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  1. #1
    MartinCrabtree's Avatar
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    Aquarium heater?

    Has anyone ever used an aquarium heater to maintain tempering bath temperatures? it seems like it would make things much easier. What made me think of this is E-6 processing requirements. Any experiences or opinions?

  2. #2
    Athiril's Avatar
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    I havent found any aquarium heaters that go up to 38c-39c, as people dont normally keep fish at those temperatures.

    Think the ones I saw go up to 33.8c. Perhaps you could test how long it takes to develop properly at this temp with your chems and if the results are any good with E-6 or not? I think contrast might be lower even with corrected development time is my feeling.

    I'm not sure if you put an aquarium heater designed for a much larger volume of water in a small bath lower than what its designed for it'd both heat up over it's max normal temp and also keep that stable.

    I've used the tetenal kit C-41 @ 31c with the instructions provided and results were very good (I've tried flexicolor @ 20c and 24c and results are crap, thin density range), so perhaps a tetenal E-6 kit would provide instructions for 31c.

    For temperature regulation what I do is use a plastic tank, and pre-soak my film in hot water above the temperature required for processing to heat the tank up for a few minutes before placing my developer in at the right temp, plastic is a good insulator, where as steel is a great conductor and the worst insulator and will change temps quicker on you.

    Pre-soak + surrounding water bath in a plastic tank should get you a very stable temp if you're really paranoid. If you have a heater regulating a bath temperature, steel may be the choice of tank

    edit: 30c sorry it gives.
    Last edited by Athiril; 05-23-2010 at 01:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Yes, I have Paterson colour processing tank & water bath, I think called a Thermo drum that came in a job lot of darkroom stuff, it has two aquarium heaters and one thermostat that someone had put together as a home-made heater system, it does work well at 38°C.

    I also have an aquarium heater with built in thermostat and that also maintains 38°C with no problems, but I used to pre-heat the water first.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I buy the el cheapo aquarium heaters when I find them to use in tempering my e-6/c-41 'cooler' water bath. My cooler has a 300W heater mounted diagonally with the thermostat end in one corner of the bath Ones with a bimetallic thermostat are the key. Break of the stop tabs, and wind the control until you get to 38C.

    If I am putting the chems on to heat in the morning for use that evening after work I will start with 20C or so water, and put the lid on the cooler. My rig has enough room for 4-1L bottles of chemistry. I drop the bleach and fix in after pulling the CD out if doing E-6, since they only have to be moderately warm. I also resort to microwaving the bleach and fix in lieu of water bath warming them.

    If I am putting chems on to warm after coming home from work, I loosen bottle caps to let expanding air out, and add water at 35-40C. I also plug in a fish tank pump to move the heat around if I am fast heating.
    my real name, imagine that.

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    I tried the fish tank heater and it was fair. I'm using a double hot plate I got at Wal-Mart now.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6

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    heater

    I tried an aquarium heater but it was about 150 watts, not enough to get 100 deg F. I am using an old water bed thermostat that goes up to 100 degrees...toasty. The local plumbing concern had a 1500 watt 240 volt water heater element. Using 120 volts, this provides about 350 watts, just right! It cost less than 10 bucks. I'm using a plastic dish pan, and a cooler pump to swirl the water around. The whole rube goldberg device develops c-41 really well. Fun!

  7. #7

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    check out the Won brother's heaters. They have an external temperature probe and are easily modified to run hotter than normal. There was a fellow here on APUG who did just that and even posted a picture of how it's done. See this link.
    Frank Schifano

  8. #8

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    I tried an aquarium heater that was mounted in a glass tube as a tray heater one very cold winter. The heater was designed to be run imersed in a fish tank. Note: 'Imersed'. As I tipped the developing tray up to lift the developer dish out of the bath, the heater came out of the water and the temperature shot up alarmingly inside the heater. When I lowered the dish down again the relatively cool water ran back over the now very hot glass... and shattered it.

    Just something to watch if you use a glass cased heater...
    Steve

  9. #9

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    This is available in the UK: http://www.novadarkroom.com/product/...ic_Heater.html you would probably be able to find something similar in the USA - but watch out for the empty water container as steven_e007 states.

    nn

  10. #10

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    For several years I used 2 100 watt aquarium heaters in a tempering bath, along with an aquarium water pump to circulate the water. I screwed the adjusting knob on one heater all the way in so it would stay on all the time. The other heater was adjusted to turn on & off when the temp hit 100 degrees. It worked very well.

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