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[APD] RE: Humidity and Open Top Aquariums

Unfortunately, I have had first hand experience with humidity and open-top
aquariums in the home. I suppose there is an unlimited number of
calculations you could perform based on tank size, temperature, relative
humidity, home design, etc. to figure out what would work for your
application but I found out the hard way. I had a 125 open-top setup and
another ten tanks with lids on them in a home in a relative cold
climate/environment. After finding mold growth along the bottom of the
walls and on the carpet and walls in enclosed spaces like closets, I bought
a $400 dehumidifier. I had to special order it because I live in Colorado.
No one has a dehumidifier in Colorado. Its a very dry climate and every one
has humidifiers in their homes. In the summer most homes do not use air
conditioning; they use evaporative cooling as its very effective in a dry
environment and also provides a welcome relief from the extremely dry air.
It basically pumps cool moist air into your home.

Anyway, I got the dehumidifier going and that seemed to clear up the
mold/mildew problem and increased the electric bill by a large amount as it
ran 24/7. I thought I had this humidity problem under control but during
the winter I went up into the crawl space between the ceiling and the roof
for some reason and found a real nightmare; large icicles hanging from the
roof trusses. I estimate about 30 gallons of water in the form of ice
covering the inside of the roof. This was a real problem. It took a week
for the ice to slowly melt and evaporate by shutting the dehumidifier in
the room that had the attic portal in it and running it full blast. It
wouldn't fit into the attic. Of course I immediately put tight fitting lids
on all the tanks to control the humidity/evaporation rate.

I attribute the problem to having high humidity in a cold location Although
the relative humidity of the atmosphere is usually very low, its quite high
inside the house and when the moist air contacts a cold surface it
condenses. The house is located in Summit County, Colorado at an elevation
of about 9000 feet. Its relatively cold all year long.


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