How to maintain your cool this
By: Dan Dickson -
Hellolights’ Resident Fish Geek
There are many parts to your aquarium that generate heat. If
unchecked, these devices can raise your water temperature and put your aquarium
inhabitants at risk. Maintaining your aquarium temperature is a very important
concern this time of year.
The ideal temperature for your reef aquarium is between 78
and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve seen successful reef aquariums with
temperatures closer to 82 to 83 degrees as well. The key to keeping your cool
is not so much your aquarium water temp, but keeping the temperature stable. A
2-3 degree temperature swing is about as much as I’d consider safe, anything
more than that and you might have a disaster on your hands.
Maintaining your aquarium temp could be as easy as running
the air conditioner in your house, to more complex pieces of equipment like
chillers. Here are a few ways to maintain your water temperature.
No, we aren’t talking about this type of fan. Aquarium cooling fans are a great, inexpensive way to get your
rising tank temps under control. These little beauties will clip on to your
sump or display, and provide a nice cool breeze to blow across the water
surface. There are even fans that you
can mount directly into your aquarium canopy. This method is called evaporative
cooling. As the cooler air moves across the warm water it causes water in your
aquarium to evaporate. This evaporation will cause your aquarium temperature to
decrease. This method leads to more frequent top-offs, but what’s a couple
extra gallons of water when you already have to top-off anyways.
Hands down, the best way to cool your aquarium! These handy
little refrigeration units do a bang-up job at maintaining your aquarium
temperature. They work a lot like a
refrigerator, too. The warm water gets pumped through a coil which is cooled by
using some type cooling chemical (I’m a fish geek, not an AC pro) and out comes
super cool aquarium water. Most chillers even come with a controller so you can
dial in the perfect temperature. Some of them even allow you to hook up your
aquarium heater to produce the perfect way to keep your aquarium within that
2-3 degree swing. With a chiller, all you have to do is plug it in, program the
controller, and you’re set. You can spend the rest of your summer poolside, or
if you’re lucky like us, you can spend it at the beach… J
This isn’t the most economical method, but it works. If you
only need to drop your temperature a couple degrees, using your home’s central
air conditioning just might do the trick. Living in Southern California means
we get some HOT days in the summer. Combine that with the heat from my aquarium
and my house can get downright sweltering.
Even with these less than ideal conditions, I can crank up the air in my
house and I’ll see my tank temperature start to stabilize. I get to enjoy a
nice cool house, and my aquarium gets to enjoy nice cool water.
No matter how you decide to cool your aquarium, it is
important to make sure you have it set up and running properly before it gets
too hot out. That way you and your aquarium can enjoy a stress free summer.