materials that are and arent safe in the tank

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by project5k, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    I have several things that i would really like to try and build for my tank, but they are going to require that there be some materials of some sort, in contact with the water. so, what can a guy use?

    lets just say for a ballpark idea, i wanted to run some of my water through a length of 3 foot of tubing, lets not discuss why just yet, just the how.

    ok, so steel rusts so thats out
    copper is bad in a salt tank so thats out
    what about aluminimum?
    stainless steel?
    i mean i guess i could use plastic, but that's really not ideal for what i'm trying to do...
     
    project5k, Jun 16, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. project5k

    bjohanson1234 .........

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Location:
    Palos Heights, IL
    I know that titanium is used as grounding probes and in some heaters instead of glass. Not sure is titanium would be affordable or even workable if price was no object. I would say that plastic is your best and safest bet.

    Brian
     
    bjohanson1234, Jun 16, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    yea, i dont think i can go to home depot and pick up titanium anything...

    ok, i'll explain a bit more.. i'm thinking about building my own heater/chiller.. its a design that i've been working on for some time now, and i'm getting to that point where im gonna need to start testing in salt water.. and so what i'm needing the tubing for is the heat exchanger... thus why i'm afraid of the plastic tubing..

    i could do it, but it sure does scare me....
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
    #3
  4. project5k

    dcantucson

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    20,917
    Likes Received:
    1,898
    Glass?
     
    dcantucson, Jun 17, 2009
    #4
  5. project5k

    bjohanson1234 .........

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Location:
    Palos Heights, IL
    I think glass would be worse. The constant and possibly extreme temp changes would probably break it. Also, the plastic might not offer enough heat exchange to be efficient enough.

    Would like to see more details and some pics. Might be able to throw some ideas around

    Brian
     
    bjohanson1234, Jun 17, 2009
    #5
  6. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    yea, i thought about the glass and i ended up with the same breakage concern, not to mention that glass is a pretty good insulator. the plastic is also an insulator... but i do have an idea on how to make plastic hose work, but again efficency....

    well i really dont want to give away my main design concept cause i've never seen anything like this for a fish tank, and if i can make it work, and can get it right, perhaps i can finally quit "workin for da man" and have my business finally take off...

    so, whats the story with alum? alum oxide? cause i have a cnc milling machine so i can make heat exchangers, and have, for my solar water heater, but thats not salt water...
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
    #6
  7. project5k

    ndepratt Equipment Junkie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Joplin, MO
    heaters are relatively cheap.... and when you're talking about copious amounts of electricity in your expensive reef tank in your expensive house.... well needless to say I wouldn't trust myself with building a heater.....

    as for a chiller.... you could do a pretty sweet passive chiller technique. hook up a mag-drive, have it circulating water through tubing, perhaps on a cold basement floor? that's a very simplified version of what I guy I once met did on his tank.... it was sweet.
     
    ndepratt, Jun 17, 2009
    #7
  8. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    well, considering i'm a certified electrical engineer, i think i can handle it, and i think i can do it all self contained in the cabinet. in my sump, that way i can get that ugly as hell heater outta my newly re-arranged tank

    the basement is an interesting idea, except, i dont have a basement, and i can tell you that if i started running tubing all over the house, 2 things are gonna happen, one the wife would leave me, (wait, that might be a good thing....)
    anyway, and 2 i'd end up puncturing or breaking the tubes and water would go everywhere...

    not to mention that i'm not super sure of the temp swing that a basement would have, and thus i dont know how that would effect the cooling/temp regulation of the tank..
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
    #8
  9. project5k

    ndepratt Equipment Junkie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Joplin, MO
    well if you're an electrician, you'd be capable... but I just don't see it being worthwhile given the price of heaters.... chilling would be worthwhile, especially since you're in Texas.
     
    ndepratt, Jun 17, 2009
    #9
  10. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    well the unit that i want to build would naturally be able to do both, so, to build it only to cool would cost only pennies less than to build it to do both, and then if it works, and i can get all my ducks in a row, then i think i would have a marketable product for multiple climates...

    i've gotten away with not needing a chiller this far cause i keep the house right at the ideal temp for my tanks, maybe a couple degres below, and i'm not running any big MH lights or anything like that, just cf's and led's so i'm not adding lots of heat there, but we are considering going to a programmed thermostat, and letting the temp of the house drift up during the day, and this has me concerned that the tank temp may climb.

    now i understand that water takes 1btu per pound per degree temp increase, so i'm not thinking that the temp will change lots, but what if we go on vacation and leave the ac off for a few days, or what if it ac unit dies... this is why i want to build this unit, it will be in the cabinet under the tank, outta sight, and will hold the temp where i want it weather its 104 outside, or snowing....hehehe snow, in texas, thats funny...
     
    project5k, Jun 17, 2009
    #10
  11. project5k

    bjohanson1234 .........

