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Old 05-28-2005, 01:50 PM   #1
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Do you cool your tank in the summer

Living in Arizona means dealing with high temps during the summer. We keep our house AC set at 78. I have been watching my tank temperature for the past 2 weeks and have noticed the following.

In the morning when I first turn the lights on, the 70 gallon tank is at a nice 80 degrees. By the end of the day when I turn the lights off the tank temp is just under 82.

The tank is lit by 2 flourescent lights. I was thinking of adding more light to help the plants grow better, but that would also cause the temp to increase.

So I want to know, do you cool your tanks? If you do, what method do you use. I could try and increase the evaporation, but with Chandler water, that would mean a lot of hard water deposits. Are chillers worth the expense?

I just can't justify keeping the house at 74-75 just for the fish.

Let me know what you think.
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Old 05-28-2005, 11:59 PM   #2
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How big is your tank? I find that my 110g tank stays pretty stable at 79/80F *my heater is set at 79*. I run my AC at 79 during the day and 76 when I'm at home. The tank shouldn't increase higher than ambient unless your heater is having problems. Also I make sure the top of the tank is open during the day when the A/C isn't keeping the house as cool. This makes sure the tank gets exposed to the air for proper evaporation. The tank will definitely have a harder time cooling down if you do not let it evaporate.

I have a pretty high powered 2x65 CF light and I use three inch risers to make sure it isn't resting right next to the water. I haven't noticed any changes in my tank from the light. Again if you leave a panel open somewhere so the water is exposed to the air the light won't give your tank the greenhouse effect so much.

My personal opinion is chillers are a real waste for tropical tanks unless you're keeping something more rare that would reguire extra chilly water. However, price wise it might even be more economical to run your AC a little more than to buy one. Besides the startup price, those little chillers can really suck down the wattage as well.

The current problem I'm having is my tap water is 86F right out of the TAP in the summer!! Not all the time but enough to make it a pain for me to do water changes.

my two cents worth
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:14 PM   #3
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The tank in question is a 70 Gallon. It is home to some Rainbow fish and Swordtails that have a habit of jumping. In the past, I have not had the lid open to prevent finding fish on the floor. I might try to prop it open a little and see if that helps.

I might also try to put the light on a riser. Never thought of that one, Thanks.
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Old 05-31-2005, 03:05 AM   #4
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the riser DEFINITELY helps. Also you can try using some screen as a lid instead of the glass. That way you still get the airflow but your fish can't jump out of the tank.
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Old 05-31-2005, 08:38 PM   #5
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Good idea, I will have to find a good screen to use. That way about half the top could be open and help cool.

I tested our water temp out of the tap and it is also about 86 degrees. I have been letting the water sit for a little while before putting it in the tank, guess I will have to watch that closely now that summer is here. I will also let it go in the bucket with a little more force so maybe it will cool during areation. Might even have to use ice in the bucket before adding the water to the tank.
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Old 06-01-2005, 03:05 PM   #6
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yeah I was thinking of the ice method as well. I just don't like to give my poor fish a temperature roller coaster every time I do a water change. =T I suppose I'll move to the bucket method, it's just adds significant time to the change when I'm doing 25g+ every time I have to do it.

Crazy Phoenix temperatures :|
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Old 06-01-2005, 09:07 PM   #7
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I hear you. Amazing what we have to do thanks to the heat. I checked the water early in the morning and found it is about 1 degree cooler than it is in the afternoon. Not much of a help 85 Vs 86 degrees, but I will take anything I can.

Hope to get to some of the cooling tasks this weekend. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 06-04-2005, 09:35 PM   #8
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if you can't find screen - try the salt water solution - egg crate. Most sw tanks either have their tops open, or the plastic egg crate stuff tha hd sells for light fixtures. It keeps jumpers in - but allows for evaporation and cooling.
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Old 06-09-2005, 03:43 AM   #9
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yeah I just had my first fish death ever from a jumper. So now I'm using metal screen, but I want to use the egg crate. I didn't even know home depot carried that stuff so I will be looking for that tomorrow.
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Old 06-09-2005, 08:11 PM   #10
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This is my long weekend home, so I will be doing the same thing. 8)
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