Air conditioning broke, water temps rising. What to do?
So my home's air conditioner went out last night, and it's not getting fixed until next Wednesday. The house is a nice 90 degrees inside right now, and the water temps in my tanks are rising. Anything I can do to keep them down?
Keep the lights off. Other than that there isn't much you can do short of buying a chiller.
I've heard pointing a fan at the top of the water will increase evaporation which should help to a point, maybe some ice in baggies? Maybe this will help;
I've done the ice thing, putting icecubes in a bag and floating them, it does work. Also, adding a fan works great too, but doesn't show dramatic results. Do you have live plants? Keeping the light off may affect them. What is the current tank temp?
The best way would be to do frequent, small water changes and add cooler water to slowly lower the temperature.
I'd start freezing blocks of tank water and use them during the day to keep the temp down. I'd also do as others suggested. Nothing fancy or complex, simply aim an oscillating fan at the water. LOL, we used that as air conditioning when I was a kid. lights or no lights, heat rises, so the heat from the lamps will probably have a minimal effect on the tank as a whole if you keep them on during the crisis.
Another trick that may or may not work depending on how big your filter is, put those ice packs (like for coolers) in the filter compartment. that will distribute cooler water to the hottest water in the tank.
I am not an advocate of doing frequent water changes with cooler water, nor of floating ice/frozen water blocks in the aquarium. The reason is that it creates continual fluctuations, and while a degree or two might not matter, if it is more it can be stressful, more than the warmer constant temperature.
I now have an air conditioner, bought last summer as we had an unusual heat wave. But prior to that, for more than 15 years, I did nothing when we experienced a heat wave which normally last a few days to a week. The house temp was well over 90, but cooled down at night. I left the tanks alone. I lost no fish during any one of these heat waves. For less than a week I wouldn't expect you to lose fish--unless they are cool water fish of course. But normal tropicals will probably manage.
We often think that tropical streams are a stable environment in water parameters, including temperature, but this is far from true. It is the more sudden fluctuations that are hazardous, not gradual warmings and coolings as the fish experience diurnally in nature--or in the aquarium under these conditions. Keep the water moving to ensure adequate oxygen supply.
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