is water temp going to harm fish? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-15-2011, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
is water temp going to harm fish?

Since the weather is warming up, I have a concern. Hopefully it's just me being a worrywart.

My tank is on my upper floor in a 1 1/2 story house. In the room that my fish are in, my husband has an oxygen concentrator that produces quite a bit of heat. I only have two bedrooms on the second floor and the machine creates so much heat that we have to put it into the fishes' room so that we are comfortable. Throughout the winter I have maintained the tank's water temp at 76F with a heater even with the oxygen concentrator going, so there was no concern there.

In the last week, we have had outside temps of 19C to 26C (I'm not good at converting temp from metric to Farenheit or vice versa). The tank temp has been 80F even when I turned the heater down, so it is clearly the room temp keeping the water warm. I do have central air which is not yet on, but it will not reduce the room temp much more than it now is when it is running because it is the second floor of a 1/2 story, meaning the roof is right there above my head.

If the temp of the water remains around 80F throughout the summer months, will it harm my fish? I have lemon tetra, panda cories and laser striped cories. Do I need to do something?
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-15-2011, 08:33 PM
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well, im definaitely not an expert, but i have been researching alot of different fish in the short time that i have been fish keeping. so ill go ahead and give an opinion :) so, for pretty much all the fish species (tropical, of course) that i have seen water temp ranges for, the highest they are comfortable with is 82F. (sorry, i cant convert either lol) so i think as long as you keep them around there, you should be alright :) if your air conditioner will at least keep the room that cool, i dont think you'll need anything extra, but if it cant (i dont know how hot it gets around wherever you live, so it might not) i know they do sell things that cool your water down (sorry, i dont know what they are called off the top of my head, but i saw them at a Petco by me, so they probably are not too hard to find) :) hope this helped a little!

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-15-2011, 08:36 PM
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Ideally, around 78*F would be more suitable for your species. I understand that may not be possible for you. 80*F is about as high as you can saftely go. Fish temp ranges aren't supposed to be very forgiving, so even afew degrees over "max range" and you may be looking into some problems.

I personally think that if it very, very seldomly gets above 80, in your case it would probably work. I would add a small airstone or other type of additional aeration because warmer water contains less oxygen, which is a big reason for temp ranges. Don't go overboard because tetras really don't like a ton of water flow.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-15-2011, 09:12 PM
well the formula is 1/9 x[-39] ibelieve and you should be fine because it gets to around 77 there correct so you should be good

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-16-2011, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Christople, I'm impressed. I don't think that I have ever seen a simple formula for temp conversion.

I guess that I'll just have to wait and see if the temp remains stable when the central air is on. All of you are saying much of what I thought - that 80F is at the top of the comfort range. Our summer outside temps in southwestern Ontario occasionally get slightly above 30C, but thankfully not often and not for long periods. Usually they are around the mid to high 20's. So hopefully the room temp doesn't go over 80F.

Today, the aquarium heater is on meaning that it is cooler than 76F. And the weather is overcast.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-16-2011, 12:19 PM
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The heat issue occurs for most of us in North America during the summer. Depending where we live, we can expect higher temperatures than 77-78F, and the air temperature obviously affects the tank temperature. Water is slower to heat up and cool down, but it will adjust to the air temperature unless something prevents it. Heating water is easy, we have heaters in the tanks; cooling is not so easy.

My fish room will easily attain over 80F all summer, and during the "hot spells" (which thankfully are usually only once or maybe twice a summer) it will be 90F and over. I now have an air conditioner in the fish room. This works to keep the room at 80F during hot spells, and a bit lower during normal summer (once the warmer weather hits).

I do not adjust or disconnect the aquarium heaters; if they are working properly, they will not come on until the water cools below their set temperature.

For several years prior to getting the small air conditioner for this room, I just ignored it. With the kind of heat in this room (it is southwest facing with no outside shade, so it gets very hot in there) I could do nothing that would have any impact. The air conditioner is the only impact. But, even so, I am not aware of having lost any fish due to the heat. They were less active, and feeding them less is advisable. Depending upon the temp and the fish in the aquaria, adding air stones to keep the water oxygenated is an option. I never have, but some might find this helpful.

I bought a super room air conditioner for less than a hundred dollars at Canadian Tire two years ago, and if I had a second floor room with a window I would certainly get one of these installed. My fish room is on the ground floor, and I use a portable air conditioner which are more expensive. I prefer the installed room air conditioners, and they are much less expensive.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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