Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

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Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:56 am

Per Phil's request, I'm firing up a thread on different fan modifications I have been experimenting with in my vivs.

Flexible Internal circulation
You may have seen this FTS featuring a low dBa 120 mm fan in my azureus viv:
viv-fts-20120916.jpg

I had initially installed a pair of 60mm fans typically used for cooling CPU's, but I could hear these fans and thought they may disturb the frogs. I then picked up a high CFM, low noise 120mm fan and made several modifications:
  • cut fiberglass screen to size for both sides of fan
  • installed plastic fan guards over the screen which held the screen in place between the guard and the fan blades
  • siliconed the fan guard in place
  • siliconed 2 magnets to the top of the fan
Note - if you decide to make one of these, I recommend having an extra piece of glass to test out the strength of your magnets before your experiment within your viv. I was able to select the right sized magnets using this method. I would also give them a good tug to attempt to simulate a frog crawling on them to ensure you can support the extra weight.

I ended up with this:
fan-120mm-01.JPG

fan-120mm-02-magnet.JPG

fan-120mm-03-magnetR.JPG

Once the top magnets were in place, I was able to secure the fan to the top of the vivarium using two magnets on the outside of the lid (I'm illustrating the magnets in place on top of the fan sans lid, but I think you'll get the idea):
fan-120mm-05-topMagnets.JPG

I was pleased with this approach because it was not permanent and easily movable. I found that initially I was repositioning the fan for the first week or so to get the air movement right. This was fairly easy to do, and if I was careful, I was able to reposition the fan without entering the viv my sliding the externally mounted magnets around...slowly.

After all that, I might not need the circulation fan
After installing this fan I continued to experiment with my lighting, focusing on air circulation through the fixture. I documented the specific Exoterra hood modifications here:
http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=6347
viv-light-06_1106.JPG
viv-light-06_1106.JPG (50.54 KiB) Viewed 4009 times

viv-light-07_1108.JPG
viv-light-07_1108.JPG (51.73 KiB) Viewed 4009 times


These fan modifications were great at keeping the fixture cool, but it got me thinking - if I open the vents wider at the front and drop the hoods, perhaps I can draw air directly out of the viv pulling fresh air through the lower front vent, eliminating the need for the internal fan. I cut a 4" vent across the front of the viv top:
viv-ZM-frontVent.JPG

I saved the piece that was removed and made a 60/40 split, using the 60% length as a means of controlling venting on the left side of the viv. The right side remained open since I am using a repti-sun UV bulb. I can then slide the extra piece around depending on my venting needs, often sliding the piece toward the back of the viv to open a continuous vent across the front about 1" wide.
viv-ZM-frontVentCover.JPG

Here is a view looking up from within the viv:
viv-ZM-frontVentUp_0825.jpg

With this hood layout, I no longer need the internal circulation fan; the front glass remains clear, and my temp and humidity remain steady within expected ranges. Both fans that are installed in the hoods have built in speed controllers - I basically run them on low, minimizing the air movement and noise out of the hood, but it's enough to do the job.
viv-ZM-speedCTRL_0823.jpg
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
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http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:06 am

Similarly on my grow out viv I leveraged a magnet-mounted fan - one of the 60mm fans I was attempting to use in my azureus viv. I ended up switching to an external speed controller and cranking it down to control the noise, and this kicks out enough air movement to clear the front glass on the froglet tank. Here is the rear vent:
viv-20L-rearVent.JPG

I went with a rear vent because of the cabinet the tank is housed in - the front placement of the vent made opening the lid difficult. I did not want to disturb the froglets too much messing with the lid, so I pushed the vent to the back and used the stock 20L aquarium canopy as you would normally. You can see I didn't bother with silicone here since I have been experimenting with the ventilation - electrical tape works wonders for temporary fly proofing :)

Here are a series of shots of the fan up close, and installed:
fan-060mm-01.JPG

viv-20L-060mm-circFan.JPG

viv-20L-060mm-top.JPG

viv-20L-060mm-powerCord.JPG


Here is the external speed control that is mounted in the back of the viv near the power supply:
viv-20L-060mm-speedCtrl.JPG


This vivarium never had clear front glass prior to the installation of this small fan. As you can see I placed it in the rear of the viv hoping to pull fresh air in through the vent. This placement cleared the front glass within a day, and I have not had a condensation issue on the front glass since. Similar to the azureus viv, I can easily adjust the positioning of the fans with these magnet mounts, and they are very quick to install (no drilling!).
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
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http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:19 am

I performed the same hood modifications from my azureus Zoomed 18x18x24 viv on my galact Exoterra 18x18x24.
Exo build thread: http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6815
Fixture mod thread: http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=6347

