Are Our Fish Too Warm?

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Offline Hampalong

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Are our fish too warm?
« on: January 04, 2018, 04:40:41 PM »
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Very interesting article here...

http://www.seriouslyfish.com/whaddaya-mean-too-hot/

... suggesting that the temperatures given in the books and websites are actually not very accurate, and refer to pretty much maximum summer temperatures that the fish only encounter temporarily.

I'm a little concerned that we need to obtain accurate data before arbitrarily cooling down our fish, but it seems that we are keeping most if not all of them way too hot, which keeps them permanently stressed and therefore prone to diseases...

Offline Matt

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 05:25:25 PM »
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I've read articles such as this before which refer to the seasonal variability in water temperatures experienced by wild fish and the health benefits of this.  It all makes perfect sense to me as it is the way things would be in nature.

That said I'm not quite ready yet to make changes on my own tanks especially as I keep fish who like what would traditionally be on the cooler and hotter side of standard tropical aquarium temperatures. It will take an few more very experienced fishkeepers to prove the theory first before many of us are willing to try it I'm sure.   

I would be interested to learn more about daily temperature variations because as the article mentions the heating is mainly done via the Sun in nature which isn't there 24 hours a day and with flowing water in many of our pets natural homes I assume the variation would be quite significant... this might be a more comfortable thing to understand and replicate in our aquariums first.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cardinal Tetra (6) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Panda Cory (5) - Chain Loach (4) - Honey Gourami (2) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Sparkling Gourami (6) - Coolie Loach (2) - Otocinclus (2) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 06:52:06 PM »
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I remembered something on this subject a few years ago - it turns out to have been 5 years ago. It is worth reminding people every so often.

After it was raised before, I turned the heater in my main tank down to keep the water at 23 deg C. The fish have been fine ever since. I do appreciate that this might still be too high though.
Looking back at the 5 year old thread, I see that I once forgot to turn my heater back on after a water change and looked at the thermometer after noticing 4 days later that the fish were all lying on the bottom of the tank - 19 deg C. This is why I do still use a heater and have it set to keep the water above 19 deg.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Online Littlefish

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 07:48:32 PM »
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Interesting article.
There has been a lot of discussion here regarding the amount of conflicting information available for water parameters, and perhaps temperature is the one that would fluctuate most in nature, but is most constant in our tanks.
When you think of the amount of snazzy lighting systems that can be programmed to mimic sunrise/sunset patterns, it does make you wonder why heater manufacturers don't jump on the same bandwagon and create programmable heaters to mimic daily and seasonal fluctuations. That sort of thing may even be more beneficial to the health of the fish too.
I still consider myself a relative newbie to fish and aquatic environments, the past <2.5 years have been a very steep learning curve, and it never ceases to amaze me how much I don't know about what I'm trying to do.  ???

Offline Helen

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 11:14:37 PM »
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Interesting article.

I may have got this wrong, but I understood that it is the fluctuations in water temperature that cause river fish to spawn. It was several years ago that I researched it, for south Asian fish. (May even have been the same thread @Sue mentioned) And my limited experience backed up some of what I'd read. In south Asia, they have monsoon season. The weather gets warmer and the rivers start to dry up (water level reduces). It makes sense that at this stage the water temperature is also increasing. Then the rains arrive and there is a huge amount of colder water entering the rivers. The water levels rise and the temperature drops. Then the fish spawn.

Whenever I did large (50%) water changes, my cories would leave eggs everywhere. But they didn't breed continuously, pretty much only a few days after I'd done a large water change.

I have recently tweaked my heater down a degree or so. With continuous temperature monitoring / recording, I could see that where I thought I had the temperature set at 25C, it was actually fluctuating around 25.5C. It now fluctuates around 24.5C, and never goes as high as 25C.

I measure the temperature at the opposite end of the tank to the heater, but the water temperature is still warmer than the setting on my thermostatic heater.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
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Offline Hampalong

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 01:01:12 AM »
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All it would take is real-life measurements from all the water bodies that our fish come from, at different times of day and different times of year. A huge undertaking, but the data is surely known somewhere, and may just need rounded up and collated(?)
I've read a few of these data over the years and they have surprised me, being cooler or warmer than the info already in my head. PHs too.

