Hi, I see many places online that talk briefly about cooling terrariums with an aquarium chiller... does anyone have a link that explains this in depth (i.e., what I need to buy (besides the chiller) and how to set up for effective cooling)?
There are 2 basic types for heavy-duty stuff; basically "flow-through" and "drop-in". The drop-in looks like a big immersion heater you might use to make soup or tea in a cup (but it's of course a lot large and cools, rather than heats) attached to a box. I decided to use one for my heliamphora tank (~75 gal). Bottom of the tank has about 4" water; the pots either suspended on grating hung along the back or on a plastic grid (normally used for lighting) covered with capillary mat (which is not being used in its usual way). Water circulates through a large Eheim external filter. the chiller coil drops into the sump and the thermostat probe that controls it is also there. There is a supplemental/booster fountain pump to help get water to the filter intake (since the water level isn't high enough for the filter to get to it normally, although, once started, either pump can keep water flowing if needed).
A drop-in must be kept pretty close to the tank that is being chilled, which means you need a way to make sure you don't fight yourself as to where the refrigeration unit dumps the heat.
The other type is a flow-through which you'd hook into a circulating line (the filter in my case would be the obvious case). You can locate that further away, but you'd need well-insulated tubes to make sure you don't lose all of your cooling before it gets where it wants.
I bought mine end of last summer getting tired of losing too many plants over the ever-longer and hotter summers; I have been happy so far, but probably wouldn't make final pronouncements on what I think until after this summer.-kby