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A simple DIY chiller solution.

By Dustin

Here's an idea I found that worked for people who didn't want to have to invest over $300 on a CHILLER! You will need the following materials:

  • one medium sized Styrofoam ice chest
  • 20-30 feet of plastic tubing (5/8" outside diameter works fine. The length depends on the distance from your tank to the Styrofoam chest)
  • one 201 powerhead with adapter for hose or nylon cable tie, or nylon hose clamp
  • eight chemical icepacks (Polar Pak, Super Ice, etc.).

Begin by punching two holes of a diameter just large enough to accomodate the tubing in one side of the Styrofoam chest. Coil the tubing inside the chest, making sure there are no kinks. Feed both ends of the tubing through the holes, one end to one hole. Make sure the ends can reach into the aquarium. Situate the ice chest in its permanent position, out of the way and yet relatively easy to service when neccessary. Hook one end of the tubing to the powerhead. If need be, clamp or tie the tubing to the powerhead. Place four frozen Ice Paks in among the tubing so that they make a tubing "sandwich." Close the ice chest and start the powerhead.

Not only does this homemade chiller cool the water, it does it slowly enough so that the drop in the temperature does not shock the tanks inhabitants. By placing the tube ends opposite each other, you create another avenue of water motion. The small powerhead is strong enough to pump the water through the tubing, but it does it slowly enough so as to allow heat loss through the tubing. The temperature can be controlled by the number of Ice Paks you put into the chest --- a hot day may emand four packs, while a moderate day may require only two. The packs should be changed out morning and evening, so you might want to purchase 8 packs -- four in the chest at any given times and 4 in the freezer.

( You could do this with a refrigerated Ice Box too! Or, You could just fill the chest with water and freeze it. every night, just place it back in the freezer.)

Created by liquid
Last modified 2005-01-30 00:17