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Fishroom Vent Fan

Rating: 4 votes, 4.50 average.
To keep humidity levels down in the fishroom, it's important to have a vent fan that exports moist air out of the home. With my last tank, humidity was a factor but once the vent was installed, a marked improvement occurred. During the remodeling project, I tried to clean up the old fan but it had shorted out, leaving a dead motor in its wake.

When the 280g was running, the vent was directly over the tank. I felt that was the perfect spot because it would exhaust heat from the lighting as well. However, what I observed was salt creep amassing on the vent, which would drip down onto the light fixtures and possibly into the saltwater below. With this tank, I decided it would be best to move the vent to an area I could reach more readily and it could drip on the floor without consequence.

Prior to Jessy's visit, I'd purchased this vent fan at Home Depot for $109.

I had a spot picked out in that attic that I hoped wouldn't interfere with any of the new stuff in the fishroom beneath, like the water vat or the light tracks.

While I was in the attic, I marked the sheetrock where the vent fan would be installed, and drilled some pilot holes through the sheetrock at the corners. Then I double checked where those holes were from inside the fishroom. They were in the perfect spot.

Jessy helped me out by holding a styrofoam cooler against the ceiling while I cut out the hole from above with a Saws-All. She caught all the sheetrock dust and the square piece of sheetrock that dropped through.

The vent fan's body was screwed to an adjacent ceiling joist. A section of rigid aluminum tubing directed the exhaust out the whirlybird in the roof above. This is how the last vent was run, and I never had mold or mildew issues. The fan was wired to a common 6' grounded cord, which was plugged into a nearby outlet that is controlled by a switch in the fishroom.

The fan runs around the clock all year long. On rare occasions, it is switched off, like when the weather is below 30F at night. During those cold winter nights, the fan is off to stop pulling out warm air from the house so the reef's temperature doesn't drop too low. During the day time, the fan is turned back on. I'd say the fan is off maybe one week a year.

This fan comes with a 2-year warranty. It is 1 sone, which is dead silent. It uses about 2 amps.

As you can see, placement was absolutely perfect. I can step up on the walkboard when the cover has to be taken down to clean it.

This project was completed in less than 30 minutes, and immediately the difference was apparent. The tank's temperature doesn't get as hot during these milder weather weeks, and the house humidity dropped as expected. During the seven month remodel, I wasn't venting my home with all that water in the livingroom, and the intake grates to my central A/C have rust damage. I'll have to replace those with new ones soon.

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Tags: vent fan
DIY projects


  1. Jnarowe's Avatar
    nice clean install Marc. I have a hard time imaging that Nutone can keep up, but I don't know all the particulars. I blew air across my tank and exhausted at the far end, but still got salt creep and mild corrosion. It just takes regular wipe downs I guess.
  2. melev's Avatar
    The last fan was Broan and lasted several years.
  3. Jnarowe's Avatar
    Same manufacturer actually. I think nearly every fan you can get @ HD is made by Broan/Nutone. FOr my situation, I was glad I used the high-end fans, but I needed them for evap cooling, so certainly a different situation.
  4. DJ in WV's Avatar
    You have to keep a eye on those fans i had one catch fire in the bathroom over the shower. They should be checked every few months to see how hot the fan motor is running they aren't meant for continues duty
  5. Sisterlimonpot's Avatar
    Do you have that running through you ACIII? or will you be shutting it on and off manually?
  6. melev's Avatar
    It runs all the time. As I explained above, I may turn it off at night for maybe 5 to 7 nights out of an entire year. It doesn't need to be controlled at all.
  7. Alaska_Phil's Avatar
    Nice Marc. I'm sure that makes a huge difference. I'm afraid I may need to install an HRV (Heat Recover Ventilator) when I set up the 150 gal at home.

  8. Jato460's Avatar
    I had to get a vent fan for the cabinet under my tank because the drywall in the back of it got really soft.
  9. dahenley's Avatar
    Marc, because Its vented to the roof fan, when the actual fan Is off, Does the roof fan produce a vacuum effect and still pull air? I know there is a flap in those fans, But wasn't sure if it would suck past the flapper. Just curious.
  10. melev's Avatar
    The whirlybird spins as the wind moves it. I have two on my home, so when I want to make sure the vent fan is running, I just look up at the roof line to see if one is spinning faster than the other.

    I doubt there is enough suction to pull the air through the vent when off. The tubing is 3" in diameter, and the whirlybird is easily 12" or more.