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Heating and cooling tanks

All this talk about heating and cooling, especially the economic 
considerations with larger tanks, got me to thinking (ouch). At first I was 
going to suggest a spa heater but that image triggered a memory of something 
an A.C. tech told me once while servicing my A.C. and watching the pool guys 
install (yet) another spa heater out back. 

I should point out that I'm not a technical or mechanical type person so I 
may be way, way off base here. Feel free to correct me.

As I understand it, a condenser produces heat while laboring under resistance 
and doing it's compressing thing, as well as cold when the freon or other gas 
is allowed to expand once again. Everybody has a refrigerator, right? If 
there was someway to tap into a nearby existing refrigerator, one could 
theoretically obtain heat from the condenser and cooling from the inside 
compartment for little more cost than the effort to do so.

I think...

Even if there was no refrigerator right nearby the tank, I've seen those 
little box 'fridges sold new for less than $100.00 on sale and even larger 
units for less than $200.00 any day of the week.  That's a lot less than the 
cost of a chiller, right? Used, they're practically given away. One could 
probably fit under the cabinet of a big 1000 gal tank and keep frozen fish 
food and chemicals inside as well as cooling and/or heating the water. 

If one could figure a way to turn the inside into a reservoir to run water 
through, you could probably do multiple tanks, a fish room even with a 
dedicated unit. The heat, of course, would come from rigging up a radiator 
type system for the compressor itself to absorb and carry away the heat it 
produces. This would be the hard part.

The A.C. tech told me a normal compressor could easily heat my 800(?) gal spa 
to over 100 degrees. I don't know if this guy was totally whack case or what 
but he did install and service a 3.5 ton A.C. unit on that side proficiently. 
I though this concept might be worth mentioning anyway.

For instance, why hasn't this been done? It seems like there must be 
something wrong here or this would have been implemented more by now or at 
least appear in aquarium discussions somewhere. There's no way I'm the first 
to have thought of it.

Planted tanks, with the lighting levels most successful ones employ, could 
sure use an economical means of cooling things down.

Bob Olesen
West Palm Beach