Nano Chiller Time.... Research Results...


With summer round the corner (hopefully).. we are bound to see aquarium temp hitting greater than 80 during late morning and through the afternoon...

Last summer I was dropping in 1/2 gallon frozen bottles of water everyday to keep it below 80... This summer am looking at better options to automate the process...

a few days of research - I have 3 options of keeping the temps in check for my 20 Gallon + 5 gallon reef..

1) IceProbe Small Aquarium Chiller ( This seems that it will bring down on a 20 Gallon 2~3 only

Drawback : cumbersome - would need a temp controller else it will run all the time, not sure if it will work if temp hit 85 an above.

2) Chill Solutions: CSXC-1 Aquarium Chiller ( )

Pro- small, cool upto 30 G.
Here is an installation review:

3) Pacific Coast Chiller (CL-85 Thermo electric heater/chiller ) :

Pro- Heater included, better on long run
CON: 50 USD shipping it killing me, Non -compressor based for size (will always be less effective than compressor based 1/13/ or 1/15 chiller)

Buying options: I am more keen on the Cl-85 if I can find it with lowered shipping costs...

Suggestion advices are welcome...


I wonder if you can find one at local store (big name or not) and compare the prices there.

assuming you live in a fairly hot place, it should be fairly common? unlike here where our summers are fairly mild. only maybe 3 to 4 weeks are ever above 30 Celsius


Before deciding on a chiller, you need to guestimate your conditions.
- What is the likely maximum ambient temperature you'll get?
- What is the desired temperature to keep the tank?

Max expected ambient temperature ~ 85
Desired temperature ~ 78
Gives you a delta of 7 degrees

Therefore, you want a chiller capable of 'pulling down' your given volume of water by at least 7 degrees from ambient.

- This puts the IceProbe out of scope (not adequate IMO)
- The Chill Solutions has a pull down of 5-10 on 20G, 2-5 on 30G.... might struggle if you get some really really hot days, but probably the best suited of those you've listed
- Pacific, hard to guage unless you can get some pull-down figures.

It all depends on your requirements, and expected temperature ranges. If you have AC in the house, and ambient temperature is controlled, it may lower the requirements.

Thread moved to Aquarium Chiller forum



The ambient temp I have seen as a max is around 83~84 on the hottest day. Summers I generally see 81 ~82.

I run the tank at 78~80 degree.. well try and mantain it b/w the range. trying to keep at a fixed temp would require better precise equimement - such a digital temp controller etc.

So the Ice probe could work and so would the chill solutions.


Sounds like it'll probably come down to how easy it is to plumb in.

Keep us informed


Lot of debate which to buy .. and with luck was able to find a Ice probe w/o the temp controller for 70 bucks ..150 buck cheaper than the next one ...

kowning this would not be as effective I was still more keen as compared to the chill works chiller primarily because of the fact that - the chill works need to be outside the tank and would require another pump and plumbing .. biggest question was where to keep all that equipment if I went the chill works way.

I hooked it up on the hangon back refugI'm I have ( refugI'm : )

I did not have a drill so just a candle, screw driver and sandpaper to make the hole just enough to get the cooling rod through it...


Seems to work okay... I was not expecting it to do wonders. So far I have seen it is able to keep the temp within the 78~80 F range when ambient is hitting 83.

I doubt it will be able to bring it down to 78 when ambient hits 85 or so. IF it comes to that then I will set the light timer to turn off during late morning and early afternoons...


Thread re-opened per OP request


UPDATE: 10/25/2013

The major problem with the Novatech ice probe thermoelectic chiller is the it does not come a temperature controller. This means that once the chiller is switched on - it basically keep running.
A separate temperature controller can be bought to stuff off when the desired temperature is reached. Another option is to build a temperature controller which has both heating (plug heater here) and cooling control (plug chiller here).

This thread how to build one from readily available parts and basic DIY skills:


So how did the Chiller work for you this summer?


So how did the Chiller work for you this summer?

To and extent it did .. the highpoint was never above 82. I would work better in a smaller setup in my opinion. anything over 20 Gallon then this should not be considered or 2 such devices should be used together.

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