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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has probably been discussed before, but do we need heaters to get temps up to 75-78 or are indoor temps between 68 and 74 fine? for most tropical fish. Not talking about the obvious fish like Discus that need warmer waters.

Full disclosure I haven't used heaters in at least four years. I've kept many tetras, shrimp, rasboras, otos (they even bred) and never had ick or other disease. Fish have beautiful color as well. On the plant side I've grown plenty of stems, crypts, anubias, buce, ferns, carpeting plants all healthy without any major issue. It's also been shown that algae grows better in warmer temps.

With heater reliability issues and their intrusiveness in the tank are many of us fussing with heaters when we don't have to. What say you?
 

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This has probably been discussed before, but do we need heaters to get temps up to 75-78 or are indoor temps between 68 and 74 fine? for most tropical fish. Not talking about the obvious fish like Discus that need warmer waters.



Full disclosure I haven't used heaters in at least four years. I've kept many tetras, shrimp, rasboras, otos (they even bred) and never had ick or other disease. Fish have beautiful color as well. On the plant side I've grown plenty of stems, crypts, anubias, buce, ferns, carpeting plants all healthy without any major issue. It's also been shown that algae grows better in warmer temps.



With heater reliability issues and their intrusiveness in the tank are many of us fussing with heaters when we don't have to. What say you?
Do you need to have a heater?
Biology is not a certain subject. Animals can adapt, different regions of the earth has different temperatures in which each fish will tolerate different rays of temperature and water parameters. Sunlight will influence in this case, the water movement changes the temperature and the biodiversity can change the ecosystem balance, like eutrophication.

Not a final answer = You don't "need" a heater if you are trying to reproduce danios in a well stabilized aquarium. Therefore, you will "need" a heater for rams.

There's no answer for that question. But it depends on 3 things, where the water body is located, what is in there and what area of the water body is extended.






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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think you missed the point of the question. It's not aimed at rams, discus and/or breeding fish. It's about the general conception of needing to keep a temp between 75-78 vs ambient temps that are usually between 68-74 indoors for most of the tropical fish we keep and the plants we grow. Nothing to do with what happens in the outside natural world with sunlight, distance from the equator, etc.
 

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I think you missed the point of the question. It's not aimed at rams, discus and/or breeding fish. It's about the general conception of needing to keep a temp between 75-78 vs ambient temps that are usually between 68-74 indoors for most of the tropical fish we keep and the plants we grow. Nothing to do with what happens in the outside natural world with sunlight, distance from the equator, etc.
Exaclty, now try to reproduce this in your tank.

Thats what i said in the first paragraph
"Sunlight" = light system
"Location" = temperature of your earth position, AC system, biodiversity disponible
"Water body" = 20g, 30g, 120g, 250g tanks, filter system and type

Just to make clear, was not answering to your type of fish, i made a conclusion on the spectrum of subjects including to temperature.

Now, if the forum have a clear position against talking about where you are trying to make a aquarium, i have to read the policy again.


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I pulled the heaters from my two 20g's when they failed and never replaced them. And when I reset my Spec V, I just didn't bother to add the heater, even though it was working. My 40b and 25g do have heaters but that's just because they still work. When they fail, I most likely will not replace these either. My tanks run between 74-75F without the heaters and the 2 that are heated are about 76F. I keep only tetras, pencilfish, cories and endlers and they do fine at these temps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I pulled the heaters from my two 20g's when they failed and never replaced them. And when I reset my Spec V, I just didn't bother to add the heater, even though it was working. My 40b and 25g do have heaters but that's just because they still work. When they fail, I most likely will not replace these either. My tanks run between 74-75F without the heaters and the 2 that are heated are about 76F. I keep only tetras, pencilfish, cories and endlers and they do fine at these temps.
Ty, that's the type of anecdotal info I'm looking for, which is actually the most applicable info we have in the hobby IMO.

74-75 is pretty good without heaters, even at 68 degrees I found no issues with otos, endlers, harleys, ember, black neon and congo tetras.
 

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I think that it depends on how much water volume you have, what the ambient temperature is of the room, and how each of these two variables act on each other.
Temperature stress is essentially stress that occurs when the temperature swings too quickly for the fish to adjust.
Falling under the category of environmental stress. these types of issues often dont create an apparent cause-> effect relationship. But, the occurring environmental stress adds to the stress level of the fish -> which makes them vulnerable to pathogens and disease.

So, I think there are variables to consider when deciding to use/not use a heater.
*Larger tanks will not exhibit the same amount of quick temperature swing as a smaller tank.
* Not all fish are the same: a genetically weak fish, older or younger fish with an immune system that is not fully developed, or a malnourished fish will not have the ability to handle temperature stress as well as a healthy fish.
 

