chiller or not?


New member
Hi huys I am still in the process of deciding what I am doing with my 155 bow.
I want to do softies with anemones. What I want to know is... a chiller a must? or if I go with t5s less heat o/p , can I run a reef without?


New member
Fans first, chiller only if you cannot keep the tank temp down enough without doing all you can with fans. Chillers are expensive to but, use a good deal of energy, throw heat into the room and even the "quiet" ones do make some noise. But opinions have changed on reef tank temps over the years. Where it used to be thought that the tank should be kept at no more than 78 degrees a decade or more ago, reefers now are keeping reefs without issue into the low and even low/mid 80 degree mark.

I run a chiller and I keep my tank at 78 degrees because I am one of those stubborn people that like to keep doing things that have worked for them in the past. And there are some advantages to lower temps. But in reality, you dont have to use a chiller unless you absolutely cannot keep your tank temp down to a safe level with other means, like evaporative cooling using fans.

And one key change in fan type made for far less chiller run time for me and that is using crossflow fans instead of round fans if possible. Also, it's easier to cool an open top tank than tank with canopy or cover. But whatever the case, you can plan for the space for a chiller but I wouldnt buy one unless you find out you absolutely need one. Or if you are a stubborn old dog like myself who has the need to keep his tank at a lower temp. than is really necessary because that is what he has done for the past 15 years ... :p

You can ask in the water chemistry forum to find out what acceptable high temperatures are for reef tanks these days to make sure my stated temps are correct, or still the general consensus.