Need help controlling water temp so I can add fish - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Otocinclus vestitus, the variety most commonly found in the LFS, actually prefers warmer temperatures:

https://www.planetcatfish.com/common...species_id=272

What are your water parameters: PH, Kh/Gh and TDS if have it?
My PH is 7.8, Kh 4 and Gh 10. I used the API test kits to measure that.

I don't have a way to test TDS, but the 2018 online water report from the city shows TDS is 333.

I certainly appreciate everyones help & suggestions. I'm rigging up a mount for a 120mm computer fan, so hopefully I can have that going this evening and I can update after it's run for a few days.

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 11:42 PM
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If you're in the desert, somewhatshocked's suggestion of a fan directed at the water surface should work well. For maximum evaporative cooling, make sure your filtration provides some water surface movement and you don't have any surface film. Test it out and make sure you don't drop it too much--with single digit humidity and a low dew point you could easily drop it lower than you'd want. Also be aware of the increased evaporation, and that just topping it off will increase mineral buildup. So you'll want to do sizable regular water changes.

A window AC unit would draw too much power if you'd got old wiring, but what about a window swamp cooler? Those don't draw more power than an ordinary fan, and can drop the temperature 30-40 degrees if it's an efficient unit. Unlike the fan blowing on the tank, you can just set the thermostat--and both you and your fishes will be nice & cool...

Grew up in Norther Cali and we always had swamp coolers. Those things would about freeze ya out of a room. Ofcourse these were the big old school units but no one ever complained in summer when it was 115F outside.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 12:52 AM
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Grew up in Norther Cali and we always had swamp coolers. Those things would about freeze ya out of a room. Ofcourse these were the big old school units but no one ever complained in summer when it was 115F outside.
I grew up in Northern California with swamp cooler as well- no central heating or air in this house. This was 40 years ago... I remember going outside to "water it" with the hose as a kid. It grossed me out because there were always frogs nearby (maybe because of the moisture?) and they would skip across my bare feet. Slimy things

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 03:09 AM
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I grew up in Northern California with swamp cooler as well- no central heating or air in this house. This was 40 years ago... I remember going outside to "water it" with the hose as a kid. It grossed me out because there were always frogs nearby (maybe because of the moisture?) and they would skip across my bare feet. Slimy things

Yeah this was probably 30-35yrs ago, same thing until my dad hooked up the "auto water feature". We had toads and they always congregated around under neath due to the occasional leaks and green things in a field of dry/brown. We would still spray the matts occasionally to get that extra cooling effect even with the float/water line hooked up.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 06:28 PM
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If 84 is the max it gets, you should be okay for many/most truly tropical species, especially if that temperature is only experienced temporarily. Most fish live in water systems that experience temperature swings wider than most of us may realize. Even in the Amazon, sometimes the water can be in the 60's during certain times of the year.

Basically, if your water temperature is swinging from 78 to 84, providing it's not super fast, and the fish only experience 84 for a few hours before things start to cool off, I wouldn't worry about it. Alternatively, you could take the top off and have a fan blow directly on the surface of the water, creating an evap cooling effect.


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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 08:08 PM
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Something one of us tank nerds (I mean me - not sure how I forgot to mention it) should have mentioned already and haven't: sheets of insulation/styrofoam.

It may be helpful to secure some sheets of styro insulation on the back & sides of the tank. Could help stabilize temps a bit.

You can buy a giant sheet of it at Home Depot/Lowe's/most construction supply stores for cheap. I usually use it to insulate plant & critter shipments but have used it in the past to insulate tanks during lengthy power outages and when moving hundreds of miles.

A few years ago there was an 8-day outage in the middle of the hot, humid, disgusting summer. My tank room was on the 4th floor of my condo building. I, of course, keep temperature-sensitive shrimp. Feeling the panic? I certainly was. I cut up a bunch of styro and taped it around my tanks, used battery-powered fans and battery-powered air pumps. Was able to keep everything from cooking. It was between 95-100 in the condo but my tanks never hit 80.

If you've got a couple spare bucks, definitely give it a shot.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 08:46 PM
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I think you're worrying over nothing. Temperatures fluctuate. Its gonna happen. 78-84 sounds fine to me for just about any fish in this hobby for a few months in the summer. Sure certain species prefer it cooler than that for the majority of their life. Doesn't mean they'll die instantly if they have to deal with a bit warmer for a while. Anything you do to insulate the tank can work for and against you. Might take longer for the tank water to heat up but it will also take longer for it to cool back off.
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 11:43 PM
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I think you're worrying over nothing. Temperatures fluctuate. Its gonna happen. 78-84 sounds fine to me for just about any fish in this hobby for a few months in the summer. Sure certain species prefer it cooler than that for the majority of their life. Doesn't mean they'll die instantly if they have to deal with a bit warmer for a while. Anything you do to insulate the tank can work for and against you. Might take longer for the tank water to heat up but it will also take longer for it to cool back off.


Yep. My main display sits at 82ish all summer and all the fish are fine, even the corydoras.


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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to update this: I removed the front part of my aquarium cover, and that alone dropped the temps by a couple of degrees. I made the cover from some old window glass I had laying around, so that was definitely contributing to holding in some heat. I'll make a cover using some window screen to keep whatever fish I end up with from jumping out.

Last night, I set up a 120mm computer fan to blow across the water, and left it on overnight. The water temp was 82° when I put the fan on, and had dropped to 70° this morning. The room temp was about 74° this morning, so this has worked far better than I expected. I'm going to set this fan on a timer and play around with that until I find what works best for keeping it at a decent temp. Maybe all it needs is a few hours during the afternoon to keep it at a constant temp. Once I have that dialed in, I'll add a few fish.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions.
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 09:50 PM
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That's great news about the fan. You'll likely be able to keep the temperature where you want it once you figure out timing. Just remember to top-off with distilled/RO/DI water so you aren't accidentally loading the tank up with dissolved solids.

Depending upon your budget, you may be able to buy a cool aquarium top with clear/translucent mesh (much larger than window screen material) for a reasonable price. I tend to find them more in the reef community (reef-related retailers, anyway). Could also DIY your own with some square trim, fishing line and patience.
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Wigglespank View Post
Just wanted to update this: I removed the front part of my aquarium cover, and that alone dropped the temps by a couple of degrees. I made the cover from some old window glass I had laying around, so that was definitely contributing to holding in some heat. I'll make a cover using some window screen to keep whatever fish I end up with from jumping out.



Last night, I set up a 120mm computer fan to blow across the water, and left it on overnight. The water temp was 82° when I put the fan on, and had dropped to 70° this morning. The room temp was about 74° this morning, so this has worked far better than I expected. I'm going to set this fan on a timer and play around with that until I find what works best for keeping it at a decent temp. Maybe all it needs is a few hours during the afternoon to keep it at a constant temp. Once I have that dialed in, I'll add a few fish.



Thank you all for your help and suggestions.


Buy an Inkbird that does cooling and heating. Hook the fan to the cooling spot and the heater to the heating spot. Set desired parameters. ??? Profit!


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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Buy an Inkbird that does cooling and heating. Hook the fan to the cooling spot and the heater to the heating spot. Set desired parameters. ??? Profit!
I hadn't heard of those, but that seems like a great way to set this thing up.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 09:53 PM
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I hadn't heard of those, but that seems like a great way to set this thing up.


Yep! They can be had on Amazon for about $30-$40. Pretty affordable. I use one but don’t have anything connected for cooling.


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