Excessive Use of the Chiller so Far and Sump Effects

Spartanwarrior

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Hi All,

I have a 65 gal with a 10 gal sump, LEDS cooled with fans and a halogen bulb underneath in the sump. I've recently noticed that my chiller is constantly on, and before you say "its summer, duh" hear me out.

I turned my chiller off all winter. I recently turned it back on when I noticed the digital thermometer about 2 degrees off (higher) from the chiller readout. My heater is at its lowest setting now of 68 degrees. Its never on anymore. However, my tank goes from a 76 degree reading to a 78 within about an hour, even at night. Now, temperatures haven't been that bad this spring so far. Its not anywhere near direct sunlight. Its near open windows so there is airflow. I do have a top to it and the sump is contained in a cabinet.

My real question is, can the sump have a large effect on the temperature of the entire system? I recently put in about 15 lbs of live rock and my chaeto has exploded recently, greatly diminishing the flow of water down there. Should I decrease the amount of both to open the flow back up? Maybe have the light on for less time down there? I'm really worried for when the temps really heat up this summer, that my chiller will never turn off (I keep the house around 72-75)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

oseymour

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I think 78 is a reasonable temperature. My tank stays between 79 and 80. I keep it under 80 with a fan.

I checked my Apex and my tank hasn't been under 78 degrees for at least 2 weeks.
 

jedimaster1138

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Short answer - yes. It's all the same water. Of course heating up the water in the sump is heating up the entire system. I run T5's over my display. If I turn off the return for a while, I can watch the temp in the sump cool down in a big, big hurry, meanwhile the DT temp - which is under the lights - continues to rise.

78 isn't really a high temp IMO. But if you want to keep it there or below, that's fine too.

You said it's a halogen light on the refugium. A real halogen bulb? Or a CFL? My point is, if that's halogen it's for sure cooking things some. Maybe swap to one of those LED bulbs that are known to grow plants like crazy. https://www.amazon.com/TaoTronics-Miracle-Hydropoics-Greenhouse-Organic/dp/B00GNWK2XO

When you say top ... do you mean to the tank or the sump? And in either case, is it glass/acrylic or a mesh netting top? You definitely do not want a glass or plastic lid, that's going to murder airflow and evaporation, which is the key to keeping the water cool.
 

Spartanwarrior

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Thank you all. I will definitely look into the grow light. I'm not worried about the high temps, as the chiller keeps it from going too high, but if I turn the chiller off temps reach 80, 81 easily...too high for my taste. I do not have a top to the sump, just the plastic top common among Red Sea Reefers. But the sump is located inside the wood cabinet with limited airflow. Hopefully the new light will keep that in check. I was using halogen for a while, but switched to a CFL a few months back...sorry for the confusion. CFL still gets pretty hot though, not meteoric like halogen.

The chiller is behind the tank cabinet, outside of it. its level with the sump, but underneath the tank. I have the cool water going directly into the tank (design flaw I guess)

I was thinking of swapping off the plastic top completely and going with a mesh screen and new lighting, and this excessive chiller running episode might sway me to update even quicker than planned. I appreciate the help all.
 

jedimaster1138

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Good luck. Keep us in the loop.

PS - you might want to invest in a cheapo clip on or just some kind of fan to put in the cabinet and circulate the air. It can do a world of good. But I would for sure go with a cooler bulb on the fuge as a first step. (just not cooler in color, hehe)
 

theMeat

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Yup, cooler bulb. And if the chiller can go into sump at lower level, i.e. less head pressure, you could get a smaller pump to do the same gph. Smaller pump = less wattage = less heat.
It's a good idea to, once a year or so, run vinegar through the chiller overnight in a closed loop. Then rinse it out real well. You'll be surprised at the gunk that comes out. Also blow out any dust and hair off the receiver drier, condenser, fan, or anywhere air passes through. Amazing how much more efficient the chiller works with a lil regular maintenance.
For that matter it's a good idea to run all your pumps in a vinegar bath too. Keeps the friction/heat down, and flow up where it should be. Amazing how much heat just one dirty pump can generate.
Another word to the wise. Two little fishes reactors with gfo media will leak some media. Then that media gets stuck on pump magnets and can send temps throu the roof.
 
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Alfredo De La Fe

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A few tips (most have been mentioned):

1. Change that bulb to an LED.
2. Add a fan to your cabinet.
3. Add a fan to blow over the surface of your tank.
4. Get a controller if you don't have one. An Apex can turn the fan on before it turns the chiller on.
5. Chillers are not meant to run continuously. You will end up killing it if you don't do something.
6. If it is feasible run an A/C in the run with the thermostat set to 78. It will be a lot cheaper than running the chillers compressor 24/7.

The idea of blowing the fan over the water is to increase evaporation, which means you will have to be adding more fresh water daily. The last thing you want to do is put a cover on your sump. Evaporation is your friend.
 

Serega

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Also maybe check your heater for correct temp setting, I personally don't run a chiller, I got AC cooling the room in the summer, but I have read multiple times from deferent people that you should not run a heater and a chiller together, because of the deference in the thermostats your heater might be working against your chiller.
 

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