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Re: NFC: keeping it cool


A buddy of mine built his own chiller out of a small dorm refrigerator
about ten years ago that worked real well. He basically drilled two
holes in the side next to his aquarium (a 40 gal high), glued PVC nozels 
into the holes, and used 3 lengths of clear plastic tubing to connect it
all (1 intake, 1 return flow, and 1 coil inside the fridge). I believe
he used a good sized powerhead to pump the water through.

It has been a long time since I last saw him, but I remember him having
the following problems with the set-up:

1. Finding the right length to keep the inside coil in order to maintain
whatever temp he was shooting for.

2. Breaking the seal where the nozzles were connected to the fridge
every time he had to readjust the inside coil length.

Once the proper inside coil length was reached, I can't remember hearing
him complain about anything else. I do remember the plastic tubing was
starting to look pretty nasty on the inside though, after the makeshift
chiller had been running for a while. I'd suggest getting the opaque,
not the clear tubing, if you're gonna' do something like this.

That's about all I can tell you. Wish I knew more. It seems to me that
the initial hassle of getting such a cooling system would be worth the
money you'd save by not investing in a commercial chilling unit. I could
have sworn that some aquarium magazine from the past year or so had an
article on how to make homemade aquarium coolers. I've looked through
them all, but the only articles I could find were a bunch of Rob Rice
authorings that I never knew I had :-)

Hope this helps,