View Full Version : Tips for cooling our shrimp tanks

Summit MicroFarm
12th Jul 2012, 10:10 AM
I was telling a close friend and fellow SN member how incredibly hot it has been in my part of the world (Pacific NW USA) the last week or so. My tanks have been really cranking up in temp during the day and I have been using a techinique that has helped slightly. My friend agreed it was a good idea and so I thought I would share it with all of you in hopes that it helps you as well. Basically I bought some ice cube trays and I am freezing pure RO/DI water into cubes and storing them in a gallon ziplock in the freezer. I have a fan on the tanks which helps lower the temps due to evaporation. Even with the fan, the tank temps are still rising and along with that you get a large amount of water evaporation. By using RO/DI ice cubes you are not only keeping the tank cooloer, but also replacing the evaporated water with pure RO/DI water. It does take quite a few cubes throughout the day, but it has been keeping my Caridina tanks below the crucial 80+ F mark and my Sulawesi tanks below the crucial 90+ mark. Nothing fantastic, prolly used by others, but I have never seen it mentioned and thought I would share. Good Luck:D

26th Jul 2012, 02:45 PM
A fan on the water or ice...

26th Jul 2012, 03:15 PM
To be honest all I do is take the hood & glass tops off and have a fan in the room


Summit MicroFarm
26th Jul 2012, 10:22 PM
Awesome...for me, even here in the Pacific Northwest of the US, that is still not enough. I have my tops off and a fan on them but they still have been spiking. That is why I have gone to the RO/DI water ice cubes. It has really helped "take the edge off".:)

20th Aug 2012, 01:41 AM
Same problem here verry hot and I was looking for chillers but they are expensive for a 30liter tank.
So I was thinking they make computers that are cooled with water, do you guy's and girls think it would be possible to use the same system but htan for cooling the tanks?

20th Aug 2012, 08:38 AM
My shrimp tank hardly ever overheated (It was 1 gallon so all I had to do was move it to a cooler room) but with my 20 gallon fancy goldfish tank, it was much harder. Especially because my pristine, velvety Black Moor was really hard to keep black, and in warmer waters he would turn orange....
Well I managed to struggle keeping the tank below 75 degrees. The fish eventually turned completely orange except for his tail fin ANYWAY, so it was wasted effort and the fish weren't suffering, but....
All I did was take several regular square ice cube trays, fill them with water, freeze them, then float them in the fish tank. Whenever they would melt I'd just swap them out with different trays from the freezer.
I also ran my ceiling fan on high during the night so after the ice cubes melted the fan would help a bit.
I kept the tank below 75 even in 85 degree weather. Yay!!
And as for Kim, I don't know about that.....
From a computer with a separate screen and tower, you can remove the fans from the towers, connect them, and plug them in (I don't know how-- ask someone who is tech savvy). I've heard of some goldfish owners using this method, but at the moment I can't exactly find who does this, so if I can contact them I'll be sure to ask them how they do it!

20th Aug 2012, 10:48 AM
Same problem here verry hot and I was looking for chillers but they are expensive for a 30liter tank.
So I was thinking they make computers that are cooled with water, do you guy's and girls think it would be possible to use the same system but htan for cooling the tanks?

Hi Kim,

I'm one of those guys who is using DIY water cooling for my computer (and I used to be mad about this too).
And yes, I did think about adapting this for cooling my old tiny shrimp tank but after some research, I realized my folly.

If you don't want to read the wall of text, then here's the summary: "No, don't do it. Bad idea."
For the long version, read on:

Computer water cooling aims to reduce a blazing hot 90 degrees C CPU/GPU chip to as near to room temperature as possible, normally achieving around 40-50 degrees C using 25-30 degrees C room air.

Aquarium cooling aims to lower the tank's water to below ambient temperature, normally 22-25 degrees.
Most conventional computer water cooling methods cannot lower temperatures below ambient. The only methods that can achieve temperatures below ambient use giant evaporative cooling towers or compressors (which is effectively giant chillers), both which are already being used in aquariums (fans & chillers!!)

The main problem with using computer cooling gears for aquarium is also the fact that the radiators used are often made of copper (which is the best metal for heat exchange, second only to sliver). Copper will kill everything in our aquarium.
There are aluminum & maybe even sliver ones, but these also can be toxic and will corrode. That is why aquarium chillers use titanium for the parts that comes into contact with the water. Not as efficient, but will not corrode or poison the water.

