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aunt kymmie 06-18-2008 04:59 PM

Heating/Cooling for Community Tank
Something I just thought of:
The heater in my tank hasn't gone on in
over three weeks. The water temp holds steady.
It's about 77-78 degrees here on a daily basis.
Temp drops to 68 at night which would explain
why the heater does not kick on.

All fish are happy but I got to thinking. What happens when
we fully enter summer and the outside temp gets to 85-90?
It does not happen often but we do get an occasional heat
wave during the summer.
I do not have air conditioning in my home.
Before all this global warming biz I didn't need it :sarcastic:

Any suggestions other than purchasing a chiller (too much $$$$)
or dropping ice cubes in the tank? Thanks!

okiemavis 06-18-2008 05:26 PM

I had a heat wave last week that was close to 100. Unfortunately, the air conditioner I bought blew the circuit, as my apt is *very* old and only runs on tow 15 amp circuits. I took all the lids/lights off (put mosquito netting over if you have jumpers) and put two fans over it (blowing into/across the surface of the water). It managed to keep the water from getting over 84 degrees, which is fine for the fish for a while. I did this in my 86 gallon, and my two 10 gallons.

Also, keep all sunlight from hitting the tank, even indirect. The darker the better so make sure the shades are closed. You can alternate your lighting to run at night when it is cooler if you have live plants you are worried about.

Don't add ice cubes- it's far too hard to prevent rapid drops in temperature and the cold spots created can be very dangerous. If you have a canister filter you can put ice packs around that, but be careful, as it requires some experimenting to make sure you aren't causing big temperature fluctuations.

The biggest worry with higher temperatures is not the heat it's self, but the fact that higher temperatures equal lower dissolved oxygen. Adding extra surface agitation with the fans and with air stones is a good idea. Keep an eye out for any fish gasping at the top for oxygen.

One last thing, the fans/high temperatures will cause major evaporation. My 10 gallon went down 1/3 in a matter of 2 days. You'll need to be topping off frequently, but resist the urge to add much cooler water, as that is dangerous. Don't add anything 2 degrees cooler than the tank's current temperature.

aunt kymmie 06-18-2008 07:14 PM

Great info, Mavis.

I have plenty of extra fans lying around, the tank gets no direct light, and I do have a canister filter so I should be good to go.

And to think I was going to toss in ice cubes and have slurpee fishies....

okiemavis 06-18-2008 07:18 PM

Hehe, believe me, I contemplated it too, but then I did lots and lots of research.

Also, don't forget to prepare for power outages, as they definitely happen in the summer. I have battery operated airstones in all of my tanks that automatically kick on as soon as they sense the power is not on.

aunt kymmie 06-18-2008 08:01 PM


Is there anything you don't think of?? :)
I saw from a prior post that you recommended battery operated so I'm making sure I have that. The neighbors don't like my generator!


okiemavis 06-19-2008 06:49 AM

Aww, you've got a generator, so jealous!! That's the way to go if you want to power everything, definitely good if there is a long-term blackout. But the neighbors will probably appreciate you using battery, at least at the beginning. The batteries probably won't last more than a day.

1077 06-19-2008 07:07 AM

I wonder if you could put canister filter inside apartment size fridge with inlet and outlet holes drilled in sides of fridge? On a related matter , My Dog HOOVER likes it when I freeze two litre bottles of water and then place one in his five gallon bucket of drinking water during the hottest days of summer. :)

1077 06-19-2008 07:21 AM

OOPS! should have added that return hose would need to be longer to allow you to coil it enough to allow for more contact time. :)

okiemavis 06-19-2008 03:18 PM

From what I've read of DIY tank coolers, no. I read an article that addressed modifying a mini-fridge and apparently they just don't work that way. They rely on very little heat actually coming into the fridge and primarily work by way of insulation. They simply couldn't keep up with the constant addition of heat.

I use the frozen bottled water thing for my bunny too. Every morning/evening when it's hot she gets a fresh one wrapped in a towel. She likes to lie against it. I've spent hours wishing I could get a frozen water bottle as tall as me.

aunt kymmie 06-19-2008 06:31 PM

Such a great idea!
My 2 dogs & 2 cats are going to appreciate the frozen
water bottle trick.
You guys are the best!
And to think, I was only here for fish!

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