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Thread: Possible idea for cooling a terrarium

  1. #1

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    Hello,

    I was looking online at a coleman electric soda cooler (Like a regular cooler to take camping or on vacation). Two holes could be drilled in the lid and a water pump could pump chilled water through thin walled plastic tubing that snakes through a terrarium and then returns the water into the cooler via the other hole. This system wouldn't effect the humidity the way an air cooling system would. A similar model made by igloo claimed it could keep the water 47 degrees (F) cooler than the room temperature. At $68 (for the coleman cooler, $120 for the igloo) this system, if it works, might be an affordable cooling solution for a highland terrarium. Has anyone tried this or something similar?

    Matt Miller
    Matt Miller - Nepenthophile.
    Carnivorous Plants Online - http://www.paonline.com/mrmiller/

  2. #2

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    Yes that does sound like a nice idea but most of us dont want to keep our plants 47 degrees cooler than ambient [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

    It would need to be regulated with a thermastat
    Then there is the consideration of what the plants would do when theire roots are being exposed to a significantly cooler temp that what they might prefere, I know some CPs prefere cool root temps so these might be the plants you are limited to.

    Peace [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Peace

  3. #3
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    This is purely speculation but I suspect that neither of these coolers has enough cooling power to noticably affect the temperature in an external terrarium.

    I do know of one person that turned the coleman unit into his terrarium and apparently it works quite well. But as pointed out the cooling cycle needs to be on thermostats for both night and day temperatures. The other drawback of course is the fairly limited space. For the cost of one of these coolers new you might be able to find an old used chest freezer. Some thermostats, timers, lights and a clear lid and you would have a nice set up
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  4. #4

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    Hi,

    Tony, the modified chest is a good idea for a complete tank, but I think maybe my idea was misinterpreted by Khai. I have heard that sitting frozen milk jugs of water in a tank at night has a significant cooling effect. My idea was for the cold water to only be pumped through at night. A thermostat would not be necessary, only the length of tubing actually in the tank. A tank doesnt become 32 degrees from the effect of a frozen milk jug. If the tank gets too cold, pull some of the tubing length out, if it stays to warm, add some length in tubing. This idea is more of an automated system for the frozen milk jug idea. If the water is just above freezing the tubing might give a drop from the 70's into the 50's at night. Also, I should have specified that this design would be for a greenhouse style grow chamber, not a classic terrarium. The tubes would run along the sides / bottom of a grow chamber and would not contact the roots or soil that the plants are growing in. Obviously this cooling system would only be practical for someone who is needing cooler nights but has their chamber in a room that doesnt experience overly hot days. I am open to any other comments / suggestions / criticisms on this idea.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Matt Miller - Nepenthophile.
    Carnivorous Plants Online - http://www.paonline.com/mrmiller/

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