How do you choose the best water chillers for hydroponics? What’s the best water temperature for hydroponics?
These are some of the many questions beginner hydroponics gardeners ask. Fortunately, in this article, we are going to list the ten best water chillers for hydroponics as well as show you how to choose the best one for yourself.
Read on to learn more.
If there is one stubborn challenge hydroponics gardeners face when it comes to nurturing plants, then it must be the need to deal with an overheating reservoir. Plants need optimal temperatures to grow healthy but when the temperatures are extreme, the plants’ growth is affected.
While there are plenty of ways to work around this challenge, one of the most effective ways is to use a water chiller. Well, water chillers are sometimes costly to maintain but given the hot temperatures hot the summer season brings, it’s worth having one or even two depending on the size of your garden. But how do you choose one?
Don’t fret, this article will show you how to get the best water chiller for your hydroponics garden.
What is a water chiller?
A water chiller or a hydroponics water chiller is a device installed in the garden, to regulate the temperature in the container it is installed in. This way, the plants get a nutritious solution that’s at an ideal temperature for their growth. Usually, a water chiller comes with a thermostat for measuring and controlling the temperature.
Types of hydroponics water chillers
Here are the three types of hydroponics water chillers.
Drop-in water chillers
These are water chillers that come with a system that filters the air which enters the water. Usually, drop-in water chillers are set directly into the water filters. These types of water chillers are ideal for deep water culture hydroponics. They are easy to fix and they don’t consume much space.
Thermoelectric water chillers
These types of water chillers are suitable for smaller aquarium and hydroponics gardening. They are silent when working, and are the most cost-efficient water chillers of all.
In-line water chillers
These types of hydroponics water chillers use in-line filters to regulate the water temperature. You will need a plumber to fix these water chillers if you are not a good plumber. They are also ideal for a large water system and NFT hydroponic system.
Having said that, let’s get into the meat of this article.
10 Best Water Chillers for Hydroponics
Now that you know what a water chiller is, and the different types there is out there, let’s review the best so you can understand which one to pick for your hydroponics gardening.
As a word of caution, always buy your water chiller from a trusted supplier or manufacturer.
Coming from a trusted company, Active Aqua, this water chiller is the best aquarium water chiller since it comes with an environmentally friendly R-13a refrigerant.
It comes with features that are great for aquarium use, although many people use it for hydroponics purposes.
This water chiller comes with a touchpad with LCD to allow for easy temperature setting.
The good thing is that even when the water is unplugged or in case of power failure, you will not need to set the temperature again when you power it on since it saves the temperature settings in its memory.
What’s more, this water chiller is easy to use and does not leave a dent in your pocket. In fact, Active Aqua is renowned for making user-friendly water chillers.
Another good thing about this water chiller is that the water chiller comes with onboard handles so you can position and move the water chiller without a hassle. Besides, the water chiller comes with a corrosion-resistant titanium heat exchanger making it well-suited for fresh and saltwater applications.
Some of the amazing features of the Active Aqua Chiller include titanium evaporator; it does not produce noise during operation, microcomputer regulation technology, temperature memory system, and compressor protection device technology.
- Comes from a trusted brand
- It is affordable
- It is built to last
- Made purposely for hydroponics gardeners
- It doesn’t produce noise during operations
- It’s easy to assemble and use
- It comes with the latest chiller technology
- You will need to buy water pumps and hoses separately.
- Some hydroponics gardeners have expressed dissatisfaction with the temperature sensor. It tends to provide inaccurate temperature readings.
If you are looking for a water chiller well-suited for hydroponics and fish aquariums, then the Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max would make the best option for you.
This water chiller works by lowering the water temperatures in the tank to give your plants the required temperatures to grow healthy and happier.
What’s more the unit comes with an Anti-Freezing System that keeps the heat exchanger from freezing. The anti-freezing feature will maintain constant water temperatures even when you decrease the temperature in your water reservoir. Also, the unit comes with a digital LED display control to enable users to set the temperature with ease.
Similar to the Active Aqua Chiller we have mentioned above, the Aqua Euro Max stores the temperature settings in the unit’s memory in case you unplug or when a power outage occurs. This relieves you from the need to set the temperature every time.
The unit also comes with a heavy-duty condenser that releases retained heat for effective water cooling.
- The unit is easy to set up, use and maintain
- It is a heavy-duty water chiller for hydroponics
- It comes with a corrosion-resistant Titanium Heat Exchanger that enables efficient water cooling.
- The digital LED display control makes the setting of temperature a breeze.
- The Anti-Freezing System keeps heat exchanger from freezing.
- It does not consume a lot of electricity
- It saves the last temperature settings in the unit’s memory in case you unplug or power outages occur.
- It is costly
- The unit does not come with instructions on how to clean the filter and condenser.
- There are too many imitations of the same products so you need to be very careful when buying yours.
Coralife is also another trusted company when it comes to the production of powerful hydroponics and aquarium water chillers and this one is no exception.
