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Old 06-19-2012, 02:40 PM   #1 
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How do you cool your tanks?

We all know bettas need heaters not just to heat the water but to keep the temperature stable.

But in the summer months, tanks can get pretty hot. I've been doing bulk research on the very common bacterial infections that get about in summer, causing mass cases of fin rot, ulcerated skin, popeye, cloudy eye, septicemia, lots of nasties.

Temperature spikes are apparently a common trigger for these bacteria to invade fish that might be a bit systemically compromised for whatever reason (ammonia/nitrite exposure from infrequently cleaned/improperly cycled/protein polluted tanks seems the most common co-problem, from all I've read, and parasites are a close second).

I've seen a lot of suggestions for methods of keeping tanks from getting too hot. Fans, mostly. I'm wondering if anyone's used these to good effect?

Not an issue for me right now, being that it's freezing here right now. But we can get up to 120F in summer, on some days. Poor fish. Last summer I kept the house fan on the tanks and closed all the blinds, next summer I'm thinking I'll get an aircon unit and move them all into the living room for those few weeks where the heat gets stupidly high unless there's an affordable alternative that works..
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:19 PM   #2 
Neil D
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I don't have an issue with this, but an idea would be to use ice cubes. Just make them with dechlorinator. You could stick them in your filter or just drop them in. If they're hot, I'm sure the bettas will figure out to just hang around them for a while.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #3 
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Usually the way to cool down a tank is to put a fan near the tank and let it flow over the water. Taking the hood off also reduces the heat that is collected (but it is not recommended with bettas because they jump). You can use craft mesh to let the hot air escape while still having on a hood.

Other than that you can keep your tank in a cool area with little sunlight and that will keep them in a normalized temperature.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:45 PM   #4 
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I've used ice cubes in a plastic bag for the past few days (it gets up to 90F in my apartment, as I don't have AC), but I'm afraid it reduces the temp of the water too quickly. It can go from 86F to 80F in like 20 min with a small bag in a 3 gallon. I would just drop individual cubes in over time, but I prefer to reuse the water in the bag after it melts, especially since I'm running out of conditioner.

Ice cubes are very effective in lowering the temp, but like I said, they may do it too quickly. If I can ever afford a chiller, I'll probably get one for the summer months.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:05 PM   #5 
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I do not recommend ice cubes as they can lower the temp rapidly. As we know, rapid water parameter changes can be deadly. I've heard users like OFL and MrVamp talk about how their tanks can get rather high (like around 90F) for a few months in the summer. I wouldn't worry too much about the temp climbing too high, but if it changes a lot between the day and night, then you've got a problem.

I cool my goldfish tank a bit in the summer just because I don't want to feed the little pigs 3-4 times a day. Opening the top to allow for evaporative cooling does wonders. I have an open-top QT tank in a room that climbs to 85F and without a fan, the water temp is 74F. With a room fan, the water temp gets down to 70F. I think the best thing you can do is make mesh tops for your tanks (something like craft mesh would be a good idea). See how that affects the temp before you try the fans as fans are extra electricity.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:22 AM   #6 
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Fans and keeping the tank lights turned off has worked for me so far. I only turn the (fluorescent) light on in my big tank for the plants.

I have one air conditioned room in my apt., if it gets too hot I plan to move my tanks in there. Today it's 93 outside (second day in a row) and so far my tanks are at 83 or so.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:54 PM   #7 
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I don't often have this problem as I fortunately have a/c in the house (thankfully, as summer temps in Atlanta reach 100s).

However I did have a heater go psycho on me and heated one of my tanks to 92 (it was a slow change so the fish didn't really care). Anyway I wanted to cool the tank slowly so what worked for me was a wet towel, set in the freezer for about an hour, then draped over the tank. It brought it down to my 80 goal in about 10 hours.

Obviously not for long term use, but acutely, it works well and is less dangerous than directly icing the water.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:10 PM   #8 
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Cheers, everyone, good to hear your solutions.

I was looking hard at a couple of Dymax coolers for this coming summer - but last summer we only got about four days of extreme heat, seems we get less every year (there'll be woolly mammoths ambling up the Yarra in a few years, I swear it, this winter's been awful so far, darned global warming..).

Those, or maybe a cheap aircon unit for the living room where most of the fish are, and a fan for Daughter's guppies.

I like the frozen towel idea for emergency cooling!
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