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MattD 05-09-2007 09:59 AM

Tank Temperature unstable. Help needed fast plz.

Ok, at the moment, my heater is OFF. The last few days, I've noticed my tank temperature fluctuating enormously. I have no doubt it's because of the weather, recently we've been getting many 20C+ days. My room, for some reason, absorbs more heat than any other bedroom in the house (I believe due to the fact that I'm above my garage, which basically acts as a giant oven). It used to be a real problem for my sleeping at night too, but I invested in a large fan (which works wonders btw).

My tank is normally at a comfortable 25C, which is suitable for all my fish. However, the last few days, it's been going up to 28, to 27, 26, back up to 28, down to 27 etc.. I'm reluctant to turn on my tank light because I fear the heat it generates will simply exacerbate the problem. I have no clue what to do. I dropped a tray of ice cubes (made from RO water) into the tank, and it did indeed drop the tank back to 25C within several minutes. However, within a half hour, it was back up to 27C. Currently it's stable at 27C, but I fear it will rise, and I'm not here most of the day, I don't like the idea of a potential disaster happening in my absence. I've left the door to my bedroom open to let the heat out, and some cold air from the rest of the house in, but it doesn't seem to be working at all because of my garage. I do not want to put my fish through this roller coaster ride.

I've heard talk of 'water coolers' on this forum, essentially air conditioning for fish. Any more info on this perhaps? Other suggestions?

Falina 05-09-2007 10:20 AM

I'm not sure about this - I'm going to try and look it up and get back to you but if it's only going up to 28, and presumably this is during the peak times of the day, I'm wondering if this is even a problem.

Presumably in the wild the lakes/rivers that fish live in will heat up during the day, and cool down at night anyway in which case I wouldn't imagine this being a problem at all because it would be natural.

I'll see what I can find and get back to you.

Falina 05-09-2007 10:31 AM


From another forum I found an article on something similar to your problem:

It is important to realize that there is no one specific temperature for each species of fish but rather a temperature range. This range takes into consideration the water temperatures at the time of year a species is collected, optimum breeding temperatures and other weather-related influences on water temperatures. In the wild, fish commonly move through different pockets of water that vary in temperature from each other. For example, a fish can move from a shaded area along the bank of a stream to a brightly lit area, with a difference of as much as 4 degrees Fahrenheit between them. Yet, the fish suffers no ill effects. New hobbyists are often so set on keeping exact temperatures in their tanks at all times that they fail to recognize that fish in the wild are well-adapted to small changes in temperature.

The concern about fluctuating temperatures is understandable, of course. Many fish disease are brought on by the stress of sudden drops in water temperature. These include white spot disease, shimmies and other maladies. What aquarists should keep in mind is that problems will start if temperature changes are extremely sudden and drastic. Fish in the wild adapt readily to smaller changes in temperature, which occur as a result of various environmental factors relating to the weather. Indeed, sometimes small shifts in temperature can induce some species of fish into spawning.


It is upto you whether you feel the temperature differences are somethign to worry about. If it is just going up and down with the time of day/brightness of the sun, personally I wouldn't worry.

Maybe another member will have something to say about this?


MattD 05-09-2007 10:42 AM

I had taken natural temperature tolerations into consideration, but the heat range for my Cories are 21C - 26C. It's going well above 26C. I understand it's not too big of a problem now, but it isn't even summer yet, so I would like to know ways to counter this issue which will inevitably be needed in the future. Also, the frequency of the fluctuations are what I'm concerned about.

I've decided to freeze a water bottle, then float it in my tank. The current will distribute the cold efficiently. I shall see how this works.

Thanks for the reminders, Julie. :) :D

Falina 05-09-2007 10:49 AM

Freezing a bottle of water might help. I hope it does.

Not knowing where you live, it was difficult to say whether this problem would get worse but if the weather is to get hotter then you do seem to have a problem.

Unfortunately I can't help, living in Scotland, this is one problem I will never face, I don't even think they sell water coolers here.

I hope you get your problem sorted out.

MattD 05-09-2007 12:20 PM

Well the bottle of water idea didn't work. The whole bottle thawed within five minutes and the the temperature barely changed.

I live in Ontario, Canada. Yes, it's Canada but we have bloody hot summers. Last year we saw 30C+. Who knows what will happen this year, it will probably be another hot summer because it's late Spring and we're already hitting 25C.

Falina 05-09-2007 03:53 PM

Is there no information online about water cooling systems?

I am sure I have hear another member here having used one, I will try and find the post and see if it says anything useful. Or you might come across it if you're searching for similar posts.

fish_4_all 05-09-2007 04:01 PM

The best thing you could do would be to get a chiller and an inline heater and set it all up with a digital thermometer that controls them all and regulates the temp exactly where you want it. This way you could actually set up cooling and warming periods to simulate the natural temperature fluctuation in nature.

Aside from that, a couple small fans that create waves on the surface of the tank will serve as a descent cooler. Egg crate can be used as a cover to allow the air to cool the tank but help keep fish from jumping out.

Firebelly girrl 05-09-2007 08:10 PM

I know what you are talking about. I don't have central air, and last summer my GOLDFISH tank was in my bedroom (that is on the backside of the house with the sun beating on it all day) The tank reached 32C/90F during the day, and would cool off somewhat at night. It was light this all of june, july and august, and part of may and september, and all the goldfish lived until not long ago with some disease from introducing a carnival fish to the tank =(
I have no idea how goldfish made it through, I think it may have shortened their lifespan from what I've read, but I wont know that now. :(

MattD 05-09-2007 09:49 PM

My cheap dad refuses to turn on the AC, says it's too early. My mom tells me to move it to the basement (yeah real stupid), and everyone else just laughs and says ''They're just fish''.

Imagine how they'd feel without their precious air conditioners.

I really need to do something. The temp is no longer in the green, it's rising up to 30C now. My heater is unplugged, so it's not my heater malfunctioning. I've opened my windows in my bedroom because the temp is dropping to 14 tonight so hopefully it'll cool my tank nicely.

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