Inexpensive Chiller Recommendations

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Creighton, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Creighton

    Creighton Supporting Member

    The forecast looks pretty warm this weekend and my Oakland apartment doesn’t have AC so I’m wondering if you guys can recommend any inexpensive chillers. I’d probably only need it 10-14 days a year so I don’t want a top shelf one, I just need something that works that I can plug in from time to time.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Newjack

    Newjack Supporting Member

    lots of reefers just use fans blowing on the surface of the tank water. I think they call it evaporative cooling. You might try that first before dropping big coin on a chiller.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  3. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Fans in a controller with an auto top off.
  4. dswong01

    dswong01 Supporting Member

    Change lighting to come later in evening when its cooler and use ice in plastic bags and float them.
  5. Oakland Evan

    Oakland Evan Supporting Member

  6. JVU


    Fan with auto top off is cheaper, simpler, and more reliable than a chiller or other options. You can put it in your sump if you don’t want to see it.
  7. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    I tried ice packs in the sump and had nearly no change, but when I put the fan blowing across the surface of the water it dropped almost instantaneously. I was very surprised at how well it worked. I just took a household fan and put it on a chair to direct the flow across the surface to test it. When I saw how well it worked I clipped on a small desk fan and plunged it into the apex to have it come on whenever it got above 79 or something. It does use up a lot more water though, so make sure you've got plenty of top off water. (Pretty much what @Coral reefer said).
  8. Fan across the surface of the tank can make a 3-4 degree difference. I also use that Aquatech linked at the top and tied into my Apex. My lights on the tank with T5's are also run by my apex and half the bulbs will shut off if the tank gets above 80, and the other half it it goes above 80.5, but that almost never happens with the fan.
  9. juanfdezdc

    juanfdezdc Supporting Member

    I'm on the same boat, the other day the water temperature went up to 86 so my new alarm went off. I'm going to purchase now the fans and will try first in the sump.
    One question, my 100 gallon tank has top covers, should I remove them during the summer months so there is better air exchange and might cool off better? I will also change the timing of the lights.
  10. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Remove all covers, set up a fan system.

    Also, angle a power head up to the surface, for good surface agitation.
    Good in general anyway, but helps in evaporation.

    I also keep a half gallon container or two of frozen water in the freezer. Usually for coolers and beer, but hey, another use...
    If things get really hot, I just drop the whole container in the sump.
    Water stays in the container, so no contamination. Melts, put it back in freezer.
  11. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Removing tops will help, but you’ll want a net at least then.
  12. jccaclimber

    jccaclimber Supporting Member

    A friend of mine in Indiana is dealing with a warm tank due to not having his A/C until next week. I had him point a fan towards the tank and pull the lid this morning. This was the result.

    Edit: previous variations in the chart are ambient temperature changes which unfortunately I can’t easily plot on this chart.
    fishdoctor likes this.
  13. xcaret

    xcaret Guest

    I have a chiller you can borrow; needs a temperature controller but if you have an Apex/ReefKeeper it will work with that.
  14. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    I have a spare Inkbird temp contoller that works with heaters or chillers if anyone’s in a pinch this weekend. It’s gonna be a scorcher tomorrow.
  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    1 liter of water frozen to 14F (doable with most freezers) will drop 10G of water about 5 degrees, 20G of water about 2.5 degrees, 40G of water about 1.25 degrees, etc. However this is a one time process since as soon as the water is back at tank temp no more cooling will happen, you can then repeat as necessary, also this doesn't take into account the heat from the room entering the tank, or the heat added by equipment (that 50W return pump is adding the same heat to your tank as a 50W heater), useful for emergency tank cool downs as necessary if you have a lot of frozen water bottles on hand but really only moderately useful for smaller tanks, a 100G tank will only drop 1 degree with a frozen 2 liter in it and again that 1 degree is the energy put into the frozen water there's still the ambient energy going into the tank.

    Bottom line, put fans across the surface, refill evaporated water with RO, and turn down any lights (yes even LEDs).
    Coral reefer likes this.
  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    Another thing to think about is that when you put a couple frozen 2 liters in your tank you’re adding volume to the tank so the ato won’t go off until you’ve evaporated the equivalent volume so your salinity will increase. It depends on the total volume of the tank and the amount of frozen water you stick in as to how much it will change.
    Newjack likes this.
  17. JVU


    Curious what you decided to do and how it worked out?
  18. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster Staff Member

    Good luck everyone! It’s gonna be hot today!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  19. jccaclimber

    jccaclimber Supporting Member

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I shut off the UV and display lights due to over temp yesterday afternoon and plan to leave them off through today. I should bring a desk fan home from work, although things should cool off soon.
  20. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    I shut off uv, pulled lids from frag tanks, and setup a fan blowing in the sump.

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