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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, anyone knowledgeable about chillers?
Best producer, most effective...etc...?
Also, what type of heaters does everyone recommend?

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Alright...maybe I should try a different approach. :lol:
Is anyone concerned about their heater thermostat going out while on vacation and return home to find a massacre because the tank was as warm as bath water?

Considering all the money invested (and time) in the fish I'm thinking a chiller would be a reasonable purchase. That, and the fact I leave for weeks at a time and I can't always count on someone coming over every day to take care of the fish. Unfortunately when a heating element burns up, it doesn't just switch off, it cooks the tank inhabitants in a few hours.

I'm aware that hobbyists in Asia invest in chillers but I'm curious if anyone has heard of a specific name brand that holds up to its reputation. Speaking of reps, what about heaters? What is the best brand (to your knowledge) that does not have a history of the heating element malfunctioning?
 

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DanniGirl said:
Alright...maybe I should try a different approach. :lol:
Patience maybe :popcorn:

DanniGirl said:
Is anyone concerned about their heater thermostat going out while on vacation and return home to find a massacre because the tank was as warm as bath water?
Yes, I have a separate thermal control device. It is an electronic device that can be set to watch an upper and a lower limit and can swith power on and off to devices when reaching any setpoint. So, if my heater mallfunctions in can switch the power off from the heater, simultanously switching the power to a chiller (which I do not have btw). When the heater breaks, it can switch power to a backup heater when the temp drops too low.

DanniGirl said:
Considering all the money invested (and time) in the fish I'm thinking a chiller would be a reasonable purchase. That, and the fact I leave for weeks at a time and I can't always count on someone coming over every day to take care of the fish. Unfortunately when a heating element burns up, it doesn't just switch off, it cooks the tank inhabitants in a few hours.
The commercial chiller that are around are rather expensive. So I stopped looking for them. Ambient heat is not a big issue here and a stuck heater is covered by above descibed device. But A quick-and-dirty chiller can be made by coiling a couple of meters tubing through a normal fridge and use a power head to pump water through that tubing. I am thinking making bulkheads in a small fridge to put the tubing though and again powering the powerhead with the control unit.

DanniGirl said:
Speaking of reps, what about heaters? What is the best brand (to your knowledge) that does not have a history of the heating element malfunctioning?
There are some reviews on the heater review pages The major brands are relative good, but anything can break down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
trigger said:
Patience maybe :popcorn:
LMAO! Yeah...that too...:lol: :lol: :lol:

trigger said:
Yes, I have a separate thermal control device. It is an electronic device that can be set to watch an upper and a lower limit and can swith power on and off to devices when reaching any setpoint. So, if my heater mallfunctions in can switch the power off from the heater, simultanously switching the power to a chiller (which I do not have btw). When the heater breaks, it can switch power to a backup heater when the temp drops too low.
Where did you purchase this device?

trigger said:
The commercial chiller that are around are rather expensive. So I stopped looking for them. Ambient heat is not a big issue here and a stuck heater is covered by above descibed device. But A quick-and-dirty chiller can be made by coiling a couple of meters tubing through a normal fridge and use a power head to pump water through that tubing. I am thinking making bulkheads in a small fridge to put the tubing though and again powering the powerhead with the control unit.
Now you have my attention...and I have several powerheads that are not in use. Hypothetically speaking; if the heater were to malfunction, would you use the same thermal control devise (as described above) to switch power off to the chiller once the tank reaches a certain temperature?

trigger said:
There are some reviews on the heater review pages The major brands are relative good, but anything can break down.
Yes...didn't think about going to the product reviews section... :oops: :lol:

I try to view a potential problem from every angle so thank you for your response Trigger.
 

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DanniGirl said:
Where did you purchase this device?
I bought it with an online electronics store www.conrad.com. Without casing it looks like this:


DanniGirl said:
Now you have my attention...and I have several powerheads that are not in use. Hypothetically speaking; if the heater were to malfunction, would you use the same thermal control devise (as described above) to switch power off to the chiller once the tank reaches a certain temperature?
Yes, Is has two alternating relays, so when on of the setpoints is reached power switches from one output to another. And that for a high setpoint and for a low setpoint. It has four power outlets with two powered and two powered off all the time. So in this case, you'd hook the heater to the high normal output and the chiller to the high alarm output. So when the upper limit is reached, the heater will be switched off and the chiller on. It also has a connection for a piezo alarm, so you will get mad from the siren :)

DanniGirl said:
Yes...didn't think about going to the product reviews section... :oops: :lol:
Don't worry. Most people don't relise it's there...
 

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If you do go the chiller route, there are 2 basic types. In-line which gets plumbed usually along with your filtration system. Some feature heaters as well for all your temperature control needs. The other type is the the coil type. Basically just a rod with a metal coil on the end that you would usually just stick in the sump. No plumbing necessary.

Problem with chillers is where to put them. If you put it in your stand, it will exhaust the heat into the stand basically cancelling it out. You can sit it outside the stand, but then you're exhausting hot air into your room and you probably don't want that either.

There's also the noise factor although I'm sure that many are more than quiet enough to be acceptable.

All that being said, there should really be no need for a chiller on any tank other than a reef tank which requires high temperature lighting to be on for numerous hours. Unless of course you have a tank of sea horses or lobsters etc. which require cold water.

If you're using a sump, just get a cheap-0 clip on fan from the drug-store/wal-mart etc. and just have it blow across the surface of the water. Or, you can clip it to the top of your tank if your setup allows for it.

Anyway, the fan will increase the evaporation rate and since evaporation is a cooling process, you'll lower your tank temp by 3-4 degrees easily. You can't beat that for under $10.

For my own temperature control, I use a Medusa PHC-300. It has audible alarms as well to protect against high/low temps.

http://www.sealifesupply.com/medusa.htm

When the water gets too warm, it turns on an exhaust fan to blow out hot air from within the stand which is fine during the cold season. With the warm weather, it also turns on the clip-on fan attached to my sump.
 
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