not cause excessive heat, but in my case it did.

My current tank is a 125 gallon with two canister filters and I do not have any overheating issues so far.

Good luck!

Rupret.
PH's will not cause overheating of any sort. The power they draw and subsequent heat generation is minimal. What they DO however is keep good circulation below the water line. This minimizes the amount of surface turbulence and subsequent evaporation that cools the tank.

HOB's are excellent for temp control because they offer the chance for large amounts of evaporation from the waterfall they create. This is a boon during heat waves, but is frustrating with a CO2 injected tank because that cooling effect is coming at the expense of keeping the CO2 in the water.

My tank is also suffering a bit this week (we expect 95F today with relatively high humidity). I have not yet installed the window AC unit in the office were the tank is and will have to do that today. In the meantime I removed the top cover on my HOB filter. This should increase the evaporation significantly and should help to keep the tank comfortable for the fish. My CO2 level however is going to hurt for a couple days. No algae, no algae, no algae!

HTH
Well, at the time of the tanks 30% water change late last night (after the kids finally got in bed) I noted the surface temp was down to 81-82 degrees with 110w turned off (the 6700k's) and the heaters unplugged although I noticed I lost a flying fox. The cabomba was still pearling like crazy as was the hygrophilia (not too hard to believe). I will let the tank run for a couple weeks with 220w (2wpg) of running lights and see what happens with the temp. Don't know about the chiller, the prices are a real wow. A bankroll buster. Plus, they appear to run very hot and take up a lot of room. I guess, as much as I hate to do it, I am going to leave the undergravel heaters unplugged for now until the end of summer here, will plug back in before fall/winter.

Hopefully, the water holds sufficent oxygen at 82 degrees to support my little community of fish.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:55 AM   #10
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82F will be fine (if it stays there). I'm concerned about your heaters not being on though. You mention undergravel, does that mean you have them buried in the substrate, or are these separate heaters from your main heater(s)? You really need to have a heater to keep a consistent temp in the tank, otherwise you will have it spike during lighted hours, and drop during the night (not good for the fish).
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