How to Keep an Aquarium Cool – Without a Chiller

In some climates, a few very hot days can be expected every year. These days are so hot that the temperatures of aquariums can get raised to unhealthy levels for the fish, corals, and other animals. Many aquarium owners start to think of how to keep an aquarium cool, and begin considering a chiller. But many look at the price tag and wonder if they really want to spend that much money on something they would only use during those days.

How to Keep an Aquarium Cool: Hobbyists’ Tricks

Many hobbyists know how to keep an aquarium cool with a couple of surprisingly simple methods.

Blowing on it

The first is using a small 5-inch or 7-inch tabletop fan, or two. How to keep an aquarium cool with a fan depends on the placement of the fan. The location I have heard discussed more than the other is placing it down by the sump. This can be either pointed toward the sump from outside (either front or back), or it can blow across the top the sump.

The “down side,” if there really is a down side, is that moving that much air over water will lead to increased evaporation. This means that the water will need to be topped off more often to maintain the water level and the salinity.

Icing the aquarium

This one can get an aquarium owner in trouble if they get bad advice.

How to keep an aquarium cool by icing is easy, but it takes a little bit of planning and staying on top of the process.

The concept works in the same way that putting ice in a drink will cool it down. Hobbyists describe the most proper way to do this is to make “ice cubes” by putting RO water into ziploc bags and freezing them.

Once frozen, put the bags into the aquarium. In keeping with how to keep an aquarium cool, you will want to take your time with this. Be careful not to cool too much too quickly. The goal is maintaining a cooler temperature, not to make the tank cold.

Freeze more bags, and when the bags in the tank thaw and start to melt, switch them out. Put the newly frozen bags into the aquarium, and the previously used bags into the freezer.

It is important to use RO water, because if you use tap water, you could leach or leak tap water into your aquarium.

This method can also work with plastic bottles.

In defense of using a chiller

Some hobbyists keep their aquariums cool with these methods for months at a time. But many aquarium owners could be better served getting a chiller for their aquarium. They cost more to buy and to operate. However, in my experience, nearly every person who has had a chiller on their aquarium has liked the freedom from having to worry about their tank’s temperature.

But knowing how to keep an aquarium cool without a chiller is a very good thing.

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