Keeping Cool
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Keeping Cool

This is a discussion on Keeping Cool within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi! Does anyone have any tips on keeping a ten gallon cool during 100 degree weather? I've been dumping ice in each afternoon, but ...

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Old 07-10-2010, 10:31 AM   #1
 
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Question Keeping Cool

Hi! Does anyone have any tips on keeping a ten gallon cool during 100 degree weather? I've been dumping ice in each afternoon, but it only helps by a couple degrees at the most. The thermo says about 82 degrees, but went up to 84 yesterday... When should I be worried?
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
 
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Unless you have cooler-water species, a temporary rise to low 80's will be OK, ass it generally cools down at night and a 10g will cool quickly when it does.

I posted on this topic the other day, so will copy over what I said for reference, as you mention using ice.

My action in the past has been to do nothing much. I keep the house as cool as I can (opening everything up early in the morning when its cooler, then closing everything mid-morning to trap the cooler air inside. I am not one who recommends water changes with cooler water. All this does is cause fluctuations up and down, as it is unlikely you will be able (or have the patience) to do constant half-hourly water changes all day. And a slow rise or drop in temp such as occurs day/night is less stressful and harmful than fluctuating temps.

Some suggest putting ice or bags of ice cubes in the tank. Yes, they will keep the water cooler--until they melt. Same problem as the water changes.

Turning off the tank lights will help slightly, fine unless you have plants and a day or two maybe but I wouldn't want to put my tanks in darkness for a week and risk the plants, considering the minimal benefit on the temp caused by the fluorescent lights anyway.

Keep the aeration/water movement going, as water temp rises oxygen becomes less and fish at the same time need more because they respirate more, so this is good. A fan blowing across the water surface (if you can have an uncovered tank, my fish would immediately jump out) does much the same, cooling plus increasing gaseous exchange.

Reduce feedings, once a day or alternate days or even less will suffice, as it takes energy for fish (like us) to digest food and conserving oxygen in warmer water is important.

Some people have chillers but unless you have either very sensitive cool water fish or have long and frequent bouts of high temps this may not be economically realistic, as they are expensive. Odd isn't it how it is so much cheaper to heat rooms and tanks than it is to cool them?

Last year I finally got a room air conditioner for the fish room, as in my house that room is on the west and south which of course gets the hotter sun all afternoon and evening. It did help; the tanks remained below around 83F, compared to previous years when they would easily reach 90. But all that said, I never lost a fish due to heat waves when that happened. Having an air conditioner that keeps the tanks at 80-82F has probably done more to ease my anxziety (and cool me down) that actually being that singificant, but at least I am at ease.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 07-10-2010 at 10:57 AM..
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
 
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82-84 I'd not be concerned right away necessarily...what fish are you keeping in there???
Also what will play a big role in upping your water temp is not only the room's temp but your lights, so sometimes its as simple as having the lights off during the heat of the afternoon. Ensure there's no direct sunlight on the tank and often these 2 simple steps are good enough.

Further I posted this thread earlier this summer for everybody with ideas collected what to do, how to react you may find quite useful http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ll-your-42940/
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:29 PM   #4
 
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Byron,

Well, that makes me feel better. I think I'd rather take your recommendation, feeding less. Would it be safe to do this with most fish? I wouldn't mind doing it with my larger tanks as well, even though there is no temp problem there.

Angel,

I have a pretty densely planet tank with three black skirted tetras, three otocinclus, three guppies and three amano shrimp (I think they're all still alive ). I may kill the lights every few days and see if I can kill some algae and cut heat a bit! But honestly the CFLs I'm using can't be that hot... No direct sunlight either!

Thanks again guys. Oh, here's some shots of my tank from months ago, and more recently, it's not perfect, but I'm proud of it!
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:45 PM   #5
 
You'd be surprised how much cutting your lights does... I just have a little 18 inch single fluorescent bulb on one of my shrimp tanks, and when i turn it off during the day, the temperature drops 2-3 degrees fahrenheit. It's not so much the bulb itself being hot, it's the ballast and the light being absorbed into the dark substrate, etc.

Is it cooler in the sun or in the shade? Same difference.

-- liam
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:22 PM   #6
 
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That's true, but back to one of my points, this has to be balanced. Kaddock has a nice planted tank. Turning off the lights for several days, possibly weeks (depending where one lives and how long these heat waves last) could be detrimental to the plant growth. And not just that; I also mentioned oxygen being in shorter supply as the water temp rises; plants produce far more oxygen than the fish can use (in a normally-stocked and balanced tank). The plants can't produce oxygen in the dark; so even if they survive, they are not photosynthesizing if the light is inadequate, thus the oxygen value which is now more critical is gone. So while 2-3 degrees may be spared (and chances are the tank will still be higher than normal), there is no oxygen being produced plus the plants may suffer--heat affects them too.

Byron.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
 
Yeah, but I'm not talkin about leavin em off all day. I just changed my light schedule to be lights on all night and lights off all day... It's way cooler. That coupled with a fan blowing across the top of the water keeps my temps normal. It was 100 degrees yesterday and my shrimp tanks were 75-78.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:13 PM   #8
 
I live in the deep south so I feel ya I just moved my tanks closer to the ac so the air hits the tank before anything else and it's been helping so far to keep the tank at a nice 78-80 degrees...it seems more helpful than dumping ice in (did a class experiment in elementary school...will never forget it...dumped ice into a bowl with a goldfish and the temperature change was so quick that the fish died ) even with the air turned down (I turn my down before I leave the house) it will still kick on occasionally and keep the water cooler and it'll help with the electric bill because the whole house will be maintained with a cooler temp instead of turning it off and on and it having to kick on and stay on god knows how long to get the whole house cooled down again

Maybe just put the ice down into the filter so as it melts the filter will...er....swoosh it around in the water instead of a immediate radical water change...and if possible maybe move the tank to a cooler room in the house?

Just my suggestions...dunno much about it myself yet...
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:20 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
Yeah, but I'm not talkin about leavin em off all day. I just changed my light schedule to be lights on all night and lights off all day... It's way cooler. That coupled with a fan blowing across the top of the water keeps my temps normal. It was 100 degrees yesterday and my shrimp tanks were 75-78.
I'm missing something. A container of warm water (say 78F) such as a 20g tank sitting in a 100-degree room will be close to 100 degrees within hours. It cannot remain at 78.

I would also be concerned about the day/night cycle. Fish and plants require 10 hours of total darkness; a daylit room is not total darkness. I can't and won't say that this is more stressful than the other way with higher temps, but I can say it is stressful.

I'm still skeptical of significant heat being generated by fluorescent (T8 or T5) or CF bulbs.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:01 PM   #10
 
As far as I know, evaporative cooling is still taught in elementary school... At least it was when I went through about 15 years ago. But here's a refresher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooling

It's the same idea behind a swamp cooler. It's how you can keep a 20g tank very cool. I'll take a picture.

Right now it's not very hot out, only about 80, but it's around 85 in my house (damn black roof, i knew i'd regret making my house look awesome). If my CRS get past about 81, they start slowly dying, and if it wasn't for the miracle of evaporative cooling, there would be no CRS hobby in singapore, malaysia, or vietnam (and believe me, there's a HUGE CRS hobby). But don't take my word for it, here's some pictures:

Also, my fish room _IS_ completely dark during the day, so it works fine for me.

Anyhow, works for me, maybe no one else.
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