Thoughts on Lowering Tank Temps at Night - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
It has been theorized that performing water changes with slightly cooler water promotes breeding... The thought being that it simulates cooler spring rains. I've often wondered if it wasn't just the influx of 'fresh' (or fresher) water.

Although night temperatures in the tropics may be slightly less, I'm not so sure that water temperatures fluctuate that much. Probably not as much as a when there's a heavy rain.

I don't see much, if any, advantage in lowering temperatures at night and I have not heard of any experts claiming it.
Maybe a better idea is shooting for and maintaining the lowest practical temperature for the species you have.

I have always had good luck with consistent 76-78F.
Technically, if you have lights off at night, it'll be slightly colder temps anyways, +/- 2ļ maybe.


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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
There are some more specialized species of fish that require seasonal temperature fluctuations in order to remain healthy in the aquarium ( as they do in the wild). One species that comes to mind is Gymnogeophagus. This species must have the temperature lowered for 2-3 months out of the year to replicate the environment in their natural rangeóprimarily Uruguay, where in winter the temperature can drop to just a few degrees above zero. If the temperature is not lowered as required these fish succumb to typical cichlid illnesses- like Hexamita and HLLE.

So, yes, there are examples of fish that live among these sub-tropical areas that are kept by aquarists who can match their needs.

Here is a short write-up on this species:
https://www.biotopeone.com/gymnogeop...ated-aquarium/
Interesting. This is basically what I was getting at, but definitely species specific. Based on what I know about the species I'm keeping it would likely be detrimental to fluctuate temperature so I have no intentions on doing so. I would venture to guess that the vast majority of species sold for the hobby do not require any fluctuations which is why there is not much published about it.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by silasvirus82 View Post
Interesting. This is basically what I was getting at, but definitely species specific. Based on what I know about the species I'm keeping it would likely be detrimental to fluctuate temperature so I have no intentions on doing so. I would venture to guess that the vast majority of species sold for the hobby do not require any fluctuations which is why there is not much published about it.
Your question was a good one because, as you can see, there are species that require seasonal variation to maintain health.

In contrast, the majority of fish that we keep in our aquariums live within a range of temperatures, but their health doesn't depend on this variation.

For instance, discus withstand temperatures between 78-93 degrees ( depending on areas endemic too) in the wild within a given year. However, both ends of the extreme lower and upper temperature numbers are experienced seasonally by discus in a time-line of days or weeks. The majority of the time they are within 82-86 degrees. The point is that discus dont depend on this variation in temperature to survive.

Although, temperature variation does have a part to play in reproduction. Temperature variation, along with the influx of fresh waters from rains and flooding into rivers and tributaries, hormone changes in fish, and certain seasonal food species and availability of this food source, all induce spawning and breeding behaviors.


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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 08:17 AM
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Scientist have found many cases where temperature can trigger reproduction or behavioral changes in and animals as well afresh and salt water fish. The same also applies to plants. And these biological effects are not limited to temperature. The length of the day as well as wind can trigger plants to flower. The quality and quantity of sleep is known to affect the health of people as well as animals. Do fish sleep? UV levels also affect animal vitamin D levels which can have multiple affects on the human body.Do fish use UV light to make vitamin D?

In water seasonal changes in PH, KH, TDS may also have an effect on reproduction. And additionally active reproduction or no active reproduction may have positive and negative affects on health. However we don't have detailed information on these effect for all animals and plants.

As to temperature in an aquarium daily temperature fluctuations in large bodies of water are probably very small. A large amount of water will simply not loose a lot of heat over night. A small aquarium would have a bigger daily change. Overall I don't think daily temperature changes will have much effect. However a seasonal temperature change may have a large effect. In the wet season tropical streams will be cooler due to more rain. The water will also be softer with possibly very different water chemistry. CO2 levels may be higher because cold rain drops remove CO2 from the air and deposit it in the rivers which will slowly outgas it. During the dry season water flows will be lower allowing higher hardness levels and lower CO2 levels with higher temperatures.

So overall seasonal affect on day length, temperature, rain, and mineral levels can all have multiple effects on the water and we don't have a lot of data how this affects reproduction, and the health of the plants and animals in our aquariums.
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