Q. Why are prices not shown on your items?

A. We are a wholesale ONLY and do not sell the products direct to the public. If you need contact information for one of the authorized retailers please contact us. 



Q. There is no digital display on the controller?

A. Make sure the power cord is plugged into a working electrical receptacle

Q. Chiller takes longer than an hour to drop the temperature?

A. Chillers are designed to gradually drop the water temperature, rapid temperature drops harm living organism. Be concerned with and observe the average cycle time of the chiller over a 24 hour period. Example: A properly sized    chiller should cycle ‘ON’ 15-20 minutes an hour.

In a 24 hour period the chiller would be running 6-8 hours. (Chiller might run for an hour and a half but it may stay off for 2-3 hours before the next cycle)

Q. Optimal flow rate for my Apex chiller is?

1/10 HP requires min/max of 66-410 gph

1/6 HP requires min/max of 158-581 gph

1/4 HP requires min/max of 264-581 gph

1/2 HP requires min/max of 315-1030 gph

Q. Optimal flow rate for my Max-Chill chiller is?

1/13 HP requires min/max of 160-290 gph

1/10 HP requires min/max of 200-315 gph

1/4 HP requires min/max of 290-660 gph

1/2 HP requires min/max of 315-795 gph

1 HP requires min/max of 400-1057 gph


Q. Set a regular maintenance for long term performance: How to improve the efficiency of the chiller?

Q. Why do you Back Flush a chiller?

A. Over time, the titanium heat exchanger will accumulate calcium build up that will impede the cooling process. You may also have particulate matter and debris accumulating on the temperature probe giving inaccurate readings. Back flush the chiller every 6 months.

Q. Why are the numbers on the temperature controller bouncing up and down?

A. You may need to back flush the chiller, there may be considerable waste build up or there is a temperature probe or digital controller malfunction.

Q. What is the best location for my chiller placement?

A. Operate chillers in a well-ventilated area outside the stand or have sufficient air-flow around all side of the chiller unit. The chiller requires at least 1 foot in the front and rear of the chiller for unobstructed airflow

Q. My chiller is showing 1-2 degrees higher on the display than the actual water temperature?

A. Chillers are programmed by default to slowly increase and display 1-2 degrees higher than the actual water temperature. Once the display shows 2 degrees higher than your set temperature the unit will turn ON and begin to operate.  

Q. My chiller display is showing a higher temperature than my Apex Controller?

A. We do not recommend using an Apex controller with our chillers. Our units already have an integrated digital controller. 

Q. My chiller fuse is blown. 

A. Replace with the spare fuse that comes with the unit. If you do not have the spare, you can purchase one from us or at your local hardware store. If you are purchasing a replacement somewere else, please be sure to get a "Slow Burn" fuse. If you use a standard fuse the fuse(s) will continue to fail prematurely. 



Different factors may affect the chillers cooling performance:

Chiller Component Operation Test:

Controller:  The “Cool” lamp indicator on the controller should be blinking. This means the controller will send the command to the relay to turn the fan motor and compressor On after about 2 minutes. The “Cool” lamp will illuminate and stop blinking at this time.

Relay:  Verify that the fan, motor and compressor turn on when the “Cool” lamp is continually illuminated.

Fan Motor:  Place your hand behind the rear of the chiller exhaust. Check for air flow and check that the temperature of the air flow after a few minutes is warm not cool.

Compressor:  Place your hand on the top of the chiller and verify you can feel a slight vibration from the compressor.

Temp Probe:  Verify that the temperature on the controller is stable – not going up and down.

Back flushing the Chiller:

Items needed:

  1. Add 3 gallons of freshwater and 1 gallon of household vinegar in bucket
  2. Connect tubing to the submersible pump and other end into the “OUT” of the chiller
  3. Connect tubing to the “IN” of the chiller and place back into the 5 gallon bucket
  4. Let the pump run through the chiller for 1 hour in the opposite direction. This will help clean the temperature probe as it is located on the “IN” of the chiller
  5. Turn off submersible pump after 1 hour; discard liquid inside bucket. Refill bucket with 4 gallons of fresh water and run the submersible pump for another 30 minutes to remove residual vinegar from the chiller
  6. Reconnect chiller to original set up and re-program the set point back to your desired setting


Q. Why is a skimmer needed?

A. Living marine organisms continually produce waste materials (ammonia, phosphorus, urea, and other organic compounds). Biological functions of bacteria break waste materials down into nitrate and phosphate which build to toxic levels in the tank. Skimming removes organic compounds, before they are broken down by bacteria into nitrate and phosphate. Skimming removes dissolved organic compounds from marine tanks.

