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Are our fish overheated?

This is a discussion on Are our fish overheated? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Our ambient room temperature in the winter is about 75, and during the summer between 79-82. I'm actually afraid of the tank getting too ...

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Are our fish overheated?
Old 03-11-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
 
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Our ambient room temperature in the winter is about 75, and during the summer between 79-82. I'm actually afraid of the tank getting too hot in the summer.

As an experiment I've removed the heater, and I'm going to see what the tank settles at, at different times of the day, and if the fish act any different.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:37 PM   #12
 
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I'm excited to see what happens! :)
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:41 PM   #13
 
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We don't have a heater in the aquarium at work and it sits at 76 degrees usually but it gets cold sometimes due to the fact thats its in the old part of the hospital and sometimes in the winter when the temps outside drop the room is cold so after a weekend of cold in the winter or in the summer the air conditioner is cold the water fluctuates and we have alot of fish death and inactive swimmers. We live in Ontario Canada in the winter we keep our furnace set to 20n degrees celcius and we heat with wood all winter and use airconditioning in the summer I have alot of warm water fish so I have heaters in both my tanks at home saying that I had a heater go wonky on me last week and lost one of my golden rams because of a temp spike but other then that little fish deaths
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:22 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by JDM View Post
I had my tank down to 71F a month ago due to some fluky issue. When I went to feed the fish at the usual lights on time, they ignored the food and seemed huddled in the bottom. They didn't get active and swimming about until the heat came back up a few degrees. I usually keep it at 78F. I wouldn't expect 7 degrees to have made that much difference with barbs.

Often our ambient room is 65F in winter. I don't think I could pull that off.

Jeff.
Most barbs are cooler water fish.

But if I recall correctly your tank loses heat at an extraordinary rate so maybe that's why they were acting like that.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
Most barbs are cooler water fish.

But if I recall correctly your tank loses heat at an extraordinary rate so maybe that's why they were acting like that.
Odd. I went looking at all the barbs as I didn't recall them being cooler water fish... but my method of elimination was pretty cut throat while coming up with the "fish we can keep" list. The cherry barb is the warmest one listed here as between 74 and 81F. The coldest one was a low of 59F and preferred fast water. Most are topped out in the mid to upper 70's. Even our catfish are among the warmest listed catfish listed as 71 to 82F.

While I might agree that the article linked may have some merit, it doesn't automatically mean that all fish all of a sudden have this wide temperature tolerance.

Yah, it cools down fast. The issue that time was that the filter had been left off all night... but seeing as we weren't adding new fish etc, it settled at 71F... Or that was as low as it got before I noticed it. It was at least 8 hours. I sort of forgot about the timeframe on that episode in my last post about rapid cooling.

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:47 PM   #16
 
One of the things about running cooler freshwater tanks is that it ups the likelihood of dealing with something like whitespot (ich). If you have sensitive fish the cooler waters can be asking for trouble.

As for me, it gets too cold during the winter and my windows leak a lot of heat. So I have to heat my tanks or they drop too cold. During the summer the house stay's Air Conditioned, and same issue.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #17
 
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One of the things about running cooler freshwater tanks is that it ups the likelihood of dealing with something like whitespot (ich). If you have sensitive fish the cooler waters can be asking for trouble.
Yes, ich often shows up after the fish has been chilled. Or stressed in any other way, for that matter. However, it only shows up because it was already there. Ich can exist as a low level infestation, hidden in the gills, for a very long time - that's how it can just appear one day out of no where. Some people think that it's "always there", but in my experience that is not the case and the experiments I've read on the matter indicate that it is not the case either. Once it's gone it's gone.

In my experience, the fish in a tank that has been treated for ich will not get it again unless it's been reintroduced by a new fish or plant. I treat all new fish for ich with heat while they are in quarantine as standard operating procedure. Because of this, I am certain that there is no ich in my tanks. Surely after hurricane sandy (4 days at 58 degrees), at least one of my fish would have showed spots... had it been there.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:14 AM   #18
 
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I'm kind of in the same boat as Fox on this one, very drafty house. . . we keep the thermostat high in the winter, AC low in the summer, but lose a lot of consistency in temperatures through the old windows and doors.

I know my Tetra and loaches would be happy with cooler temperatures, but I'm not so sure about my Bolivian Rams - though Jaysee, yours do well with it, so I suspect they'd be fine. . . I just get nervous about my 'babies!'