The water chillers are durably constructed and provide accurate temperature control. The units come with an air filter that prevents contaminants from entering the cooling tank. This helps to ensure the efficiency and durability of the motor. You can also remove the reusable air filter and clean it with ease.
What’s more, the unit comes with a corrosion-resistant titanium heat exchanger that transfers heat from the aquarium water to the container.
Unfortunately, these water chillers don’t ship with pumps and tubing, so you will need to buy them separately.
The good thing about this water chiller is that programming is easy- it comes with a digital LED display.
- Easy to set up and use
- It does not produce noise in operation
- The water chiller comes from a trusted brand in the aquarium sphere
- It is durable
- It comes with reusable air filter
- You will need to buy a water pump and tubing separately
- It is costly.
The IceProbe Water Chiller may not be suitable for hydroponics gardeners with larger reservoirs but if you have a 55-gallon reservoir or less, consider this unit. This aquarium water chiller comes with a high-tech thermoelectric capability that keeps your reservoir cold all through.
Note that you need to avoid using this unit with a 10-gallon hydroponics or aquarium system with low temperatures of 8 degrees Fahrenheit. The water chiller ships with in-built filters and siphons for hassle-free cleaning. Besides, this remarkable water chiller comes with an additional temperature controller that regulates pre-determined temperature settings.
What’s more, IceProbe would make the best option for deep water culture hydroponics systems.
But that’s not all, the chiller comes with a silent motor and it does not consume much power.
Well, this water chiller does not come with a pump and compressor so you will need to buy them separately.
- This is a state-of-the-art water chiller
- The motor does not produce sound during operation
- It’s a durable and long-lasting water chiller
- It is easy to set up and use
- It’s a great pick for small systems
- It is small and compact
- You may not need a water pump either
- The plastic cover could be better
- It may not be the best pick for larger water tanks
- Temperature controller comes separately
- Some users have complained about technical issues, especially with the separate controllers.
No list of the best water chillers for hydroponics can complete without mentioning a product from JBJ and perhaps that’s because the brand has created a name in the production of state-of-the-art chillers.
The JBJ Aquarium Water Chiller doesn’t produce sounds during operation. But that’s not all; we recommend this chiller for various reasons.
First, it comes with a cost-efficient condenser. Besides, it can chill water faster.
Secondly, this unit comes with an environmentally-friendly refrigerant, R-134a. It is also built with a corrosion-resistant titanium heat exchanger for longevity.
Another good thing about this water chiller is that it comes with an LED display control so you can adjust the temperature settings and water with ease.
What’s more, it stores last temperature settings in its memory in case of power failure.
The chiller is also energy-efficient and boasts plenty of remarkable features such as the auto digital temperature control system, low vibration, titanium heat exchanger.
The water chiller does not come with tubing and water pumps though, so you will need to buy them separately.
- It’s easy to install and use.
- The motor is silent during operation.
- It is durably constructed.
- It comes with remarkable features for efficient chilling of water.
- Comes from a trusted brand.
- It offers efficient temperature control.
- Although the manufacturer claims that the unit is silent during operation, some users claim that the motor tends to produce some noise.
- It is costly
- It tends to produce some vibrations although it’s advertised as a low-vibrating water chiller.
- There are plenty of imitations of the water chiller so you need to buy from a trusted seller.
EcoPlus is also another respected brand in the production of hydroponics and aquarium water chillers. The device is also top-rated on Amazon and for various reasons, one of them being the fact that it comes with dual fittings and a state-of-the-art compressor and many others.
If you are looking to get into commercial hydroponics gardening, then this machine would make the best pick for you. Besides, it comes at a budget-friendly price. Also, you can use a one-inch PVC pipe or flexible tubes for any application.
What’s more, the LED display enables temperature control and monitoring.
The greatest thing about this water chiller is that it’s a multi-purpose- you can use it for hydroponics and aquarium containers and personal applications as well.
Make sure you buy this machine from a respected seller because there are plenty of imitations out there that are poorly built.
- It’s a pocket-friendly water chiller.
- It comes from a respected manufacturer in the hydroponics and aquarium sphere.
- It is solidly constructed.
- It comes with the latest features including an efficient compressor, LED display, and temporary memory chip.
- Chills water fast.
- You must be careful not to buy an imitation of the water chiller.
Another amazing water chiller for hydroponics with a capacity of 9L and a maximum pumping lift is the Happybuy CW-3000DG. Of course, this machine is suitable for any hydroponics gardener looking for a larger chiller.
The good thing about this unit is that it comes with a small energy-efficient thermolysis water cooler. Another good thing about this machine is that you don’t have to be experienced to use it.
Besides, this unit has a long shelf-life.
- It’s large enough for use with large hydroponics systems.
- The machine is easy to install and use.
- It cools water fast.
- No need to set the controlling features.
- The motor tends to produce noise during operation.
The Techno Tank TK-500 is perhaps the best of all the water chillers we have reviewed in this article. The machine comes as complete temperature control for hydroponics and aquarium systems. But that’s not all; the unit comes with an onboard heater and cooling system.