I'm now going to research this as well as I can for every species I keep in future...

Offline Matt

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 01:08:17 AM »
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It is not uncommon for a heater to read the temperature inaccurately which is part of the reason why thermometers are so popular. Now I have my heater set to the temperature I want, regardless of what it actually says(!), the thermometer rarely gets used as I will soon notice if the heater fails by touching the tank glass or observing the fish, as Sues experience shows. I do recalibrate every now and then as I have found my heater has drifted with age. The heater I have or my 220 litre tank actually has the ability to calibrate the temperature dial to show the true temperature as read by the user in the tank.

Sues experience may discount my theory about nighttime temperatures - a drop of 4 degrees seems to have been too much for the species in her tank at the time which is not a huge amount (a water change could presumably have the same affect). That said it is likely to be lower than the stated ranges for the fish, so there clearly is some validity to these...

my head hurts a bit now... I agree, this is a complex topic to understand with lots of conflicting information... I think I will compare the temperature ranges given for my fish at different sources tomorrow to see what I can discover...

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cardinal Tetra (6) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Panda Cory (5) - Chain Loach (4) - Honey Gourami (2) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Sparkling Gourami (6) - Coolie Loach (2) - Otocinclus (2) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 09:01:44 AM »
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My tank was at 25 when I forgot to turn the heater back on and it dropped to 19, so it fell 6 degrees. It was after reading the article I turned the heater down.

I usually check my thermometer as I start a water change and since I got my current tank 4 years ago it has always read the same temp. Well, except in the middle of summer when the weather overrides the heater.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Siamese Fighting Fish (male) (1) - Snails (1) - Slender Harlequin (15) - Peacock Goby (4) - Otocinclus (5) - Pygmy Cory (3) - Axelrods Rasbora (5) - Japonica Shrimp (80) - Snails (5) - Neon Tetra (18) - Honey Gourami (1) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Online Littlefish

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 10:34:30 AM »
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I've also had a situation where I've moved fish to a different tank, things have taken longer than expected, and I've left the original tank until the following morning to strip down completely, only to find a lone straggler that I had missed pottering around in about an inch of water after coping with no heater or filter overnight. Obviously this was a massive mistake on my part, and not something I would wish to repeat, but the little fella survived the ordeal and is still with us.

When you consider the fluctuations that the fish must tolerate in nature, I'm more amazed that nobody has manufactured programmable heaters.

Offline Matt

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 11:16:57 AM »
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The only problem I can see with a programmable heater (I actually really like the idea to be honest) I imagine a daily temperature fluctuation with a reheating cycle would override any savings made by having the tank at a lower temperature for a period as it takes so much energy to heat the water in comparison to simply keeping a body of water at a stable temperature

Does that make sense?...

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Ram / Butterfly Cichlid (2) - Cardinal Tetra (6) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Panda Cory (5) - Chain Loach (4) - Honey Gourami (2) - Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid (2) - Sparkling Gourami (6) - Coolie Loach (2) - Otocinclus (2) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Online Littlefish

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 01:42:18 PM »
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Yes it does.....but imagine being able to recreate a more natural environment for your fish....perhaps one of the down sides would be increased breeding and being over run with babies on a regular basis though.  ;D

Offline Helen

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 01:51:23 PM »
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I agree that the cost of varying the temperature might not produce any financial savings.

But I also think that it might not be possible to have a daily temperature variation for a big tank. It takes several days for my 240l tank to cool down. (I've learned when I've forgotten to turn the heater back on after a large water change)

But if the article is to be believed, a seasonal temperature cycle will mean only annual breeding.

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Coolie Loach (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Slender Harlequin (10) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Ember Tetra (11) - Celestial Pearl Danio (6) - Sparkling Gourami (2) - Otocinclus (2) - Bristlenose Plec (1) - Coolie Loach (8) - Harlequin Rasbora (12) - Fiveband Barb (12) - Dwarf Rainbowfish (9) - Kribensis (2) - Slender Harlequin (11) - Ember Tetra (12) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Online Littlefish

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Re: Are our fish too warm?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 04:25:42 PM »
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Fair point about the time taken to drop the temperature on a larger tank @Helen
It's such a problem on my axolotl tank that I had to buy a chiller.

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