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Water Chillers

Robert F Porter

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7 Apr 2021
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16
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London
Hello there. I am in the middle of scoping out the necessary equipment for a new 240 L tank. One query I had concerns water chillers. I live in London and these days typically (usually in August) the temperature rises to close to 40 degrees C for a week or two. This put me in mind that I might need to buy a water chiller because I will be aiming to keep my tank at 24 degrees C. Water chillers are not really discussed in the books and the chillers I see online are pretty pricy. What is the advice here, and what do most people do? If chillers are a good way forward, what is a recommended solution? Many thanks
 

Nick potts

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25 Sep 2014
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Chillers are expensive, they also pump out lots of heat so are usually best placed outside, or at least in a different room from the aquarium.

Another option is cooling fans attached to a temperature controller, I have used large fans before and they can typically drop the temp but 2-3c or more.

Having the temp rise in the summer, and raise really high for a couple of weeks is likely not going to cause you any issues.
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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381
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Lancashire
I wouldn't have thought the tap water temp would get above 25c even in a hot summer so water changes are the best option, you could also add some ice to a bag and float that in the tank, although I expect that would only have a minor impact on a 240l tank.
 

Robert F Porter

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7 Apr 2021
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Thank you very much. From what you both say looks like water chillers are on the whole an expensive distraction, so I can save myself some money here and just be prepared to do the gruntwork carrying the water bucket from the bath to the aquarium! :)
 

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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You could put large pet bottles in the freezer and put 1 or 2 in the tank when it's hot. :) I tried this a few time with 1.5-litre bottle frozen water floating in a 60-litre tank and worked pretty good.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I ran a lfs that was in a flat roof building with 3 outside walls that baked in the summer, add to that thousands of liters of heated water and we still only had to run a chiller on the high end corals for a couple of days a year.
I found ice (frozen ro in our case) did very little to manage the temperature but it only got to 28c or so and if you have enough oxygen at that level you will be fine.

Fans are great and we had big industrial sized ones. Its this evaporative cooling that is far more effective than anything else for me but still is often needed in our climate.
Planted tanks tend to be run with led and open top and this is much cooler than using a lid or metal halide which might benefit from a chiller but again only a couple of days a year.
 

Hufsa

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22 Aug 2019
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I use a couple of old pc fans to keep my tank below 26 degrees in the summer. I control them with an Inkbird and ive found them to be very effective at cooling down the tank. Im sure I could get the temperature lower but I settled for a balance between temperature and evaporation. Switching from T8 to LED lights also made a big difference but most use LED nowadays anyway so maybe not so helpful for most. All in all Ive found evaporative cooling very effective and it has undoubtedly saved my tank during the last few years unusual heatwaves.
 

Kevin Eades

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24 Jan 2021
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Thank you very much. From what you both say looks like water chillers are on the whole an expensive distraction, so I can save myself some money here and just be prepared to do the gruntwork carrying the water bucket from the bath to the aquarium! :)
Get yourself a small pump and some piping. I was using buckets for years. Until I researched aquascaping and watched geoerge farmers water change videos and realised I was making my life very hard. Now I can change 3 tanks in less than an hour (90l 110l and 57l tanks) I have two hoses one waste out to garden one fills using gravity from a bucket in the bath.
 

X3NiTH

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13 Apr 2014
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If you absolutely need cooling for a large volume and want to minimise evaporation you can’t go far wrong with the coolers from D-D, I’m currently running the 300 series on a Fluval EVO 57L as my Reef tank is in the kitchen with no ability to open a window, last summer temps got really high and the cheap Peltier eBay cooler I was using died on me, wasn’t taking chances.

82F88E71-37DE-418E-88DF-7B545426A4F9.jpeg


This cooler was bought as overkill for this tank as its intended use is on a 260L’ish Reef I’m building.

Absolutely gets the job done, able to achieve 10 degree temp drop on 150L, 5 degree drop on 300L.

:)
 

Hufsa

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This cooler was bought as overkill for this tank as its intended use is on a 260L’ish Reef I’m building.
Absolutely gets the job done, able to achieve 10 degree temp drop on 150L, 5 degree drop on 300L.

If these ridiculous heatwaves continue each summer im gonna have to spring for one of these coolers for my self, or move to Siberia..
 

ceg4048

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This put me in mind that I might need to buy a water chiller because I will be aiming to keep my tank at 24 degrees C. Water chillers are not really discussed in the books and the chillers I see online are pretty pricy. What is the advice here, and what do most people do?
Hello,
Most people do nothing, as chilling a planted freshwater tank is completely unnecessary unless there is some special requirement. Having a desire to keep the tank at 24 degrees seems an arbitrary decision unless it is required for a breeding program or some such objective. As mentioned, the water temperature will not necessarily rise to 40, especially for a large water volume of nearly 240 liters. If it's only for a few weeks in the year it's hardly worth the price of a chiller.
If the water temperature rises then simply do large water changes using cold tap, and/or add ice cubes. This is a lot cheaper than buying another refrigerator for your tank.

Cheers,
 

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