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Location:
    Palos Heights, IL
    Ok I am not sure about alum. I think the salt water would end up eating away at it over time and also not sure if alum in solution would have any bad effects on your tank inhabitants. I would think that possibly a surgical grade stainless would work. but again you cant just walk into home depot and get something like that either.

    To me sounds like your idea is for using a peilter and then having the voltage switch to change it from heating to cooling based on some circuitry and a temp probe. Could be a very interesting project.

    Brian
     
    bjohanson1234, Jun 17, 2009
    #11
  12. project5k

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    26,996
    Likes Received:
    3,868
    Location:
    Ringgold,Ga
    Sounds like your trying to build a heat pump:mrgreen:
    Are you trying to passively cool the water?
     
    yote, Jun 18, 2009
    #12
  13. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    hey b johanson, HUSH! alright? hehehehe
    no seriously, yea, thats what i'm headed towards...

    I was actually thinking about using stainless brake line that i can get from like jegs or summit if i have to...

    i can bend that stuff up and make a decent heat exchanger... but would that stainless be ok in the salt water...

    hmmm
     
    project5k, Jun 18, 2009
    #13
  14. project5k

    bjohanson1234 .........

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Location:
    Palos Heights, IL
    Sorry about that, I have an electronics background also and am an electrician by trade. Also have read much about them in extreme cooling of CPU's. It was just a wild guess though. Good luck on it though hope you can make em inexpensive and efficient. One of those would be good in chicago here where it can range from -20 to 100 through the year.

    Brian
     
    bjohanson1234, Jun 18, 2009
    #14
  15. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    hehehe yea i figured you had some training, most people wouldnt just guess that if they didnt...
    i just find them fascinating, solid state, simple p-n junction, and bingo you've got a heat pump... amazing...
    so from everything i can find, titanium is the only way to go, so i'm gonna have to see if i can spec out and order a titanium HX...
     
    project5k, Jun 19, 2009
    #15
  16. project5k

    bjohanson1234 .........

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Location:
    Palos Heights, IL
    Good luck on that!!!!!
    Just for fun, I checked out some pricing on Amazon and it was like 20 bucks for a 12" piece of 1/4" tubing

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Titanium-Seamless-Round-Tubing-Length/dp/B000FN43OQ/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=industrial&qid=1245450879&sr=1-4]Amazon.com: Titanium CP2 Seamless Round Tubing 1/4" Dia. x.035" Wall 12" Length: Industrial & Scientific[/ame]

    Brian
     
    bjohanson1234, Jun 19, 2009
    #16
  17. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    well after some deep thought, and consulting with a couple of my buddies, the general consensus is that i can get away with a 2 stage non contat HX. basically run the tank water through thin walled plastic tubing, thats in a temp controlled water filled chamber. this way the tank water never comes into contact with anything except the plastic tubing that we know is safe, and the water filled chamber will act as a thermal battery, and as a buffer between the pelt's and the tubing, reducing the chances of cold cracking, or over heating the tubing...
     
    project5k, Jun 20, 2009
    #17
  18. project5k

    dcantucson

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    20,917
    Likes Received:
    1,898
    So when is it going to be ready to market! :lol:
     
    dcantucson, Jun 20, 2009
    #18
  19. project5k

    bjohanson1234 .........

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Location:
    Palos Heights, IL
    Thats what I figured was going to happen. Unfortunatly, it will take an effeciency hit since plastic is an insulator. But still, good luck and keep us posted

    Brian
     
    bjohanson1234, Jun 20, 2009
    #19
  20. project5k

    project5k

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Seguin Tx
    yea, definately gonna take a major hit, but i think that it'll still work well enough,

    well i have a couple other things i need to get done before i start yet another project. I started building the new tank stand this weekend, its taller and gonna be stronger, cause the one that i have now is particleboard.. the one i'm building is gonna have more room inside so i can run a 30gal sump/fuge, and a decent proteine skimmer, cause the one i have now isnt all that great.. once all thats done, then i can work on this.. tho i have a couple interesting ideas on how to do it..

    I figure that i'll be able to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 feet of HX line inside the thermal chamber.. so, we'll see how it works out...
     
    project5k, Jun 22, 2009
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.