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Old 09-13-2022, 08:24 AM   #1
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Energy expense, moving from tropical to cold

Hey guys. This is a long post so thanks if you read it.

I have 2 tanks, a betta on his own in our bedroom and a 300 litre tank

The 300ltr has been up for 4 years and I've loved it.

The fish are getting old now and I have a decision to make.

Due to UK energy prices going through the roof (paying £120 a month for a one bed flat).

The cost to run the heater in the tank is just getting too much and with winter on its way, it's only going to go higher.

So I am thinking about going to a cold tank.

I am presuming no tropical fish will survive a change to cold water but just incase some do.

I have corries, tetras an angelfish

Also some elephant/rabbit snails.

If any can survive I would like to know.

The other question is about the cycling.

Obviously its a long time since the original cycle.


* Will the bacteria survive a change in heat or will it also die and require a new cycle.

* I have a fair amount of anubias plants and an amazon sword and other plants. My presumption is that anubias will be OK but others may not and I'll need to keep an eye before it turns to sludge


Any advice would be very much appreciated.

I want to do it the best way possible and limit suffering

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Old 09-13-2022, 01:44 PM   #2
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You might want to consider a few things.

Im presuming you mean temperate rather than cold water. That would mean maintaining the water temperature at room temperature.

The temperature in our house drops by 9 or 10c during cold winter nights. Without a heater that would cause the water temperature to drop significantly until the heating kicked in again in the morning. This would still happen in a temperate water aquarium, and even though the water temperature is lower you still want to maintain a steady temperature. You will likely still need a heater, although it will only be raising the temperature to 16/ 18c rather than tropical temperature and will still save money on your bills.

There are numerous denitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia into nitrate. Some operate better than others at different pH and probably the same can be said for water temperature. But, what will happen is that particular bacteria that don't suit the lower temperature will slowly die off and bacteria that prefer the lower temperature will grow. This will happen over an extended period of time and i dont think its something you will notice. But keep us informed if you see any issues.

What type of corys do you have? Most are tropical, but some are good in lower temperatures. Many people keep corys with goldfish in temperate water. Same can be said for tetras, some are good at lower temperature. Angelfish are strictly tropical though.

Anubias and amazon swords should be good at lower temperature.

What do you plan on keeping? There are a lot of possibilities from some tetras, barbs, danios, loaches, corys, guppies, as well goldfish.
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:02 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, for some reason I'm not getting notifications, so sorry it took a while to reply.

An update for you.
So far, I have slowly reduced the heat down from 25 to 20. Every 3 days I notched it down a degree. 20 is the lowest the heater goes.

I have panda corys and one old albino Cory. Some neons and black pearl danios then quite a few rabbit/elephant snails.

Turns out I have an armano shrimp too, spotted for the first time in 2 years. Either been hiding from the angel fish or prefers the cooler water, or both.

The angelfish got moved on before I lowered the temperature.

My plan is to go completely heaterless, but I am not sure how viable that is.

I'm in the UK too, so during the upcoming winter months, it'll be quite cold.

I am presuming I might have to hand all my current stock into the shop and buy goldfish only
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldadams1984 View Post
My plan is to go completely heaterless, but I am not sure how viable that is.

I'm in the UK too, so during the upcoming winter months, it'll be quite cold.
You will still probably need a heater unless you plan to keep your homes heating on overnight in the winter (which would defeat the whole exercise). Unless you have a home built in the last year following the introduction of new energy efficiency requirements, your room temperature will fall considerably overnight which will lead to temperature fluctuations in the tank. Your heater wont need to be on so much and you could probably go with a smaller heater, but you do still need to maintain a steady temperature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldadams1984 View Post
I am presuming I might have to hand all my current stock into the shop and buy goldfish only
As said there are lots of options other than goldfish for a temperate water aquarium.
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:18 AM   #5
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Have you insulated your aquarium?
Put sheets of 2-4 inch thick polystyrene sheets on the base, back and 2 sides of the tank. The foam sheets will insulate the tank and reduce heat loss and reduce the amount of time the heater needs to be on.

Have coverglass on top of the tank to help trap heat. Use 4, 5 or 6mm thick glass, rather than the 2 or 3mm thick coverglass sold by pet shops. The thicker glass holds heat better and is less likely to chip or crack.

At night after lights out, you can put a sheet of foam on top of the tank to trap more heat. Just make sure the foam isn't in contact with hot light units otherwise it can melt or catch fire.

If you have an external power filter, you can wrap the canister in a towel to insulate it. Or put the filter in a foam esky with a lid. Cut a couple of holes in the lid for the hoses. The esky will insulate the filter.


---------------------

Most tropical aquarium fishes can tolerate 18-20C during winter. I used to set my heaters on 18C and leave them there. The tanks sat on 18C during winter and went up to 30C+ in summer. The fish were fine in the cooler water because the temperature went down slowly over a course of months. Dropping it 5C over a couple of weeks can stress them. But most tropical fishes can live at 20C and if you insulate the tank, your heater won't be on much.
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