IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller - 4 in. x 4 3/4 in. x 7 1/2 in

Aquarium heaters are simple go-to ways to stabilize the water’s temperature and do away with algae problems. But in many instances, aquarium water overheats owing to water pumps, grow lights, or sometimes, the hot weather. These heat sources are either away from our control or necessary for the aquarium’s ecosystem. Luckily, IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller is here to save the day.

Chillers for a fish tank are often small refrigeration units that are installed with the tank infiltration system. Others are simply external fans that blow into the surface of the water. They are of a cheap aquarium chiller type but are usually one unit shy of being efficient. There are also probe types that are most fitting for small tanks.

A refrigeration-type fish tank aquarium cooler is bigger and more expensive than the probe type

A refrigeration-type fish tank aquarium cooler is bigger and more expensive than the probe type.   Source:

The probe fish tank cooler has shown incredible efficiency in reducing tank temperature. A thermoelectric probe-type aquarium water chiller is a favorite among a lot of fish enthusiasts. It also got nods from hydroponics gardeners.

Is it best to get one for you? Let’s find out by comparing the pros and cons of the IceProbe thermoelectric aquarium chiller.

Meet The IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller

IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller

IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller. Via:

The first thing to remember about the IceProbe aquarium chiller is that it works best in mini fish tanks under 10 gallons. Neither a refrigeration- nor fan-type cooler, it contains a probe that is immersed into the water. The Coolworks Ice probe chiller absorbs heat from the aquarium and transfers it to a sink above the water through the aid of a computer fan. It can reduce water temperature up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

To install the cooler, you can either mount the device above the aquarium or drill a hole in the glass pane.

Drilling a hole in the glass pane of the aquarium is one way of installing the IceProbe aquarium chiller

Drilling a hole in the glass pane of the aquarium is one way of installing the IceProbe aquarium chiller. Source:

The Nova Tec Coolworks IceProbe Chiller

This water chiller by Nova Tec is a patented design based on the Peltier thermoelectric cooling effect wherein the heat in the tank is moved to a sink above the water. Its probe is made of aluminum and coated with an FDA-approved finish.

Coatings that are approved by FDA (see here) assures the safety of the product for use in hydroponics, bait tanks, and even in potable water systems. The unit is not bulky as it is only 4×4.75×7.5” big. It does not have an on/off switch and would, thus, require a separate temperature controller to toggle on or off.


  • The chiller is made with high-quality components that ensure a relatively quiet fan operation above the heat sink.
  • Owing to its size, it makes efficient use of space and can be stowed away under an aquarium stand.
  • The thermoelectric technology allows greater efficiency in reducing water temperature than the fan types.
  • The device does not need a water pump, which is often required in reef tanks to keep the water moving.
  • It is environment-friendly. It does not require refrigerants, chemicals, or gases.

The Nova Tec IceProbe chiller by Coolworks is a compact cooling unit with the fan as the only moving part.

The Nova Tec IceProbe chiller by Coolworks is a compact cooling unit with the fan as the only moving part. Source:


  • While it is great for small aquariums, the IceProbe Aquarium Chiller is less efficient for larger fish tanks and aquaponics garden.
  • Installing this probe-type water cooler can be a drag because you will have to drill a 1.5” hole.
  • It looks quite off against the cool aquarium scene if suspended over the aquarium.
  • Because water chillers are not supposed to run over long periods, you will have to routinely cut it from the power source, owing to the absence of a switch.

About Nova Tec

Founded in 1994, Nova Tec has been providing innovative water cooling solutions for more than ten years. It is dedicated to designing, manufacturing, and marketing thermoelectric products.

Its flagship product, the IceProbe, was awarded a US Patent in 1996 (see patent details from here). The IceProbe Aquarium Chiller was developed as an alternative to compressor-based cooling technology for small-scale operations.

At present, Nova Tec is one of the go-to brands of most fish tank owners and aquaponics enthusiasts.

Safety Precautions In Using The Iceprobe

Here are a few tips from Nova Tec in using the IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller:

  • 1. Be careful not to chip or scratch the protective coating of the probe when unpacking or installing the device.
  • 2. As with all electronics and electrical components, keep away from salt spray or in damp areas. Keep it indoors, too.
  • 3. Make sure there is adequate clearance for the probe and enough space— around 4-6 inches— for the air to circulate around the fan and fins. If you intend to install multiple units, space them enough to prevent heat sinks from being in contact with each other.
  • 4. Only use the power supply included in the package to power the unit.
  • 5. Read the manual carefully before installing.

Use only the provided power supply to power the IceProbe chiller

Use only the provided power supply to power the IceProbe chiller. Source:

Recommendations For Fish And Hydroponics Enthusiasts

In terms of cost, the IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller comes in between the cheaper fan-type cooling units and the more expensive refrigeration types. It is more effective than the fan cooling system, but it may be less so for bigger water tanks.

The good thing is, if you have a small aquarium, you don’t have to go for the expensive refrigeration systems. Considering its durability, efficiency, and not to mention its environment-safety feature, IceProbe is totally worth the buck. There is no surprise why it got the approval from many fish hobbyists and hydroponics enthusiasts.

However, do know that there are conditions where the IceProbe works best. It is recommended for small-scale cooling. In aquarium settings, it works best in 10-gallon tanks. For hydroponics, it is recommended for smaller gardens such as those maintained by hobbyists. But even if you use two of these, you’ll still likely end up spending less than you would if you bought one traditional chiller.

For the uninitiated hydroponics gardener, here’s a little advice – a DWC water chiller is not enough to maintain your garden. You will need an air pump to give your plants the proper amount of oxygen to grow. Click on this link for more information about the best air pump for your indoor garden!

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