Tips For Keeping a Reef Tank Cool

It is summer and time to keep an eye on the temperature of your reef tank. I like to keep my tanks in the 78 to 79 degree F range but during the summer months my tanks push 81 degrees F on really hot days. Based on my past experiences, here are some tips to keep a tank cool.

1. Use a Fan – Running a fan over the top of a tank will promote evaporation and cool down a tank. A fan can also be used over the sump. You can connect one to a controller and have it turn on when the tank hits a certain temperature.

2. Run a Chiller – I have a chiller on my system with metal halides and it does a good job keeping the tank cool. I use fans on this system as well and they are programmed to turn on before the chiller, which will consume more electricity. The fans can’t handle the job solo when it is really hot so the chiller is critical in my setup.

3. Use Air Conditioning – A tank in a room that gets hot in the summer will probably require AC in that room. With air conditioning a chiller might not be necessary, although fans may help.

4. Use LED’s or T5 lighting – Years ago many folks used metal halide lighting, which emit a decent amount of heat. The use of metal halides has gone down a lot so this has become less of an issue. But if you are old school like me and still run metal halides then consider switching to LED’s or T5’s to reduce the amount of heat being added to your system.

5. Change Light Schedule – During the summer start your light schedule earlier in the day to reduce the time they are on when temperatures peak outside. LED’s and T5’s do generate some heat.

6. Change Frag Tank Light Schedule – If you have a frag tank plumbed into your main display then consider running the frag tank lights earlier versus the display tank lights. This will reduce the amount of heat being added to your system by the frag tank lights.

7. Move Tank to a Cooler Room – I know, moving a reef tank can be a PIA but if your tank was setup in a room that holds the heat pretty well then consider moving the tank. Basements are cooler in the summer versus other rooms in the house so a finished basement is a great spot.

8. Move Sump to a Cooler Room – If you don’t want to move your display then you might want to consider moving your sump to a cooler location…

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