What’s more, it’s durable and does not produce noise during operation. Use this machine with tanks up to 130 gallons.
Surprisingly, this water chiller comes with a unique feature you can’t find on any other machine we have talked about in this list- the device comes with a rotatable top exhaust conveyor so you can direct how air and heat exchange should escape from the machine.
The water chiller is also energy-efficient and the state-of-the-art fan works silently when moving air- surprisingly, only smaller fans are capable of operating this way but this unit has proved that even larger fans can operate silently.
The good thing about this unit is that the thermostat reads the incoming water temperature and not the chilled water.
As with many chillers we have talked about in this list, this machine also comes with a red display for easy temperature control.
- The machine operates silently.
- The thermostat reads incoming water.
- The red light display enables easy temperature reading.
- It is solidly constructed.
- It comes with a state-of-the-art cooling and heating feature.
- It is a costly water chiller.
When you buy the Kryos Aquatic water chillers, you get machines that are tried and tested before they are sold.
This machine comes with front touch panel controls to make adjusting of the unit a breeze. With this unit, you can choose between high or low chilling power. The transparent display enables you to monitor the temperature with ease.
What’s more, the unit comes with an advanced compressor and titanium heat exchanger so you don’t have to worry about rust.
Overall, this remarkable machine gives you full control of your unit.
- Operates silently.
- It’s easy to install and use.
- It is built with ergonomic handles so you can move the machine with ease.
- It’s still a new water chiller in the hydroponics and aquarium spheres.
- It’s hasn’t yet been established as a reliable water chiller.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly that doesn’t need a water pump and tubing then we recommend you to consider this water chiller.
The Petzilla Water Chiller cools the reservoir by the use of fans that blow the air across the water tank. You can get a Petzilla Water chiller with 2, 3, or even 4 fans.
Unfortunately, this water chiller can only cool your hydroponics reservoir up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want to lower the temperature of your reservoir during hot weather.
Otherwise, this machine is user-friendly, small, and compact.
- It’s an affordable water chiller.
- It’s easy to install and use.
- It’s a lightweight machine.
- It’s only designed for use on specific cooling needs.
Our Top Picks
Having talked about the ten best water chillers for hydroponics, here are our best of the best.
If you are looking for a water chiller with advanced features that enable efficient chilling of your hydroponics reservoir, this would make the best option for you. The machine combines chilling and heating features to give you complete temperature control in your hydroponics and aquarium systems.
The superior filter is cleaner-friendly and keeps your coils from dust. The water chiller also comes with a 2-year warranty.
The IceProbe water chiller is suitable for gardeners with a small hydroponics and aquarium system. It’s small in size, operates silently, and is easy to install and work with.
JBJ is a trusted brand when it comes to the manufacture of high-quality water chillers and the JBJ Aquarium Arctica is no exception. This is a durable machine and is well-suited for freshwater and saltwater applications.
What is Hydroponics?
We might have used this term several times and you are left wondering what the heck “hydroponics” is.
Generally, hydroponics is the process of growing plants in a container with a mixed solution of water and nutrients. The plants are grown in a soilless environment.
Well, this method of gardening does not occupy too much space and nurtures plants fast.
Note that before you enter into this type of gardening, you must familiarize yourself with the challenges you can expect encounter, and how to overcome them. It’s an involving method that’s also costly.
Why use water chillers for hydroponics?
Usually, water chillers are designed for fish aquariums. However, currently, water chillers are becoming popular machines for use in hydroponics gardens. In hydroponics gardening, plants are planted in the water.
To keep your plant healthy and happier, you need to keep the temperature regulated constantly as too high temperatures decrease the oxygen needs by the plant’s roots.
Benefits of using a water chiller for hydroponics
The use of water chillers for hydroponics seems to be hitting the ceiling currently and this is because of the benefits these containers have on your hydroponics garden.
Some of the benefits of using water chillers for hydroponics include:
Sufficient oxygen levels
Usually, with hydroponics gardening, plants are grown in soilless gardens. When the temperatures of the water go up, the plant suffers. Water chillers help to keep the plant constantly supplied with dissolved oxygen because of the cooler temperatures maintained by the water chillers.
Water chillers conserve water and energy. Water is recycled as many times as possible hence you don’t need to drain warm water from the hydroponics or aquarium system. Moreover, most of the latest water chillers are energy-efficient.
Protects the plants against diseases
Generally, pathogens and disease-causing organisms breed in warm conditions. Therefore, in areas with hotter temperatures, plants can be attacked easily by diseases. That’s where water chillers become helpful. These machines help to ensure fresh air circulates freely around the plants hence keeping diseases and other micro-organisms at bay.
Using water chillers for hydroponics is the only effective way to keep the temperature in your hydroponics system controlled and monitored at all times.
Given the plethora of options available on the market today making the right choice can be a hard task.
We hope this article helped you in your search for the ideal water chiller for your hydroponics garden.