The Exo lid "mods" were simply insertion of a full glass plate in the rear screen area, and a partial glass piece in the front. Quick, easy, adjustable, removable. The Exo hoods on the Exo viv have a much better fit, so I am eager to see how well this venting strategy works. Here's the shot of the familiar tight fit:
viv-exo-lidGap_0820.jpg


I left a 1" vent across the front of the viv, and the right 40% of the front screen is open for the Repti-Sun bulb that will soon be installed.
viv-Exo-frontPartialGlass_0821.jpg


The fans in the hoods are not operational yet; I am waiting on my JD LED's to arrive. The temporary CFLs I am currently using have a higher profile than the JD's, so the CFLs bump up against the fans. I don't want to risk running them at this point so I will wait for the JD's to arrive before tuning the fan speeds. Similar to the azureus viv, I am driving both hood exhaust fans off the same power supply.

No circulation fan
I will not be using a circulation fan in this viv. It will be an interesting experiment to see how well the hood venting approach works from the start on a new viv. I'll keep you posted once the JD's arrive and the fans are fully operational.
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:22 am

This entire effort was really driven by my interest in more closely matching temp / RH data from our frogs' habitat:
http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6360

I became much more aggressive in venting my vivs after purchasing an internal data logger that monitors both temp and RH.
http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=4452

I found that my analog dials were under estimating RH, often hovering around readings of 70% to 80% while the data logger reported RH values consistently between 95% to 99%. I began cutting larger vents up front and using the hood fans for exhausts which has brought those RH values down to 90% while providing a "drier" look opposed to "dripping" wet. This has been a dynamic process and I continue to refine the hood designs to better simulate the weather data I pulled in the thread above.
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Philsuma » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:21 pm

Awesome build thread Jim. Thanks so much !

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Judy S » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:40 am

That was really interesting...one question though...you have carefully taped up the cracks in the one tank...but yet you have fiberglass screening in the insert...how is that FF proof?? I've probably missed something...but it really is an "elegant" solution..

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:59 am

Hi Judy. I use 2 layers of offset fiberglass screening on the canopy vent. True it may not be 100% fly proof but I have no found any escapees around that viv yet (up for about 6 weeks) and I have used that approach with success in my other viv using multiple layers of stainless steel screening that has been up for about a year. They are more permanent and the canopies there use a combination of glass, screen and silicone. Casper has a neat solution in his ghostvivs thread where he used solar screen for screening. I may give that a go at some point.
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Judy S » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:54 am

I'll have to go searching for those threads of Casper's. Do you silicone the fiberglass? Hot glue would melt the fiberglass I'd think...I also use tape to really seal the edges...and you would too if you've ever fed bean beetles...incredible escape artists...What sort of magnet? I know some magnets can be really, really powerful...I find your fan solution just so streamlined. When you inserted the fans in the Exo hood, you had to take out the reflector...did you just leave it out completely, or cut it with a hole in it to correspond to the vent holes...or how did you do it...another elegant solution...if you had the fans drawing air away from the bulbs, that would also assist in keeping the temps down in the tank...great stuff...thak you

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:23 pm

Hey Judy! I snapped a few more photos that may help. I use cheapo magnet board magnets that I steal from my kids homework displays. Here is the bulk package we bought off Amazon:
IMG_1532.JPG

The magnets are encased in plastic. Top view:
IMG_1530.JPG

Bottom view:
IMG_1531.JPG

I attach them with GE Silicone 1. I goop some on the bottom, then place more around the base to ensure I get good coverage across the plastic piece of the magnet and the fan itself. While I am at it I seal up the fan cable channel:
IMG_1535.JPG

IMG_1536.JPG

For frog proofing I use stock plastic fan guards that snap onto the fan. I place a piece of fiberglass screen between the fan guard and the fan to ensure little toe pads have trouble getting in there:
IMG_1533.JPG

IMG_1537.JPG

I also use a little silicone around the fan guards for good measure to ensure they don't pop off easily. As far as the Exo hoods, I have a series of photos of that posted here:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=6347#p38577

80 mm PC fans fit *nearly* perfectly in the existing vent holes (once you pull the reflectors). Measure twice before drilling the mount holes - I screwed up one of the 4 hoods I have with a slightly crooked mount. Hope this helps! Happy Modding!
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
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http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Judy S » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:25 am

Thanks for the post...the magnets I got yesterday may not be strong enough to keep a fan in place...when you mount the fan horizontally inside the Exo hood...do you pull air out or push it in...or one of each...I know you have used two different placements, and I haven't decided which to use...but reducing the heat that's produced by the lights is a really good idea...I did go back and look at your links...can you recommend a good speed controller?? Is one speed controller used for just one viv...? Do you run the fans on a timer, or constantly? If you ever got the time (yah, right....)...making one cohesive post about this subject should become a sticky for us numbnuts...thanks again...

