Temperature control during heatwaves and water changes

Wolf6

Member
Joined
18 Dec 2014
Messages
93
Location
Netherlands
I'm very curious about (and if its the wrong board please move, I couldnt decide) how much effort people here put into keeping the temperature of their tank stable? I personally dont put a lot of effort into it. I rarely check temperature, if at all, I just have the heater set to 23 and trust it to work. Last year it broke during winter and I only noticed when I went to clean the filter, it was probably broken for at least a few weeks, maybe longer. Meaning the tank was at room temp (19c during daytime, 16 at night, so somewhere between those values). In summer I dont bother cooling, I just do the weekly water changes so it gets some cooling from that. When changing water, I dont measure temperature, I do it by hand, if it feels about right then thats good enough. I've never lost a single fish due to this, nor has it ever worried me. When I buy fish, I do acclimatise them, but mostly to the water values. My reasoning is that in nature, temperature isnt constant either. Streams and rivers have various layers with different temperatures, warm spots where the flow is less, etc, rainfall and so on, so fish ought to be able to handle a few degrees of difference provided they themselves arent suddenly plunged into warmer/colder water. I know tanks arent nature, and I'm sure there are fish who are very sensitive to this sort of thing, but yeah, how do you guys approach this? Do you measure the temperature of the water you use for changes, do you cool in summer?
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
709
Location
Nottingham
I use an Inkbird ITC-308 temperature controller, and plug the heater into that. I'm not willing to risk the livestock to the dodgy pennies worth of thermostat in the average heater. You read far too many stories of those cheap thermostats failing and the heater cooking the tank.

The good thing about that Inkbird controller is it has a wifi connection and app allowing me to set and monitor temperature via a phone app which is very convenient vs digging around in the cupboard. Generally once it is set, day to day and week to week I never look at it, however it will also send me an alert to my phone if the temperature ever strays out of a preset range, which has proven very useful a) when I have forgotten to plug the heater back in after maintenance, and b) during the recent heatwaves we have had.

How well your livestock tolerate temperature changes depends on the species I suppose. When I forgot to turn the heater back on on my tank, and the temperature dropped to the upper teens, my Ember tetras wouldn't feed - they were clearly distressed. Once the temp was back up to 25 degrees, their behaviour was back to normal.

In the recent heatwave my tanks were getting over 28 degrees, so I simply plugged in a small desk fan blowing across the water surface, and that brought the temperature back down pretty quickly.
 

Wolf6

Member
Joined
18 Dec 2014
Messages
93
Location
Netherlands
I use an Inkbird ITC-308 temperature controller, and plug the heater into that. I'm not willing to risk the livestock to the dodgy pennies worth of thermostat in the average heater. You read far too many stories of those cheap thermostats failing and the heater cooking the tank.

The good thing about that Inkbird controller is it has a wifi connection and app allowing me to set and monitor temperature via a phone app which is very convenient vs digging around in the cupboard.
Good one, looks like I will be getting a temperature controller too! It wont ever get cold enough in here to be an issue if the heater breaks, but the fish being cooked, that is a serious risk. Never considered that could happen too.
 

Edward Shave

Member
Joined
27 Aug 2018
Messages
49
Location
Kirk Langley, Derbyshire
I agree it is over temperature due to heater getting stuck on that is the major worry. I also have an Inkbird but mine doesn't have any fancy wifi app but does sound an alarm in the event of over or under temperature.

In the event of an over temperature I do as many 10% water changes as it takes to bring it down to an acceptable level, taking care not to drop it too rapidly.

Starting out I was very particular to get matching temperatures when doing water changes but over the years I have come to much the same conclusions as the OP.
 

ian-R

New Member
Joined
25 May 2020
Messages
13
Location
Stratford Upon Avon
Good questions, and one that I have never had to worry about until this summer.

I have a heater with digital display and typically set around 23 degrees, so when it hit 30 degrees on at least 15 days so far this summer you can imagine the panic. Temperature was confirmed with a second industrial thermometer as I thought the heater readout was not correct, it was...

My bigger tank 150cm gave the most cause for concern and emergency shutting down of various bits of kit ensued. I have to say that prior to installing a Fluval FX6 earlier this year I never had a problem with heat, which does make me wonder if the FX6 is contributing someway to the overall heat issue.

I also use T5 lighting (iquatics aqualumni 6 tube series 2, hanging mount) which has terrific heat output, so stability of lighting became a further issue and had to reduce the tubes down to two which then affected the CO2 requirement and so on. Reducing the lighting didn't make much difference to the temperature to be honest, however I have decent length hosepipe in the garden and had to call on this on more than one occasion, which during one week saw several large water changes. Not ideal I know, but the alternatives were far worse and now continue to stabilise the tank again.

The upside of this fiasco is that no livestock was lost which was amazing, and the Thai red clawed crabs were lapping it up. However whilst getting away relatively unscathed, I am waiting for the water bill which is metered and I can further testify that the share price of Seachem prime has gone through the roof.

Time for a cooler I think...
 

Sarpijk

Member
Joined
11 Jan 2015
Messages
470
Hi, living in Greece, it gets fairly hot in summer. A very common practice for Greek aquarists is using an STC-1000 temperature controller to control pc fans and the heater.

This is a relatively easy DIY project and costs around 20€ for parts. The temperature controller costs around 10 € on eBay.
 
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