2 Part question, moving and Temp
ok so the more important part.
its starting to heat up where i am, my tank is on the 2nd floor and my room gets pretty toasty (sometimes even with the AC on)
i got home and my tank was 86 degrees!
what is the best way to bring that temp down? its normally between 78-82 but i had a guppy and 3 platies all clamped finned and hoverin in a top corner (i assume its the heat my water parameters are good)
my second question is this.
i sold my house. i have to move in the next 3-4 weeks in with a friend till i can move into my new place in july. so in the next couple months i will be moving my 55g twice. whats the best way to move the fish?
should i keep some of the water and try and take that with me? im only moving 10-15 minutes away.
Cooling the tank / Moving
I've use the ice cube method, but I doubt its the proper way to cool down a tank. Especially long term.....
As far as moving. Keeping old water does nothing. You need to bag the fish, drain tank and yada yada... For a 55 gallon the substrate is going to have to be removed to make the tank move-able. I would clean it best you can, unless you have a UGF. Other then that you need to move the mature media and keep it wet and fed during the move. This shouldn't be a problem since your moving only a short distance. I would set the tank up at the new place add new water, dechlor, let it sit empty with filter and heater for an hour maybe to give at least a little time for things to equalize. Then you can add fish, but acclimate them like you would any new fish, by adding small amounts of the new water to the bags and letting them adjust slowly before releasing them. Given this shock on both the fish and the tank I would feed very minimally the first few days so you don't risk a minicycle.
Something else you can do is start fishless cycling a 10 gallon plastic bin. Just keep doing the fishless cycle as long as you can. This will give you a source of mature media to use if something goes wrong and a water quality issue arises.
That said depending how long you are at your friends you could just buy a 50 gallon plastic storage bin and throw the fish in there with light, plants, and filter. Leave the actual tank empty till you get to new house. Saves you the effort of the second tear down.
Yeah, always drain the water when you move the bath tub! Dirty water serves no purpose in a new setup, but Mikaila31 is right, you want to keep the gravel and filter wet to preserve as much beneficial bacteria as possible. As suggested, you want to clean the gravel.
Also, the suggestion of using an interim plastic storage bin is a good one and depending on stock, you might even get away with an 18g bin? (not sure how much 'stock' and how long between moves).
As far as the heat, maybe your next places of residence may be cooler. Short of a chiller, there are a couple of things that come to mind, but they're just off the top of my head as I haven't had to deal with this issue. I'm not sure that ice would be effective, unless you're there to keep adding some throughout the day since say a quart bag of ice would likely be all melted in 3-4 hours. You also want to avoid high/low fluctuations.
If your lights emit heat, leave them off. Perhaps opening the lids and positioning a fan to blow across the top of the water may help?
2 part question
As for the cooling method I suggested, you only need to cool the tank during the hottest part of the day or just a few hours. I was suggested this way 20 years ago by 2 avid aquarium enthusiasts whom also opened their own store.
i live in phoenix, az and i've also been getting warmer water in my 55 gallon in the living room. it sits in front of a window on the west side of the house. last week i noticed the temp had gotten up to 81, so i started filling up plastic bottles about two thirds full of water, and freezing them. and then let them float in the tank, and cool the water. i have 3 flavored water bottles and one gallon milk jug that i have in rotation. although after using them all once or twice for the first few days, now the temp has been staying around 78, and i'm only using one or two bottles a day to keep it cool.
it hasn't even reached 100 here yet this year, i wonder how my tank temps will be when it's 115. the tanks in the back bedrooms stay around 75. in march i took all the heaters out of my tanks, except for the betta tank. my 10 gallon gets as cold as 73. i keep the thermostat set at 78.
also i forgot to mention how i have tinfoil taped to the window glass, and mini blinds up on the window that the 55 gallon sits in front of. so no light even comes through.
One 'could' move the water, but it serves little purpose in the process and just complicates the move.
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