How to keep your reservoir cool

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by mogie, Mar 21, 2007.


    CDXX Active Member

    I think you are missing my point...efficiency can be measured in many ways. While watt per watt, an air conditioner might be more efficient, my point is that the Iceprobe works very well for situations where an air conditioner would be overkill due to its size and power. Even the smallest air conditioners use around 500 watts of power. Meanwhile, my iceprobe uses less than 50 watts of power. So, using 1/10 the power of an air conditioner, I can chill my insulated reservoir roughly 15-20 degrees. To chill my reservoir any more would be pointless. So, in other words, your cooling idea uses 10 times as much power as mine does. And while that extra power might be useful when cooling many many gallons of water, it would be a tremendous waste to use that to cool a smaller reservoir. So regardless of the science involved, the sheer size and scale of an air conditioner will always make it less efficient when cooling small amounts of water, just by virtue of the fact that you can achieve similar results with a much less powerful product. It's like I said in the last post, you are basically suggesting that we should use a semi-truck to move only 1 box of stuff. I'm not arguing with the science, I'm simply stating that your application of it misses the point. You have yet to explain why it is more efficient to use a 500 watt (minimum) device to cool something that could be adequately cooled by something consuming 1/10th the power. An air conditioner=overkill. Overkill=waste. Waste=less efficient.

    fatman7574 New Member


    CDXX Active Member

    A) No, I'm not an inexperienced grower, I actually grow considerable amounts of very good cannabis (I'm in the medical community, so I don't mind saying that on the 'net). B) The jab about my level of knowledge, and the "faddish" line you keep throwing around do nothing to further this conversation. they just serve as a negative distraction. You disagree with me? Fine, but let's not throw names around. C) The quote from Martin A. Moe was not what I was referring to...honestly, I don't know who that is (though I suppose now I do). I just made up the semi truck thing on the initial analogy was going to be "using a shotgun to hunt a squirrel", but I thought that would be a bit graphic for RIU ;)

    Have you ever used an iceprobe? I'm guessing not, though it seems like you've had a negative experience with one, so maybe you have. Clearly this conversation has wandered off the path, so let me make my original point again. For the situation I was discussing (a small cabinet grow), the iceprobe worked really well. It lowered my reservoir temperature by the right amount, is easy to use, and uses very little electricity (no noticeable increase in my power bill). As well, it is very small, and did not considerably raise my cabinet temp (again, no more than perhaps 2 degrees, if that). As I said, I'm not arguing with the science you are using. What I AM saying is that regardless of that, my iceprobe works very well in the situation I am in, more so than an air conditioner would. This is particularly true because running ventilation through my strange windows is a big challenge, so adding another duct for an ac unit would be a major pain, if not impossible (this is a situation I feel many cab growers face).

    If I'm not mistaken, the point of this thread was someone asking for help to cool their reservoir. Since the iceprobe work really well for me, I figured I'd let this guy know. I understand that you feel differently, but quite frankly, there are a great many people out there that are happy using an iceprobe to chill their water. Is every iceprobe customer happy? Of course not! But the fact of the matter is, this product worked well for many people.

    My ultimate point is this: I did a lot of research, looking at chillers large and small, scouring the internet for cooling solutions. I found the iceprobe, and it has worked really well, I have only good things to say about it. It was cheaper than everything else, even your a/c idea (which is 100, plus pumps, plus tubing, plus man-hours, etc.), was definitely easier to install, took up far less space, and did an excellent job cooling my reservoir. You keep saying it will run up my energy bill, but it just hasn't, I don't know what to tell you...

    As far as upping my reservoir size, to accommodate a larger chiller or ac, you are clearly missing the point. If I wanted to have a big hydro grow, I would have one. I have 3 different sites going right now, any of which I could make into a big hydro set up...the point is, I wanted to try something new, a 6 plant micro grow. I have 3 plants per reservoir, with roughly 15 gallons of water in the res...why would I need more water than that for 3 plants? That's 5 gallons per plant...that's plenty of water. Not every situation calls for the biggest, most powerful solution. Many closet/cabinet growers aren't going to want to deal with modifying ac units, and running vents and chiller tubes through everything, so I proposed an alternative solution.

