If You Can't Take the Heat, Get A Chiller!
These large pieces of equipment seem high-tech and confusing, but they are really just special air-conditioner-like appliances that keep your tank from heating up too much. Chillers are also very important for coldwater tanks like Axlotls.
What Could Cause a Tank to Heat Up?
If any of these reasons could be the heat culprit, we suggest moving the aquarium to a cooler room, like a basement, or away from walls so air can circulate. Recommend checking the heaters or trying a different pump, and venting the hood so that heat can escape. If none of these things seem to work, then we go with a Chiller!
Choosing the Correct Chiller
Important information to know and consider while choosing your chiller:
*Flow rate is very important. You must choose the pump you need to use with your chiller very carefully. For example, a RIO 800 pump can put out 211 gph, but this is at zero head (which means the water does not have to travel up through any tubing), at 4 feet of head the gph drops down to 60. You must take into consideration that the flow rates of pumps will greatly decrease as the head increases. Determine the required flow rate for the chiller you are considering. For example, say one chiller requires a flow rate of 2-3 gallons per minute. This means that the pump should push the water into and out of the chiller and back into the tank at 120-180 gph. You should be able to fill a one gallon jug 2-3 times in a minute. If you don't meet the proper flow rate, the chiller won't function properly.
Most Chillers have this sort of information within their packaging, so it is much easier to decide on one by their information, rather than going through #s 1-8 and trying to figure out the right chiller. A Chiller will usually give two stats, the # of gallons this chiller will affect with a 10 degree temp change, and the # of gallons it will affect with a 30 degree temp change. As far as Chiller designs and functions, many sit beside the sump area and pump water through the unit and this is how it is cooled. Other types, called "drop-ins" have a coil that you put in your sump that will cool the water as it passes through the sump system. Most chillers have the ability to read the temperature within a tank. Some newer designs even have a built in heating control, which turns heaters off and on as needed.