Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by Coral Realm
An aquarium chiller can be exactly what your fish tank needs. Fish are cold blooded, meaning that like reptiles and amphibians they can’t regulate their body temperature themselves. This is true for all freshwater fish and saltwater fish.
Being cold blooded means they get their body temperature from the surrounding water. Therefore fluctuations in water temperature can have drastic effects on the health of your fish, as water temperature is linked with how their bodies work.
At higher temperatures water holds less dissolved oxygen, so warmer water affects fish respiration. And metabolism is also affected by temperature, and metabolic processes occur quicker in warmer water.
Therefore it is very important to have the temperature of the water in the right range for your fish, so they can be as healthy as possible.
A best aquarium chiller will help with this, and will bring the temperature into the right range. We have listed the top 6 best aquarium chillers available at the moment, so have a look through and see which one is best for your tank.
IN THIS ARTICLE
6 Best Aquarium Chillers
The following table lists the top 6 best aquarium chillers on the market today. We have laid it out in a table format so you can easily see each unit compared to the others and their main features. The detailed reviews are further down in this article.[table “7” not found /]
Factors To Be Aware of When Buying The Best Aquarium Chiller
Your aquarium chiller will be working 24/7 to ensure the water temperature is correct so your fish are as healthy as they can be. So whilst you may not think about the energy it takes to run, after a while it all adds up!
So taking into account the energy consumption of your aquarium chiller is an important factor that should influence your decision, as more efficient machines are often better.
The flow rate is an important aspect of the chiller which needs consideration. The flow rate often determines how effective the machine is at maintaining the water temperature. Smaller aquariums can have a lower flow rate, while larger aquariums need a higher flow rate to maintain the larger volume of water.
The construction of the aquarium chiller does come to the fore, as you want the chiller to maintain maximum function for many years. Not only will this ensure the water is maintained at the temperature you want, but that you will not have to replace anything.
You need to have a little look at the capacity the chiller can handle. The manufacturer will say what the capacity of the machine is in the product description.
You don’t want to be using an aquarium chiller which cannot handle the water capacity of the tank, as it will not function properly. Conversely you don’t want to use a huge capacity chiller on a small aquarium as you may have trouble with the water cooling too much!
Whilst the noise the chiller will make when operational won’t make a huge amount of difference to the functionality of the product, you will have to end up listening to it! And after all fish tanks are most often in a prominent position in the house, so you don’t really want a very loud machine.
Pretty much all aquarium chillers will have some operating noise, and this is a necessary evil, but you don’t want excessive noise.
The refrigerant liquid utilized by can have an effect on the functionality of the aquarium chiller. However this is often minimal.
Many refrigerant liquids used can be quite harmful to the environment. Whilst many products are starting to lean towards using liquids which are environmentally friendly, please make sure that you check the product description and purchase a chiller which uses these greener options.
Top 6 Best Aquarium Chiller Reviews
1) Baoshishan Aquarium Chiller
This aquarium chiller by Boshi is a great choice for cooling your tank. There are four power options available; 1/10 HP, ⅓ HP, ½ HP and 1 HP. They are for use in aquariums of 42, 75, 130, and 240 gallons respectively. It is very well made and will maintain function for a long time.
It has an ultra quiet design, which allows it to cool the aquarium water without much noise at all. This is really useful if your aquarium is in your living room, as you don’t want something making excessive noise when you are trying to relax!
It is very easy to operate and use. It is very easy to set the temperature to the range that you want, then you simply need to let it do its job. The temperature is displayed in real time, so you can keep a close eye on the temperature of your aquarium.
The dual fan design means that this aquarium chiller has a higher efficiency and quicker heat dissipation than some other models on the market.
The amount of energy used is minimised, meaning you will spend as little money as possible keeping it running. With electronic refrigeration technology, this chiller offers maximal environmental protection and no emissions.
2) JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller
This is a top quality aquarium chiller. It is a state of the art model that has a smart memory chip which resets to the last programmed temperature setting if there is a power cut.
JBJ is a company with a great reputation and has funded years of research to bring a great product to the market that has some of the most advanced features you can find anywhere.
The condenser is found on the front of the chiller. This design enables the cool air to be drawn in from the front, with the warm air releasing from the reverse side. As the condenser is very easy to reach it means it is that much simpler and easier to clean as well.
Similarly this model is pretty small for a chiller, being very compact. This means that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a handy place for it near your aquarium.
A titanium coil makes up the heat exchanger. This coiled design enables the maximum amount of contact between the coil and the water, so you get more heat exchange and less wasted energy. This heat exchanger design is one of the better ones you can find.
A big bonus with this JBJ chiller is that it is fairly quiet when operational, and you also don’t get much vibrations off of it either. This makes it perfect for having in a living space, as the last thing you want in a living room is a noisy aquarium chiller.
