Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mystifying Islands

After much struggling with my hardscape, I manage to put together Mystifying Islands 3 months before IAPLC 09. I hope this scape will mature by mid April.


1) Tank Size: 45cm x 27cm x 30cm

2) Tank Vol: 50l

3) Lighting: 2 x 36W PL

4) Lighting duration: 4 hrs on 4 hrs off 4 hrs on

5) Substrate: Aqua Soil Amazonia II

6) CO2: Pressurized CO2 with ceramic diffuser at 2 bubbles per second

7) Fertilisation: Brighty K, Step 1, Green Gain, ECA

8) Hardscape: Red Moorwood, Kurokinryu stones

9) Plants: E. Vivaparis, Taxiphyllum alternans, Hemianthus callitrichoides "Cuba"anubias nana "petite"

10) Fish: Nil

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Making a temperature controller for Hailea Chiller

China chillers such as Hailea and Resun cost 3 to 4 times cheaper than their US and European counterparts. However, the most common problem faced by users is that the temperature controller of the china chiller is not robust. It tends to give problem every 1 to 2 years.

There are generally two methods I can think of to improve the condition: -

1) Replace the sensor in the Hailea or Resun chiller with one thermocouple which can be submerge into your tank to monitor the temperature. This can be done but a suitable thermocouple must be used. Personally, I have yet to try this

2) Use an external temperature controller. This temperature controller has a waterproof thermocouple that can be submerge into water. This controller also allows user to adjust temperature with more flexibility. I have manage to make an external temperature controller myself for approx $70.

The items needed to build an external temperature controller: -

1) Temperature controller & thermocouple. I uses the fox brand and I purchase it from Sim Lim Tower for S$60
More information can be found here

2) Three pin socket. This can be bought for approx S$5.
Picture of socket can be found here

3) Power cord. I got this free as I salvage from my old PC

4) Power enclosure. I got this for free as I salvage from old parts. A plastic one made of polycarbonate or ABS will be suitable. Ideally, an enclosure made of UL94V0 material will be ideal. A good enclosure cost about S$15-20 despite cheaper ones are available at $5.
Encloures can be found here

I will take some pictures of my temperature controller shortly.