    I guess my main issue is that you keep advocating for bigger, more powerful cooling solutions when those solutions might not necessarily be the best fit for the situation. I'm not disagreeing with your use of the science behind this stuff, and I'll be the first to admit you clearly have spent more time researching "the peltier effect" than I have. However, you can't assume that one solution is going to be the best for any given grow. Someone experienced like you should know that each grow is different. In my grow, the iceprobe was by far the best overall option. And, since I really liked the product, I figured I'd share it with someone else. You don't like the iceprobe? Fine, but that doesn't mean the product can't work well. I understand that you disagree with me, and I'm glad you voiced this...debate is healthy. But, you need to accept that the iceprobe can work really well for some people; I know this for a fact, because it has for me.

    The iceprobe isn't for everyone, but neither is air conditioning. It's ok to disagree, but I think you're focusing too much on the abstract, and not enough on how this product works in the field. As I said, maybe you had an iceprobe, and it didn't work. If that's the case, then you should say so, and tell us what went wrong so we can learn from it. Otherwise, if you haven't had one, then you should perhaps consider the fact that I do own one, and use it with a great deal of success. I'm not new to growing, and I'm not an idiot; I wouldn't go around wasting my time and money on something I didn't think would work the best for my grow. I'm not going to keep arguing about efficiency rates when all I intended to do was let someone know that I used a particular product, and that it worked really well.

    In short, an ac unit wasn't a good fit for what I was trying to do, nor was a standard chiller. I feel that many other cab growers would also prefer to avoid messing around with this stuff, and that is why I brought up the icepick. I never said it was a cure-all, I just said it can work very well for smaller amounts of water, and this is in fact true.

    So, you can keeping trying to debate me over efficiency rates of cooling mechanisms, but again, you are missing the point; there is no ONE solution to cooling problems. Mine is just a possible one, and it works extremely well for me.

    fatman7574 New Member

    Bla sa, blasa, bla sa. Bull, bull, bull *hit. It is a inefficient piece of equipment that is being sold and used in an inappropraitee manner. It is because of people like the iceprobe people and people like you that make it hard to believe we will see any relief from our energy problems untiil we start having catastrophic problems worse than wars andall due to energy shortages. And you will still be running your cute liitle grossly inefficient cooler. I vote for out lawing their use in such a fashion. It is just a very inefficient luxury we all must pay for down the line. They impose mileage standards on automobiles but they let marketers sell that stuff to unknowledgable people that do not even understand how they work or just how inefficient they are. Go figure.

    CDXX Active Member

    This is a forum about marijuana growing. This thread, in particular, is about cooling reservoirs. What this thread is NOT, is a place to have a debate about energy consumption and climate change, or whatever else it was you were alluding to by saying "catastrophe".

    I offered up a suggestion about a reservoir cooling device that for me, was pretty effective. You clearly have a personal grudge against the iceprobe, and that's fine, but this isn't the place for you to personally attack me. Find another thread, then go off on a tangent about the environment over there; I'm not here to have a debate about global energy policy.

    Honestly, I'm surprised by your last post. It was, quite frankly, irrelevant to the thread topic, and did nothing more than offer up some ad hominem attacks a vague argument relating to energy consumption. Quite frankly, if you are that concerned about energy use, then you probably shouldn't be growing cannabis at you really think that using a modified a/c isn't also using energy on what is, for most people (excluding those who are genuinely ill), a luxury item? I think it is fair to say that marijuana is no more necessary for living than driving a Hummer; and most grows, particularly large ones, burn through tremendous amounts of electricity. And, let's not forget the tremendous amount of environmental damage caused by fertilizer (even organic fertilizer) getting into the water system. But you seem to be cool with all of that, so I guess that stuff is ok.

    Anyways, I'm not going to participate in the hijacking of this thread any more. This argument is no longer about the efficacy of a cooling device, and you have clearly decided to make this personal. If you have anything more to say, then you should be messaging me, not posting it here.

    Before I go, I will restate my original point one last time, so the discussion can pick up again:

    I used a coolworks iceprobe to cool an insulated reservoir with 15 gallons of water about 15-20 degrees below air temp. It was cheap, compact, easy to use/install, and reliable. I have had no problems with it thus far, and would recommend it to anyone who asked.

    JeffersonBud Active Member

    Energy and efficiency goes hand in hand with electronic devices. Fatman is pointing out that for a $130 Ice Probe, you can get a window ac unit and convert it which will run your temps with more control, and because its more efficient, save you money. I have no idea why you would negate efficiency when talking about electronic cooling CdXX. I don't think he has a vendetta about the ice probe, but simply put, there are more efficient devices to cool.
    With all due respect, I think it is YOU that can't see past something you bought, for something that is perhaps better.
    Why not take into effect energy consumption? With my liquid cooled lights, I am saving around $1500 a year on electricity! Who want's to throw away $1500? By the time a year rolls around, the window ac unit, being way more efficient, could buy you many ice probe unit, or perhaps a few hundred dollars in your pocket.
    Furthermore, having efficient mechanics means less of a footprint on the energy bill which for a lot of people growing is a welcome sign of secrecy.
    Growing cannabis is not like "driving a Hummer" YOU may like to throw money away but for most of us, it would be bad business.
    Remember, people grow outdoors for free. No Hummer involved!