Q. Skimmer is not producing foam?

Q. Skimmer produces too much wet foam?

A. Certain medications and additives result in the skimmer producing wet foam for a period of time. It is recommended that you turn your skimmer off when dosing into your system. Reduce the dosage, lower the water level in the skimmer to prevent overflow of skimmate.

Q. Skimming too much?

A. It is impossible to over skim your water. The bigger the skimmer, the cleaner the water will be. Larger, more powerful skimmers increase skimming capacity and are able to remove sudden increases in dissolved organic compounds in the water.

Q. Excessive micro-air bubbles in the aquarium water?

A. This may happen in the initial break-in period of the skimmer. Once broken-in, minimal micro bubbles should escape from the skimmer outlet. Micro bubbles are also be caused by adding medication or additives, which result in premature bursting of bubbles in the skimmer, resulting in the lack of foam formation.


Q. What is THE BEST lighting system?

A. Hamilton's best lighting system are the Cebu Sun which combines Metal Halide power with T5 Fluorescent lighting for maximum impact and Kona Sun Retrofit series allowing you to replace your old PC, T5 and compact fluorescent with energy efficient, sparkling LED light. 

Q. What type of lighting do you recommend for a Reef tank (Corals)?

A. Corals, anemones, etc. require much lighting. Metal Halide lighting is the most powerful and dependable light sourcefor this purpose. Supplemental lighting types used in conjunction with MH lighting are: Compact Fluorescents (T5 or T12Fluorescent tubes). This combination of lights also creates a dawn /dusk effect which most naturally simulates natural sun.

Q. What type of lighting do you recommend for a Saltwater tank (Fish)?

A. Metal Halides would create a crisp appearance and add a rippling effect to the water.  It is possible to achieve a similar effect using high wattage LEDS. Fluorescent lighting enhances fluorescence of fish.

Q. Which bulb is better: Compact Fluorescent or (T12) Fluorescent?

A. Compact Fluorescents are BRIGHTER than the VHO's and they maintain their spectrum longer.  Replace Compact Fluorescent bulbs every 10-12, VHO's every 8-12 months.

Q. What type of lighting do you recommend for a Freshwater tank (Plants)?

A. Metal Halides or Compact Fluorescents. Do not use a wattage higher than 10K.


Metal Halide bulbs not lighting fully for several reasons:

  1. Metal Halide may come on / off. This is normal for the first two or three weeks of use. After a break-in period, the bulb will stabilize.
  2. Check bulb for internal damage (Note: a small amount of broken glass is normal inside the outer glass) UNPLUG your system, let it cool down if hot. Allow a 30 minute cool down period before restarting.
  3. Make sure the base of the bulb makes contact with the socket.  Gently pull the small tab up on the end of the spring inside the socket.
  4. Screw bulb securely to make contact – bulb to socket (Careful: do not over tighten)
  5. You may have exceeded the life of the bulb
  6. If you have another bulb, try it in your system. If the second bulb does not light, the ballast may be the problem. Check the connection from ballast to bulb. 

Q. Fluorescent Tube is not lighting:

A. Each tube has 4 pins (2 at each end). If one of the four pin connections is not good or one tube is bad, the other 2 tubes will not work with the ballast on. Make sure the tubes are rotated in the socket and socket makes good contact with each pin. Switch bulbs around. Try new tubes, if 40w system, substitute with regular "household 40w" tubes. Make sure you are using the correct wattage bulb for the system, i.e: 40w bulbs with 40w ballast.


All systems are made for U.S. standard: 110/120 volt 60 Hz household current. (Available on special request: 100 volt 50 / 60 Hz for Japan and 220volt 50 Hz for European countries).

Q. How many amps do lights use?

A. Each 400 watt uses less than 5 amps of electricity at 120 volts. Each 175 watt uses less than 2 amps of electricity at 120 volts.

Bulb Replacement Schedule: Replace aging bulbs before the useful reated life time is reached, as all bulbs age their color spectrum and intensity decrease:

Metal Halide

12 months

Compact Fluorescent

10-12 months

T5 High Output (HO) Fluorescent

10-18 months

T12 Very High Output (VHO) Fluorescent

 8-12 months

LED Strips

~ 50,000 hours *

* Varies according to daily usage

NOTE:  All aquarium equipment will run better, longer if a regular maintenance schedule is set and followed.



















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