Temperature - Maybe I am too worried about it - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Question Temperature - Maybe I am too worried about it

So, I've got my first inhabitants in my little tank. Chili rasboras, blue velvet shrimp, amanos and a nerite snail. (I also have a little pond snail problem, but we won't count them! LOL!) I have always kept heaters on my tanks, though I know that here in Houston many fishkeepers do not. This one is no exception and I have a 50 watt heater on it. The temp in the tank has been fairly constant, but it sticks up around 79-80F. I know this is on the high side, but I am not sure how to get it down.



I tried turning off the heater completely (before I stocked the tank) and the temp dropped to around 69F-70F at night. I keep my AC at about 72 at night and 75 during the day.


With the heater on (set to 72F), the temp stays right around 80 (give or take a couple of tenths of degrees) during the day while the lights are on. When I get up, before the lights come on, the lowest I've seen it is about 79.1.


I am pretty sure that the lights are bringing the temp up during the day. But I am a little baffled as to why it stays so high at night with the heater set to 72.


Now that the tank is stocked, I am more reluctant to experiment as I am concerned about my little inhabitants (well, except for the pond snails :P). I am considering adding some habrosus corys at some point and I know they would probably like it a little cooler. But I am pretty sure everybody else is ok around 80, even if it is the top end of their temp range.


Am I too worried about this?


Thanks for the help!

16 Gallon Spec
Flora: Christmas moss, Buce plants, anubias, Bocapa monnieri, Marimo Moss Balls, Repens, Crypt wendtii
Fauna: Pseudomugil luminatus, Habrosus corys, Honey gourami, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Amanos, Nerite

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 02:40 AM
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Computer fans, such as this: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1, directed at the surface, can knock a bunch of degrees off (evaporation cools things) ...or you can spend about $400 for a chiller.

Another possibility is that the heater might be faulty. You might want to put it in a gallon of water and monitor the temp throughout the day to test. Also seems like a lamp timer for the heater might work for the day and night variances. Maybe a move to northern Canada is in order.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 02:43 AM
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Many hobby grade heating equipment isn’t calibrated that accurately. 72 to your heater might mean 79 realistically. I would try slowly turning it down bit by bit until you reach your desired temperature. The lights in your tank I assume are LED and will put off some heat. But it shouldn’t put off enough heat that it drastically changes your temperature by that much.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:04 AM
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What are you using to monitor this temp? Have you verified it using multiple thermometers?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:14 AM
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I would use a heater controller . You can DIY one or buy one ready to go . Look in the vendor section of this forum at the Ink-Bird one and there are threads on here about how to DIY one .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:31 AM
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I am surprised the fish are not suffering more than noticed but I'm also not shocked at the temp being that high. One big thing is the light but second is the filter as some will add a great deal of heat slowly. Since a filter runs full time, a little bit of heat added full time gets to quite a lot over time. I don't see much info on the tank setup and that can make a big difference in the temperature. What type of filter as HOB on the side will put less heat into the tank than a canister set in a closed stand directly under the tank. You can think of a can under a stand as a full time 10 watt heater!
Is the top enclosed? That allows far less evaporative cooling, so providing an open top may change things quite a lot. It may be worth trading out any glass lids for a top of egg crate/ light diffuser to allow air to move and cool the water. Another good way to cool is tying one or more computer fans to a temperature controller. Anything to move air across the water surface will help cool it.
The year when Austin set records for days above 100, I had to "invent" a few solutions which are not often needed but I keep on standby as the heat is coming back, I'm sure.
Maybe just a look to see what simple things might be changed to get it down? Even a regular type fan blowing across the surface can do some good. Of course check the heater but I suspect it is not the real problem.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:14 PM
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I second getting the inkbird controller. I got it because Ive boiled my tank before with faulty heaters and never want to do it again. It also doubles as a very accurate thermometer assuming you plug it in where you can see it. May not solve your issue but a good investment nonetheless.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:23 PM
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The Inkbird is a great controller for saving the fish from dying so quick due to heater failures but it also comes with a cooling function that can be tied to a fan for both operations. Inkbird 308, I think?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input.

The tank is a Spec, so it has the filter section built into the back with submerged pump just like the smaller Spec models. When I turned off the heater for a day, the temp did come down with the filter running, so I don't think the filter is the issue.

I used three thermometers in three different areas of the tank and they all registerd within tenths of a degree.

80F is still within the parameters for all the inhabitants, except maybe the nerite (I've seen some sites that say up to 79F but there are others that go as high as 81 to 86F).

The reason that I suspect the heater is because even with the thermometers registering around 80, the heater will still kick on now and then - and it is set to 72F currently.

I am going to order the Ink-Bird and see if that solves the problem. If not, then the next step will be a fan. I'd try the fan first, but the cover isn't going to work with one so I will have to figure out a solution for that if I go that route. Plus, I will be able to plug the fan into the Ink-bird's cooling outlet if it comes to that.

Thanks for a ll the suggestions! I love this forum. Y'all are always so helpful!

16 Gallon Spec
Flora: Christmas moss, Buce plants, anubias, Bocapa monnieri, Marimo Moss Balls, Repens, Crypt wendtii
Fauna: Pseudomugil luminatus, Habrosus corys, Honey gourami, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Amanos, Nerite

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 07:11 PM
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Which controller did you order ? The ready made one doesn't have cooling control , just an FYI .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 08:31 PM
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My inkbird has been wonderful; no more stressing about whether my shrimp are getting too hot or too cold!
I have a fan running on their tank and it really does work very well to cool the water; got a clip on fan from target for about $10 and it keeps my tank easily 6 degrees F less than ambient temp, probably could go lower if I wanted.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeatl View Post
Which controller did you order ? The ready made one doesn't have cooling control , just an FYI .

I ordered this one that has an outlet for Cooling and one for Heating.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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16 Gallon Spec
Flora: Christmas moss, Buce plants, anubias, Bocapa monnieri, Marimo Moss Balls, Repens, Crypt wendtii
Fauna: Pseudomugil luminatus, Habrosus corys, Honey gourami, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Amanos, Nerite

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Just a quick update and thank you for the Inkbird suggestion. Temp has been a stable 78 degrees since I installed it.

16 Gallon Spec
Flora: Christmas moss, Buce plants, anubias, Bocapa monnieri, Marimo Moss Balls, Repens, Crypt wendtii
Fauna: Pseudomugil luminatus, Habrosus corys, Honey gourami, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Amanos, Nerite

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 09:24 PM
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I don't think temperature swings are a problem if it is gradual over the course of the day. Fish in lakes experience temperature swings between night and day anyways.

Going from 72F to 80F is not that bad to be honest. I have a no tech tank that goes through bigger temperature swings than that and the fish and shrimps are fine.


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