~Help!~Trouble with heat!~ - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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~Help!~Trouble with heat!~

Hi all, I'm having trouble keeping the tank "cool." I live near Sacramento, CA and it's pushing 100F here most days. The place is central ACed but I'm not made of money so the AC is kept at a you-get-used-to-it-after-a-while 78-80F. It's a new set up. It likes to sit around 80-82F according to the stick-on thermometer. It's a 29 gallon, newly planted, sand/sphagnum/vermiculite substrate. I'm using a 65 watt Coralife 30" light - the newest source of heat. If I can't afford to cool myself and my furred roomates beyond 78, I definitely can't go out and get a 500$ chiller. Is 82F too much? THe tank has MTS, some ghost shrimp, 4 danios (2 bit the biscuit - heat? new tank?), 3 mollys. How hot is too hot? I know the danios prefer 72-78. I've been adding spring water ice nightly to bring things down to 78-80. THe fish seem to love the ice water as it melts. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated! CaliEAB
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 04:59 PM
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Up here in Portland we had some record temp weeks this summer. Since it is rare that we get triple digits here, not everyone has AC, (myself included). So there was a lot of talk and research on the topic in the area at that time. I used the ice cube method like you have been.

One of the problems with hot water is that it reduces the o2 levels. An air stone can help with that, along with water changes. The water changes can also help bring the temp down.

A fan blowing across the water will act like a swamp cooler and cool the tank by a few degrees because of the evaporation.

Even so, 80-82F is not too bad. Some tanks, like discus tanks, are set that high all of the time. I got up into the 90s before I realized it and only lost one cory.

Good luck with the tank.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliEAB View Post
It likes to sit around 80-82F according to the stick-on thermometer.
I would ditch the stick on thermometers and go for an in-tank type. They are much mroe accurate than the stick on types, which more often than not, read the air temperature and not the actual water temperature.

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Is 82F too much?
It is not too much, but a little on the high side. As yikesjason mentioned, higher temperature water contains lower amounts of dissolved oxygen, something that you may want to be careful of.

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4 danios (2 bit the biscuit - heat? new tank?)
Did you cycle your tank prior to adding your livestock?

Anthony


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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THanks guys - I'm glad to know that it's not too bad. There's an airstone in there now and I'm moving the water pretty briskly with a Fluval 405 (yeah, a little overkill - but bought used at a great price for my "future tank." I'll try the fan - I like that term "swamp AC" THe tank was going about 2 weeks with Cycle added before the fish/MTS. Maybe not long enough? THe danios are also pretty mean to each other the biggest bully was the one to go first, then the next. The last four are smaller and don't seem to fight as much. Maybe stress? I'm new to planted tanks and am slowly building my gear/plants. I've never had a high watt plant light and it's my first tank in CA. BTW, Darkblade - I used to live in Yokohama, Ikebukuru, and Sendai. I bet you have some great fish/plants access there in Japan.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 06:03 PM
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THe tank was going about 2 weeks with Cycle added before the fish/MTS. Maybe not long enough?
I can't be sure; do you have water test results?

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I've never had a high watt plant light and it's my first tank in CA.
Oh boy. I just noticed that you do have quite decent lighting. Are you considering pressurized CO2 or DIY? What about fertilizers?

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BTW, Darkblade - I used to live in Yokohama, Ikebukuru, and Sendai. I bet you have some great fish/plants access there in Japan.
I am not aware of anywhere called Ikebukuru; did you mean Ikebukuro? Minakami is a small village about 3 hours north of Tokyo via normal train, but I occassionally go down to Tokyo to see the aquarium stuff they have there

I also took a trip to Hong Kong last April. Lots of great fish equipment and fish as well!

Anthony


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 06:24 PM
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THe danios are also pretty mean to each other the biggest bully was the one to go first, then the next.
what kind of danios? i have a giant danio and he is pretty agresive. reminds me of a great white swimming back and forth all day. but my zebra danios pretty much keep to them self and usually just play with the neons, not agressive at all.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 07:12 PM
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Adding Cycle for two weeks before adding fish was a useless measure unless you added ammonia to the tank. The bacteria need a food source, otherwise they will starve and die within a few days. I would check your ammonia levels as more than likely they are causing the fish to die and not the heat.

I have had my tanks get up to 84F without problems. I wouldn't recommend keeping it there all the time but fish can adapt.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 11:38 PM
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Adding Cycle for two weeks before adding fish was a useless measure unless you added ammonia to the tank. The bacteria need a food source, otherwise they will starve and die within a few days. I would check your ammonia levels as more than likely they are causing the fish to die and not the heat.

I have had my tanks get up to 84F without problems. I wouldn't recommend keeping it there all the time but fish can adapt.
+1

My tanks are always 80-82F. You may want to consider stocking with plants and livestock that can take those temps, though. Most animals can- just it may shorten their lifespan as higher temps generally = higher metabolisms.





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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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Penguin! Of course! I didn't think about that! The Cycle bacteria wouldn't have anything to eat, would they? I'll have to get an amonia test kit - I'm building my gear slowly to spread out the cost. DB48, you're right it was Ikebukuro. I lived at the Kim ryokan for a while before moving to Tama Plaza in Yolohama. I'm going to try rigging up a DIY CO2. Jreich - the danios are long-fin zebras and mean as heck. I seperated the biggest and meanest and within an hour the next sized guy started in on his fellows. THe mollys are princes in comparison. Thanks for the info everyone - I'm going to try the fan idea and maybe get some legs for the light and get rid of my hood. Get some air moving across the water... Any recommendations on hot-lovely plants and fish Laural? Thanks again all!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Smile yep - you guys were right...

So I took a water sample into my local store and the guy recommended that I add Cycle to deal with elevated ammonia. Yikes. Serious newb-move. I also started using a fan blowing across the water and the temp has dropped from 82 to 80. I suppose it has the added benefit of adding some moisture into the 0 percent humidity air. THanks again for your advice - I think you saved some fish today!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 06:06 PM
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When I started my first big tank I used Cycle, and it did absolutely nothing for me. Put that money toward API test kits. Any measurable Ammonia or Nitrite will do harm if not kill the fish.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 08:11 PM
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Any recommendations on hot-lovely plants and fish Laural? Thanks again all!
Vals, Swords, Crypts, Hygros, Najas, Bacopas IME tend to do well. Some people have trouble with mosses at high temps, but I've never had any issues.

For livestock, look for fish from tropical regions such as the Amazon or SE Asia; my personal favs are tetras (especially Cardinal and Rummynose), Rams, many Apistogramma sp, hatchetfish (keep the tank covered), Pencilfish, and many Cory species, especially Sterbai.





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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 05:53 AM
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A fan can easily lower a tank a few degrees, as you found out. We used three over a 180g reef at a LFS I helped run (before closing). It was running darn near 88 in the dead of summer. With the fans going and the lights on, about 84. We put one over the sump and that dropped it another degree or two. The cheap Wal-Mart ones work awesome, and aren't bad to replace.

Other than that, a little more surface agitation doesn't hurt.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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THanks everyone - your advice has really helped! I increased the water flow, used a fan, ditched the hood and got some legs for my lights and things have really improved - temps now in the 76-78 range. The fishes and the plants let out a collective "ahhhh" after a few days!
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