Its that time of the year, the summer months are here. Aquarium temperature in summer can increase quickly, especially in an emergency. Here you’ll find some easy tips to make sure you keep your fish safe and tanks temp in check.
One of the best ways to cool your aquarium water is by introducing frozen bottles of water in your tank. Drop 1-2 frozen bottles into the tank. If you can keep them close to an output this will help to push and spread the cooler water throughout the tank. When those bottles thaw out, remove them and replace with the other half of frozen bottles.
Keep repeating this cycle until that AC repair man gets there, or your power comes back, or whatever. But keeping these ice bottles in the tank is the best way to keep your temps down.
Cool Your Aquarium
Real quick, lets get the obvious out the way, I don’t like to waste your time with fluff here. No matter how hot it is outside if you’ve got AC inside you’ve got nothing to worry about right. So I wont tell you to cool the inside of your home. If you could do that, I’m sure you wouldn’t be here looking for help.
But maybe the powers out, or the AC broke or for whatever reason the inside of your home is getting hot, well you’ve come to the right place.
There are machines called Chillers which are manufactured and designed to specifically cool your tanks, but again…if you had the time, the funds, or you really wanted to go that route I’m sure you would have already.
Even though some of you just want to be prepared in case you have to worry about temps in your tank getting to high, I’m going to assume that most of you need some help right now! So here we go.
How to reduce temperature in aquarium
First thing you’re going to want to do is freeze some water in a plastic water bottle. 3 or 4 frozen bottles is better than 1 or 2. Go do it, right now…freezing water takes time, go ahead I’ll wait….
Ok, hopefully you got that started, I’ll get into the frozen bottles more later….
Steps to reducing your aquarium temperature
1) – Turn off your tank lights and keep them off. They’re producing heat. And If you have a temperature problem on your hands you don’t want anything running producing heat that’s not necessary.
Your lights aren’t necessary. Unless you’ve got a planted tank. In that case you want to drastically reduce the amount of time you leave the light on, less is more in this case.
Lets get your temp back to where its supposed to be and keep your fish alive first, then we’ll worry about how you’re gonna see your fish later.
2) – Remove anything on top of your tank like glass lids or tank tops. If you’ve got a canopy open that sucker up and leave it open. This will help in letting the hot air trapped under your tops escape which will help cool the tank.
3) – If you’ve got fans or aquarium fans around and you’re able to use them you should. Position them so that they blow air across the top of your tank. Again aiding in removing hot air from above the surface essentially cooling down your tank.
Oxygenation is super important
Now something to keep in mind if your aquarium temperature in summer is already elevated. That means the oxygen levels in your tank are depleting faster than usual. You’ll want to add oxygen by any means possible.
Add some air stones, wave makers pointed at the surface, adjust your filter outputs to break the surface more than they already are. Whatever your current oxygen transfer set up is, it wont be enough anymore. You must add more oxygen to the tank to keep the fish safe until you’re able to get the temp back to optimal levels.
Even if that means dunking a couple of cups in and out of the tank and pouring the water back in to create more surface agitation.
A risky method to be used with caution
Now this next step can be a little tricky and a bit risky. But depending on how hot your tank is and how long its been that way, and how bad your fish are looking right now…take this advise at your own risk.
A very fast way to reduce your tanks temp is to remove some of that hot water and replace it with cooler water.
Now we all know that temperature fluctuations are not good for our fish. A drastic change in temperature can shock your fish but a few degrees of difference wont be the end of the world.
But you have to judge your own tank. How many degrees over your normal settings is the tank already at. How bad do your fish look to you…if you can tell that they aren’t looking good then its time to try something a bit risky in order to save them.
I suggest doing about a 25% water change with water about 5 degrees cooler than the current tanks temp. If it works out well and you don’t see any signs of stress from the change in temp but the tank is still to hot, on the next day increase to 50% water change with a 5 degree difference in temp.
This still may not get your tank back down to optimal levels but we’re just buying time until your frozen Ice bottles are ready.
Continue this water change process daily depending on how hot the tank is getting. But when you’ve got your frozen bottles ready you’ll be golden.
Frozen water bottles to reduce temperature in aquarium
Drop half of the bottles you froze into the tank. If you can keep them close to an output this will help to push and spread the cooler water throughout the tank. When those bottles thaw out, remove them and replace with the other half of frozen bottles. And keep repeating this cycle until that AC repair man gets there, or your power comes back, or whatever. But keeping these Ice bottles in the tank is the best way to keep your temps down.
Depending on the size of your tank, you’ll need more ice. Keep an eye on your temperature gauge and you’ll figure out how many you need to slowly and safely reduce your temperature back to optimal levels for your fish.