Best Aquarium Chillers in 2022 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Have you recently checked your fish tank’s temperature? If you’ve equipped a new lighting system in the tank or even in your room, or the weather just suddenly turns hot (especially during summer), there are high chances that the high-temperature water is inappropriate for the continuation of a healthy life of your beloved fish. That’s why you need to find the best aquarium chillers.

Keeping the fish tank right is not as easy as believed. However, if you know the correct way to do it, maintaining the aquarium might become your routine, and that is to get one of those best aquarium chillers to help stabilize the water temperature to suit your fish breed.

What is an Aquarium Chiller?

To put it simply, an aquarium chiller is a device to cool down the temperature in the tank, just like an aquarium heater melts the frost. This chiller is one of the tank equipment to keep the temperature inside it from getting too hot, or in other words, to prevent the water from exceeding a certain degree of temperature. It’s like a mini fridge aligned with an outside filtration system to chill – or cool – the water after it’s been filtered.

When installed with a thermostat, the aquarium chiller can stop the water from reaching higher than the fixed temperature. For cold water fish like bass or trout, or even for mild water goldfish, conditioning the water to the right warmth or coldness.

As an aquarium heater is suitable for tropical fish since it warms the tank, a chiller cools it down for colder water species.

Best Aquarium Chillers: Reviews

Comparison Chart

Preview
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Chiller, 1/4 HP
IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller - 4 in. x 4 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in.
Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller, 1/13HP
JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller, 1/10 HP
Coralife Energy Savers ACL36060 Chiller 1/10hp
Title
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Chiller, 1/4 HP
IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller - 4 in. x 4 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in.
Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller, 1/13HP
JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller, 1/10 HP
Coralife Energy Savers ACL36060 Chiller 1/10hp
Customer Rating
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$651.50
$149.90
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$696.34
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Preview
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Chiller, 1/4 HP
Title
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Chiller, 1/4 HP
Customer Rating
-
Prime
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Price
$651.50
Details
Preview
IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller - 4 in. x 4 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in.
Title
IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller - 4 in. x 4 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in.
Customer Rating
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Prime
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Price
$149.90
Details
Preview
Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller, 1/13HP
Title
Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller, 1/13HP
Customer Rating
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Prime
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Price
Price not available
Details
Preview
JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller, 1/10 HP
Title
JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller, 1/10 HP
Customer Rating
Prime
-
Price
$696.34
Details
Preview
Coralife Energy Savers ACL36060 Chiller 1/10hp
Title
Coralife Energy Savers ACL36060 Chiller 1/10hp
Customer Rating
-
Prime
-
Price
Price not available
Details

1. Active Aqua Chiller, 1/4 HP

Hydrofarm Active Aqua Chiller, 1/4 HP
  • Large refrigeration capacity (recommended volume 26-80 gal/100-300 L)
  • Anti-corrosive pure titanium evaporator for both fresh and salt water
  • Rated BTU per hour 2300. Rate of flow: 1/4 HP (264–660 GPH, 1000-2500 L/hour); Recommended pumps: AAPW250 or AAPW550
  • Tubing size: 1/2" (HGTB50), 3/4" (HGTB75); Unit Dimensions: 17.6"L x 13"W x 17.3"H
  • For cooling capability, please refer to performance chart found in the product information tab.

Active Aqua belongs to the most famous chiller companies in the market nowadays. They offer various models of comparable chillers of different power levels. They are designed with an LCD display and a microcomputer control system which are easy for setting up and using.

Active Aqua’s Freon-free chillers, which use R134a refrigerant, are environment-friendly and perfect for maintaining the water in your aquarium at the suitable temperature. They also have a user-friendly chilling system, enabling you to modify the necessary temperature range.

You will fall in love with this chiller for its huge refrigeration scope. It can cool down from 26 galoons/100-80 gallons/100 and this feature is suitable for both salt and fresh water aquariums thanks to the anti-corrosive pure titanium evaporator. This chiller can be applicable to many kind of aquariums if you own more than one.

Pros:

  • Extensive refrigeration scope
  • Anti-corrosive pure titanium evaporator for salt and fresh water
  • Competent chilling capabilities
  • Reasonable compared to other chillers
  • Remarkable flow rate

Cons:

  • Some parts have efficiency problems
  • Minor cooling defects in temperature sensor

2. IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller

IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller - 4 in. x 4 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in.
  • Unit is 4" x 4 3/4" x 7 1/2" includes probe. Cord: 5' 9", probe cord: 6'.
  • Warranty: Unit has a one year warrenty agains defects in materials and workmanship.

IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller is a compact model which will eliminate your worries about the space and storage of the chiller. It’s a small 4-inch square thermoelectric chiller, possessing a 1.5-inch think main body, a muffin fan on the upper surface and a 3-inch extendable probe at the bottom.

The chilling process uses a thermoelectric liquid. This liquid absorbs the heat through the probe affixed to the chiller. The heat sink on this model will then take care of the heat and release it to the outer environment. There is also a constantly running low-speed fan to cool this heatsink down.

Proportional Thermoelectric Controller is an optional segment. It handles the amount of electricity used the cool the probe that affects the temperature of the water flowing by the underwater temperature sensor.

IceProbe electric usage is minimal, consuming only about 50 watts; however, not having to keep an eye on the device is more convenient and therefore, the Controller is really worth purchasing.

There won’t be any sound or vibration despite the device’s continuous operation at its highest productivity. If you want to know whether the unit is working or not, you can only check the rotation of the muffin fan or touch the probe.

Pros:

  • Compact, effortless installation
  • Quiet operation
  • Energy-efficient with thermoelectric controller for safety
  • One-year warranty against errors in materials and workmanship

Cons:

  • Only productive in small tanks

3. Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller

Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max Aquarium Chiller, 1/13HP
  • Maintain optimum water temperature by lowering the water temperature of your tank
  • Digital led temperature display control accurately maintains desired temperature
  • Anti-Freezing system will not allow the heat exchanger to freeze

Aqua Euro is among the trusted chillers of aquarium owners. Unsurprisingly, besides its reliability and efficiency, Aqua Euro chillers is designed with the advanced technology to offer the best work in cooling aquariums.

With state-of-the-art components like a digital LED monitor which displays the water temperature, Aqua Euro really stands out when also provides a wide range of choices for freshwater, saltwater, and reef tanks.

This chiller comprises a titanium heat exchanger which will prevent it from being corroded and related problems. Another advantage of its heat exchanger can work effectively at 25% BTU/Watt, not using much power but still can effectively cool down the equipment.

The compressor of this model utilizes Dupont – an environment-friendly refrigerant compared to other types used in other compressors nowadays. You are assured that using this chiller won’t do any harm to the environment.

This Aqua Euro chiller is ideal for up to 50-gallon tanks. Furthermore, the flow capacity is 160-295 gallons/hour. Depending on the the aquarium’s width and depth, it will be installed in, this flow rate should be sufficient regarding its size.

Pros:

  • Ozone-friendly refrigerants
  • Competitive price
  • Optimal water temperature maintenance by reducing the temperature
  • Anti-freezing system preventing frost on the heat exchanger

Cons:

  • Noisier than expectations

4. JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller

JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller, 1/10 HP
59 Reviews
JBJ Aquarium Arctica Titanium Chiller, 1/10 HP
  • The most quietest chiller on the market
  • Highly efficient condenser; use less energy
  • Corrosion resistant; contains safe ozone friendly refrigerant R-134A

JBJ Arctica is another excellent advanced aquarium chiller for you. Being one of the great manufacturers, JBJ thrives to offer the best choices to their customers for satisfaction.

JBJ Arctica Titanium is said to be perfect for its durability and design by many aquarists. It’s good at stimulating the natural temperature, giving the best environment possible to the fish, coral, biota, and other aquatic organisms.

This model is designed with state-of-the-art titanium heat exchangers of bigger systems to ensure consistent and unchanging temperatures. Different from other kinds, there’s a front condenser grill which makes it easier to maintain and guarantee dependable performance.

A quiet, energy-saving but powerful cooling system compacted into a small design. Anyone would love to have it for its quietness and stillness. There’s also barbed in-line connections for fast and convenient setup.

However, with all these modern and up-to-date features, you should expect a quite expensive cost for this chiller. It also requires water pump and tubing of suitable size, which is, unfortunately, sold independently.

