Thermo-Electric Cooling - High Altitude
I have read quite a bit on line about other people's ideas and experiences and have decided to go with a thermo-electric set-up for now on my small five gallon aquarium and later after they are bigger with the refrigeration system out of my old dorm style fridge in a larger set-up. First I am utilizing the Midwest winter and cool temps by placing all three Neps into the five gallon aquarium with wet sphagnum and a lid into a cool dark room overnight and then returning them to the greenhouse rack each morning. In the spring when the AC comes on I will attempt to move them to my room and see how that works. I doubt the temps will be cool enough to satisfy the plants without freezing me out and can always fall back to the thermo-electric idea. I bought a Vector Travel Cooler to get an idea of the cooling efficiency of these units but the peltier is fastened directly to the aluminum cooler liner and only provides radiant cooling. I just bought a Coleman cooler of the same size because it has everything contained in the lid and also uses a heat sink and blower to move the cool air, a better way to transfer the cold throughout the habitat. The lid could be removed and used as a portable cooling system on any size aquarium within reason. My dorm fridge uses a square aluminum box inside the fridge fed by the compressor to freeze a ice cube tray and refrigerate the rest of the fridge. The box could easily be mounted inside a habitat with a four or five inch fan to draw air in and force it across the cooling surface. A small ultrasonic humidifier or fog maker could be added to keep the humidity level up and incorporating a controller to monitor the humidity and temp. I have seen some exotic set-ups but want to try to keep it simple and inexpensive so other cheapskates like me can afford the hobby. I have a habit of documenting nearly everything I do with pictures and this will be no exception. All operations from dismantling the dorm fridge to final habitat will be captured.