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[APD] Re: Heat exchanger - was aluminum in the aquarium

I finally got my aluminum radiator installed and got it to actually work. I used an aluminum transmission oil cooler from the local auto parts store. I'm getting about a 3 degrees F drop over the 13 1/2 hour night. The 90 gallon tank has three 96W CF lamps, two on for the entire 10 1/2 hour daytime, plus one on for the middle 3 hours. This is a reduction from an 11 1/2 hour day with all three on that sent the tank into a high temp death spiral into the high 80's. (CO2 injected from a cylinder, ferts added mostly daily.)

Just a thought, but if you need further temperature reduction there is another possibility you might try. Depending on where you are located geographically you may be able to get very good cooling performance from some pipe buried outdoors maybe 6-12" down. I tried this once here (outside Detroit, in Michigan) with maybe 20 feet buried about 4-6" (one shovel depth :-) and was able to get a few hundred watts of dissipation very nearly continuously.

All you would need to do is bury a length of polyethylene pipe (sprinkler pipe, about $6-8 per hundred feet for 1/2"), and setup a powerhead to circulate tank water through it -- maybe with a temperature controller. It's very effective cooling in the northern latitudes, probably wouldn't work so well if you were in southern Texas :-)

And how many people can say they have an aquarium with geothermal temperature control ;-)


***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator

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