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:12 am

What great questions! I should have thought about them earlier!

You can also use multiple magnets. For bigger fans I use two magnets, one on each side. I did have to experiment with magnet size initially - I have a lot of failed fan experiments in a box in the garage...I have some silicone scraping to do :). My advice would be to get a piece of glass of the same thickness as your canopy so you can test outside your viv. I poked and pulled on the fan to see how much force was required to pop it off. So far no crashes in the viv and I have routinely found poops on the fan guards so I know these little buggars are climbing on them.

I install one fan per Exo hood and the blow air out of the hood. I use two kinds of speed controllers. The easiest solution is to buy a fan with a built in controller. I like the thermaltakes that have a dial on a tether.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003819MVQ

They are $13 a fan, but well worth it considering they come with the speed controller and an assortment of adapters and mounting screws. Unfortunately the external speed controllers that i use were picked up locally at Frys and I cannot find a product link on their site. They were $8 if I recall correctly. Since i use the thermaltakes i have a speed controller per fan. I like the flexibility of being able to tune the individual fans. I do periodically have to tune the air flow seasonally as the humidity conditions in our house change. I run my fans 24/7 at *very* low speed. I have thought of dropping them on the hood timers but I have not experimented with that yet.

I am currently experimenting with no circulation fan in my azureus viv after expanding the front vent width. My goal is to use the thermaltakes in the hood to draw air through the vivs lower front vent up through the viv and out the hood. So far I can't see any changes in the health of my plants and the front glass is clear.

I'll see if there are more questions and then i will consolidate into a single post (Phil let me know if there is a specific way you would want that handled).
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
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http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Judy S » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:13 pm

before reading your post, I did buy two of those fans off Amazon...what a crazy site...hard to find the final term: Checkout Took me quite a while to navigate and complete the sale...never having been on the site before...maybe I expected the process to be a bit faster. So you are saying that the fans actually come with their own controller? Great! Do you have a digital therm. /hygrometer to periodically check on the various parts of the tank?? Was also curious in one of your former posts about using a Reptisun...what was the purpose of that?? Wonder whether there is a way to retrofit the fans to my converted 20G...hmm No holes on the top

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:04 pm

Hi Judy!

Judy S wrote:So you are saying that the fans actually come with their own controller?

Yes, they come with speed controllers. It's buried in the cryptic product description:

Product Description
Fan Dimension is 80 x 80 x 25 mm, Fan Speed is 800 to 1,600 RPM Fan Speed Control, Adjustable Manual Fan Speed Control.LED Color not available Bearing Type is Hydro Dynamic Bearing. Noise Level is 18.2 dBA with a Max. Air Flow of 24.4 CFM. The Max. Air Pressure is 0.048 IN-H2O. The Power Connector is 3-Pin. The Rated Voltage is 12 V. The Started Voltage is 7 V. The Rated Current is 0.035 A (Max. 0.12 A). Static Pressure ,Operation Temperature. Power Input is 0.42 W (Max. 1.44 W). MTBF 50,000 Hours at 40℃ and Weight is 78 g.

They also come with a bag of accessories including a 3 pin to 4 pin molex power adapter. So the only thing you would need is a power supply. I bought one from Frys rated at 1A. Amazing - but I know exactly where to go in the store to find it but I cannot find it online. The closest example I can find for you is on Amazon, but it has fewer connectivity options:
http://www.amazon.com/Coolerguys-100-24 ... B000MGG6SC

You'd need a splitter if you wanted to power two fans off this power supply:
http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-Interna ... B00007JO36

If you are industrious you can experiment with splicing an old cell phone charger to the fan (I use the 4 pin molex adapter with the plastic removed for an easier splice). I'll grab a photo of the power supply the next time I am at the store. I think you get the idea though.


Judy S wrote:Do you have a digital therm. /hygrometer to periodically check on the various parts of the tank??

I have a data logger that I use for trapping vivarium data. I use this to monitor the long term conditions of the viv. I described my experiences with it here:
http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=4452

It's been running nearly continuously since July except for a 10 day span where the battery died and I was waiting on a replacement to arrive.


Judy S wrote:Was also curious in one of your former posts about using a Reptisun...what was the purpose of that??

