Aquariums are systems for keeping water borne animals and plants in a controlled environment primarily for viewing purposes, but sometimes for rescue of injured or endangered species.

  • Tanks/Water – Often glass walled or windowed to provide viewing.
  • Pumps – Used for the movement of water either through a bio-filtration system or for exchanging water with the outside environment.

(Usually the livestock densities are much less than that of a farming operation and therefore oxygen requirements, solid waste removal, and bio-filtration are not as intense.)

  • Bio-Filtration – Dependent on the stocking densities of wildlife metabolizing food, an ecosystem might be established for the breaking down of ammonia into Hydrogen and a less toxic Nitrite by naturally occurring bacteria. The nitrites will ultimately be broken down into an even less toxic nitrate by yet another naturally occurring bacteria that will thrive in the bio-system.
  • Solid Waste Removal – Solid Wastes are removed by screen filters, swirl separators or sedimentation.
  • Ultra Violet Filtration – To reduce the likelihood of disease, the pumped water of an Aquarium can be passed thru an ultra violet light filter to disinfect the water before being pumped into the tank.
  • Lighting – Depending on the type of wildlife being held in the Aquarium, light can be critical to animal health and presentation to the viewer. If natural light is not employed, wavelength and duration of artificial light must be considered. The spectrum distribution of various artificial light sources can be compared in the June-July 2013 Issue 155 of “Home Power” magazine.{
  • Temperature Control – As is the case with all wildlife, temperature control can be critical. Heating can be done by combustion of natural gas or propane, or the direct conversion of electric energy to heat by resistance coils. However, the most efficient means to heat the waters of an Aquarium System is not by creating heat but by the movement of free heat from either the air source or water source, using a heat pump.
    A heat pump also allows the removal of heat from the Aquarium when temperatures exceed ideal levels for species being held in the aquarium, which is not possible with traditional gas tired combustion systems. Air source heat pumps can provide the needed heat and chilling year round dependent upon outdoor temperatures. When air temperatures drop below 50°F, the traditional air source heat pump has a reduced capacity and efficiency. When air temperatures are routinely below the 50°F mark a gas heat back-up may supplement the air source unit. However, the most efficient heat pump system is the geothermal/water source heat pump which harvests heat from the solar energy stored in the ground or bodies of water. Heat pumps routinely deliver heating and cooling/chilling at 1/4th the cost of burning fossil fuels or electric resistance heating.
  • In general, heat pumps are energy efficient. A heat pump is able to move far more energy than it uses. A heat pump uses a refrigeration cycle exactly like your refrigerator or air conditioner uses. Heat pumps are a proven safe, economical and trouble-free system with very low operating costs, long lifespan, and small environmental footprint.
  • There are two types of heat pumps: (1) air source and (2) water source/geothermal.
  • Applied to an Aquarium system, a heat pump simply moves heat from the air (or water) and transfers it to the Aquarium water.

For Aquariums, either air source heat pumps and water source/geothermal heat pumps can be used and both are energy-saving units. In Aquariums, water temperature control is essential. Your geographical location of the Aquarium is a major factor in determining if an air source or a geothermal water source heat pump is the best choice.

  • While an air source heat pump is an excellent choice, the air source unit is dependent upon the outside air temperature remaining 50°F or above to maintain the desired temperature for the Aquarium. Air source units have to have an outdoor air source; therefore, the units are usually installed outdoors – exposing the unit to ambient environmental conditions (rain, snow, air borne contaminants). Air source heat pumps can also be used to chill the water. Typical life span of an air source heat pump is 10-12 years.
  • Geothermal/water source units are not dependent on outside air temperatures, but on the geothermal water source. A geothermal/water source heat pump is more efficient than the air source with a consistently higher C.O.P. (Coefficient of Performance) due to a more constant energy source temperature. Geothermal heat pumps can also be used to chill the water. Also, water itself has inherently better heat transfer characteristics than air. Geothermal units are not dependent on air flow and can be located entirely indoors. Typical life span of a geothermal water source heat pump is 12-20 years.

AquaCal® Heat Pumps (air source or geothermal/water source) are ideally suited for Aquarium Applications.

  • AquaCal® is the largest heat pump manufacturer for pools and spas in the world and are made in
    St. Petersburg, Florida USA.
    We are excited to join our heat pump expertise with the professionals of the Aquaculture, Aquarium and Aquaponics industries.
  • AquaCal® Heat Pump water flow rates match the requirements of Aquariums since culture tanks are little more than “Swimming Pools for Fish”!
  • The Titanium ThermoLink® heat exchangers are rugged and perfectly suitable with full strength salt water (up to 35,000 ppm of salt) in the culture as well as the source on a Water Source (Geothermal) Unit.
  • AquaCal® Heat Pumps offer ease of operation, tight temperature controls (±1°F), and high unit efficiencies.