I don't know much about electronics or understand how to put something like this together, but would something like this work for a 55 gallon tank? To keep it 75 in the day and 55 at night? I'd love to have someone build something for me.
It should work. There will be no need to know much electrical engineering.
So without much in depth thinking and designing here is how I'd set it up (and I am no expert at all here so keep that in mind )
1) Cooler to cool the water
2) Small 90gph pump to push water through
3) Radiator of your choice
3) Zoo Med HygroTherm Humidity & Temperature Controller to set the temperature
4) two fans (from newegg or somewhere else) and 12V adjustable power supply (get one from radioshack that can supply 500mA or more current)
5) A set of hoses that fits the pump and radiator.
Now, the power supply for the pump is plugged in into the ZooMed controler and since I dunno how many presets that controller has, or whether there is a timer built in (I'm assuming there is no presents and no timer) the controller is plugged in into the timer that will activate it at night. Controller senses the temps higher than the limit and turns on water pump that supplies cold water to radiator until the temperature is 55F.
If there are presets and a timer (best case scenario) built in into the controller you will need to set the temp to 80F during the day 55F during night, and no need for additional timer. If there isn't one, and temperatures rise higher than 80F during the day, well that needs thinking.
The fans are always on to move air around in terrarium to prevent mold and air stagnation. The cooler has its own temperature regulator..
That's it. The only electrical part is connecting the fans to the power supply, but that's easy, just run two wires from it and connect the fans one after another in parallel so that they get the same voltage (there are threads here on how to do it).
That is how I plan on doing my setup.
Um what did I miss?
Well you know much more than I do. Thank you very much. Doesn't sound so hard actually. Would love to see some pics though to help me get an idea. I've got two fans to I bought from Walmart that I've been using in my small tank. I have to have the humidifer on or it really drops the humidity into the 50%'s. I'll take a pic and edit my post in a little. I guess the zoomed hygrotherm is the most expensive part. That's good. If I try this and get stuck I'll definitely be back with more questions.
EDIT: Here are the fans in my current set up.
I love the look but the disadvantage is the on off switch is inside the tank so I have to unplug them to turn them off.
I took inspiration from this guy and made my own, hooked up to a hydrotherm. Not as "hand's free" as the bubbler water coolers, but, it probably works for those of us living the poor & nomadic life of college/graduate students.
"The plants you grow, end up growing you."
My Grow List:
I'll get a better write up soon. I'm just really busy with work and trying to get this going. So here's what i go so far. If you need pics of specific parts or whatnot just let me know and I'll add some.
1) Water cooler (25 bucks on kijiji)
2) Rad (range from 30 to over 120 bucks depending on the size - this is the one i got
3) Rad Barb (make sure you buy one that works with your rad, mine required G1/4" 5/8th inner diameter - Best bet is to ask the company what works with the rad you want just so you're 100%)
4) Tubing (8 bucks at your hardware store like home depot, make sure you get the same inner diameter tubing as the barb on the rad, so for myself i got 5/8 inner diameter)
5) Hose Clamps (Get the same size as the barb, so 1/4 inch is what i got)
6) Brass fittings for the Water Cooler - make sure you get a Hose Barb that matches the inner diameter of the rad barb so everything fits together nicely. You can get this at your local hardware store) Looks like this.
One end fits the hose that runs to the rad and the other end fits onto where the water cooler taps were. Make sure that the hose barb end is the same diameter as the tubing, and that the screw side of the piece screws nicely onto the screw part for the water cooler taps.
7) Teflon tape - Wrap this stuff all around every connection you make with the hoses and the brass fittings, only cost about 50cents a roll
8)Tube Insulation - This is very important or you'll end up with a ton of water on the floor. Get Pipe insulation at your local hardware store, cost about 5 bucks for a 8 foot piece. Wrap all your tubes in this including the brass fittings that will be stick out from the old water cooler taps.
9) Thermostat - This might not be needed if you can turn the temps down enough on the original water cooler thermostat. I went with this external one
http://www.wisementrading.com/foodpreserving/thermostat.htm mainly because I'd like to be able to cool lower that the original device allowed.
