Beating The Heat

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Sep 24, 2004
Toronto, Canada
As the summer heat approaches most of us are thinking about the parties, the beach, and everything else that comes with summer. But have you ever thought about your fish tanks? Not everyone runs the AC 24/7 so your tank may be heating up. Go check the temperature right now and see! I checked mine during the day while I’m at school and got 84*F! They fish were all breathing fast so I quickly did a cool water change, and hooked up some air pumps. Two fish ended up dead, but at the same time I got two fry! After everything settled down, and I figured needed to so some research! So what can you do to keep the tank cool?

First you need to locate the source of the heat. It could be the outside temperature, a window, or maybe some type of electronic? Here are something to think about:
• Is there anything in the room that may produce extra heat? This includes: TVs, Computers, Lights, Etc…
• Maybe you could move the tank to an area where you get more air movement, and away from these objects?
• A good place for the tank maybe the basement. Most people’s basements are cool during the summer months because heat rises.
• Maybe tank lights are creating too much heat? Maybe add a fan or two?
• Is anything in the tank heating it up? Maybe a faulty heater, filter, powerhead, etc…
If anything above is your problem moving the tank, or removing the source is your best bet. Try if for a while and see what happens. If this does not help, or none of these thing are the problem you are felling the full effect of summer.
The best thing to do during the hot summer months is to run the AC or buy an aquarium chiller. Both of these fixes while keep on working unless you choose to turn them off. Both of these fixes can be expensive so there are also some temporarily fixes that are easy and a lot cheaper.
Here are some cheap fixes that will work, but not forever at all:

Cold Water
To start off, never just add a bunch of cool water to the tank. This normally will shock them, and the fish may end up dead. You can do a cool water change, but be sure to cool it down very slowly. I like to do 1* per hour.
Another idea is ice cubes. Place a bunch in a plastic bag and toss them into the tank. Only problem here is that you are wasting water. You could always re-freeze the bag, but after a while it may break open. So another idea is plastic bottles. Try small or lager pop bottles. Fill them ¾ up, and freeze. Then you can toss them into the tank, and re-freeze as many times as you need. You can even have some more already frozen so once you are done with one, another one is ready to go.

You can try to cut back on lighting. Try reducing the time they are on during the day. Maybe you could only use them when you the AC is on? Maybe a room light maybe heating up the air? Some types of lighting are worse then others.

Hood/Traping Heat

Your hood could also be the problem. Some things like glass keep the heat in. You can try to leave it off. Or maybe you could get another material with some more air holes in it. If you have the room, set up a fan to blow onto the water. This should help with cooling down the water.

DIY Chiller
If you have to, you can make a DIY chiller. The materials that are needed are: some kind of box, some ice, and plastic tubing. Coil the tubing up, and place it in the box. Connect on end into the tank, and the other end into a pump of some sort. Fill the box with ice, and start up the pump. The general idea here is to take water from the tank, cool it in the tube with the ice, and pump it back into the tank. Nothing too fancy here, but it should work well.

This article should give you some idea of what you can do when the time calls. I my self am using the ice, and the DIY chiller idea. So far the tank runs at a steady 78F when the AC is not on. Anything to keep the fish alive…
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