Pros:

  • Quietest chiller available
  • Remarkably productive condenser
  • Ozone-friendly and safe refrigerant
  • Easy setup with in-line chiller without hard plumbing
  • Energy-saving titanium heat exchange coils
  • Fully automatic digital temperature control system

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Water pump and tubing of the appropriate size required (sold separately)

5. Coralife Energy Savers ACL36060 Chiller 1/10hp

Coralife Energy Savers ACL36060 Chiller 1/10hp
  • Coralife is one of the markets leading manufacturers of premium aquarium products
  • Simple to install and maintain-includes reusable air filter
  • The air filter is easily accessible and can be removed for cleaning
  • Coralife is one of the markets leading manufacturers of premium aquarium products
  • Simple to install and maintain-includes reusable air filter

Speaking of premium aquarium products, Coralife is one of the top leading manufacturers. It is ideal for reef and saltwater tanks. Despite the particular design for 55-gallon tanks and above, smaller or bigger sizes are available. The temperature is adjustable to any degree that suits your fish, and this chiller will help control the water temperature within 2 degrees lower or higher than the number you put in.

One exclusive feature of this chiller is the full-spectrum lamps, illuminating the creatures living in the tanks with proper light for crucial biochemical reactions. It’s really easy to install and maintain Coralife chiller and its reusable air filter.

The segments of the coils of this chiller are rust-resistant which are aimed at reliability and efficiency in cooling and heating the water temperature.

A precise temperature control system comes along with this model. All you have to do is to choose the desired type of temperature and it’ll work perfectly, no worries. It’s really important to make sure that the temperature is right to ensure your fish a suitable habitat. Furthermore, coral propagation in small tanks is encouraged thanks to its nice power output.

Pros:

  • Detachable air filters for accessibility and effortless cleaning
  • Rust-resistant coils for greater heating and cooling efficiency
  • User-friendly with easy setup
  • Reusable air-filter
  • Adjustable inlet and outlet connection

Cons:

  • Not durable lights

What are the main benefits of aquarium chillers?

An unchanged temperature of the water is extremely vital to some fish species, typically marine fish. A perfect combination of aquarium heaters and aquarium chillers can do a good job of this. Thus, helping the keepers raise them easier. An increase in the temperature of the water can lead to either decrease the levels of oxygen in the aquarium as well as boost the fish’s metabolism making them have a faster breath. The best way to keep this situation in control is a combination of these two factors.

Chiller units can make a great job of keeping the temperature unchanged which can be adjusted easily. Actually, the fish will have a better health and a lifespan when living in constant conditions of water.

Particularly, when you are going on a vacation or business, you cannot take care of your aquarium, using chiller units can help to minimize the wrong things happening with the water parameters. This will help you rest assured to pay most favorable attention to your job, your holidays.

FAQ

How to choose the best aquarium chillers?

The key things for consideration when buying a chiller are the flow rate of your current equipment, climate conditions or tank size. In warmer places, using a bigger-size chiller will help to make the water warmer affecting the conditions of water in your aquarium. The other one affecting your choice of a chiller with a large size is the canopy in the aquarium as the additional setup will cause an extra heat.

When choosing a chiller, the crucial thing you should consider is your needed amount of “pull down”. That amount can be subtracted from the maximum temperature which you think it may reach in your aquarium during the peak heat in the summer equals the one you want it will be.(EX: 90F – 75F = 15F pull-down).

In the chillers of higher designs, it is a rigid combination of the compressor and heat exchanger. In which, the heat changer usually uses Teflon-coated copper and titanium as its special materials. Although titanium is rather expensive and may not conduct the heat as well as the other ones, it has a greatly impervious ability to the saltwater which can reduce the process of corroding. When you use coated copper, it is necessary to wholly inspect the unit frequently; as any crack in the coating might also cause the copper expose to the saltwater which leads to an increase in the water’s copper levels, with the death of the inhabitants and possible toxicity.

How does aquarium chiller work?

When it comes to “chiller”, people might think about a device which creates cold air. However, the true function of the chiller is to remove the heat in the water, not directly produce cold. The whole design of the chiller the same as the cooing configurations which are used in the systems of air conditioning and refrigerator. When the compressed gas refrigerant makes the circulations through the unit, it collects and reduces the heat from your aquarium. The cooling process will continue until the heat is completely released to the radiator. Then by a fan in the radiator, the heat will be dispelled.

How to install aquarium chiller?

The chillers are available in two kinds: drop-in chiller and in-line one. The former comes with an element of heat exchange sited in the sump. Thus, we will pay attention to the installation of the latter.

