With summer in full swing, many of us are feeling the heat!
Hot temperatures are also a major hazard for aquariums. While an aquarium heater will cut off when the temperature rises beyond the specified point, it cannot cool the water, therefore the water temperature may climb above the optimum.
What is the Hottest Temperature Aquarium Fish Can Resist?
Fortunately, virtually all fish can resist periods of relatively high temperature, with the majority able to withstand temperatures ranging from 30 to 32°C and others able to withstand temperatures as high as 40°C. An aquarium seldom heats up over 30°C in an air-conditioned home, thus actions to cool the water may not be essential, but care must still be given in hot weather.
Why Are Fish Dying in Hot Weather?
Warmer water stores far less oxygen than colder water, therefore oxygen content decreases as temperature increases. In hot temperatures, it is usually low oxygen content rather than temperature that creates issues.
If the tank is unclean or overstocked, even a minor temperature increase might cause the oxygen content to drop to dangerously low levels.
What to Do for My Aquarium in Hot Weather?
As a result, it is even more vital to do regular maintenance and ensure your tank is in excellent shape in warmer weather. Make certain that the filtration is comfortable for the tank size and load, that the mechanical filter material is cleaned on a regular basis, and that the gravel is sucked to eliminate debris.
Feeding should be done with caution since many fish eat less in warm weather, and uneaten food will contaminate the water and cause oxygen deprivation. Giving frozen food rather than dry food is a good idea not just because it is cooler and more appealing to the fish, but also because it is less likely to pollute the water if not all of it is consumed.
You may also wish to operate an air pump during warmer weather, even if you don’t regularly do so, to guarantee proper aeration.
It also doesn’t hurt to use the strategies described below to reduce heat buildup in the aquarium.
Water temperatures up to roughly 32°C should not be an issue for most aquariums, as previously said, as long as the tank is well-maintained and not overcrowded. However, if your home becomes hotter than this, or if you maintain more delicate species, you may need to take precautions to prevent the temperature from rising too high.
Some things you can do to reduce heat buildup include:
During the day, turn off all lights. Even fluorescent lights generate heat. In many circumstances, you may turn off the lights altogether for many days. If you have plants or coral that need light, turn on the lights for the shortest amount of time feasible in the morning or evening.
Leave lids off or slightly open with a wind blowing over the water surface. Evaporation cooling is quite effective. As a consequence, the water level may decrease somewhat but not dramatically.
Replace the water with colder water. This also helps in keeping the tank clean and well-oxygenated. However, there is little purpose if the water from your faucet is hotter than the tank. Allow the faucet to run for a few minutes to remove any hot water from the pipes. I
f these measures fail to keep the temperature from rising, you may reduce it by adding some ice or floating a bottle or bag of ice in the tank. However, this should only be used as a last option since it may swiftly drop the temperature, which may be much more stressful for the fish than a little too high temperature.
If the temperature in your home is consistently higher than your fish can endure, particularly if you have extremely temperature-sensitive species, you may need to invest in an aquarium chiller. Water is pushed through the chiller, which uses a thermostat to cool the water to the required temperature.
Unfortunately, chillers are very costly, but they are the only dependable option to maintain a consistent water temperature that is lower than the ambient temperature.