The ReptiSun is a full spectrum UVB bulb:
http://lightyourreptiles.com/26waresun50c.html

I purchased this bulb based on Todd's recommendation from LYR. He suggested supplementing my lighting with a full spectrum bulb - it should help with vitamin D generation, and there's some anecdotal evidence that it may encourage breeding (not that my pair need any help). Seemed like a neat idea.
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby dscrimager » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:51 am

On the question of magnets; if you buy Neodymium magnets you should have no problem; these are extremely strong.
I used them for linking items together that rotate at high speed through a plastic divider. By linked I mean simply by magnetic force and about 1/2" a part. These are so strong they are dangerous if swallowed since if the come together anywhere in the body they will not move. The magnets used for the various viv rock ledges are neodymium so if you have used on of those you will know what I mean. Be careful with them but once placed no little frog is ever going to move them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neodymium

I really like this thread; very impressive! very ionformative! very inspirational!

Doug

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Judy S » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:40 am

Gentlemen...thanks for the terrific information and links. About the magnets...love the idea of ledges...and for the fans as well...any idea how strong the neodymiums should be...? If you use them for "portable" ledges, do you silicone them to the ledge, regardless of what that ledge is made of?? Right now I have four quarantine tanks for tree frogs...they would really appreciate a ledge... if you wanted to "glue" them to film canisters, what "strength" would you suggest? I sure don't want to crack any glass...if I wanted to do that, I'd attempt to drill holes for various items... Any links or threads about how the magnets are used for ledges??

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby joneill809 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:03 am

Hi Judy. I used magnetic ledges in my first viv and they are great. I wrote about them in this thread:
http://dartden.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t ... ges#p37930

I liked them in my first viv because they were easy to move around. My first viv attempt was a home brew vert that sprung a leak. I picked up a zoomed from petsmart and within a day everything was transplanted. Here is a link to the product site:
http://www.pet-tech.com/products/magnaturals.html

You could also try to build your own but I have not tried to build one yet.
Jim from Austin please contact me if you are willing to trade offspring from:
lorenzo - schwinn line|NAIB true sips|fantastica nominant
http://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby dscrimager » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:22 am

Judy S wrote:Gentlemen...thanks for the terrific information and links. About the magnets...love the idea of ledges...and for the fans as well...any idea how strong the neodymiums should be...? If you use them for "portable" ledges, do you silicone them to the ledge, regardless of what that ledge is made of?? Right now I have four quarantine tanks for tree frogs...they would really appreciate a ledge... if you wanted to "glue" them to film canisters, what "strength" would you suggest? I sure don't want to crack any glass...if I wanted to do that, I'd attempt to drill holes for various items... Any links or threads about how the magnets are used for ledges??


You can get the ledges pre-made with the magnets inside although I would think they would be easy to build as well.
For film cans, one magnet inside the can and one outside the viv through the glass would hold it on. The magnet is not going to hurt the frog. If you epoxy the magnet to the outside of the can be sure to be generous with the glue. I've hot glued them to things and the magnetic force between two of them pulls them right out of the hotglue. I see where earlier in the thread that they were siliconed on and this would work but be sure to encapsulate the magnet as much as possible; you want 'fingers' that reach all around if possible. If you just smear a little on the back they will pull right off.

Be careful when you are putting them on the glass; if you have one held aginast the glass on one side and release the other one an inch or so from the glass the attractive force can actually crack the glass. You will be surprised, if you have not used them before, how strong they are.
Sorry to hijack over magnets.


One question I have is has anyone found a reasonably cheap source of lab grade temp and humidity sensors that one can use for, say, an arduino so I can roll my own humidity/mister control?

Doug

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Judy S » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:34 am

to further the hijack...are there different strengths in the magnets?? And rereading your post suggests not to hot glue, but to epoxy...where do you find more info about making ledges with magnets??? (I think I have to go Google Arduino....)

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby dscrimager » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:55 am

There are different strengths of magnets even within a family such as neodymium. However for our purposes it really does not matter; neodymium and samarium cobalt ( the two really powerful ones) are like 10 times more powerful than the magnets we all played with when we were kids. So, the little bit of difference of strength between the neodymium you might buy from a store and those used in a performance application, like the Toyota Prius, is not material .
I would epoxy or silicone very securely. I'm not sure about making the ledges yourself. Two of these magnets ( separated by at least a couple of inches) embedded in the side of a piece of sculpted/carved blue/pink foam insulation and and covered appropriately should do the trick...
Maybe we should start a thread on that; I have magnets and foam...

Doug

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Re: Ventilation, circulation and fan ideas

Postby Judy S » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:03 am

I think that would be a good addition to a build thread...I.E., I have made a background and it is siliconed in...now I have to put in the FB, or whatever...and install a layer between the drainage layer, and the substrate...THEN I get to make whatever hardscaping on the sides...Things have to be installed in stages...and being able to put in secure ledges...make changes, take the eggcrate out...things of that sort would certainly be easier with a magnetized part..


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