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Thread: Terrarium cooler

  1. #9
    swords's Avatar
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    Here's a quick article on how I setup my climate controlled highland chamber since 2002, works awesome!

    Nepenthes House Highland Chamber

  2. #10

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    Okay, after reading what other people have done I think I may just have it. Im scratching the use of an AC unit and going with a chest freezer. Instead of just taking the top off and putting glass on I was thinking of building a terrarium frame of sorts that fits ontop of the chest. That way you could see the plants and get in there easily, as well as make it much taller than just the inside of the chest freezer. this also means that I could place a thermostat in the upper part of the frame, not having to drill into the chest freezer. I figure if I had a fan on the bottom of the freezer blowing cool air up would be enough to circulate the cool air. Okay, I hope that isnt too confusing, I dont see why this wouldnt work. Any input?

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Dunno if these are big issues but off the top of my head...

    You will lose the insulating features of the chest freezer by removing the top and building your terrarium over it. Dunno if that is a problem for the unit running longer to keep the set temperature. Would increase operational expenses at least compared to putting a top on and using in that manner.

    Condensation may be a problem on the outside of your terrarium? Guess that would depend how cold you have it set inside and the humidity on the outside..

    Interesting idea though.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  4. #12
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    I posted a setup from a guy who has a cool growing vivarium from the orchid source forum. He uses a chest type freezer below his setup. When the temps get too high air is pumped into the freezer from inside the vivarium and back into the vivarium after it has cooled. Everything grows up top in a seperate area than the freezer, but there are two vents one piped in and one piped out of the freezer to drop the temps in the vivarium. If your interested in his setup I saved a copy of the thread and his plans.
    JB
    Friend me on facebook with JB_orchidguy@yahoo.com.
    Growlist Updated 05/08/13

  5. #13
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    AHH ok Josh I gotcha. So basically the terrarium is sitting on top of the closed chest freezer. With ductwork and a blower set on a thermostat connecting the chamber and the freezer. That is kind of a nifty idea too.

    What kind of temps does he maintain in the grow chamber and how often does the freezer run? I would imagine with good lighting and a somewhat warm room the air is exchanged on a regular basis.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  6. #14
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Well, he grows Masdivallias in his case along with other cool growing orchids.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I have been asked to explain how my vivarium with integrated cooling system works.

    I have done many trials with different solutions to integrate the possability to cool the vivarium for cool growing species. Here is my final solution and the one that works absolutely best according to me.

    I use a standard freezer (the one you use under benches). In Sweden the cost for one is about $260. I cut two holes in the side of it and connected two ventilation tubes and connected to the vivarium. In one of the ends in the freezer i mounted a PC-fan and connected that one to the thermostat. The thermostat tells the fan to start when to cool and sucks down warm air in the freezer and on the same time push cold air up to the vivarium until the temperature is at the set value.

    The thermostat i use here is a kind that allows me to set 2 different values. One for the night and the other for the day. And also when the day and the night temp is to begin.
    The freezer work for itself on its own cycle and works just a bit more than a usual freezer.

    The biggest advantage of this solution is that you don't need anything in the viv. Just 2 holes in the bottom (wich you can hide with plants).
    You need to defrost the freezer every third week.
    I therefore built a special container in the bottom of the freezer to easyer do that. The water from the defrosting ends up by a small pipe in the same container i use for the rain system.

    During daytime the temp is set to 19 C (66 F)and at night down to 12 C (53 F.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]You have assumed everything perfect. The Macrolon (Lexan) is just 1 mm thick(dont know that it in inch)and wrapped around the structure.
    The vertical strip in front is a reinforcement of the sheet and a handle to have something to grab when opening and so on. If I had done that today I would have used a piece of thick Macrolon instead of wood.
    The light set-up is a 150 W Metalhalide projector to the fiber optic system. Thats the small spots you see. I compensated the cold light from the metalhalide with 2 halogen lights 35W.
    The light in the viv is fairly strong as you said.
    But the benefit with fiber optics is that you don't have any heat from it at all.
    I want to build one when I get the time and money to do so. His setup is not a cheap one, but its the only one I would build. Since it looks nice and able to keep his plants cool. Unlike just a freezer where it may grow the plants good, but doesn't make for a nice presentation. This guys setup is perfect for any living room and still does its job. You would no even know the freezer part is there unless he told you. By the way he has it build. You have to see the pictures to understand. It is VERY NICE.

    If I were doing it the only thing different would be to add a larger fan or maybe a couple of fans to pull the air through the freezer, and I would put deviders in the freezer to keep the air in the freezer longer than just in and out. Kinda make it go up and down inside the freezer a few times rather than just in and then back out. Thats why you would need a larger fan or an additional fan sice you have the increased area inside the freezer to push air through.

    Here is the link to the topic. Cool Vivarium
    JB
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  7. #15

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    You might try using several petier junction plates. I'd wire 'em into the top of the tank, , slap CPU heat sinks on both sides, and maybe jury rig a duct and a pie-fan to blow over both sides (to dissipate the cool and the hot air, respectively.)

    As an added bonus, you can use these to heat the tanks, too, simply by reversing the direction of the current through the plates.

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