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Old 06-19-2016, 10:12 PM   #1
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Beating the heat

Hi all,

We're experiencing our first heat wave of the summer here in Los Angeles. Fairly mild, but perhaps a sign of things to come.

My apartment lacks air conditioning and, while I don't mind the warmth, I doubt my fish appreciate it. I normally keep my tank at 76, and by this afternoon it had crept up to just under 79. If we get a spell of 100+ degree days...

For those living in hot climates, what's your strategy for keeping your tank from overheating? Do those fans I see advertised on various sites work well? Should I leave the windows open to let air circulate, or is it better to seal everything up and close the blinds, keeping the cool night air in and resisting the sun for as long as possible?

Or should I have my manservant Igor stand by the tank all day fanning Their Majesties with ostrich plumes?

(I did have a nice programmable window cooler picked out at Home Depot... only to discover the mounting frame doesn't fit my windows. )

Any advice welcome and appreciated.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:25 AM   #2
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I think some folks run fans across the surface. Some use Chillers.


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Old 06-20-2016, 09:19 AM   #3
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I used a chiller for a couple years. It was kind of a PITA. We have A/C and I found the aquarium temp would stabilize at a max around 82 with the A/C setting we use, so just let it go. Didn't seem to bother the fish, but I don't have anyone very sensitive or requiring much in the way of special care. The Hydor cannister filters seemed to be contributing some heat. Our new 200gal tank is much more temperature stable. It obviously takes longer to temp shift a bigger volume of water.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Coursair View Post
I think some folks run fans across the surface. Some use Chillers.
I wound up getting a fan on Amazon. Based on the poster's experience in this video, I bought a small USB fan, cable, and a power adapter. Unfortunately, I didn't have the heavy-duty mounting tape I thought I had, so I have to get some before I can attach it to the tank.

If I can just get ~4 degrees cooling, rather than the ten the vlogger posted, I'll be happy.

Came home to find the tank, even though today was a little cooler, had reached 80.2. Must've been heat trapped in the apartment. So I floated an ice bottle in it for 30 minutes to bring the temp down to 78.6. It's been stable there for a few hours, now, and the temperature is supposed to go down a bit outside over the next few days, so, fingers crossed, the tank should shed some of that excess heat.

I'm happy to say the fish and shrimp showed no signs of distress, and no one jumped out while I left the lid off for the last couple of days.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:32 AM   #5
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what type of fish are you keeping?
my little ten gallon of tetras and other south American fish stays at 85 and all is fine.
most tropical fresh water fish can handle temps in the 80's easily, but check for your specific fish.
76 is the lowest recommended temp, so bumping it up isn't a problem.

my salt tank is a little different and I have 1/10 horsepower chiller hooked up to it, but am dreading this summer as well and the electric bills that the chiller generates. I had it set to maintain a temp of 79, but bumped the upper threshold to 82 degrees to alleviate the stress on the wallet.
My 10 with 2 eels and a trigger got up to 92 on Monday when the temps hit 101 here, so frozen water bottle.
Next morning when the temp was same as my big tank, the trigger and eels became sump fish.
gotta set up another tank and tie it into the main system. Already have everything to do it except time.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:30 PM   #6
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what type of fish are you keeping?
So far, platys and neon tetras and a couple of amanos. (Used to have five, but I've had poor results with them.) I was mostly concerned about the neons, since, for as long as I can remember , I've been told they do best in tanks with temps ranging from the low to mid 70s. So, I was worried when the tank passed 80. But, they seem to have passed through it with little to no stress.

I've read somewhere that chillers are more common on the salty side of the hobby. Are marine critters more sensitive to temperature change?
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:30 PM   #7
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So far, platys and neon tetras and a couple of amanos. (Used to have five, but I've had poor results with them.) I was mostly concerned about the neons, since, for as long as I can remember , I've been told they do best in tanks with temps ranging from the low to mid 70s. So, I was worried when the tank passed 80. But, they seem to have passed through it with little to no stress.

I've read somewhere that chillers are more common on the salty side of the hobby. Are marine critters more sensitive to temperature change?
fish about the same as salt water, but inverts and coral are pretty sensitive to temps, especially coral.
you can be safe with any South American fish in water anywhere from 76-86.
they do come from the equator after all
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:54 PM   #8
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Been dealing with our little heat wave as well, just south of you here in OC. I noticed that the new 75 gallon went from 79 to 84! I ended up just shutting off the heater. The tank has now been hovering around 78-80. I will probably leave it off the rest of the summer, and just watch it closely.
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:49 AM   #9
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Been dealing with our little heat wave as well, just south of you here in OC. I noticed that the new 75 gallon went from 79 to 84! I ended up just shutting off the heater. The tank has now been hovering around 78-80. I will probably leave it off the rest of the summer, and just watch it closely.
unless you live within a few miles of the coast, you don't need the heater from May-October around here a chiller maybe, a heater, nope, LOL
even with the chiller mine has been hitting 84 consistently. I have it set to turn on at 82 and off at 80, but this week it has been getting up to 84.
I had it lower last summer and it killed the wallet. A few degrees can add up to some $$$$$.
Methinks I need to backflush and clean the chiller.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LiQuiD View Post
I noticed that the new 75 gallon went from 79 to 84! I ended up just shutting off the heater.
Whoa, that would have thrown me into a panic.

Fresh or saltwater? Also, the weather has cooled quite a bit over the last couple of days. Has your tank gone back to "normal?"
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