    Fatman is only telling you about more efficient means, not that the device doesn't work. You are totally wrong in your thoughts about what this forum or discussion should be. We encourage BETTER and MORE EFFICIENT means to grow PERIOD.

    CDXX Active Member

    Perhaps you missed part of my point, which is understandable, because I've made several posts on this thread. So, let me reiterate:

    Just empirically speaking, my power bill hasn't gone up. The ice probe is equivalent to having roughly one, single fluorescent bulb running (50 watts or less). Basically, using the iceprobe uses less power than a standard reading lamp. The device is so small, it really doesn't use up that much electricity, regardless of efficiency. So your point about having the government discover my grow based on an iceprobe is somewhat moot; an extra 40-50w of power is not even close to being significant enough to raise suspicion. (not to mention I'm a medical grower, so it was never much of an issue anyways). And, in terms of money, perhaps it will cost me an extra 10 or 15 dollars a year more than an airconditioner...which in the grand scheme of things, is a really small sum. So your point about cost effectiveness doesn't really hold much sway; maybe it would if I was using 20 iceprobes to cool hundreds of gallons...but I'm not.

    As well, you've missed my point about scale. Using the example about liquid cooled lights is an inappropriate example...we're not talking about cooling large HID lamps...just 10-15 gallons of water. My main point was that it would be overkill to use a window A/C to chill such a small reservoir. In terms of size, it would just take up a lot of space, space that many people don't have to spare. As well, for those of us growing in a closet grow, this means having to figure out a way to install the ac, and vent the tremendous amount of hot air it would put out. Most closet growers don't want to deal with that, I know I wouldn't...after all, what's the point of growing in a closet if you still have to run multiple air ducts throughout your might as well just use the room itself.

    In summary, my point about efficiency isn't just about electricity, it's about the efficiency of grow space design, ease of use, etc. As I've said, the iceprobe only makes sense for small grows, which mine is. If I had so much water that I needed to use an a/c unit, then I would just buy an actual chiller (like a 1/4 hp one or something like that). So, for less money (again, fatman failed to mention the price of pumps, tubing, etc. you'd need), and a lot less effort, I can use a chiller which consumes less energy than a light bulb. As well, there aren't really any moving parts, nothing to leak, get clogged, etc. It also takes up perhaps 1/20 the space of an a/c unit, and could be installed in 1/50th of the time. So while an a/c unit might be more efficient in terms of output per watt, I would hardly call it better, given all of the other problems associated with its implementation.

    As for the hummer remark, I'm referring to indoor growing, I figured that was apparent...generally people aren't chilling reservoirs outdoors with air conditioners, and the person starting this thread certainly wasn't. And, my point still remains if you are growing outdoors, the runoff from your grow is in fact bad for the environment. Fertilizer runoff is a real problem, especially for big grows. I'm not personally particularly bothered by this, but the point still remains that if you were really, really worried about the environment, you wouldn't be growing, because the resources used to grow could be put to much better use elsewhere, and you WILL cause harm to the environment no matter how hard you try to avoid it.

    Ultimately, the problem with your and fatman's suggestions is that they are unworkable for a great many people. Yes, in an ideal world, we would all be using ultra efficient LED setups with perfectly calibrated thermostats and water cooled lamps, etc.. But we don't live in that world, and for a lot of people the a/c solution isn't going to be feasible. So I've proposed an alternative that works really well for me, in hopes of providing guidance to someone who was asking about different options for cooling their res. I'm not saying the a/c idea doesn't have merit, I'm just saying its not necessarily the one-stop, cure-all approach to chilling a reservoir. I never said my iceprobe worked for everything, just for small cabinet grows, and in that regard, it works really well.