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The questions really is like a lot of things we do. It has no one firm answer for all situations. One quick point is how warm you keep you house! We fight to keep the temp below 76 in the summer and often let it go to 68-70 during the day and rop at night when we are heating. I feel swings of that size are not what my fish would respond well to meeting, so heaters are needed and pulling them/replacing them is not on my schedule as something else to watch as the weather changes so much.
Much of it depends on the person keeping the fish as some are much more prone to avoid any extra expense and will not use a temperature controller, so they are willing to risk losing the whole tank of fish if they use a heater and it sticks. I am willing to spend a few dollars more to get a safer setup that doesn't require much watching.
Kind of the same question as lighting, some like to just have it come on/go off on a timer while others
want the full blown tech show of sunrise sunset even to having storms. No one right way for everybody so it depends what you like.
 

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Like has been said I believe it is more a matter of keeping things constant that we use heaters for community tropical tanks . I know here in north Georgia the temps would swing wildly in the spring and fall . Like PlantedRich I use controllers and just feel better knowing the temp is stable at all times . Just my opinion of course .
 

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Fish are adaptable. Just because they are alive and eating doesn't mean they are comfortable. How would you like it if you were forced to live in 40 degree F all the time. You would not die and you would still eat, but you would not be comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I appreciate everyone's comments. And I understand smaller bodies of water can be more volatile, but I haven't seen anything to prove to me that most fish/plants need temps between 75-78 compared to 68-74 unheated. Color, activity are all good coupled with low death rates over years. Never had one case of ick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don’t heat. But then again, South Florida barely has any seasons. :)

Additionally, I happen to like the same temperatures as my fish, so my therm is set to 70-77 ish.
Yeah me too. that's what i set my therm to and the tank is usually a few degrees cooler than that range throughout the year.
 

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Never had one case of ick.
Not really sure why you are stating that temperature stress would lead to an ich infection? It does not.

The ich parasite doesn't lie dormant waiting for a fish to become stressed so can infect it-- it is host dependent and its life cycle in a tank above 70 degrees completes itself with 7-10 days. Without a host it dies.

Temperature stress can cause many conditions- but, in order for a fish to get Ich the parasite needs to have been recently introduced to the system.
 

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Room temperature is considered to be 72°F. I believe that there is an acceptable range for tropical fish beyond 76°F - 78°F, but it's a challenge to know exactly how far in either direction is acceptable and it likely varies with different species. Since a cure for ich is 86°F for two weeks, we can presume higher is somewhat okay. As to lower, I don't know. But I breed swordtails and culls go (straight in, no acclimate) into my little turtle pond in my unheated basement (about 55°F in winter) and to my initial amazement, they seem to do fine there. I even do water changes using my cold well water and they seem to take that in stride. I don't think conditions like that would work for discuss or many other species.
Still, I have to believe that in the long run a stable temperature is better and less likely to cause stress. And since cold would more likely cause shock for a tropical fish, a heater set to 75°F or so would seem most prudent.
Here's what some Youtubers think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here's what some Youtubers think
I agree with this guys take from Aquarium Co-Op. Again I've been doing this for quite a number of years with different species and no issues. It's not ALL fish, but the point is that we don't need 75-78 for most fish.


Bump:
Not really sure why you are stating that temperature stress would lead to an ich infection? It does not.
I have personally seen this happen in my earlier years of fish keeping. You can't account for all the times the ich is present, but an extreme temp change does bring on an ich outbreak from my experience. Most likely caused by the stress, but I do understand your point. Not really the point of my thread so really don't want to debate this and derail things.

Point of the thread is that I believe in most cases we run heaters unnecessarily.
 

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I agree with this guys take from Aquarium Co-Op. Again I've been doing this for quite a number of years with different species and no issues. It's not ALL fish, but the point is that we don't need 75-78 for most fish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO74_ShYgtg

Bump:

I have personally seen this happen in my earlier years of fish keeping. You can't account for all the times the ich is present, but an extreme temp change does bring on an ich outbreak from my experience. Most likely caused by the stress, but I do understand your point. Not really the point of my thread so really don't want to debate this and derail things.

Point of the thread is that I believe in most cases we run heaters unnecessarily.
You brought of the Ich connection- not me. So, not sure why you are arguing the point of connection and then saying that anyone that disagrees with point is derailing the thread. If you dont want a derailed thread, dont bring up extraneous details that make a derailment possible



I could bit by bit take what you said in your bump and refute it-- but, I wont because-- as you stated-- it is an irrelevant detail that should have not been made in the first place.
 

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dip you toe in an English lake in summer in the top is nice and warm, wade into mid thigh and you toes are noticeably cooler, fish seem fine basking in the sun and diving away if your shadow falls on them though so sudden changes seem fine so long as not too drastic.

pump and lighting heat also contributes if the ambient/desired gap is small.

fish are cold blooded, lower the temp lowers the metabolism, they will be a little less active, need a little less food though how low you need to go to see it for tropical I don't know though in UK ponds its very apparent.

that said this old house holds heat the same way a sieve doesn't so in worst of winter the tanks here really do need heaters and i need to scrape ice of the inside of the windows and wear an extra pair of socks :)
 

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I think it depends on the temp in your house. My tank is in the basement, and in the winter, it's often 52-54 degrees down there. With a 125G tank, if the temp drops in there significantly I'll struggle to get it back to the right temp with only 1 heater. I'm pretty sure the fish I keep would have issues with 54 degree water.
 
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