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Suggestions For Chiller Set Up?


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  • Regular Member

Hi, everyone--after a long hiatus in goldfish keeping, I'm ready to start again and I have a couple of questions I hope I might get help with. I've done a search, so I hope I'm not going to be repeating oft-answered questions.

I stopped keeping goldfish because much as I loved them I kept losing them--it seemed wrong to just keep trying when things had not gone well. I had no more than 2 fish in a 30-gallon tank, planted, with a Penguin 330 filter. I did regular water changes and didn't overfeed. I think my problem was tank temperature--I lost fish in the spring, when temperatures started to rise. The ambient temps in my house from April-Oct hover around 78-80 degrees and I think over time it simply weakened the fish.

I want to have GF again, but I don't want a repeat of the problems. I have a in-line chiller (rated for a 90 gallon tank) that I never got around to using on my salt tank, so I'm thinking I'd like to use it on the GF tank. However, I don't have a sump or a cannister filter. Does anyone have a setup that uses a chiller this way? I've got a sump on my salt tank, so I understand how those work, but I don't really want one on GF tank if it can be helped. I'm figuring there's some way to use an in-line pump and just circulate the water through the chiller, but I don't want to reinvent the wheel so I thought I'd ask first.

My second question is about converting the tank from tropical to goldfish. I've had a couple of tropical fish in the tank for the past 3 years; I took them out yesterday. I was figuring I'd let the tank lie fallow for a couple of weeks (while I figure out the chiller thing) and then introduce a goldfish. I don't think the tank will go through enough of a cycle to be harmful, but I thought I should ask opinions first. I like to keep otos with the GF, so I could introduce them now to keep the biobugs going.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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  • Regular Member

If I'm not mistaken, chillers don't need a very high flow rate to work well. A small powerhead or pump would suffice to move the water. You can use either a submersible or in-line pump, but in-line is more efficient for your purpose because pumps produce a small amount of heat, and you don't want it radiating into the aquarium. You should be able to aquire a small pump, tubing, and intake/outflow for a minimal amount of money.

If you don't have a nice set of intake and outflow pipes to use with this setup, I recommend buying a replacement set of canister filter intake/outflow pipes. For example:

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl36...tnozzlenewstyle

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl36...em12mm103203303

It is best to have something producing waste in the tank to keep the bacteria colonies healthy, so introducing the otos would be a good idea. Alternately, try looking up the various methods of fishless cycling.

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  • Regular Member

Thanks so much for the help! When you said that chillers don't need a high flow rate, I realized that I'd been thinking in saltwater terms about GPH flow, which makes the project seem much more daunting than what it needs to be. Thanks for the links, too--looks like a great solution.

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  • Regular Member
The ambient temps in my house from April-Oct hover around 78-80 degrees and I think over time it simply weakened the fish.

This is hardly warm. Although the ideal water temp for Goldies is something even experts cant' agree on, Rick Hess says it's 72-74, while Doc Johnson says it's mid to high 70s. If anything, the high temp will boost their immune system. I doubt that the temp had anything to do with the health of the fish.

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