Alternative cooling method

kevin gu3

New member
I'm not sure this is the proper place for this post, but here goes...

In the June Reefkeeping Online Issue, Notes from the Trenches column is about ways to cool your aquarium. I'd like to suggest a cheap alternative method that may be available to those who have basements and who don't live in the tropics.

By placing your sump in the basement on the concrete floor you can significantly cool your reef tank. Up here in Michigan the basement floor gets up to about 65 degrees in the heat of the summer. It is a bottomless heat sink that can be utilized simply by using a rubbermade tote or similar thin-walled product as your sump and by placing the sump directly on the floor. This is a whole lot cheaper than a chiller.

I know this because I had an awful time raising the temperature of my tank up to 80 degrees until I raised the sump up off the floor.
Howdy kevin gu3,

That's a great idea! Where were you two months ago??
:lol: Thanks for sharing that idea. I'll bet that will help a lot of people. You should post this in the reef discussion forum as probably not many people pay attention to this forum.

I've seen a lot of ideas about running chillers, fans in different locations, moving sumps into the basement but these are very energy inefficient. Pumping water from the basement to the main tank requires a lot of energy. And unless your harnessing your energy in terms of creating a huge surge to a tank in the basement from the built up potential energy in your main tank then your wasting all your energy in cooling. I can see a really cool propogation tank though if I were to choose to go this route.

The one thing I've noticed no one ever talking about is using a radiator to cool the water. But then again I guess you wouldn't want that since it will leak too much metal into the water (assuming your using aluminum radiators and not copper). Those chillers are made of aluminum or copper which are probably coated on the inside, couldn't someone do something similar with an aluminum radiator? This way anywater flowing out of the tank to the sump will get cooled in the process and not cause any evaporation.