So why do you need a chiller???

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Aquarium Advice FINatic
Oct 14, 2004
Ok so i've got a 72 gallon bow front. for lighting I have 2x150w HQI MH and 2x96w PC. I have a mag 7 return pump, 2 maxijet 1200s, and a coralife superskimmer that runs 24/7 unless im doing a wc. My tank temperature is normally about 78-79 deg. and never gets over 82.

So my question is this, I look around on these forums and people who have less equipment than me have to have chillers on their tanks. I'm just curious as to why some people need chillers and others don't. Am I safe to say that pretty much everyone who has a chiller has a canopy? does it have something to do with the sump and how the water flows? what is it?
I have a canopy that's holding 2x250wMH lighting. I keep the house temp at 78 when I'm not home (cheaper to chill my tank than my house), I have a mag7 & a mag12 in sump. Even without the MH and just the mag12 (plus whatever little pump is driving my skimmer) puts my tank temps to about 10* over the room temp. That was fine in the winter when I was keeping the house at 65-70 when I wasn't home, but once the house got to 78 the tank temps skyrocketed.
I would say the canopy hurts alot. With just a mag9.5 and a single 250 halide, ive seen my water temp get to 90...with the AC on. Im contemplating just hanging a canopy
My canopy is open 6" all across the back..and I flip the front 6" open too...and my tank still can climb to 85 degrees on a hot summer day. Old house, not the best A/C, and 2x96w PC's is all it takes for my tank.
Thankfully a $4 fan blowing across the top cools it down to 79, so I run it on a 2 hour cycling timer. Way cheaper than a chiller.
Can you just crank down the water heater to like 68 during the summer then back up to 78 during winter instead of chillers?

I think chillers would be good for people in the south or southwest part of the US where the heat gets up there. But for us in the eastern seaboard, I don't think chillers would be a necessity at all. IMO
Ok so basically, you guys have canopys. gotcha.
I have a canopy with pegboard for the back, a 120mm fan blowing in from the back and 2 80mm fans exhausting from the top. I have a basement sump and temps in the basement are about 75 deg. With the house set to 78, I am having to turn the 2x250 halides off early to avoid 85 degrees! Sucks. Right now I am running a 300 watt heater for a system that holds almost 150 gal.

I have a mak4 external pump, 3 maxijets, a Seio 820, 2 Mag7's and a minijet in my system. Been trying to get my electrical bill back under $300!
It really depends on the house. Houses with good insulation will keep their temperature fairly consistent all year round. Houses like mine, with bad or no insulation need a chiller to maintain temperature.
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