Hot Tips: Hot Weather Tips
A selection of useful tidbits of information and tricks for the marine aquarist submitted by Advanced Aquarist's readership. Readers are encouraged to post them to our Hot Tips sticky in the Reefs.org General Reefkeeping Discussion forum or send their tips to firstname.lastname@example.org for possible publication. Next month's Hot Tip theme will be "Electrical Savings Tips".
Hot Weather Tips:
Hi, i live in stockton, CA, and it gets really hot here in the summer. Lots of 100+ degree days. Other than lots of fans to keep the temp at a reasonable level i'm trying out a new DIY chiller idea. Basically, i bought a mini fridge, hacked it to pieces until i got the cooling element free. then put the cooling element (which included a small coil, and the freezer part) in a leak proof plastic bag, and droped it in the sump. turned the fridge temp dial to max, and waited. obviously it takes a while to cool off 150+ gallons with such a small cooling element. so far (its only been 5 days) the temp in the tank has drop considerably, and hasn't exceeded 83, even on a 106 degree day! because i havent been running this contraption for very long, im not positive that its actually as effective as it seems. the cooling element in the sump doesn't really feel that cold, and i place several more fans around the tank during the really hot days. overall, it seems to at least keep me out of the danger temp zone.
Submitted by: SeaSkraP
Living in the south it is warm most of the year and hot during the summer. I run my tanks for evening viewing. The ambient temp is a bit less. VHO come on at 2pm off at midnight MH on 4pm and off at 10pm. If I still have temp issues I shorten the MH time.
Submitted by: Wazzel (Mark)
I used ducted Lumenarc III reflectors with a centrifugal fan to blow the heat out of the house through a vent in the wall. I also use a room AC that keeps the room at 72 degrees. I keep a ceiling fan in the room running all the time. I don't use a chiller. I am able to maintain a water temperature of 78 degrees even in the hot summer months in south Florida. You wouldn't want to see my power bill though.
Submitted by: Louey
I use a ICA 2.0 chiller from nanocustoms on my 12 gal aquapod.
Submitted by: DRoy1124
I got a single-stage Ranco temperature controller and hooked it up to a 6" clip-on desk fan (clipped it to the back of my canopy). It works great to keep the tank around 78-80 all summer.
Submitted by: jayo
White Distilled Vinegar Bottles are good heavy duty bottles to put water in after they have been empty of there contents and frozen in the deep freezer to be use later when you have no power or means to cool off your tank. Really any bottle can work, but those WalMart vinegar bottles are great.
A 1 gallon jug in a sump can bring down a 87F tank to 81F in 3 hours depending on flow and turn over.
That happen to me, but those plastic jugs of ice work for those last ditch efforts.
Submitted by: pwj1286
Plain ice cubes placed in zip-loc bags (or equivalent) can also be used to cool tanks in an extreme instance. Even cold FW water in watertight bags can help by absorbing thermal energy. Remove after a while and replace with another bag of cold water (finding the labor to do such a function is the real trick).
Fans blowing across the water surface are effective (evaporative cooling), although evaporative cooling almost necessitates the use of an auto- topoff unit though, as evaporation can be dramatic if purposely promoted with a fan.
Also if the fans are simply used to blow across the tank panes one can also see significant temperature drops (5F or more depending on ambient environment and heat source).
As wazzel suggested before, photoperiod adjustment during the summer months can be helpful. i.e. instead of lights on during the daylight hours, switch the photperiod to nighttime viewing (usually cooler times).
Submitted by: rcsheng