New to chillers

  • #1
I have no experiences with chillers but I fear I may need one as summer is approaching. As my profile shows I live in the southwest in what has been described as one of the hottest and driest places on earth short of the GobI desert. Temps reaching sustained 120's July and august. Of course we have AC but to save energy the AC fluctuate between 78 low 6am-midnight to 81 high midnight to-6am. Point is I like keeping my Aquarium at 74 as it is a proven fact that lower temps slow the spread of pathogens, reduce affects of toxins, and hold more oxygen. Higher temps do just the opposite.
Is there a consensus among you experienced Aquarist that summer fish death and disease is higher then fall and winter?
Anyone use a chiller for fresh or salt have a recommendation on brand that is a good value (price and reliability) for a 60ga?

  • #2
I keep my tanks at 78F except for the one I keep at 80F and never (knock on wood) have a disease problem I personally don't see a need for a chiller . Some diseases are actually treated by raising the water temp. That's just my : of course

But as for your question someone will probably be along soon and share some ideas with you.

  • #3
Tunze and JBJ get good reviews - I have a Tunze (old), a decent chiller will set you back at least 800-900 dollars, and they do cost a bit to run, even energy efficient models. Not to get in an argument - but the species in your tank are from area with water temp at 80F roughly. Secondarily, most LFS keep tanks at 79 roughly. Lowering the tank temp below nominal temps for species most likely results in compromised immune system, which is more of a potential issue than pathogenic spread at a certain temp. Last article I read on fish patogens - shows a range of pathogens that proliferate at a significant range of temperature.

Below is disolved oxygen water table - not enough difference of 5f to affect fish (74f to 79f).

Water Temperatures Degrees ° C
Oxygen saturation in mg/l
Minimum oxygen requirements of fish (mg/l)

05° C = 41° F --- 12.8 mg/l --- Minimum 9.1 mg/l
10° C = 50° F --- 11.3 mg/l --- Minimum 8.8 mg/l
15° C = 59° F --- 10.2 mg/l --- Minimum 8.3 mg/l
20° C = 68° F --- 09.2 mg/l --- Minimum 7.8 mg/l
25° C = 77° F --- 08.2 mg/l --- Minimum 7.4 mg/l
30° C = 86° F --- 07.5 mg/l --- Minimum 6.9 mg/l

Just my opinion - but you could raise temp to 79F, not have to purchase a chiller, and disolved O2 is not an issue at 79F. Again just my opinion.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Please never hold back objective info with me. I may not like it but Id rather learn something. Yes I have read about compromising the immune system and why my original temp 72 was raised to 74. Mostly because it really helped me through the ammonia cycle with fish which was a far more likely killer. But your right even 74 is a little low for long term and maybe why I am experienced one fin rot case and maybe two. The LFS told me to at least tray the 1st summer and see if it manageable with a minI cycle as chillers are not likely to run low on the market and my even drop in price.

Thanks I just needed some more contradicting and will start adjusting my temp slowly tonight from 74 to 75, a point a day until it gets to 79 which will probubly be our average AC temp. Just hope fin-rot doesn't come out of the woodwork. Thanks
FL CommunityFans
  • #5
Also, increased temperature increases a fishes metabolism, activity, and aggression levels. Not an issue if you don't have aggressive fish but by increasing their metabolism it allows their immune system to be a little stronger and burn and fight off pathogens. Though when there's something nasty in the tank.. there's something nasty no matter what temp you have it at.

I run my tanks between 77-81 depending on stock
  • #6
If you do end up getting a chiller - the digital controlled models with quiet running and engergy efficient are the way to go - even though of course on the priciest ends. The diigital control would have saved me from constantly fine tuning it. As to the other information - your welcome.


  • #7
What has your temp been in your house? I think if you have good insulation, which I think you would need if you lived in a place with extreme temps, then I don't think a chiller would be necessary. Also, I don't think that the temperature would be raised that much even with the outside temps being so high.

I agree with FL CommunityFans with the info given about an increased temperature. If you are worried about the oxygen in the tank, I think you can just aerate it more with an air pump.

Then again, this is only my opinion and only going off of what I have experienced myself. Besides, aren't chillers a little expensive?
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Here is the one I was thinking of buying on sale with free shipping. Digital, 60 gal, and $299. What do you think? I'm not sure but I think I still have to buy a pump or maybe connect to my canister filter return.

  • #9
wow - that looks sweet - I just read up on it and from what I read it seems to require a pump, and it gets very good reviews in reef sites. 299.00 looks to be a very good price.

What about to your cannisters output - that is how I set mine up, but it was a sump return for SW. I wonder if any difference in water temp going through filter then distribute to tank, versus filter output then into tank, possible better temp control of main tank water? I don't know. And I guess that is the only aspect of having separate pump = better water/temp control, separate maintenance? Start out the way you identified and then go to separate pump id temp is an issue. I would be curious what temp output to cannister, temp in cannister, then temp in water - probably not much difference. Unfortunately, I tend to be a gadget geek and I like the gear side as much as the fish. I want to get it just to play around and I don't even need one.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
In winter its nice to have your heater set to a consistent temp supported by the coll weather as we like it cool in the house about 62 Deg with sweaters. Guest think we are crazy. So a heater keeps the temp spot on not worrying required unless they both fail (have two). When we had an Indian summer day here last month of 80, the temperature shot up from 74am to 80 noon then back down to 74 by evening, all in one day. I would really like to avoid that constant shifting if for nothing else as we very our AC to minimal setting depending on wife's hot flashes, sometimes 76, sometimes 82 and I know the tank will follow unless I set the heaters to 82, and here come the blooms and pathogens LOL. I guess if I do get it got to call and find out GPH for separate pump, hope a cheap powerhead is all that's needed. Don't want filter gook going into or out of the chiller. I know I would not have this issue with a 300ga because of the mass of water, but a 60ga chnages especially if I want to maintain 76Deg.


  • #11
He's a couple quotes from the site you provided.
"AquaEuroUSA Mighty Pro 1/13 HP Aquarium Chiller For Tanks Up To 60 Gallons". Sounds like it has its own pump. And, "Flow Rate: 300-500 GPH".
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Sounds like it but a few reviews talk about how its hooked up to a pump and in the accessory tab it shows a pump. Ill have to do some calling and find out if it requires a pump (as most do) and the GPH requirement if any. Then look at some pumps for a total butt gouging. Hmmm? More to think about. If I had a small freezer Id try placing a copper coil inside for the air pump and see if that would work but this would be better.
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Well a 294 gph marine grade Pump is not too much $48 but the problem occurred to me that if you use a separate bump instead of my canister filter pump (assuming my canister pump has the head pressure to push 300 GPH through it) It will mean I will have to have another filter on the end on the intake pump which takes up more room (sponge filter) inside the aquarium unless I use another outside canister filter which will then intern drop the GPH of the pump

473.jpg "Somebody help me!"
Well after all the research it all boiled down to cost ratio of fish loss due to heat issues VS monthly recurring cost (forget about the investment $400) of chiller power 800 BTU's or even 1/13 HP comes to about 300 watts X 24 hours equals 7.2 KWH a day! That comes to 216 KWH a month X 15 cents per KWH total recurring cost $32 a month or for the cost of the whole summer about $192 worth of new fish and aquarium stuff. Scratch one chiller. Even if my whole take died id only be out $120 max in FRESHWATER fish...

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