Tank Temperature Help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Tank Temperature Help

Well I'm trying to bring my tank temperature down to a 72, but currently its at a 76 sitting in my room upstairs. The weather today is only 70 degrees so why is my tank so warm without my heater on? Can it be my room temperature because its lacking ventilation?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:54 AM
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The water can only be as warm as the air around the tank, unless the heater is doing something. second law of thermodynamics

Water has a high specific heat, and takes a long time to cool down or heat up. If you need to cool it down in a hurry, aim a fan across the surface of the water, and the evaporative effect will take the heat out of it. Just like blowing on hot soup.

And yes, the upstairs room is likely warmer than the air outside.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I just unplugged my Eheim heater to see if that was the culprit even though the light was off I need to make sure it isn't producing heat.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:28 AM
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Lights, pumps (filter and power heads) and air bubblers all can raise the temperature of the tank.
Good to unplug the heater, but also get some more air blowing across the top of the tank. That will evaporate some water, and this can cool the tank.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 03:45 AM
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For safety it is often better to just leave the heater unplugged and only plug it in when needed. Lights and filters do provide a lot of heat and this can make it dangerous when the heater sticks on. Cool fish may get sick and at some point develop disease but too warm gives you very little time to notice and they die quickly as the warm water carries less O2.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 10:09 AM
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Just being indoors is hot. It's not 70 in your home throughout the day I'm sure, especially not upstairs. Heat comes from everywhere, electronics (tv, lights, etc)... so if it's 70 outside, it's not hard to imagine it being 76 in your house and on your tank. Like others said, it takes a while to cool off. I place a small desk fan on top and blow air on to it - not the easiest thing to do depending on your setup, but it's a sure way to get it to drop.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Still reading 76 and its 63 degrees out I'm a bit confused.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfwang View Post
Still reading 76 and its 63 degrees out I'm a bit confused.

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Tell us the temp outside when its 4pm and you'll be wondering why the water in your tank is so much cooler..
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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The problem is my tank temperature hasn't budged from 76 I don't know if my thermometer is busted. All I have running is my Eheim 2232 canister filter that shouldn't be raising my temps that high. It's still a cool 61 degrees this morning still at a lost here can't order my pet shrimp until I get this fixed.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 03:27 PM
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Sounds like there are two things that might be going on here. One is a large tank which cools very slowly and the other is a defective thermometer. The dailly temperature swing will not be enough to change the temperature on a large tank as it first has to change the room temperature and then it can work to cool the tank.

One of the quicker ways to cool the tank is by adding cool water but then if you have not done the work to keep it cool, the temperature will climb back to what you have.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 04:55 PM
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Pull the thermometer out and stick it in a glass of cold tap water, see if it moves.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 05:03 PM
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Water has a huge amount of "thermal inertia" (resistance to temperature change) so the bigger the tank the slower the temp will swing.... Slow to heat and slow to cool off.

For myself, Minnesota has a heat wave right now and I'm dumping in a few pounds of ice each day to get through this hot spell. I put the ice into a disposable foam bowl and let it float in the tank. It cools the water and doesn't dump a huge slug of ice cold water in.

I also have an automatic water change system and the water comes in at about 55 degrees (ground temperature). I've been leaving that water run all afternoon and between the two sources of cold: I'm able to keep about 77 deg F in the tank. All my critters seem to be doing just fine.

If you're constantly fighting high temps, a chiller may be in your future!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yeee my tank is only a 20 long I removed my glass top, my window cracked open including my door to get the most ventilation out of my room. I can see temperatures are slowly declining finally. :P
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 06:20 PM
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Short term temperature swings are much easier to deal with once you figure out what it takes. I'm currently learning some things to control tank temperatures. This is the first place I've had fish where the incoming water temperature was hot enough to be a problem. When the ground rarely freezes, they don't bother to bury the lines very deep and you get much more swing in temperature. I have a reserve water barrel for water but what is coming in through the tap is running 84 degrees today, so rather than letting it warm before putting it in the tank, I need to let it cool!

As the weather changes, we will all have to be ready to adapt to the new order of things. The predictions that I have read are coming pretty close to correct so it seems I can expect to deal with weather more like Arizona but then there will be a possible good point. Tornado alley will be moved over to the North and East and that will be a relief to me. Look out Ohio, it's coming your way!!!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfwang View Post
Yeee my tank is only a 20 long I removed my glass top, my window cracked open including my door to get the most ventilation out of my room. I can see temperatures are slowly declining finally. :P
Well, theres your problem. With the glass top, you were insulating the surface of the water, preventing evaporation, and evaporation is the most effective way for the water to give up heat.
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