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Environmental: Cooling & Airflow Supplies

For Bioactive Terrariums & Live Vivariums

About Cooling + Airf. Hide Cooling Info

About Cooling

Your ambient room temperature is the biggest decision maker when it comes to purchasing additional cooling supplies. If the room your vivarium will be kept in remains between 67-74F year round, additional supplies usually aren't necessary! Some lighting kits run hotter than others, and our recommended options (and their heat ratings) are described on our Lighting Kits pages. We recommend considering both your ambient room temperature and your lighting kit when determining whether or not a cooling device will be necessary. If ambient room temperature will be 10-15°f cooler than the max recommended for the species of animal you are working with, you almost certainly won't need to worry about additional cooling for your vivarium. Especially if you'll be using one of our cooler-running lighting kits. :-)

About Keeping Glass Clear

Most enthusiasts think "cooling" when fans are mentioned, but they are also useful for super-humid vivariums where condensation on the glass becomes an issue. In that case, these fans can move enough air through the enclosure to prevent condensation build-up completely. If your enclosure isn't expected to remain over 85% R/H, condensation probably won't be a concern, so you can skip the added expense. On a related note, a little condensation in the early morning isn't something we generally try to prevent at NEHERP. Think of it like morning dew. :-)

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Zoo Med Aquacool Fan

Our favorite terrarium cooling fan

Zoo Med Aquacool Zoo Med Aquacool
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See installation example here
NEHERP Staff Description:
This quiet-running centrifugal fan can be used a few different ways in our vivarium hobby. The body clips to the back or side of an enclosure (usually the back), and an extended blower nozzle sticks out & over the top. The nozzle's direction can be adjusted, meaning airflow can be aimed wherever you'd like it. We've used it most often for blowing air over lighting options to help keep things cool. If a timer and/or cooling thermostat is used, this unit can blow some air directly into an enclosure too. A recent setup we built for a museum proved that a single Aquacool was able to drop the interior temperature of a 36X18X36 (100+ gallon) vivarium about 5°f. All the hardware for mounting to an enclosure is included.
Manufacturer Description:
Fully adjustable side-mounting Aquarium/Terrarium Cooling Fan. Low voltage (12v - Adapter Included) for maximum safety when used near a wet environment. Better than overhead fans: Side-mounted fan assembly to minimize water splash on the motor and to prevent accidental immersion. Multi-directional discharge nozzle for precise air flow focus. Fully adjustable, wide discharge nozzle for maximum cooling.
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Zoo Med Repti Cooler

An evaporative cooler for terrariums

Zoo Med Repticooler Terrarium Cooler For Planted Terrariums Zoo Med Repticooler Terrarium Cooler For Bioactive Vivariums
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NEHERP Staff Description:
Larger evaporative coolers have been used to cool homes effectively, and Zoo Med shrunk the concept down into a size useful for terrariums. Evaporative coolers work by allowing air to pass over a filter saturated by water, which drastically reduces air temperature. Simply add water to the reservoir, select your fan speed, direct your airflow, and allow the Repticooler to blow slightly cooler air where you need it. Tying it to a cooling thermostat is ideal, and this device will remember it's fan setting when re-powered or controlled externally. While this method of cooling has a bunch of benefits, but it's got to be used correctly for best results. For example, placing this cooler directly near hot lights will just heat the water reservoir and negate it's evaporative cooling effect. It's critical to keep the reservoir cool, if you are looking for the maximum cooling effect. Furthermore, the water reservoir needs water for this to function properly. Zoo Med rates the water reservoir large enough to run for 54 hours on "low", 36 hours on "medium", and 18 hours on "high" fan settings. By keeping the reservoir full and room temperature, the effectiveness of this cooler will be maximized. You can learn more about this type of cooling device by searching "About Evaporative Coolers" on Google. (External link). This unit is pretty big at 13in x 9in x 6in, and is recommended for 18in + larger enclosures only, which have a footprint of at least 13in x 9in left available on top.
Manufacturer Description:
Lowers ambient temperature through evaporative cooling by up to 10°F, just add water. Great for seasonal cooling to encourage breeding response. Quiet 3-speed fan. Directional air vent. Use with Zoo Med’s Environmental Control Center for precision accuracy.
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Non-Stock Product Recommendation:

DIY Fan Solutions

Enthusiast-driven solutions can work great!

DIY Fan Kit DIY Fan Kit
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NEHERP Staff Recommendation:

We can't compete on price when it comes to DIY-components for custom fan kits, but we do have a few recommendations for things to consider & avoid on Amazon. Brushless fans are typically the way to go. Most are small, energy efficient, and low-noise units for moving a small amount of air. Calculating how much air movement you need in CFM (cubic feet per minute) can be tricky, so having some sort of adjustable running speed can be helpful. Especially since different times of the year may require different fan speeds. For safety, we recommend sticking to low-voltage units. Fans which run on 12V or 5.5V are a good bet, with 5.5V being a typical USB Charger's amount of voltage. We don't recommend using a 110V (line voltage) fan for this purpose, as doing so carries far more risk than a low-voltage solution. In addition, we also recommend searching for an IP65-IP68 rated fan. These ratings give you added peace of mind for use around a small amount of water and dust. In summary, a solid solution will be a 5.5V or 12V fan which carries an IP65 rating (or better) and has an adjustable output. While there are many hobbyists mounting these inside of a terrarium, that's not generally something we do at NEHERP. If that's the plan, be extra careful to ensure the fan's intake and exhaust paths are kept clear of obstructions, and have a mesh cover tight enough to protect the inhabitants from contacting the spinning fan. Safety note: Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations and use caution when working with electronic products.

Things To Avoid:
• 110V / 120V Operation
• No power adapter included
• No IP67/IP68 or moisture rating
• Pigtails in lieu of plugged adapters
• "High Flow" or large brushless fans

Things To Look For:
• 5V, 5.5V, or 12V Operation
• Power Adapter Included
• Adjustable Speed Controller
• IP67 or IP68 Rating
• 20-40MM for smaller terrariums
• 50-70MM for larger terrariums

We don't carry these at NEHERP, so please check them out at the above link.
As an Amazon Associate, our small business earns from qualifying purchases ♥

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