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Old 09-11-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
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Problems with temp control -- 80 degrees and climbing

I have a 40 gallon breeder stocked with 6 tiger barbs, 4 keyhole cichlids, a bristle-nose pleco and a RTBS. The tank has a half sand half flourite substrate, large piece of driftwood in center, surrounded by rock caves, planted with light CO2 injection (1 drop per 1.5 sec). Tank has a glass top, lighting is a dual tube TH50 timer controlled to turn on a 9 am and off at 7 pm.

My problem is temperature control. Here in the Northeast, the temps are now over 90, and that sends my tank to 81 degrees and likely higher if I were not doing near daily PWCs. I changed just about 80% of the water yesterday, bringing the temp down to 76%, but today it's back to 81 degrees.

Any suggestions? The glass top is for the RTSB. Maybe a mesh top? Take one of the tubes out of the light fixture? Less time for light? I'm not in the mood to buy a $500+ chiller so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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I have read here about putting in bottles of frozen water -- any problems with putting a plastic bottle in the water? Contamination issues? Freezing water in a glass bottle is a little too hit/miss with the glass breaking.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #3
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Is your tank near a window?
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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I just used frozen water bottles in mine today a day late but the fish look on. My temp was up to a bit above 85 an they're guppies and cory cat
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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Is your tank near a window?
No, it's about 6 ft. from the nearest window, never in any direct sunlight.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
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Frozen bottles would be a good idea. Open the aquarium lid alittle. An electric fan pointed directly at the tank maybe.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:41 AM   #7
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What's the temp in the house? If you have glass lids, put something to prop them open about 1/4" and make a hole for a computer fan in the back plastic for the lid to circulate some air. I have one computer fan running at 9 volts that keeps my temps down. Without it, I would see 82.. With it, my heater controls the temps. (79)

Just recently I invested in a reefkeeper controller to save some cash in the long run of my heater being on when running the fan.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:26 AM   #8
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I live in Virginia it was 98f and my upstairs 27g hexagon is in my room and my room is tiny... so my temps are always like 78-80f I can never get it lower.. The tank downstairs in the middle part of the house I can get down to like 74f though...

I think your problem is your house temperature is just too high.. turn the a/c up... Even the tank in my small room with my computer on and door closed never gets above 82f.. Also do what I do.. unplug the heater.. I noticed heaters tend to stay on a "warm" mode.. even though they aren't "on" if you pull it out the water and feel the glass it gets a tad warm even if it isn't on...

Also open your hoods and leave them open that will cool the water down.. Honestly as long as your temps don't get above 82-84f I think your fine.. Unless you have fish like white clouds or something that cant handle temps in the low 80's.. Turn off your bubble pumps, they get warm and blow hot air in the tank..
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:56 AM   #9
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Roomates won't let me put air on the house temp was 89 ihouse. tanks were 85ish or a lil higher the weather thankfully its goin down today .next summer I may move tanks to basement then back up in summer though tht will be a pain with sand in a 29 gal and a ten gal ..
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:16 AM   #10
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I live in Virginia it was 98f and my upstairs 27g hexagon is in my room and my room is tiny... so my temps are always like 78-80f I can never get it lower.. The tank downstairs in the middle part of the house I can get down to like 74f though...

I think your problem is your house temperature is just too high.. turn the a/c up... Even the tank in my small room with my computer on and door closed never gets above 82f.. Also do what I do.. unplug the heater.. I noticed heaters tend to stay on a "warm" mode.. even though they aren't "on" if you pull it out the water and feel the glass it gets a tad warm even if it isn't on...

Also open your hoods and leave them open that will cool the water down.. Honestly as long as your temps don't get above 82-84f I think your fine.. Unless you have fish like white clouds or something that cant handle temps in the low 80's.. Turn off your bubble pumps, they get warm and blow hot air in the tank..
Actually the temp in the house is not very high. I keep it pretty cool for the most part. It may be the room itself which is where I have a large computer which, when on, heats up the room a bit.

Interesting that you say the heater remains on even when "off." I didn't know that. I'll try it. I really don't want to open the lid because red tailed black sharks are jumpers. I don't use bubblers in this tank. Between my canister filter and power head, I've got all the circulation I need. I'll try the frozen bottles of water and unplugging the heater.

Any thoughts on whether putting in frozen water in plastic bottles are some kind of contamination threat?
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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Actually the temp in the house is not very high. I keep it pretty cool for the most part. It may be the room itself which is where I have a large computer which, when on, heats up the room a bit.

Interesting that you say the heater remains on even when "off." I didn't know that. I'll try it. I really don't want to open the lid because red tailed black sharks are jumpers. I don't use bubblers in this tank. Between my canister filter and power head, I've got all the circulation I need. I'll try the frozen bottles of water and unplugging the heater.

Any thoughts on whether putting in frozen water in plastic bottles are some kind of contamination threat?

I have the same problem...

My room is like really tiny.. it fits my desk and 27g hexagon on one wall and my bed take up the rest of the room and I have maybe 5 feet length wise and 3-4 feet width wise to even walk around in lol.. Im upstairs and my room is facing where the sun shines ALL day long.. and with my custom built PC which is water cooled on almost 24/7 the room gets hot.. specially when I have my door closed.. that's why my tank I can never get the darn thing below 78-80f... Only time I had it below that temp is if I keep my door open all the time and don't close it... but if I don't close it I like have zero privacy lol.. and even then it only goes to maybe 76f.

But yea disconnect the heater completetly.. the ambient temp in the room will keep your tank warm... trust me.. I ran my 27g without a heater for years and my temps always stay in the 76-80f range even in the winter lol. if i unplug my heater i noticed my temps go down about 2f... My heater is brand new too my old one did that as well..

Try it out turn the heater down as low as possible.. pull it outa the water and feel the glass youll see it wont even come on but itll start to warm up a little... the heater is always on 24/7 regardless of the temp its set at.. it just "heats" up when its set at a specific temp is all
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