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TCMAS Domain Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I've long been thinking about adding a chiller to my system. With the heat that we have been experiencing this summer, I'm now at the point where I feel it is absolutely necessary to add one. I am looking at a 1/3hp Prime Modular In-line model made by Current. They are part of F&S summer red tag sale... the price is great.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=13127&N=2004+113768

Here is my list of questions:

1 - Does anyone on the list own one? If so, your thoughts please.

2 - Single stage or dual? I have a Neptune controller handling the heater now, so is the dual stage controller necessary/advantageous?

3 - UV upgrade? Is anyone out there using this particular setup with UV?

At this price, I would really like to get one and I'm basically looking for input from anyone who has one.

Thanks everybody.

Dale
 

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RIP Steve Irwin
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If you get a chiller you will want a two way controller to alternate between your heater and your chiller, is a fan a possibility here? Much cheaper but a little more of an eyesore. If you7 realy want one go with the cheap price for sure. Kdjut has one and loves it I know but other than that I am not sure who may have one.
 

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TCMAS Member
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so Dale, is it mostly the tank with the lights on your worried about during the hot spells ? or could the temps get too high even at night without lights ?

A possible option would be a controller than can turn your lights off when the temps get too high ( an AC Jr, Reefkeeper2, or ACIII ) plus can take advantage of many other features. For those really hot couple of weeks a year that might do it rather than forking out $900 for a chiller.
 

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TCMAS Domain Owner
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
David,

The issue that I have been having is high-temps around the clock. My corals seem to be tolerating it "fairly" well, but I know that in time... things will probably crash. I've already adjusted the times on my AC Jr. to a shorter light period, and I know that the controller is capable of turning lights off if the temp gets too high... but I wake up to temps above 80. And that's with over 11 hours of lights-out.

Smeese,

You still recommend the dual stage even if I have a controller that can handle this all anyway?

Thanks for the input guys!
 

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TCMAS Member
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Perhaps the temps aren't lowering at night becuase too much heat is generated in the tank not just lights. Are you running your Mag 18 submersed or external ? External would be the prefered and air movement around the pump will reduce the heat they add to the water column.

A 180g with non-mh you should easily be able to manage without hitting max temps and already having a Jr. to cut lights off should suffice. Not to say the chiller wouldn't be peace of mind but there are probably several improvements that you can do first.

So what is your temp swing getting too ? I have my Jr. set for the low to be 80 to minimize the swing and I don't come anywhere near the max. Have the daylights turn off at 82.5, and that has only happened once this year. All other equipment doesn't generate enough heat for it to go even higher with the lights off.

To answer your dual stage contoller question: If you already have a Jr. and it can handle the additional amps of a chiller in addition to you current load, you shouldn't need another controller unless you want the redundancy.
 

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TCMAS Domain Owner
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Both of the the Mag 18's are submersed. With my current setup, it's really the only option. I hope to build a new acrylic sump with the help of Bob one of these days... then I would plan on the pumps being external.

I'm not currently telling the AC Jr. to cut off lights when temp thresholds are hit... because the lights just simply would never come on if I did that.

The max temp that I have hit, that I know of, is 84.7... HOT! I have not seen the temp below 80 in almost 2 months.
 

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TCMAS Member
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I would have to say the 2 Mag 18s submersed is the main culprit to your high nightly temps providing you ambient temps you keep you house are not also high. Just for grins turn one off at night and see what a difference it make with just one running. I always use external on existing setups and have seen through experience what a difference it can make vs. submersed. I bet it's easily 2 or more degrees is from the pumps alone.

Also I'm assuming the pumps on your skimmer are recirculating type. Is the skimmer positioned so those pumps are not submersed as well ?

What do you keep the house temps at during the night? Does sound like there can be some significant improvements made to your existing configuration.

At minimum I would add the statments to your Jr. to at least turn the main lights out after say 85-86 so that you don't fry everything. Be sure to add the max change statement as well so it doesn't keep turning the on/off frequently when temp toggles from say 85.9 and 86.

For example:

if temp > 86 then LT2 off.
max change 120 M then LT2 off.


Another good test. Turn all your lights off for a 24 hours period and see what the low temp of the tank is. If it's still high compared to your ambient house temp then you definately can make improvements to your configuration.

Not necessarily trying to talk you out of a chiller just sounds like there is other potiential solutions and since you have a Jr. already you have a good tool to insure you don't hit max temps in an emergency situation.
 

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TCMAS Domain Owner
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks David!

The pumps on the skimmer (Reefmania PS8) are external to the skimmer and sump. Night temps in the house are set at 75 and daytime temps are set at 78 (just don't want to pay those high cooling bills).

I'll give your suggestions a try. Lord knows it's gonna be a scorcher this weekend.
 

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TCMAS Member
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Daytime house temps of 78 and nightime down to 75, you should be able to get the temps down to at least 80 at night with the lighting period off for 11 hours. There is definately some configuration improvements that can be made if that's the case.

We keep our AC set to 78. My 125 with 5 VHOs rarely reaches above 80 and that's with glass tops and closed canopy but I run my pump external and not near as big of pumps either.

So you know what your baseline is, I would turn off the lights for 24 hours so you can figure out how much heat is being generated internal to the tank. You may be surprised. While submersed pumps work in your favor in the winter, it's your enemy during the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again David. I'll be spending a lot of time in doors this weekend anyway, so I'll try out your suggestions.
 
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