The 7 Best Aquarium Chillers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in January of 2019. Water that's too warm is a common problem for fish keepers, caused by living in modern climate-controlled homes or hotter environments. Whatever the source, one of these aquarium chillers is the solution, as they lower the temperature to ensure that everything goes swimmingly for your finned friends. Note that many don't come with pumps, so plan your purchase accordingly. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 15, 2021:
It was a very busy round of updates for us, with a combination of widespread availability issues and quality concerns causing us to remove more than half of our previous picks for this page. By the time we were done, the models we ended up removing were the Nova Tec IceProbe, Hydrofarm Active, Greensen Cooling and Heating Machine, Chill Solutions CSXC-1, Coralife Energy Savers and Yubo iPettie. We also made several new additions to help replace some of our losses.
Some of our new inclusions, the Poafamx Cooler System and Active Aqua AACH25HP, share designs similar to the Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max and JBJ Arctica, in that they both depend on separately purchased pumps to move water out of your targeted reservoir and through them for cooling. However, these choices vary considerably in ability, as the former is only recommended for use with tanks as big as 16 gallons, while the latter can take on up to 92 gallons.
Contrastingly, our other fresh picks, the Zoo Med AA13 and Sander FS-60, bear a closer resemblance to models like the recently omitted Yubo iPettie, in that they employ small fans aimed at your water’s surface in order to help cool and oxygenate it. They’re a much more affordable route to go, but will also be much less effective than bigger models.
When it comes to hydroponics, another advantage of fan cooling is that you don’t need to worry about plant food gunking up the innards of your chiller over time (or worse yet, the pH in your tank being effected). But, if your reservoir is too large (or your room’s too hot) for fan cooling to be practical, then you can still safely use a chiller by introducing a closed-loop system that uses a coil to keep your reservoir cool.
Basically, you need to set up a pump in a small sub-reservoir, moving tap water through your chiller, through a coil inside your plant food, and then back into the small sub-reservoir. In this manner, nothing but clean water ever runs through the chiller. Is it a pain in the neck compared to fan cooling? Yes, absolutely, but you’re likely to be getting way better results, and it’s a set-it-and-forget-it solution once you’ve got it rigged up.
January 24, 2019:
Selected the Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max and the JBJ Arctica as top choices for those with moderate to heavy-duty cooling needs; they certainly aren't cheap, but they offer exceptional usability and work well in a wide range of setups. Omitted many low-quality fan models, as they are not known to cool much at all, with the exception of the yubo iPettie. It also only cools by a few degrees, but its low price might make it appropriate for those who are okay with this small temperature drop.
JBJ Chillers If you're looking for some industrial equipment to help cool large units, like big lobster tanks for fish markets or a feature aquarium for your new restaurant, then this company is one place worth looking into. They have several chillers to choose from, with sizes as big as three horsepower, and they offer free shipping within the continental United States. jbjchillers.com
Lando Chillers Whether you're looking to cool an aquarium, hydroponic reservoir or even a swimming pool, this company has options ready for your consideration. If nothing in their considerable catalogue peaks your interest, they also offer custom work, with a promise to have a quotes ready in six short hours. lando-chillers.com