The low amperage gives you very good energy efficiency. Noone likes paying more on their electric bill if they don’t have to, and this model minimises the damage to your wallet while still giving you very high heat removal capacity. It’s easy to overlook energy efficiency, but I guarantee you’ll be thankful you took it into account after you have a bit extra cash each month!
The temperature is controlled via a fully automated digital thermostat control system. This control system makes it very simple and easy to adjust the temperature of your aquarium to whatever range you would like. It is very simple to use, and is very bright so you don’t have to squint to read it.
3) Active Aqua Hydroponic Aquarium Chiller
Active Aqua are a range of chillers from Hydrofarm, which is the nation’s oldest wholesaler and manufacturer of hydroponics. So you know that you are getting a quality product that will last you a long time.
This aquarium chiller is totally Freon free, it uses R134a refrigerant, which makes it as environmentally friendly and responsible as it can be. It is always best to be as environmentally friendly as possible, as after all you have a fish tank which showcases the best fish found in the wild!
No matter how big your tank, this chiller will have you covered, as it comes in 1/10 HP, ¼ HP, ½ HP and 1 HP versions. The ¼ HP version offers a large 396‒925 gal/h flow rate, and has a large capacity, with the recommendation being 40 gal to 92 gal.
If you have a smaller or larger aquarium you can purchase one of the other variations of the chiller which more suits your needs. For instance the ½ HP chiller has a recommended volume of 90 to 172 gallons.
These aquarium chiller models are very user friendly, and you can easily set the temperature system to the required temperature range. All the models available also have a boost function so you can quickly get the water to the temperature needed.
Anti-corrosive titanium is used for the evaporator which gives the chiller greater longevity and enables it to be used for both freshwater and saltwater. Salty water is notoriously corrosive, and can eat through most metals. The use of titanium prevents this.
Being very easy to use and having a large capacity, this aquarium water chiller by Active Aqua is a great choice for your tank.
4) Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller
This is a great aquarium water chiller. There are multiple power options on offer; 1/13, 1/10, ¼ HP, ½ HP, and 1HP. It does vary which models are in stock though so be careful which one you buy! The 1/13 HP version is recommended for aquariums of up to 50 gallons, so packs a powerful punch. The flow rate is between 160 and 295 gallons per hour, which should be absolutely fine for most sized aquariums.
If you have a larger aquarium though, you can purchase one of the more powerful models which will be able to handle a greater volume and keep the temperature constant in larger tanks.
The thermostat is very user friendly and easy to use. So you won’t have trouble in setting up the chiller to the temperature range you require. The thermostat also has a memory recall system, so if there is a power outage it will automatically be set to the last programmed temperature, so you don’t have to worry about the temperature changing.
Titanium is used which is anti-corrosive, which enables the aquarium water chiller can be used for both freshwater and saltwater. The heat exchanger has a built in anti-freezing system which prevents the heat exchanger from freezing and causing issues.
The heat exchanger has a high BTU rating, which indicates the amount of heat removal. This means you get up to 25% BTU per watt more over other chillers . This fact, along with the highly efficient condenser work to use as little energy as possible, saving you energy and money.
The front facing condenser grill and filter enable you to clean and maintain this aquarium water chiller very easily. Ensure you clean it as often as stated in the guidelines given to you by the manufacturer and it will be sure to function well for a long time.
The reliable compressor uses Dupont as the coolant, which is known to be an ozone friendly coolant. This is important as it is right to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
5) IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller
This model is fairly small, and is very useful if your aquarium is on the smaller side. It is recommended for aquariums of 20 gallons. If used in tanks if a larger size the efficiency will decrease, and it is recommended to use multiple of these chillers for larger tanks.
Made with high quality materials this chiller will do a very good job and will last a long time in your tank. This aquarium water chiller is a very compact size, so is very useful if your space is a little limited. It is very lightweight, and fairly easy to install.
It makes use of advanced thermoelectric technology to directly convert electricity for use in cooling your tank. This process utilizes the probe mounted on the chiller. The probe is put into the water, then the heat taken from the probe and is dissipated into the air by way of a heat sink, which uses a fan to cool it down. This fan isn’t noisy so you won’t have to worry.
The big downside to this aquarium chiller is that the probe needs to be in direct contact with the water, while the heat sink needs to remain outside the tank. Therefore you will either need a hole in the glass of the tank, or in the top of the tank.
There is no timer or temperature controller with this model either; it provides constant chilling when it is turned on and won’t turn off. You will need to buy a separate temperature controller if you want to maintain a certain temperature range.
It uses very little energy; it only uses the same amount of mains power as a standard every day 40 watt bulb. So you will be saving money, but remember you need to turn off this aquarium chiller yourself unless you have a controller.
