DIY Fan Cooler

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    Hello comrades, the hot weather has finally arrived and it was +34C in London today. It almost caught me unprepared – luckily I bought all required materials to build a diy cooler in advance (just never had time to work on them), the assembly took about 1.5 hours last night.

    The cost of build/materials used are as follows:
    – 5 x Arctic F12 – 120mm Standard Case Fan: £14,55
    – UGREEN DC Power Supply 12V 2A: £10.99
    – VCE 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC Power Male to Female Adapter Extension Cable: £2.75 (1 cable)
    – 2 wide wood strips and 2 small square wood strips: £8.00
    – Some left-over wires from my ATS scrubber project: black & red, 50 cm long
    – UHU trasluscent plastic glue: £3.00
    – Wood glue (PVC would work,however I use Titebond 2404 – it is the strongest glue I have ever used in DIY)
    – Soldiering kit, fine wood or metal saw (for a more accurate cut), pair of clamps (you can do without them//)

    The wooden frame can be made in a number of ways (best to build it around stacked fans laid on the table – they will keep the shape straight and at a right angle) – I made it in such a way that fans can be freely slotted in from above and then I applied a small amount of glue to hold them in place: this is ideal as replacing a single faulty fan in the future would not require a complete dis-assembly, glue can be scrubbed out and the fan lifted out of frame/replaced.

    Note the wiring – it’ PARALLEL, i.e. each fan is connected in the same way to the 2 (red and black) wires and uses the same 12V voltage. After all connections are soldiered cables are covered with/glued to the wood using plastic glue: this prevents them from being ripped by accident (nothing in the cooler really needs to be watertight – so you can in principle leave the cables exposed).

    The cooler has enough power to keep my Red Sea Reefer 425 at 25C-26C range. The fans are dead silent and power consumption is small (15 watt in total across 5 fans).

    Good luck,



    Great job :applause: as Chris said maybe better just buying one for the cost involved but atleast you can change it to suit your needs, Rgb fans would be a nice touch.

    Also not really a “fan” :whistling: of having them on top of the tank could try mount it on the back glass blowing across the surface.

    Id also get a mesh cover as any potential jumpers could get into the fans.


    I’d put money on it that this shifts more air and makes less noise. Not a cheap solution, but (IMO) a better one. But then I enjoy projects like this (will be doing similar this weekend).


    Yes I have seen/considered that one before building my DIY cooler. If you look a bit deeper: the 6 fan Amazon cooler (the high end version) is not even 50% as powerful (versus my 5 fan cooler), the fans are way too small.

    DIY at times can be great for 2 reasons:
    – it allows you to mend/fix issues if they occur rather than throw away the entire unit
    – it gives me a greater sense of appreciation of my tank (but I understand that everyone has his/her own ways of achieving it)!

    So far this is my 3rd major marine tank DIY:
    – DIY rocks
    – ATS Scrubber
    – Cooler


    Forgot to mention for those who would want to built a similar unit: do NOT glue fans together if you want to be able to replace faulty one should that occur, just slot them it and put a bit of glue between fan and wooden frame.


    I bought one and it failed in less than 3 months mate. total waste of money and amazon abandon you after the first month only to say ‘please contact the manufacturer’……which are in China…
    If i were to ever buy again i would go with the D&D because at least you will get back up in the UK unlike the money down the drain i had on amazon.


    Fans are so last year, chillers are the way forward.

    Now, if you can make a chiller, MAN that would impress me lmao

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