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RE: Cooling a tank

> From: Susi Barber <wanderer35 at operamail_com>
> Subject: Cooling a tank

> I have two small tanks, a 3 gallon and a 6 gallon, but my solution may work
> for bigger tanks too - I float a small sealed plastic bag filled with ice
> cubes in front of the filter outlet until they melt, and keep doing it until
> the temperature has dropped from say 84 degrees (29 C) to about 74 degrees (26
> C) 


I'm from Singapore where instead of 4, we have 3 seasons - hot, hotter
and hottest.  During hottest days, you can fry eggs just by dropping
them on the pavements.  Thank God for air-conditioning, life would be
unbearable without it. The temperature in our planted tanks hover around
30 C on most days but on real hot ones, it can shoot up to 33 C.

I've tried the ice method before but it doesn't work.  Besides emptying
all the trays of ice cubes from my fridge, I also added another 2 big
packs of ice from the 7-11 stores into my 450 litre tank to try and
lower the temp but after all the ice has melted, my thermometer did not
register even half a degree drop in temperature.  In any case, even if
adding ice can lower the temp, it would still be too much of a hassle to
do it everyday.  

A much better method is to use cooling fans.  I use 3 of them, each the
size of about a 4 inch square.  They are riveted to two aluminium bars
positioned just above the surface of the water between 2 sets of lights
and blowing directly downwards.  I let them run 24 hours a day and they
are really effective, bringing the temp of my tank down by about 3
degrees C.  The lowest my digital thermometer ever recorded was 24.3 C
on one very cold December morning last year and on normal days like
today when my room temperature is reading 29 C, my tank reads 25.8 C.  

The main drawback about using cooling fans is that the evaporation rate
becomes very high.  My tank loses about 6 litres of water a day.  The
other drawback is that if you're a senior citizen like me, the joints in
your arms will ache throughout the night when you have been working on
the tank for too long in the day.  Yes, that's true, folks -  cold water
causes rheumatism.  It's something the doctors haven't discovered yet
but we Chinese cum senior citizens cum plant hobbyists know :)

Besides cooling fans, I also have 2 pieces of styrofoam taped outside
the tank to the back and to one side where they are not visible from the
front.  They help to insulate my tank after it's been cooled.  If you
like a picture of my cooling fans, email me off-list and I will send you

Cooler temperatures do not seem to have any effect on my fish other than
my Discus which were stricken with White Spot Disease after a while.  As
for plants, I know the Aponogetons, Mosses and Ferns need lower
temperatures.  Nowadays, my Madagascar Lace is growing beautifully and I
keep having to throw or give away Java moss, Christmas moss, Windelov
and Java Ferns, their growth is just too prolific.

By the way, a 450 litre tank is about 4'X2'X2' in size.  Why do people 
measure temperatures in metric but volumes in non-metric?  Over here, we
are just as strange too.  Dimensions of tanks are always measured in
feet and inches but everything else is in metric.

Loh K L