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DIY cooling system for terrarium/orchidarium/vivarium?

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by jai, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. jai

    jai Orchid addict

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    Is a cooling system needed for cooling down a orchidarium? I have diy idea that I created when I was physics class(we learning about energy blah blah) it works quiet well it can cool 5-10° if made properly. But is it only needed for best results with cooler growing orchids?
     
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't have an orchidarium but it is going to depend on the temperature in the tank without a cooler. There should be lots of threads on here about how to cool a tank and IF a cooling system is needed.
     
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  3. DanielG

    DanielG New Member

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    You may be able to go down to 80-82F with a swamp cooler; notice that lowest temp decreases with increasing humidity. If you need lower temperature, you will need some active cooling. I use an aquarium chiller that flows cold water over a rock face, and a fan blows the terrarium air over it. Cools as well the air and also adds humidity. Aquarium chillers are quite expensive (particularly new). Some people use the chiller form an old fridge for DYI projects.
    I once tried a peltier cooled cold finger, but that is by far too low in power (for my 90 gal tank). That may work for up to about 5 gals.
     
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  4. jai

    jai Orchid addict

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    I have a diy cooler idea that works very well cools the air in front of it 5-10° in a open space so in a closed space I'm sure it will cool even more.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    If the cooler relies on evaporation, it may actually be less-effective in a closed volume.
     
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  6. jai

    jai Orchid addict

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    It does rely on evaporation. Would it still be less effective even if draws in outside air?
     
  7. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    No, that's pretty much what it'll have to do. Dry outside air evaporates and cools the air going into the chamber. Will it be enough cooling? I can't say, but my gut tells me that the needed volume of air might make it too windy in the tank.
     
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  8. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    I think if you added ducting to a pad and fan humidifier and ran said ducting into your grow space, that would basically work a decent cooler. I definitely remember my old humidifier dropping the room it was in a few degrees. Also What sort of light are you using? I had been using T5s on my tank and it was running a bit hot(well not problematic now but would be in the summer) and switched in LED retrofit bulbs into the fixture, and that dropped my tank by like 10 degrees.
     
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  9. jai

    jai Orchid addict

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    I use a led and one coral/plant light. My lighting is separate from the tank so no heat really heats the terrarium inside. My terrarium stays in the 70's but would like it to get cooler than that.
     
  10. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Do you have anywhere cooler (like a basement) you could move it too? That would help. Also my light were separated by a few inches (when I had the flurosecent bulbs, now the light directly on the glass) and a piece of glass but I still got a decent temp drop just going to all LEDs
     
  11. jai

    jai Orchid addict

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    sadly no the room I have it in is the best I have. I did think of using some sort of cooling blanket around the terrarium.
     
  12. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    What do you mean by cooling blanket?
     
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  13. jai

    jai Orchid addict

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    Cooling blanket is a interesting DIY idea that I have that could work a little bit. Like how they make heated floors by pumping hot water thru tubes in the foundation. Instead pump Ice water thru a tube attached to the "blanket" that can be attached to the sides of the terrarium. It would cool the walls of the terrarium.
     
  14. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    I have seen pictures of people using an aquarium chiller and running lines of cold water through their tanks to cool them so its been done. I'd run the lines on the interior of the terrarium if at all possible, to be most efficient. If you run it on the outside, you're also cooling the room its in.
     
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  15. Clusty

    Clusty Member

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    I built myself a peltier cooler for my cold orchid box.
    I managed to cool it by about 5deg celsius under the room temperature.