Aquarium cooling

Another new item in the aquarium is a small glass thermometer. It is to replace the ‘digital’ strip thermometer (you know, the type that ‘lights up’ the number of the current temperature – and was all but useless for my tank.)

Well the new thermometer shows the tank is running at around 302 k(elvin) – where it really should be in the range of 296 k to 301 k. (Is it just me, or is this starting to read like a retirement savings system?)

Of course the room (like the rest of the house) has no air conditioner, so it isn’t surprising that the tank is at room temperature. However I’d be happier if it were cooled a few degrees – if for no other reason than it will improve the level of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Naturally I turn to the web for hints – here are two pages with similar ideas for aquarium cooling. They tend to focus on marine tanks – which are more fragile, but the ideas are just as valid for freshwater tanks.

Beat the Heat: Aquarium Cooling Methods and How to Keep Your Aquarium Cool both have a range of sensible suggestions ranging from the obvious (buy an air conditioner) to the expensive (buy a refrigeration unit for the tank.)

However I am going to be trying some of the less expensive options first – like leaving open the flap in the hood that is used for feeding. This will accelerate evaporation and naturally provide some cooling. If that isn’t effective enough, I’ll move on to raising the hood a couple of centimetres (while making sure the fish don’t jump out) and possibly setting a small CPU or computer case fan to blow some air across the water’s surface.

There’s a good chance that I’ll keep updating here with progress, so you may eventually find out what works best here in sunny Sydney.

2 Responses to Aquarium cooling

  1. Peter says:

    I made up a cooling system that works. Take 6 x 40 ft lengths of 12mm black garden irrigation hose join at ends with angles so the water will have to run along the 240 ft of hose. This can be buried under your home or in the garden in a sheltered spot.

    Each end is added a pipe that goes upwards to your aquarium. Then just a small pump (6 litre per minute) pumps the water into the pipe system. This gravity feeds down the pipe. The trick is to find it’s own level back to the aquarium water level is all done by gravity.

    The combination of line drag on the water flow and the pipes being buried result in water entering the pipe system at 28 degrees and returning a few litres per minute at a temp of 15 degrees.

    Because gravity does all the work, in theory you could have an aquarium some 10,000 ft from ground level and this system would work with only a small (6 litre per minute) pump.

  2. Peter says:

    Regarding cooling your aquarium. What some aquarists did years ago was to buy an old fridge. Run a small diameter pipe from your aquarium to the fridge (You will have to bore a couple of holes in the fridge to facilitate the pipes.

    Coil the pipe up in the fridge and around inside the ice area. Then back to the aquarium. The fridge is also great for storing frozen fish food and the odd drink or two.

    So on a hot day you can sit back, relax and enjoy a cool drink whilst watching your favorite aquarium, knowing also that you are keeping your pets cool too.

    Regards Peter

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