View Full Version : Do I need a chiller?

windcoast reefs
06-08-2011, 04:56 AM
Hi everyone,

I am thinking of purchasing a 175 watt metal halide for my 50 gallon tank with a 20 gallon sump. The tank has no lid on it, just mesh. I run approximately 350 GPH through the sump and have 2 koralia 750 power heads for flow. I am in the first floor of a house and the tank is never exposed to sunlight. Do you think I will need to run a chiller to have a fixture like this? Thanks for all you input!

06-08-2011, 05:19 AM
Actually it is hard to say. We need more info.

For example, my first SW tank was a 28G JBJ, with a full covered top. The heat didn't escape with the 150W Halide, and that caused heat build up, so I needed a chiller. but with my 180G with 100G sump, I do not as it is an open top. I don't even use heaters, as my house is climate controlled which keeps my tank stable as well.

So it will depend on your setup, if you cover, type and volume of flow, and well many factors.

So I can't vote, as you don't have Maybe as an option.

06-08-2011, 05:36 AM
I found with mine it depends if the room gets hot in the summer I need a chiller but since I've had it in my basement I haven't needed one.

windcoast reefs
06-08-2011, 05:41 AM
Okay I will add some more info to the original post!

06-08-2011, 09:55 AM
Whatever you do, don't buy the chiller until you actually know that you need it. Buying a chiller in the planning stages would be a mistake as you can't know for sure that you will need it. In general, stock piling hardware for a build is never a good idea especially chillers.

Use evaporative cooling as a first attempt at controlling temp. If you don't already have one, use the money that you budgeted for a chiller to by a controller instead. Now you can use the temp probe to turn fans on and off.

Evaporative cooling leads to it's own set if problems like high humidity, but you can usually solve that problem by opening a window.

- Brad

06-08-2011, 12:51 PM
I'd lean towards the no side of maybe :) If the room doesn't get hot, and you have no canopy, you might not. In fact I hope not, since I'm setting up a 50 with a MH :)

06-08-2011, 06:28 PM
i think a fan over the sump will suprise you in how much it lowers the temp.... does a great job... got mine for 10 bucks at wally world. i run it in the summer but not the winter..

06-08-2011, 07:50 PM
As long as your're comfortable with top-off (maybe go auto top-off) then I'd say Fan only, but it'll cause a lot of evap.

I have dual 250's over 90G and I have built 2 large "ultra quiet" PC fans into the hood and they're controlled by my Apex.

Works great, No chiller necessary. Although to be honest I am thinking of going LED this summer for heat and electricty reduction.

06-09-2011, 01:12 AM
My friend uses a air pump put in his fridge and runs airhose to his sump lol works in a pinch.

windcoast reefs
06-09-2011, 01:35 AM
So It sounds like I can probably get away without a chiller, so Im going to consider a metal halide for my lighting on this new tank I just set up.
Thanks for your input!

06-10-2011, 04:27 AM
Use an A/C, then you are nice and comfortable and your tank doesn't averheat. It'll cost you the same in hydro and purchase price.

06-13-2011, 03:23 PM
my first inclination was to say yes, cause with only 50 gallons, temperature changes very quickly in relation to the ambient temperature. However, I did vote no because if it gets too hot, your tank is small enough to cool down quite quickly. Fans work great, but you have to deal with the evaporation.
Cheapest solution is for the super hot days, throw a 4 liter milk jug full of frozen water into the sump, and it will work great.( that's what I used to do cause it only gets super hot a few days here in Vancouver) Now my tank (120 with 50gal sump) is controlled by aqualogic drop in chiller. I maintain a constant 79 degrees all year round, but at a cost of $1400 was it worth it?
It was to me, but I'm just lazy and don't have a lot of time for maintenance.