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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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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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Old 06-20-2007, 10:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Enigma
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).
Yes, they are hydrokable heaters with hydroset controls. The wind under the substrate of the entire aquarium. The thermostats are at the surface of the water so they haven't been running I'm sure. I agree with you though and will watch the water temp closely.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:04 PM   #12
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7Enigma,

I'll still have to disagree about the powerheads. Unless I had several faulty ones, my cooling problems ceased when I did away with them. It was the only change I made at the time. It several years ago (15-ish), so powerheads may have improved since. But in my case, there was no other explaination to stop the cooling problems. Arkansas is extremely hot and humid in the summer and maybe old powerhead designs combined to cause overheating. You are not the only (on AA, other aquarium friends, ect.) to say powerheads will not cause overheating, but they did in my case. Just my experience.

Rupret.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:28 AM   #13
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It is very possible 15yrs ago they could have been small space heaters but today they draw very little power and do not add any significant heat to the tank. Your HOB or canister filter is contributing more heat to the water by far and even that is quite small.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:24 AM   #14
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Personal update:

We're in a mini heat wave right now and yesterday my tank was up to 84.5F (set for ~82F). Today when I get home I'm finally going to lug the spare A/C into the office. Normally I have it set up by now but I've just been lazy. That should keep the room cool enough (and more importantly the humidity down to increase evaporation) and the fish happy.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:44 PM   #15
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Thanks 7Enigma!

I may take another look at them. I have been rather leary of them since the experience years ago. I wouldn't mind just a little more water ciculation and also hook up my CO2 tubing. I no longer us a HOB, just two canister filters.

Rupret.
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupret
Thanks 7Enigma!

I may take another look at them. I have been rather leary of them since the experience years ago. I wouldn't mind just a little more water ciculation and also hook up my CO2 tubing. I no longer us a HOB, just two canister filters.

Rupret.
Here's what I'd suggest for your tank:

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...arpowerhead201

Aquaclear Powerhead #201
Price: $23.49
Item: ASWO # 1061U

I swear that's twice what I paid for it less then a year ago but maybe I'm mistaken. Anyways on my 20gallon tank I have to keep it on the lowest flow setting or else its too powerful in the tank, but you could probably have it full blast and it would give a great underwater current to the tank. I have mine completely submerged about 2" above the substrate.

Mine is converted to a CO2 mist setup. I took a razor blade and cut the intake piece so it would pry apart and then I stuck an air stone inside. I have my DIY CO2 connected to this and what happens is the fine bubbles from the airstone go directly to the PH and get dispersed all over the tank (and chopped up a bit smaller). The key is to get a high quality airstone (no TopFin junk). I hear many have great things to say about limestone airstones, but I've personally never used one myself. As long as you get a very fine bubble stream the PH is completely silent and very effective at eliminating dead spots in the tank. This not only helps to prevent algae from growing in dead spots but also makes your tank temp more even since the heated water right around the heater is constantly being mixed with the cooler tank water.

HTH
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:15 PM   #17
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7Enigma:

I'll look into a PH. My tank needs some attention, mostly thinning out the plant growth (I love it after the months I spent trying to get the plants to take off); I'm rehabbing from a amutated finger via power saw, still able to do the water changes, but not much in depth stuff yet. I'll give a powerhead another try. For heaters, I have an inline heater on each of my canisters, so warm water is pretty well distributed. I did not even think of the algae effect either, so that might get me moving a little quicker. I haven't heard of using an airstone inside before, most people have said just hook the CO2 line directly to the air input on top of the PH; I'll probably try that first (easiest) and then go from there. Also, my CO2 is a pressurized tank set up.

Thanks alot for the info.

Rupret.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupret
I'm rehabbing from a amutated finger via power saw...
8O

Quote:
For heaters, I have an inline heater on each of my canisters, so warm water is pretty well distributed. I did not even think of the algae effect either, so that might get me moving a little quicker.
I always forget you canister guys can have the heaters inline. You definitely don't have a problem with temperature gradients unless the intake/output are in really wierd places.

Quote:
I haven't heard of using an airstone inside before, most people have said just hook the CO2 line directly to the air input on top of the PH; I'll probably try that first (easiest) and then go from there. Also, my CO2 is a pressurized tank set up.
2 things the airstone way is superior IMO:

1. It doesn't draw a vacuum which probably isn't as big a deal as it is on DIY setups like I have. I don't know what affect (fluid going into the tubing) this will have when the CO2 is shut off (if you have it coming on and off with pH or at night).

2. The airstone does the work of creating small bubbles rather than the PH. Things like possible air lock, longevity of the PH itself, and the sound of the bubbles getting chopped up are all avoided. I've also found by experience that the bubbles are finer when first going through the airstone followed by the impeller. Smaller bubbles = more surface area = better CO2 diffusion into the water.

And it really is quite simple, takes a razor blade and about 30 seconds to make the intake accommodating for the airstone.

HTH
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:53 PM   #19
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July 2nd update - things have been running better. I have gotten the temps down to 79-81 degrees; although at the expense of several outbreaks of some type of string algae! Growing like a weed on the return line of the CO2 reactor and on the vals... no one will touch the stuff. Over 4 inches long and growing daily. Doesn't come off easily either. What could be causing this?
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Old 07-03-2007, 07:57 AM   #20
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Dunno, but I'd recommend a large PWC as the first step towards ridding it in your tank.
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