In lieu of the quickly approaching summer heat, EcoTech Marine recently asked the question, “How do you keep your tanks cool?” over on their Facebook page. But they didn’t stop with just a question…they broke out an infrared camera to determine all the heat sources in our aquariums. The images aren’t surprising, as they show the major heat sources as being metal halide lights and water pumps. The metal halides of course are energy hogs and cause a significant amount of heat to literally bake your aquarium. The use of these lights usually leads to the need for aquarium chillers or some other creative ways to keep the water temperature within an acceptable range for coral survival. The water pumps, on the other hand, may come as a surprise to some hobbyists. Because many types of pumps are usually run submerged in the sump or display aquarium, it’s easy to forget that they put off heat and increase the tank’s water temperature. Some pumps are worse than others, but all submersible pumps emit some heat.
More images are viewable on the EcoTech Marine Faceook page. More information on keeping your aquarium cool can be read below.
To combat heat issues in a budget friendly manner, you can do several things. For starters, you can ditch metal halides and go with LEDs or even T5HO. LED lighting has the coolest operating temperature out of any of the typical aquarium light setups, but the technology does come at a cost. If you can’t afford to switch to a different form of lighting, or simply love your halides too much to get rid of them, you can raise the lights off the water or cut back on the amount of time lights are on. A small fan can also be used to blow across the water’s surface to help facilitate evaporative cooling. As far as pumps are concerned, you can simply replace submersible pumps with external ones, like the VorTech pump seen as a dim green in the thermal image above. The external pumps use the air to keep them cool and add very little heat to the aquarium’s water.