10) Fans - Get the same size as is listed on the rad. It's usually 120mm (http://www.sohodiffusion.com/prod/16...URE-FAN-3.html. Also you need a power supply, either a computer one, or you can get a AC/DC charger at walmart. If you get the power converter you have to splice the fans onto it. Someone on the forum wrote a how to on this, so just have a search and you can find out how to do it. I suggest getting a power charger that allows you to switch the voltage. This makes for a really easy and practical fan controller (lower the voltage to lower the fan speed)
11) Water pump - Get any cheap one from your pet shop. I got a 160 gph pump. Make sure that if you need to run the hoses higher than the actual water cooler that you get a pump that can pump water that high. The stats are listed on the box, they usually tell you in inches.
12) Distilled water and Glycol (aka car radiator coolant). Make a mix of 30:70 coolant to water.
13) Hygrotherm or timer. If you want to play it safe get a hygro, otherwise risk if with the timer
1) Unscrew the taps from the water cooler
2) Wrap Teflon around the threading where the water taps were attached.
3) Screw on the brass hose barb to where the taps were connected to the water cooler
4) Wrap the end of the brass barb with Teflon, slip a hose clamp onto the tubing and pop it onto the barb. Then tighten the crap out of the clamp.
5) Repeat steps 2-4 with the other tap.
6) Once you have all the tubing on, wrap the insulation around it, make sure you wrap the brass fitting as well, or it'll get really wet.
7) Pop open the top of the cooler to get into the water tank. I havent seen the inside of many of them, but mine has perfect plastic tube coming off one of the tap holes. So I mounted a tube on it, and ran it in an upwards arc and then attached the other side onto the top of the water pump. See here:
The brass thing is the prop for the external thermostat.
8) Grab your rad, rad barbs and fans. All the screws you need should be provided with the stuff. Screw the rad barbs into the rad, make sure you put teflon first. Then screw the fans to the rad.
9) Grab the ends tubes hanging from the water cooler and slip a hose clamp onto it. Wrap the Rad Barbs with teflon and then pop the tube onto them. Tighten the hose clamps.
10) Pour your glycol/distilled water solution into the water coolers tank. Switch on the pump. The tubes and rad should fill with the solution and the level of the liquid will drop in the tank, so top it up a little.
11) pop the lid back onto the tank, then find something to seal the little hole ( i used a peanut butter jar lid lol)
12) Look into the back of the water cooler. You'll see a thing like this hanging there:
(Ignore the big screw on the top, i jammed that in there to bypass the original thermostat for my external one).
There is a little screw part (it's on the left side of the device in the picture), using a screw driver you can adjust the temperature of the water cooler. Another reason I got the external one is that I can accurately set the temps. So you'll have to adjust it and figure out what temps work for your setup.
13) Plug the Water cooler in and allow it to cool the water down to your desired temperature (for a 55g tank I'd aim for 8C)
14) Mount the rad in your tank
15) Once the solution in the water cooler tank has reached the temp you want, plug the pump and the fans into the hygrotherm/timer (I already have a circulation fan in the tank so I dont intend to run the rad fans constantly).
Now sit back and relax while your tank stays nice and cool in the summer
Very detailed. Now I'm off hunting for a parts (well perhaps tomorrow)
Thanks for the write up!
P.S. How about the windshield washer liquid instead of glycol and water mixture, the one that goes to -20F as the coolant?
I don’t think I will need the barbs for radiator since they come built in in the one I'm looking at.
Windshield washer liquid should work, just check though to make sure it doesnt bubble up like soap. Just shake it up when you buy it and see. Essentially you could use anything that lowers the freezing point of the water, so you could mix salt into the water if you wanted instead of getting antifreeze. Whatever you put into the mix, make sure you test it all with just pure water in it first. You dont wanna fill it with anti freeze, mount it into your tank, flip it on and have it leak all over your plants. Lemme know how your stuff turns out
I gotta get some slabs of plexiglass so that i can finish off the sliding doors on my tank, and then I'll be mounting my setup into it. I'll post pics once it's all done.
Glycerol can be used as an alternative to glycol.
This is an amazing thread!
I have tried using a glass door peltier wine cooler cabinet as a mini-terrarium, but am having trouble maintaining a reasonable humidity, even when using a fogger inside. I think the problem is that the combination of the fan and the cold surface of the peltier heatsink causes any moisture in the air to condense. I would be interested to know if the above recirculation cooler method has the same issue.