Keeping tanks at lower temperatures - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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Keeping tanks at lower temperatures

I have a 57 gallon tank that I have had at around 72 for a couple of months now, and this has been working very well for me.

This is an ultra-low maintenance tank. I gravel-vac and change about 1/3 of the water every couple of...um...weeks (more like months), and I feed the fish about 2-3 times a week. It's an open-top tank, so I have to top off the tank about once a week with about 3 gallons of fresh water. Every so often I will trim the plants and clean the front and sides of the tank. That's pretty much it. Sometimes days go by when I don't go near the tank.

This probably sounds like I am neglecting the tank, but it is actually a very healthy system and has been going strong for quite a while. I just like to things to be slow because I don't have much time for maintenance. (I could lie and blame it on work or family, but it's really the small reef tank I started last winter. ) So I don't have CO2 or tons of light because I don't need my plants to grow a foot every two days. I feed sparingly to avoid a lot of mess and discourage spawning.

Having low water temperature seems to help slow things down as well. That's nothing new, of course, but so far I have only seen advantages and no ill effects whatsoever. Plant growth seems to have slowed down, which is great when you mainly have swords, microswords, and crypts. Algae growth seems way down. I have green spot algae that grows on the glass and an insignificant amount of BBA on the filter and pump. In this slow tank, it's easier for me to remove the algae every couple of weeks than to figure out and manage the root cause. How often do you hear that?

The fish don't seem affected at all. I have small schools of diamond tetras and cardinal tetras, as well as a bunch of platies, otos, and an old big pearl gourami. None of the fish have shown any signs of discomfort. The platies (supposedly all female - at least one must have been pregnant when I bought it) and diamonds have offspring regularly, and everyone else seems happy and healthy as well. So I really wonder why I would ever want to go up to higher temperatures again.

Anyone else have experience - positive or negative - with low-temp tropical tanks?

By the way, with the exception of maybe the cardinals, all my fish are known to be fairly tolerant when it comes to temperature. I wouldn't try this with discus, rams, or other warm water-loving species.


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 10:28 AM
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i am all fine with lower temps so long as fish are suitable for those temps. I would imagine you are going to have health issues at some point and will probably scratch your head as to what's going on. Let me tell you, when you do this to fish who are ment for 80 degree water your stressing them out and lowering their immune system. May not show illness today or next week but its bound to happen over time.

I would rather you restock the tank with suitable cool species and be kind to your pets. sure you can survive in the cooler temps and be fine, but when your cold your not happy, why do that to your pets?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well, here is the thing: If you look at collection and research reports, you'll notice that the temperatures measured e.g. in Amazon habitats are often lower than what is considered normal in the hobby. The 77F standard that is often recommended makes sense because it 's a temperature that works for most species that are popular in the trade. But that doesn't mean it's the median temperature.

I agree that 72 is a bit extreme will probably increase the temperature again to about 74, but as long as I only see benefits and the fish are healthy and happy, I don't think I will go back to higher temps.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 04:06 PM
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My Angelfish tank is at 74-78F, all are growing, active, greedy little water-pigs. BNs just had another batch of fry. Tank is usually colder in the winter.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
i am all fine with lower temps so long as fish are suitable for those temps. I would imagine you are going to have health issues at some point and will probably scratch your head as to what's going on. Let me tell you, when you do this to fish who are ment for 80 degree water your stressing them out and lowering their immune system. May not show illness today or next week but its bound to happen over time.

I would rather you restock the tank with suitable cool species and be kind to your pets. sure you can survive in the cooler temps and be fine, but when your cold your not happy, why do that to your pets?
+1.
Another thing to consider is the possibility of the life span cut short. Typically your fine with providing temperatures within the range of a particular species. In a community tank, it's best to do the average of all the species in the tank. At least that's the approach I take. Also, bacteria could be effected. BB grow best in warmer waters. Generally in a tropical tank, everything will slow down when temps drop. Most fish that we keep are farm raised which means that a species natural environment has little play if they were breed and acclimated to a different type of environment. I set my tanks to 76-77 F at the lowest. Any fluctuation up or down, is well with in range of what I keep.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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In my experience, a fish is either happy and healthy, or it is not. I am certainly not the type of fish keeper who does not care about the happiness of his tank inhabitants, but the general consensus is that fish are "happy"when they display normal eating and social behavior and show signs of good health (good colors, normal level of activity, etc.). All this has been the case with my fish. If I had any reason to suspect that they are not doing well, I would not do it.


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