A better way to cool a terrarium

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fiercedeity

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Jan 30, 2011
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Last year I wanted to build a tank to house my highland Nepenthes that would be coming from Wistuba. Since some of them are ultra highlands I needed to get the tank extra cold at night. I went looking around on the web for ideas but most of the methods people use to cool down their setups we're rather bulky, unsightly, expensive, noisy, and consumed a lot of power. After seeing the mess of cooling units on the web I decided to make my own cooling device using simple, easy to obtain, cheap, and small parts. In the end I created what I call a T.E.C.U. (Thermo Electric Cooling Unit).

The whole device cost as followed:
Power supply unit from an old PC: FREE
Old LGA775 heatsink from old PC: FREE
1, 91watt peltier chip: $2.50
Thermal grease: $5
Corsair H50 CPU cooler: $65
Silicone sealant: $10
Total: $82.50

To understand how this all works, I made a demonstration video to help show the principles behind it and to show what the final device looks like. Sadly I can not construct a full model at this given time due to my crappy job only paying me $7.50 an hour and only giving me 11 hours to work in a week. I can show the device in it's final stage, it's not too hard to build once you get the parts. I can help anyone who has questions if they're confused about putting together the full working model. It can look a bit daunting at first, but if you understand basic wiring this really isn't that hard at all.

~*Click here to view the video I made as a demonstration/instructional. Enjoy!*~


Also, I would like to suggest purchasing the following items as well. They are not necessary for this all to work yet they are very handy and help make the whole system run better.

Repti Fogger[/url]: Great for pumping in moisture for your CP's. Helps get the air nice and humid for them. The only downside it the small 1 liter water cartridge. It's probably best just to rig it up so that it has a large reservoir of water to feed into it. Slight modification to do that, but anyone with DIY skills should be able to figure that out.

HygroTherm[/url]: Great way to control the humidity levels and temperature at the same time. I use the plug used for "heat" to cool down my tank when night comes. When the lights for the tank turn off at night, the light sensor on the HydroTherm kicks the cooling system (T.E.C.U.) on and chills the tank down to my desired temp of 12C at night. Once it reaches it's goal temp it turns off the T.E.C.U. and keeps it off till the temp rises above the desired night temp.
Styrofoam sheets: I use this to insulate the tank, it helps keep in the cold in my tank and helps cut back on all the light from the grow lights.

Feel free to comment everyone, if you have any questions on how this all works I am more then willing to answer them for you. This is my gift to help the entire CP community and provide a better solution to growing your plants.
 
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tomany

AC Members
Nov 23, 2009
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Hartford, Al
That is impressive, I wish I had that knowledge.
 

fiercedeity

AC Members
Jan 30, 2011
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That is impressive, I wish I had that knowledge.
You do now! Now you can build one all of your own, my job is to help teach others about this device that I built to help them make awesome tanks for themselves! :D
 

user_name

Senior_Member
May 23, 2010
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Cam
You do now! Now you can build one all of your own, my job is to help teach others about this device that I built to help them make awesome tanks for themselves! :D
:thm:

Nice design and planning, this is a great idea. Awesome job!
 

fiercedeity

AC Members
Jan 30, 2011
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Thanks. Like I said before, if anyone needs help putting this together just ask I'll give a hand.
 

PaulJ69

CP addict
Mar 18, 2008
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NJ
For a second there I thought I was on terraforums. Pretty creative, but my way to cool a terrarium is to have it in my basement lol. The hydrotherm would really come in handy for my lowlanders tho, although pricey!
 

fiercedeity

AC Members
Jan 30, 2011
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Sadly I lack a basement. I only have a lowly crawlspace, plus I still live with my family so I have to be creative with my cooling and lighting methods. It's not easy to have a cloning lab, highland plant terrarium, computer entertainment center, and bed all in 12X12 room. :p

$67 is a little pricey for a HygroTherm. But it's a lot better then paying hundreds more for those giant units used in greenhouses.
 

PaulJ69

CP addict
Mar 18, 2008
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NJ
You really have a cloning lab? Pretty cool. I've been wanting to do some in vitro with some cps but never could find that much info on it. My bedroom is full with terrariums and I kind of took over my basement with pretty much everything.
 
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