    One final note: I would hardly call fatman's posts "encouraging". If you meant disparaging, that would be a more appropriate adjective. Furthermore, I think you would be hard pressed to defend his last post as anything close to constructive. I have no issue with civil disagreement like the sort you and I are having. But fatman just decided it would be easier to call me names. However, that's between me and fatman; your post was at least somewhat civil and relevant to the discussion, and I appreciate that.

    fatman7574 New Member

    ................................................................................................................................I think I am more inclined to believe the information supplied by Coolworks. They state one probe can pull the temp down 6 to 8 degrees.;_ylu=X3oDMTE0NzA4dTRvBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA01BUDAwMV84MA--/SIG=12cdljhd1/EXP=1275040678/**http%3a//

    They also clearly state DO NOT put the unit in a completely enclosed cabinet enclosure. After reading the operators manual I have come to further believe that the probe definitely does not and can not function as well as you state it does.

    CDXX Active Member

    Hahaha. If you actually read the directions, you would see that it can cool INSULATED reservoirs 15-20 degrees. I have clearly stated, numerous times, that I insulate my reservoir. Ironically, I do it because it is more efficient (since you're all about that); it retains the cold much better. So, next time try reading my post, as well as the directions, a little bit better.

    And since you've seen fit to call me a liar, I ask you: why on earth would I waste my time going to internet chat sites posting bogus cooling information? Do you think this is fun for me? I'm getting pretty tired of arguing over a stupid water chiller. But I'm not going to back down from my point, because it's true.

    So here's what I'll do: I'll post a pictures of my setup. I'll post my reservoir temperature, my cabinet, and my air temperature. Then you can do the math. And, I expect that once I provide proof, with photos, that you just acknowledge that the device can work well.

    I don't understand why its so difficult for you to admit that a chilling device can work as advertised...I'm not the only person in the world who's liked this product, just check the web for reviews. I'm not saying this product works well for everything, I'm just saying it CAN work well in some situations (like mine). Honestly, I find it absurd that you accuse me of lying, rather than just take me at me word...but as I said, I'll prove w/pics, and since a picture is worth a thousand'd better start writing your next post :p

    CDXX Active Member

    I promised pictures, so here they are. The labels of the picture files are in parentheses, so there's no confusion. The first picture (iceprobe setup 1) is of my cabinet, which is roughly the same size and shape as an average sized closet (6' tall, 6' wide, 3' deep). As you can see, the temperature inside my cabinet (iceprobe setup 2) is a warm 82 degrees. As well, you can see how I've installed the iceprobe (Iceprobe setup 3 & 5). I simply drilled a hole through the side of my reservoir (which takes perhaps 15 seconds). That white stuff you see is my insulation; I simply dismembered a foam camping cooler from the grocery store, it cost about $6. You can also see the fan on the outside, as well as the white probe on the inside, partially submerged in water (it becomes fully submerged when I put the lid back down, because the weight of the water makes the sides bow out a bit when the lid is off). You should also be able to see my thermometer, giving a reading of 19 degrees celsius (iceprobe setup 6). 19 degrees Celsius is roughly 66 degrees. That would mean the water temperature is 16 degrees cooler than the air temperature...and as I said, the iceprobe keeps my water 15-20 degrees cooler than the air temperature. Finally, I've included a bird's eye view of my setup, just for some scale. The light you see is a 4' 8-bulb T5 light.

    So, there you have it: hard proof that the iceprobe can be a very effective tool when used properly. As they say in poker, "read 'em and weep". I fully expect you to acknowledge the validity of my previous claims. And, an apology for insinuating that I'm a liar would be nice too.

    Then again, judging by the content of your're previous posts, you'll probably just accuse me of participating in some vast conspiracy to promote the iceprobe water chiller to unsuspecting closet growers on an obscure cannabis message board. Or, maybe you'll say that I doctored those pictures with photoshop, just to spite you! I'm curious to see what it will be ;)

    Attached Files:


    CDXX Active Member

    P.S. Here's a quote from the user's manual which you apparently read so well:

    "Greater temperature differentials can be achieved by insulating the exterior surfaces of the aquarium. For example, a single
    Aquarium Chiller can maintain a temperature differential of over 20ºF in a fully insulated 10 gallon aquarium."

    You can find this quote on page 3 of the pdf file linked on your last post. What is particularly amusing is that this is the first sentence that comes after the temperature chart you used to make your point. So, either you are an extremely sloppy reader, or simply disingenuous. It's one of the two, so take your pick.