I'm thinking about turning the heaters down a few degrees, but. . . I don't think I'd be comfortable enough risking turning them off altogether - at least not at once. . . In some of these posts, I'm seeing heater malfunctions causing stress, etc. Wondering if a fish that was used to being maintained in the 80f range would be okay if the temps were dropped slowly, rather than just turning off the heat entirely, lowered a degree or two at a time.

On the flip-side. . . not very long ago, the heater in the tank I maintain in my daughter's kindergarten came unplugged somehow over a 3 day weekend. The school isn't heated over breaks, and when I went in next to check on them, the temperature was sitting just under 60f. The Platy, including fry and juvies were swimming normally, and showing no signs of stress. The African Dwarf frog who lives there was behaving normally as well, and if I hadn't put my hands into the tank to feed him, I wouldn't have ever noticed that anything was wrong, which gives me confidence that it can be okay to go heat-free. Of course, Platy are notoriously tough. This tank also had a bout with Ich when it was newly set-up. Did a heat-treatment then, and I've seen no signs of it returning, despite the chill of a few days without heat. . .
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:04 AM   #19
 
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In my expieriences ,,temp ranges for tropical's,,I try to shoot for somewhere close to middle of often wide ranges suggested.
Temp ranges listed for species could be relflective of different season's,different times of day when fish were collected, back when many were wild caught.
Have found that nearly all of the species I have kept, over close to four decades,, Most, perform better for me over the long haul at cooler temp's.
Are a few exception's as alway's,but majority do better for me as a whole, between 72 and 76 degree's F.
Springtime is right around the corner.Those who had to dial up the heat for winter,,might wish to lower it a little as spring approaches, so as not to come home to overheated,stressed fishes.
Have also found that my plant's do better at lower temp's as well.

Been saying for a long time...that many folk's keep fishes too warm. Did not take me long to realiize the benefit's of keeping the fish cooler as opposed to upper ranges often suggested for most(not all) species.
Slower metabolisim,Less food's needed,less waste created,longer life. Often times different for fry and warm water lover's.

Last edited by 1077; 03-12-2013 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
Our ambient room temperature in the winter is about 75, and during the summer between 79-82. I'm actually afraid of the tank getting too hot in the summer.

As an experiment I've removed the heater, and I'm going to see what the tank settles at, at different times of the day, and if the fish act any different.
This is pretty much the situation referred to in the linked article. One has to always keep things in context.

Fish obviously have a tolerance for varying temperatures, otherwise they would not exist in nature. Tropical watercourses are warmer during the day and cooler at night, and possibly be several degrees. Then there are the seasonal fluctuations. The rains bring cooler temperatures and the fish move into the flooded forest to spawn among the plants and with the increase in food for the fry. Anyone who has deliberately spawned egglaying fish (deliberately, as opposed to it just happening) knows that one way to initiate spawning is to do a larger water change with cooler water; the logic is simple, it replicates what occurs in nature and the fish respond as they are programmed to do. Doing this on a low pressure day is almost guaranteed, as fish feel the atmospheric pressures as part of this cycle.

I wrote a couple years back about an article suggesting we use two sets of heaters in our tanks, on timers; the daytime (could be linked to the tank light) being higher in temperature, and the night being cooler. This would replicate nature.

In either situation, whether the dual heater method or using the ambient room temperature, these only work up to a point. If your house cools down to 60F in winter, as mine does, many of the fish species would not last long. I keep my fish room at 70F in the winter, as it has its own heat. I leave the heaters set at 75-77F year-round, and the ambient room temperature of 70F means the heaters are not overworking. In the summer, heat waves can raise the room temp to well over 90F, and I have a portable air conditioner that will keep the room at 80F.

The extremes are temporary conditions, and fish are able to cope with this, just as they must in nature. There is still a "workable" temperature range, which varies somewhat according to species, as 1077 noted. The author of that linked article is not differing from all this. And I have frequently written in threads that fish should never be permanently maintained at the high end of their temperature range; these ranges are guides to what the fish can tolerate, provided the changes are not too sudden. Some species have higher ranges than others, which must be accommodated in order for the fish's homeostasis to function properly. I go into this more in the article on stress.

Byron.
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