Conventionally, the chiller will be in-line installed to the aquarium with the available filtration or it can use its pump to plumb individually. The important thing is to pay careful attention to the flow rate of the water moving through the chiller. The manufactures also list the minimum flow ratings as well as minimum ones for this. In case the water moves through the chiller extremely quickly, the chilling will end at ineffective; while it will cause damage to both chiller and other equipment in the system of the aquarium if that flow rate is too low.

Embedding the feed pump into a sited reservoir or even a tank (if it is the only choice) is a great method. It will help the pump completely fit the room.

What you need to do is to combine the inlet of the chiller and the U-tube with hose clip; then put it inside a reservoir. Next, running the tube from a pump to the inlet of the chiller. Many of the chiller installation kits of aquarium have enclosed most necessary parts used for installation. After that, perform the tube from the outlet back of the chiller to the fish tank. Finally, take the tubing and the S-tube to connect together (which is later hang on the fish tank’s back.

Placement is another crucial thing you should notice when you install a chiller. As the hot air will be expelled during the performance, it is important to have an open area (conventionally, the manufactures suggest you should leave a space of at least 12 to 18” around the whole unit). Furthermore, you should keep the temperature outside the chiller at 15 to 20 degree, which means it will cooler than the hot air coming out to keep the most effective operation. If it does not provide enough ventilation, the chiller will make the temperature of the water increase because of recycling hot air and overheating.

How to clean an aquarium chiller?

You should keep your aquarium chiller clean (it should be cleaned at least twice a year). Firstly, remember to disconnect the chiller during the maintenance. Secondly, just depressing locking tabs or removing screws if you want to remove the front cover. Thirdly, splitting the nylon connectors to separate the temperature controller and the wires. Do not forget to disengage the locking tabs before separating two connectors. Finally, move the front cover apart.

For a ½ HP chiller, removing screws holding rear panels to the housing and the front will be really crucial.

Disassembling the screws which hold the housing to its base. Then, lifting the house apart from the chiller. Frequently, you should lightly shift the outlet and inlet pipes to ventilate the housing. At this time, it is ready to blow out the chiller.

Most of the chillers will release air to the radiator end from the compressor end of the unit. The debris and the dirt will be collected on the radiator’s fan side. In which, some dirt will flow through the fins of the radiator to the outside; However, 90% of them will be inside and hard to see. A compressor which can offer a 90-100 PSI delivery with a suitable blow-off nozzle is relatively vital to make the dirt removed. A nylon bristled paint brush, a tooth bush and throwaway will support the removal of the dirt.

It usually begins with a blow from the external of the radiator toward the fan through its fins. Although most dirt will be removed, there are still some which are trapped in the fins at the back of the fan shroud. To remove them, you can you either toothbrush or brush to free make the blowing process occur smoothly. Commonly, it will take about 15 minutes to blow out all dirt and dust. However, removing the fan will help this job become easier, if possible.

In case there are lots of dirt accumulated on the fan, it will make the traveling direction of the air changed. In that situation, to remove a maximum quantity of the dirt, it should be blown from the fan side to the external of the radiator.

Using the air or a brush to clean off the rest components on the base of the chiller as well as the outside and inside of the housing. Then, carefully positioning the housing on the base of the chiller around the outlet and inlet pipes. Re-assembling the screws which hold the housing to its base. Re-assembling any nuts and gaskets to the outlet and inlet pipes but not too tight. For a ½ HP chiller, it will be crucial to re-assemble rear panels and front panels to the base and housing.

Should there be a filter on its front cover, you should remove it, then use air and brush to clean it. After that, re-assembling the filter to its front cover.

Assembling the chiller and the front cover. Reconnecting the electrical wires to ensure the locking tabs of the connector are engaged. Reinstalling the front cover on the front panel or the housing.

Conclusion

You need not care much about the kind of your tank in your office or house, it is always necessary to have a cooler or a chiller for your aquarium as a way to protect your pets. Currently, there are lots of different models and brands available in the market; therefore, to choose the best aquariums chillers for you, it is extremely important to well-understand your tank’s ins and outs.

Paying more careful attention to take care of your aquarium will help your tank livelier and enjoyable thanks to the support of the chiller helping to control the temperature of the water. You should also spend a considerable time to observe different models to decide which one is completely satisfied all your requirements about a chiller.

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