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Aquarium Chiller: An Introduction to Keeping Your Fish Cool!

Dec 12, 2007
What is the single most significant ancillary item in household aquariums? You guessed it right - it is a water chiller! The natural environment for fish is water and just like any living being, fish is susceptible to changes in this environment. A constant temperature bath where the temperature depends on the variety of the fish is a must in any aquarium, lest the fish may not survive too long. A water chiller is therefore imperative for "climatic control" most suitable to the species of fish. This may vary for different kinds of marine life but we shall only discuss the most common techniques of temperature control.

Type of water chiller available in the market

There are three prime kinds of water chiller available for fish aquariums. They are based on the thermoelectric, or inline chillers, or drop-in chiller systems. When finalizing on this system one must take into account the space available and the plumbing requirements, without which the temperature control will not be effective. The aquarium parts like stirrer, lighting, pumps give out a lot of heat that can easily raise the temperature of the water to unbearable levels for the delicate fish. An aquarium owner is always aware of the drastic effect of changing temperatures on the health of his pets and therefore great care must be taken to choose the best system available at the pet stores. Do not ever compromise on water chiller quality and wide duty rating since extreme climates such as in the US can cause a lot of distress to the pet owners.

Let us now see what the salient features of the water chiller and where a specific type should be used.

- Thermoelectric Chillers - If you have a small freshwater or salt water fish tank then thermoelectric type of water chiller is best and a fine example is the IceProbe chiller. These types of chillers are only suitable for tanks with a capacity lower than 55 gallons. For larger aquariums one needs to use the in-line type of chillers.
- Drop-in water chiller - This type of chiller is most suitable for fast water flow requirements and large tanks. Reef aquariums are particularly using drop-in chillers. Constrained space warrants a compact system and this type of chillers perfectly fit into the requirements of the aquarium and its inmates.
- In-line water chiller - This water chiller may not be totally suitable for home aquariums unless it is for a mansion or a large villa or a ranch in Texas! It requires in-line filtered water and intensive plumbing etc. Therefore it may be more suitable for larger commercial spaces.

How should one choose a water chiller?

As mentioned earlier, a water chiller is very important for the health of your fish and it should be chosen with care and by considering the size of the aquarium, what kind of fish is being kept inside the tank, temperature generation level tolerated by the fish, and overall setup of the aquarium assembly. The main purpose of cooling and maintaining the temperature of the water must always be kept in mind and the setup so chosen that the circulating water, aeration to provide oxygen to the fish and other relevant factors are satisfied. A water chiller is an integral part of the aquarium assembly that must be planned earlier to the purchase or breeding of your fish.
About the Author
Thomas Bladecki is the author and can provide additional information, I personally recommend Desert Coral Aquatics, check out the Aquarium Chillers.
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