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Do Tropical Aquariums need a heater?-Discussion thread

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by msjinkzd, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. msjinkzd

    msjinkzd AC Members

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  2. Squawkbert

    Squawkbert Senior padder

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    my opinion

    We can also survive at temperatures far from our thermal neutral zones and are homeothermic to boot. We find that we are a lot more comfortable at temperatures closer to our thermal neutral zones.

    I suspect that poikiothermic animals (like fish) are even more appreciative of being housed at comfortable temperatures. If you commonly find a given species at 46°F or at 110°F, maybe it would make sense to house them under those conditions. Most tropical fish are most commonly found in the wild at the temperatures aquarists house them at for the sake of their comfort. Just because they can survive cooler temperatures doesn't mean that they should have to.
     
  3. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    I would also wonder whether captive bred strains would still be tolerable of lower/higher temps than what is "recommended"...especially when it comes to something like guppies, which have been bred to the extreme in the aquaria...
     
  4. pam916

    pam916 AC Members

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    I think it depends on the species of fish you keep and the environment you keep them in. I keep a heater in all my discus tanks because all the literature I have read says they do best in warmer temps than I keep my home. I usually keep my discus tanks at 80-86 F. I don't keep heaters in my guppy tanks, for one reason I also keep cherry shrimp in the same tank and all the literature I have read says they do better in cooler temps, also I keep panda corys in the same tanks and all of the literature I have read says they also do better with cooler temps. If you have a house that has central heat and it is thermostatically controlled then you can pretty much control how cold your house gets around the clock. If you have a home that is heated with space heaters that are not thermostatically controlled then you may not have any way of constantly controlling how cold your home gets. For example if you leave for work in the morning and the temp outside is 74F, chances are you may not be using your space heaters and then a cold front comes through at noon and the temp drops to 32F within a couple of hours, and your 12 1/2 hour shift doesn't end until 9:00 that evening, then your guppies could be in trouble. I keep my home around 75F and if my guppies are uncomfortable with the temp you could never tell it by the way they act. They grow, thrive, eat and multiply at an amazing rate. My guppies are a pure strain of half black blues. It is just my opinion, but I believe it is all relevent to the environment and how much control you have over it and the species of fish you keep.
     
  5. Veloth

    Veloth AC Members

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    My tanks fluctuate according to the house temp plus heat from the lights. Range from 72 to 81.
     
  6. kidbookrev

    kidbookrev This space intentionally left blank

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    Just because a fish can survive at lower or higher temps, doesn't mean they will be very comfortable. You can survive at -30 deg (with proper clothing), but that doesn't mean you would like to live at -30 for your whole life.
     
  7. jm1212

    jm1212 Pterophyllum scalare

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    A constant temperature is key. If your temp is fluctuating all of the time, your fish are going to be more sickly and lethargic. Plus, since fish are cold blooded cold temperatures will make them slow down too much.
     
  8. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    Keep in mind that temperature can change rapidly within different areas of one body of water...but a constant fluctuation is always going to be stressful. I would personally get a heater for stability, no matter the fish's temp requirements.
     
  9. bitbot

    bitbot AC Members

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    An interesting article, but I'd like to make a couple of points:

    1. I don't think the extremes of temperature given for a guppy necessarily represent the daily temperature variation - it may refer to seasonal variation, or regional variation;

    2. The 'bathythermograph' study is interesting, but of limited relevance, since most aquarium species do not come from 2000m-deep watercourses; it doesn't tell us about temperature changes over time.

    3. I would like to see some evidence that water temperature equalises with air temperature in nature, given the insulatory properties of the earth, and of the water itself (note, for example, underground houses can have an almost constant temperature all year round). On the other hand, temperature in an aquarium would certainly equalise with air temp. pretty quickly, being a relatively tiny volume of water with little insulation.

    4. While a guppy may tolerate a wide temperature range, a species that evolved in a more stable environment may be less able to adapt.

    I like the basic thrust of the argument, but I wanted to raise those points. I don't have air conditioning, and in summer my tank temperature is regularly fluctuating at least 5 degrees C, with seemingly little ill effect (in fact it seems to encourage breeding) except on the odd extremely hot day when some fish look a bit dopey (oxygen-deprived?)

    I hope the discussion throws up some more info, as I am quite interested in the question of temp. fluctuation and fish health.
     
  10. PDX-PLT

    PDX-PLT AC Members

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    Hah! So says someone who lives in Texas. ;)

    I think the only homes in the U.S. kept within that sweltering temperature range are those in the Deep South, or those owned by the elderly.

    I'm in the Pacific Northwest. The air temperature inside when I got up this morning was 62 F. Nice comfortable sleeping temperature. And the temp in my house never is allowed to get above 74.

    If the article is saying that aquariums in tropical and subtropical regions of the country, housing hardy species like guppies, don't then need heaters, then fine. But generalizing it to the rest of the country, and all tropical species? No way.
     

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