UNHEATED AQUARIUM

Andrew Butler

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I've always been someone who runs a heater on an aquarium but am spotting a few people here and there that don't, I'm in the UK, as I believe these people I refer to are, I also believe some people only run heaters during the cooler months which I know is different although is another path I could explore. Going for a smaller aquarium gives you much less room for plants, hardware and livestock so one item less in the tank is possibly a good thing.
I have a room that doesn't get 'cold' although I couldn't be sure of the actual temperatures so is something I will monitor, along with what temperature a tank of water gets through the colder months as that doesn't cool or heat at the same rate as the room temperature.

For the educated people; what temperatures would you say are parameters to look for? I understand part of this temperature depends on livestock so it maybe the case I have to add livestock tailored to suit, assuming I go down this route.

As always, any experience and information is most welcome
Thanks
Andrew
 

hogan53

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Hi Andrew
I've been running a Fluval Flex 34 litre through the summer without a heater!
I have some shrimp in there....the average temperature is about 21 degrees at this time of year....I'm not that far away from your location.
I have observed they are not as active at this lower temperature ....the plants don't seem to be affected much.

Saying that I've ordered a heater to get the temperature up a few degrees!
hoggie
 

PARAGUAY

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I think it best to have a heater even though say central heating is set to room temperature of 20 to 22 c in case of a cold snap . Such as temperate fish WCMMs Cory's etc would be fine. Interesting the Green Aqua people say temperatures for plant growing should be under 74f and around 72 and most of the common tetras barbs and catfish are thriving in there tanks. Of course some fish have to have (discus eg)higher temperatures no question and some fish like WCMM as mentioned will suffer. I mention Fahrenheit as that was often the then advice from shops to new aquarists set your heater to 76f.
 

dino21

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You are not really without heat, don't forget the heat output from your circulation/filter pumps and lights.

With the in-line and in-filter heaters these days, why struggle with a no heater system, always going to be a compromise ..?
 

Andrew Butler

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You are not really without heat, don't forget the heat output from your circulation/filter pumps and lights.

With the in-line and in-filter heaters these days, why struggle with a no heater system, always going to be a compromise ..?
It's going to be a small 34L aquarium so space is a premium although I know nano heaters exist.
The filter uses 10mm external pipe and fittings so unfortunately inline is not an option that I've come across.
I don't have space for the filter below so runs next to the aquarium.

I'm not looking to compromise at all which is why I started this thread to

I believed certain fish, such as CPD/Galaxy Rasbora and Hillstream Loach don't rely on temperatures so high but as @hogan53 says he has noted his shrimp not as active at a lower temperature and thought they were on the lower temperature list.

This is the whole reason for this thread, purely to learn from people with knowledge and experience - so far it's not looking like a reality on the unheated tank.

ADDITION:
Possibly heating from underneath as an option, the aquarium is 450 x 270mm, has anyone experience with this?
 

Melll

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I ran an unheated 240 litre tank, the Fluval Roma 240 litre with Fluval 306 filtration and T5 bulbs in my lounge for about a year before the tank got moved upstairs. Average room temperature is 22C. Heavily planted with all sorts of plants including Vals, Crypts, Swords, other stuff I cannot now remember. Livestock was Nerite snails, Red Cherry Shrimp, Amano shrimp, WCMM.

I loved the tank and it worked well as well as being visually appealing.
 

Luketendo

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I live in a tropical climate (no heating) and we had our coldest day on record this year (13.6 C max during day) and the tank dropped below 20 C. Luckily had no livestock but realised after that I had to get a heater - I bought a temporary aquael smart heater and imported hydor external heater from the UK.

Anyway, if I were living with my parents in the UK I know for sure that the tank would be going below 20 C every day during winter. So unless you run your central heating all year round to maintain 24 C room temperature for example you'll want to stick to temperate fish based on convential wisdom.

Can't say I have ever tried going below 24 C with fish though...
 

dino21

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Why not use the undergravel /substrate heater cables ? in the old days of Co2 tanks it was the accepted way to create the base layers.

Not sure about todays versions, but an under tank heater mat might also be enough for your needs.
 

Wolf6

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People keep white cloud minnows and red cherry shrimp in ponds, you can keep those unheated with no problems. I keep my simulans tetra and red serpea's at 22c, but I do heat that tank. Obviously in summer temperatures are higher because its warmer in the room.
I've also had a kuhli survive for 2 weeks in a layer of muddy water in an otherwise empty tank, no heating etc. Room temperature, so about 19c. I didnt know it was still in there :) But they can apparently easily tolerate that too.
 

sparkyweasel

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I think they didn't sell enough to keep making them. I can't remember speaking to, or hearing about, any-one else that used them. :(
 

Andrew Butler

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Andrew Butler

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Hi @milla I was led to believe that these mats were neither powerful enough for a tank of water or could handle the weight when full.
I'm looking for something to suit an aquarium 450 x 270 x 300mm (L x W x D) if you know any different, I'd be grateful.
Thanks
Andrew
 

BigD

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There are many fish and plants in the trade that are from either sub-tropical or temperate regions. These species can experience temperatures between 18-22c for many days. I set up my central heating at night to 17c and have no issues with my chosen fish. My tanks are, generally, low-tech. There is either no heater, or a heater set to a low temperature, and nothing more than a sponge filter to provide water movement. As a result, I need to research any new fish before introducing them to any of my tanks. I need to avoid true tropicals and fast water river fish. That still leaves a good variety to choose from.
 

Luketendo

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I'd imagine there's a reason.

Got me wondering quite how ADA galleries keep things heated. I'm aware that it's likely warmer in parts of Asia but I'm unsure I've seen any at the idea studio in Poland.
ADA state their temperatures as mostly 25 C, sometimes 24 C. I heard and expect that they maintain this by regulating room temperature.

With regards to the ADA Studio in Poland, I am pretty certain I have seen a hydor external heater in a video shot there.
 

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