Monday, September 21, 2015

DIY Corner: Fan Power pt.2

Hi Folks!

Back with another update on the DIY Fan setup. Aftering using this fan for sometime and really seeing just how effective the cooling via PC fans was and how viable it is for folks living in hotter areas, I wanted to figure out how I could improve on an already effective method. 

I realized that I couldn't really do much to increase the cooling capacity, but I could work on finding an effective way to combat the evaporation for my tanks. Realizing that the fan's doesn't need to be in operation for 24/7 (or until I turned it off manually) I opted to find a smart solution.

I am very pleased to be introducing the brain-ware v1.0. This brain-ware is rigged to kickstart the fans at set temperature and auto on/off when the temperature is met. This allows the tanks to stay cool but eliminates the human need of constantly monitoring and topping off the tanks. 

The temperature probe is very effective at monitoring the tank's temperature and making sure the tank is never above set temperature. For all my tanks, I've rigged PC fans and the brainware to monitor each tank's temperature. 

To test how effective this brain-ware was at maintaining the correct temp, below are a few photos of my Ellen Wang tank kept cool by the brain-ware. 

Sunday was a very hot day. I wanted to test the extremes of the PC fans and brain-ware. 

Sunday's outside temperature was 100F.
100F Day

As you can see, with the PC and brain-ware, the Ellen Wang PRL tank is kept at a nice cool 73.9F

The probed indicated that the temp increased by .01F by the time I moved closer to the brain-ware to take photo.

The temp of the room with probe outside. 89.7F is no joking matter. This little fan has enough power to pull the tank's temp down from a balmy 89.7F to 73.9F without breaking a sweat! That's a 15.8 degrees drop! 

As you can see, not only is the PC effective on days with of 100F temps, the probe is very accurate at monitoring the temperature. It's on/off function is just fantastic and really gets the job done!


  1. Where can I get a fan and brain ware like the ones you have? And would it work just as well for a 20 long tank?

    1. Hey Anon:

      The beauty of this project is that you can literally use any PC fans. If you have an old PC laying around, open it up and take any of the fans inside and you’ll be ready to go. Of course, different fans will offer different things. Some are louder, some are faster, etc. If you’re looking for my particular unit, it’s the Antec 3-speed fans. A quick eBay search for that name will give you what you’re looking for. There’s a 90mm and 120mm and even a smaller size. I found that 90mm works the best because it’s the perfect balance between power and efficiency.

      The brainware is also an eBay buy. Search for ‘MH1210F’ and you’ll find the controller. A little wiring knowledge is required, but nothing that I’m sure you cannot handle.

      And you answer your question – Yes! The 90mm has more than enough power to cool down a 20g tank. This unit on my 20G Long was more than enough power. It was so effective in fact that it forced my heater to turn on constantly. Hence I needed the Brainware to control the temp and minimalize the evaporation. Tests conducted sampled the hottest day in California. On those days, temps were as high as 100F with indoors temps being around the high 80s (don’t recall exactly), but the tanks were kept at a breezy 75F.

      I just finished wiring a new prototype for my 20L with more consideration of aesthetics in mind. I’m excited to unveil it in a latter post. It’s made from CPU fans and is very beautiful and elegant.