    Take my advice, and stop embarrassing yourself.

    fatman7574 New Member

    Dude, grow up. It is simply a fact that in this forum that you very likely are the only one that cares about the candy *ss ice probe. We just figure if we call you on your insanitty enough you will drop it and simplmove on. It is not like anyone is going to repeat your error and buy one. Noone has steeped up and supported you or agreed with youu Dude. Beisde what does a fully insulated aquarium have to do with your set up now. Are you grasping at more strsws and now syaing your reservoir is a fully insulated aquarium. No comments on ventilation, enclosed space, mimium clearance. What ever child, your newbie heini is on my ignore list and this thread has been turned into a waste due to your repeated struggles to appear to have an acredible opinion. Your repetaed posted replies just show YOU to be an embarrasment. So you andyour play chiller ice probe and your toy box T-5 play grow can by your self enjoy your self as I doubt ayone now will care what you post for a very long time as your crebility as a serious grower is total absent.

    Good day dude.
    JeffersonBud likes this.

    CDXX Active Member

    Did someone get their feelings hurt? Again, I've shown photographic proof of it working, while you've shown...oh wait, that's right, nothing at all. Where's your hard evidence buddy? Ante up, or shut up. I've seen your other posts on this site, you jump all over people that disagree with you (a particular forum about advanced nutrients comes to mind). It sounds like you just can't handle the fact that you're wrong about something.

    You talk a good game, and throw around some numbers, but you just can't argue with reality. Unfortunately for you, there's just nothing you can say to cancel out the proof I've given. The pictures don't lie; my res is 16 degrees cooler than the air, all because of the iceprobe. End of story, there's nothing you can say to disprove that.

    As I said, I've given all the proof I need to give, the pictures speak for themselves. And I was right, you didn't bother to read the manual, or my posts, your comments clearly reflect that. I've said from the beginning that my reservoir was insulated, and honestly, I'd recommend anyone else insulate their res, it keeps the temperature stable, and helps prevent cold loss and light leaks. If you've never heard about insulating a reservoir, then you should go back to pot class 101, that's beginner stuff.

    As for the enclosed space, and minimum clearance, I honestly just followed the directions. I made sure there were a couple inches of space around it, and all I use are some basic ventilation fans. But again, this is all in the pictures. Did you not see the pictures? Because you have yet to address the fact that the photos show that the device clearly works.

    You're in a hole, buddy, so just keep on digging, its no sweat off my back. Maybe you should just relax and sit this one out.

    JeffersonBud Active Member

    I am not stating that the probe does not work. If space is a concern, then a probe might be your best shot. Different conditions dictate different perimeters. If it is working great, then keep it.
    I am only chiming in on the fact that you cannot throw away efficiency when dealing with electronic equipment. If you have the space needed, a more efficient chilling method would save you money and would give you more control over temperatures. An aquarium chiller when paired correctly to the environment and container size will chill + or - 30f. I have a 1/4 chiller cooling my 100 gallon res. for 3 1000k hps lamps. It chills the water enough to swallow all the heat created by the bulbs and does not exceed the manufactures ratings.

    Everyone here has different variables when growing. As growers, we are always looking for the MOST efficient way to produce said product. If the probe works for your variables, then it works period! If you have the space for something more commercial with a better efficiency rating then it would be wise to take advantage of the situation by optimizing efficiency. It WILL save you money in the long run.

    With that said, both of you are right in your own way.
    CDXX likes this.

    CDXX Active Member

    Well put, probably one of the more cogent posts in this thread. + rep.
    JeffersonBud likes this.

    blakeoleus Member

    Actually, CDXX's experience has convinced me to buy one as well...

    fatman, you're the one who is full of it, CDXX is just here sharing his experience and trying to help people and you're here bashing him...simple as that, Q Q

    blakeoleus Member

    CDXX, I agree with everything you have said.

    Thank you for taking the time to post this.

    I have been doing research on cooling my reservoir in my GH WaterFarm 8 pack and stumbled across this thread on the Ice Probe. If I went the chiller route, I would have to add a submersible pump which would drain the system faster than it would refill since it is gravity fed - the Ice Probe will allow me to directly cool the reservoir without a chiller - and my controller bucket (which I use as my res) is only 8 gallons, which should be even easier to chill than the reservoir you were initially chilling.

    I'm looking forward to giving this a shot and keeping my res cool without the hassle of having to add in more chillers, pumps, lines, and tubing (which would be more electricity draw and overkill for my situation)!


    Boyz N Da Hood

    Boyz N Da Hood Well-Known Member

    Pretty cool tips!

    johngrism35 Member

    Does the method of opening the top of your res. a crack and having a fan blow across the water really lower the res. temp by 10 degrees?

    hellraizer30 Rebel From The North

    Hell no not 10 degrees

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