How To Keep Your Aquarium Cold

By David Rice

People have owned home aquariums for centuries, and arguably, their fish and aquatic setups got along very well without aid from the modern contraptions you would find at any self-respecting aquarium supplies dealer today. These new devices available today, the aquariums chiller, the powerful lighting or the protein skimmer, were not just thought up by bright marketing departments to part you from that last dollar; these were made for the true aquarium enthusiast, one who tries to expand his aquarist's horizons delving into areas of aquarium-building heretofore unexplored: raising saltwater coral reefs, or raising exotic fish from cooler climes.

Building a coral reef in your home is no easy matter; these reefs occur naturally close to the water surface out in the sea, and are accustomed to receiving the full benefit of a day's sunshine. There is no way you could keep these at home illuminated with just a couple of florescent lighting fixtures. Successfully raising coral reefs and the life forms dependent on them requires that you invest in lighting technology that's really out there- metal halides, Very High Output fluorescents and so on. These do solve your lighting issues raising corals and other tropical life, but not without raising a problem or two of their own. Intense light will always come with intense heat. In the ocean, the heat, as much of it as the sun is able to supply, is pretty much lost in the vast volumes of the ocean's waters.

An aquarium tank has just so much water, and can be heated up a degree or three with just a few hours of intense artificial lighting. When you switch off the lights at night, the small body of water that the aquarium is, it can hold the heat for only a couple of hours before the temperature in the tank plunges. The temperature swings can be distressing to your aquarium's inhabitants, for the discomfort they cause and also for the amount of oxygen that warm water will quickly lose. And here enters the aquarium chiller.

Aquarium chillers can be quite expensive, running into hundreds of dollars for a reliable unit. You might think that using a fan would cool your tank adequately: there is a little added wrinkle to the problem though. To have a fan constantly playing on the top of the water will certainly cool it a couple of degrees; the fan will also hasten evaporation. It won't be easy to top up the water levels either. In some cases you will need to spring for a special reverse osmosis filterto easily do this all the time.

It's not really difficult buying a chiller; you just measure your tank for volume, and you buy a unit in proportion to the size. If you don't live in a particularly hot desert-like area, a midsize 30 gallon tank will require a 600 BTU aquarium chiller and a large tank will require as much as 4000 BTU. Think of an aquarium chiller as an air-conditioner for your aquatic friends. Aquarium chillers can often be quite noisy, and can turn out to be stress contributors themselves. Check out online forums for the best brands to buy, and the best feature-choices to make. - 32185

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here