Today we are going to take a look at controlling the temperature in your reef tank during hot weather.
For years now, the temperatures in the world’s oceans have been rising. Unfortunately this increase in temperature has led to a fifth of the world’s reefs bleaching out. Despite the warmer climates melting our glaciers causing big freshwater spills, the salinity continues to rise due to increased evaporation.
It is amazing we get to keep our own pieces of the ocean, but If you aren’t careful, your tank can fall to the same fate that parts of the ocean are. Fortunately, as with many other aspects of reef keeping, we are able to control nearly every aspect of our system, meaning that it can be pretty simple to keep temperatures in a safe range.
One of the easiest ways to keep your tank cool during the summer is to simply use your home air conditioner, but this just isn’t always possible due to the sheer amount of electricity that it can use and the bills that it will run up. This is where a tank chiller comes in.
Chillers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate many of the tanks out there and one of the most popular of which is the JBJ Arctica line. Installation is very simple as all that is required is a feed pump, some flexible tubing, and the chiller. To make these chillers super flexible, each one comes with several inlet and outlet hose barbs allowing them to accept a variety of hose sizes. This flexibility is especially helpful as it allows you to run chiller off of a variety of pumps. Once the feed pump is connected, just make sure that the inlet and outlet tubes are secured and that the other end of the outlet is back in your tank. Turn the feed pump on to circulate water through the unit and plug in the power. The Arctica will come set to a standard 77 degrees fahrenheit, but the temperature can easily be adjusted via the front buttons and digital display.
Chillers are pretty much always going to be your best option when trying to cool your tank, but unfortunately they may not work for every setup, often due to size constraints. In these situations, you do still have a few options, the simplest of which is a simple cooling fan. Basic fans such as the ZooMed Aqua Cool and Tunze Aquawind can be positioned to blow across the top of your tank to battle overheating. and cool your water down. Unfortunately, cooling in this way also causes a large increase in evaporation which is especially troublesome in the summer.
The major way to combat increases of evaporation that results from hot weather, is to install an Auto Top Off system or ATO to your tank. ATO’s will detect the water level in your tank and if it drops below a certain level, it will trigger a pump that will fill freshwater back into your system. Doing so will prevent salt from concentrating in your tank and raising your salinity to dangerous levels. ATOs come in a variety of shapes and sizes and use different sorts of float switches and optical sensors to best match your application.
Higher temperatures can be problematic for tanks for a whole host of reasons. Increased heat tends to mean increased evaporation leading to toxic salinity levels. Extra heat means less dissolved oxygen in the water, risking your livestock to suffocation. Warmer temperatures will allow certain bacteria to thrive causing a whole host of issues. Because of all these reasons and more, a chiller is a vital part of some reef systems and can be a real lifesaver when it gets toasty outside.
We hope that you found this video helpful and don’t forget to subscribe for more educational videos. If you have any questions about how to keep your tank cool in the summer, feel free to contact our customer service team or let us know in the contacts below. As always, thanks for tuning in, and lets build a better aquarium together.