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By Rammplins
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Posts:  349
Joined:  Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm
#388114
I just finished putting together my highland terriaum, its just a rough concept version of what my larger one will be.

I made this one out of an old ikea file cabinet. First I gutted the thing and cut out a hole on top for the lights. Next I glued 1in thick pink foam to the sides for cold retention then covered the whole inside with 2 coats of drylok to seal any cracks and keep the moisture away from the foam and wood.

Inside the tank is an ultrasonic fogger for humidity and a waterproof fan connected to a radiator that will have cold water/antifreeze (I havent decided yet) from a chest freezer pumped though it when I need the temp to drop.

Tonight will be the first run, wish me luck. Should it fail to get the temps I need at least I will have a new terrarium for sundews!ImageImage

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By Supercazzola
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Joined:  Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:57 am
#388342
How did it work? Just curious since you mention a chest freezer, why not just use the chest freezer on a temp controlled outlet to turn it on to reach desired temps during day / evening ?
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By Rammplins
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Posts:  349
Joined:  Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm
#388344
I wish I knew, im waiting on a new controller to arrive, the probe on the old one kicked the bucket.

This is eventually gonna used for a 90 gal tank, this small one is proof of concept.

The chest freezer has a ton more vertical space than it does horizontal, but they dont work right when placed on thier side. Using this meathod I can "store" a lot of cold energy for instant use.

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By Supercazzola
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Joined:  Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:57 am
#388353
I thought you don't want to tilt compressors. I know when you buy a small refrigerator you are not supposed to turn it on for 24 hours if you have laid it on its side. So not sure laying the chest freezer on its side is so smart.
I suppose you could use some wire racks in it to have multiple levels, but for me I am hoping to use it for Nepenthes as they get too large for my regular cooler that I bring ice packs in each night
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By Rammplins
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Joined:  Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm
#388357
Yeah, I worded that funny. I am definitely not using it on its side.

The bottom footprint of the freezer is only 4x2 or something close to that, so once the plants start growing well and my collection inevitably expands i will run out of room very quick if i use it as the main growing area, plus i dont want the plants or pots accidentally touching the sides. Thats why im using it to pump out stored cold to the tank.

This method managed to get 20 degree night swings on my old 90 gal tank, which was made purely out of acrylic and wasnt sealed on the top very well. The new one will be insulated much better, so I can only imagine it will be more efficient.

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By Rammplins
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Joined:  Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm
#388534
Ran it for the first time last night set for a temp of 55 degrees. I couldn't get the data off my temp logger for reason, so sorry no pretty graphs.

When I checked it last night before going to bed the temp had dropped from 78 to 55, and when I woke back up this morning the tank was still holding at 55 degrees. The temp in the chest freezer itself was 25 degrees last night and was 27 this morning, and I realized I didn't even have it set for the coldest temperature. Tank test #1, Success! :D
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By Rammplins
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Posts:  349
Joined:  Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm
#388550
Thanks! I went through 4 or 5 different iterations of trying to cool larger tanks on a budget before landing on this one. Experience is a great teacher.

Im gonna grow any highland-ultra highland neps I can get my hands on, but im looking for the ones with bowl shaped pitchers like Jamban or Jacquelineae first-ish. There will also live sphagnum on the bottom to catch condensation from the radiator, in my old highland tank I found that sphag grew faster in it than any other method I tried. I dont know why but I wont argue with the results.
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