6) Coralife Energy Savers Aquarium Chiller
Coralife is a brand which is one of the leading manufacturers of top end quality aquarium products. It has a great reputation amongst the community, so you should expect this aquarium water chiller to be made of quality materials and function well. The chiller is very easy to set up and install.
The Coralife Energy Savers Aquarium Chiller is fitted with a reusable air filter which keeps contaminants and dirt away from the cooling unit. This ensures that the motor doesn’t get clogged and remains efficient and functional for as long as possible. This air filter is readily accessible and is easy to remove for cleaning so it remains working well.
The inlet and outlet connections are fully adjustable and can be rotated by unscrewing the water chamber caps. This is very useful as it means you have full choice of where to put the chiller and aren’t handicapped by where the connections are facing. You can prevent leaks by resealing the caps.
The bright LED display is very user friendly and easy to use. You can easily raise or lower the temperature as required, and the chiller will keep the water temperature to within 2 degrees Fahrenheit of the temperature you set. This is a tiny range of error and so guarantees the correct temperature for your aquarium.
Our Recommendation For The Best Aquarium Chiller
The Baoshishan Aquarium Chiller has got to be our top pick for the best aquarium chiller on the market today.
This unit is very user friendly, and comes equipped with awesome features that make it perfect for any tank.
It comes in a number of power models, so you can choose the perfect model for the capacity of your tank. It has a dual fan design to increase efficiency and heat dissipation. This aquarium water chiller won’t let you down and will function well for a long time.
- Dual fan design
- Quiet operation
- User friendly
- Not quite as powerful as other models, but this doesn’t take away functionality
Aquarium Chiller Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I get an Aquarium Chiller?
If you have cold water fish then it will be important for the health of the fish to install an aquarium chiller. As your house will be warm, the aquarium will warm up as well. The fish will require a water temperature cooler than your ambient house temperature, so a chiller will be needed to cool down the water. If cold water fish are kept in water that is too warm they can get very unhealthy.
How does an Aquarium Chiller work?
An aquarium chiller works quite simply. The premise is to remove heat from the water and hence cool it down. It does this by transferring the heat to the outside environment.
The chiller contains components which serve a different purpose; the heat exchanger, expansion valve, the compressor, and condenser coil. The heat exchanger is the site of the heat transfer. Heat from the water is transferred to refrigerant liquid which is pumped to the condenser by the compressor where it is cooled. The refrigerant liquid is then pumped to the heat exchanger to repeat the process.
Usually these components are made from a corrosive resistant material such as titanium to enable them to function in both freshwater and saltwater and prolong the lifespan.
How do you install an Aquarium Chiller?
The installation of your aquarium chiller will depend on which type you have and how that type demands installation. The two main types are the inline chiller and the drop-in chiller.
The inline chiller takes water from the tank and chills it before pumping the cooled water back into the tank. You need to be wary of the flow rates of this type of chiller, and get the flow rate that most suits the setup of your aquarium.
The drop-in chillers have a heat exchange coil that you simply put in your sump tank, and it will start the heat transfer.
As always, please read the manufacturers guidelines and instructions. They will give you the full installation guide for the particular chiller model that you have. Having a sump tank to install the chiller in can be handy, as you can also install a HOB filter here and a heater as well.
Where should I place an Aquarium Chiller?
Usually aquarium chillers are designed with space saving in mind. They should be reasonably compact so you should not have too much trouble finding an appropriate place to put it beneath or next to your tank setup.
You do want the chiller to be as close to the aquarium as you can get it, especially if you have an in-line model. You want to allow the chiller to be able to do its job with as little trouble as possible.
How do I clean an Aquarium Chiller?
Whilst you might think that a chiller doesn’t need to be cleaned, it very much does! Algae can build up, and in saltwater calcium deposits can form.
The first step in cleaning your chiller should always be disconnecting the power outlet. Then do the same with all the water tubings.
For a freshwater aquarium rinsing the chiller and the tubing with water and making sure there is no algal build up will be fine for cleaning. If there is obvious debris present then ensure you clean it fully though.
For saltwater tanks, you will need to clean the chiller and tubings with vinegar to remove the calcium deposits. Ensure that you rinse it fully after removing all the deposits though! You don’t want the vinegar ending up in your tank.
Getting the best aquarium chiller for your tank can help to maintain the correct temperature. Fluctuations in temperature can cause harm to your fish; many species need constant conditions. Higher temperatures mean that less oxygen is able to be dissolved in the water.
Hopefully this article has given you the information you need about aquarium chillers. You should be able to now make the right decision on which chiller is best for your tank.
Any of the chillers listed above can do a wonderful job in your tank. But the one we recommend above the overs is the Baoshishan Aquarium Chiller. It has some great features and is very quiet when operating, which is a godsend!
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