Bob Mehen checks out this new offering from AquaLighterUK.
Despite the less than scorching nature of many of our British summers, there are occasions when the temperature of your tank can rise to dangerous levels, particularly in marine aquaria.
A degree or two above your desired temperature can cause sensitive corals and inverts major problems. This can be exacerbated in nano aquaria that don’t have the temperature buffering capacity of larger tanks.
LED lights and energy efficient pumps mean that environmental heat is not added to the same degree by electrically wasteful kit, so cooling equipment may not be used for the majority of the year.
However it’s always a good idea to have something suitable on hand to help just in case of a heatwave, and those with smaller tanks can look to cooling fans. This is a crowded market, but it’s into this that AquaLighterUK have launched the aFAN pro. First impressions are of a neat, compact, well constructed piece of kit.
Measuring in at 105 × 70 × 25mm it can be tucked away behind many tanks with just the fan outlet nozzle showing, especially on open topped aquaria. This reduces likelihood of salt and/or water damage.
It sits neatly over an aquarium edge up to 8mm, but aquaria with a rim on all sides may struggle to accommodate it properly. It’s designed to cool tanks of up to 100 l through simple evaporative cooling, but the potential temperature reduction is reduced to only a couple of degrees at the top of this range, and an estimated 4°C in smaller 20 l tanks.
The fan pushes out 3.8 cubic feet of air per minute of air, directed across the water at a fixed low angle, at an electrical consumption at 1.9W. The unit has two settings: constant and thermostatically controlled; at 25°C the fan will come on automatically.
The aFAN can also be connected to the AquaLighter lighting and temperature controller (sold separately), which allows greater flexibility of temperature choice.
As with all cooling fans, especially those on marine tanks, you need to be aware of dropping water levels during cooling, and provide top-up RO water to prevent salinity rising. The fan comes with 1.5m of cable with a USB connection at the end, and mine had a two-pin euro plug adaptor requiring an adaptor.
While not sounding like a jumbo jet, the fan isn't silent, making a typical hum that anyone with a PC or laptop will be familiar with.
Unlike some of the cheapest cooling fans available, this is backed by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. The cheaper aFAN, without thermostat activation is also available.
It’s hard to reinvent the wheel, so while this is a solidly built, nicely designed piece of kit there’s little revolutionary about it. However for the price it’s well worth considering and could help prevent expensive tank wipe outs during hot weather.
Ease of use:
Value for money:
RRP aFAN pro £19.99, aFAN £14.99.
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