Which brings me to the last reason, corrosion and chokes. Computer cooling uses a coolant that prevents growth of bacteria and algaes and is a closed loop, which means nothing gets into the water. Due to space constraints in a computer casing, the hose size is usually quite small and hence very easily choked, as is the tight bends in the radiator.
An aquarium is an opened loop with all sorts of dirt, algaes and microbes. It'll corrode and choke the radiator and loop in no time.

20th Aug 2012, 07:28 PM
Hi Gents ,
TYhanks for the replay, I understand your piont completly Navanod specially with corrosion and metal in our tanks. Last thing we want to to is killing the shrimps. :-)
But what if we seperate the water from the cooling elements??
What you think of this: we use a small pomp to pomp water ou of the tank to a plastic or glas round reservoir(cilinder) from the cilinder back iin to the tank.(that is 1 fase)
Now cooling, fase 2: we make a tube from aluminum or copper where the cillinder will fit in exactly, and fix some cooling ribs on the copper cilinder with a fan on it.
Do you get the picture, and sorry fro my English.
Do you think with a setup like this it will not cool lower then ambient temp?

Let me know what you think
best regards

Summit MicroFarm
21st Aug 2012, 10:23 AM
Great description. There are however "doubled closed" countercurrent exchange systems... These simply use a system like you explained but the second system, in this case the closed aquarium system, now wraps around and/or through the First system in the opposite direction...In this manner a small system can cool (or heat as in geothermal) a much larger one. Now this probably won't be a cheap opption unless you can find some pre fabed parts and make them work.

21st Aug 2012, 11:09 AM
Summit MicroFarm,

That thought did cross my mind at certain points but the space and cost simply doesn't add up and again, it's only able to keep the tank at ambient at best (i.e, only remove the heatload from the pumps & lights). Just running 2 pumps to service 2 closed loops may already produce enough heat dump to offset benefits.

I do know of folks who run chilled water from a chiller through stainless steel pipes that are submerged in their tanks and is able to achieve pretty good temperatures. This still requires a chiller and the custom bent SS pipes are not cheap...its more of a way to "share" the chiller without sharing water parameters than a cheap efficient way to cool the tank.

If you have a design for such a DIY double loop that is practical, I'll be very interested :)

Summit MicroFarm
21st Aug 2012, 12:00 PM
I totally agree with space and $ limitations...
I do want to point out that it is possible to achieve this counter current exchange system and only pump once, which would be the aquarium water. What you do is invert the system having the aquarium water pumped/flowing downward while the closed cell chilling system uses a thermo dynamic principle of heat rising...so the warmest water flows upward and thus "pulls" the cooler water upward into the exchanger and as it cools it in turn pushes down on the cool water...Basically duplicating the global conveyer. I have seen it live in action on a large scale 25,000 gallon greenhouse finfish op...

26th Aug 2012, 01:41 AM
Hi Navanod,
Did some research but no success like you stated not lower then ambient. But If I bye a chiller can I cool more then 1 tank? Would it work if the intake of the chiller goes in 1 tank en the return coils in 5 other tanks and end in the 1ste tank again.


27th Aug 2012, 12:31 AM
That seem's like a lot of work . Here in 100 degree temp I used a high volume fan ( $70 )and it kept a whole wall of tanks below 80 . Simply aim the fan up to the top of the tanks from a position on the floor . It will increase evaporation but that is what you want . A portable 14,000 btu Airconditioner is about $300 refurbished and $400 or so new . A 12,000 window unit to fit even a small window runs $300 as well ( My current solution after months of high temps 30'x40' space ) . Considering the value of the shrimp a worthwhile investment . Oh the temps 8' away from that fan was 95 or above . Water temps stayed 76 with the fan , with the airconditioner it only lowered it 1 degree but in a larger area

27th Aug 2012, 12:51 AM
But do you let your fan running for 24 hours? Temp here in day time is 36 degree Celsius at night 24 degree Celsius. I am afraid for the fluctuation of the temp it is not good for the shrimps I think.
The only reason I would go for a chiller is to have constant temp all year. But If you have good results with fan's I will keep using them .

27th Aug 2012, 03:32 AM
Yes 24 hour's The temp stays constant in the tanks . Not that a degree or 2 would matter anyway it might actually be of some benefit . I let my tank's change with the seasons and I have no proof but it seems the color is better when they are cooler and breeding is more rapid with variations in the temperature . I record 65-66 as a low and 77-78 as a high . Temps also vary from the top to the bottom and if the tank is in the sun or the tanks closest to my high intensity light that lights most of the breeding room but only a degree or 2 . Again my experience was with high volume fans not regular type fans . They circulate air around the whole area not just blow air onto something

27th Aug 2012, 03:47 AM
Oke thanks