Summer is the perfect time to relax and head to the beach, but you can’t deny the fact that some days are just unbearably hot.
Everyone feels hot in the summer – including your pets. Whether you have a dog or an aquarium full of fish, it is very important to make sure your pets don’t get dehydrated and stay cool at all times.
If you have a fish tank, you are probably aware that high temperatures can lead to fungal and bacterial illnesses, which can harm fish health.
Some fish might even die if it gets too warm. This is why you should always make sure that your aquarium is cool. Here are a few ways to keep your aquarium cool on hot, summer days.
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How to keep your aquarium cool
There are some simple things you can take care of to make sure your aquarium remains cool and at an optimal temperature for your fishes. This could be especially useful if you live in a warm climate.
Know Your Fish and Their Needs
The first step is to do your research. Before summer starts, make sure to learn the maximum and minimum temperatures that your fish can survive in. Different fish thrive in different temperatures, so be careful if you are keeping different kinds of fish in your aquarium.
Always check your tank’s thermometer.
Compare the reading on your thermometer to your pets’ healthy temperature ranges. A good idea is to check the thermometer whenever you clean the tank – this way, you won’t forget about it and you won’t have to take out extra time to do it.
Remember to keep your thermometer as far away from your heater as possible to ensure an accurate reading.
Move the Aquarium Tank
Find a place in your home that is quite far from the windows and is not exposed to too much sunlight. Just by changing the location of the tank, you can lower the temperature of your aquarium.
The tank can also be placed underneath an air vent which means that the tank will get fresh air at all times. Remember, direct sunlight cannot replace a heater and can cause algae blooms in your aquarium. Before moving the fish tank, here are a few things you need to do:
Turn off and remove all the filters, lights and electrical equipment inside your aquarium. If there are any heaters inside the tank, allow them to cool down before you remove them; otherwise, they will crack. In treated water, place the filter cartridge to protect it from bacteria and other diseases.
Get a food bucket and fill it with treated water for the fish. If your tank has decorations, remove them from your tank and simply keep them away. If you have living plants in your tank, do not uproot them, or they will die.
The next step is to remove all the fish and transport them to a safe location. Add your fish to the same food bucket, which has water because it will make it easier to transport your pets.
If you have small fish, try using a cup to capture them because a net can harm them. Make sure to be very gentle because you don’t want your fish to get hurt. The last step is to remove as much water from your tank as possible.
Don’t drain the water – save it and put it back in the tank after you move it. This will save not only your water but also your time.
Moving the aquarium is a two-person job, so make sure to ask for help. Move it slowly because aquariums can be heavy. Keep in mind to never lift your tank by the border or its edge because even though it might give you a good grip, you will weaken the glue, which is holding the glass together.
After you’ve moved the tank, re-add your filter, electrical equipment, and the decorations. If your tank has a heater, don’t place it inside until the weather cools down. Add the fish at the end – after you’ve made sure that the water has settled down.
Tweak the Light and Airflow
If you want to keep your aquarium cool, another idea is to tweak the light and airflow in your tank. If your tank is already in an ideal location, airflow and light can still be adjusted, which can help lower the temperature in your tank.
If your tank has live plants and light, try leaving the light on for few hours during the day, especially during the hot hours. Since lights generate heat, turning them off may lower the water temperature gradually.
If the lights are inside the tank, to help improve airflow and cool down your fish, remove the aquarium lid of the tank when the lights are off. If your tank only has decorations and real plants – here’s the good news: your tank does not need a light. You can even keep the lights turned off at all times.
Make sure to check if your light is the perfect light for your aquarium. Some lights act like heat lamps, meaning that they emit both heat and light. Heat lamps are not a good idea for a fish tank in the summers because they will only increase the temperature in your tank.
LED lights are a good choice for fish tanks because they only put out the light. Try avoiding fluorescent lights because they heat up very quickly and pop because of the heat and moisture.
Leaving the lid on will increase airflow and if there are fans in the room, the air will keep the surface of the water cool. If there is no ceiling fan, add a portable fan, which can easily blow air on your aquarium and keep it cool.
Use Ice (if needed)
Just be careful when trying this out. Ice is a great way to help your fish cool down. Be careful when adding ice – if you add too much, the water may get too cold and your fish might get ill.
Start with freezing one ounce of aquarium water for every two gallons of tank space. You can utilize reusable ice cubes, old plastic containers or sealed water bottles.
Try freezing as much ice as possible in one go because it will help you save time. Remember to move your thermometer far away from the ice. This will help you get a much more accurate reading of the water.
The next step is to simply place the ice in the fish tank. Make certain to check the temperature after half an hour. Try to assess the temperature changes in the water.
If the water temperature has fallen by less than two degrees, the ice is working. Now is a good time to stop adding ice and wait a little while until the old ice is melted.
Don’t stop checking the temperature. If the temperature keeps dropping, remove all the unmelted ice and try to use less ice next time. If the temperature still doesn’t decrease, simply add more ice and check the temperature every few hours.
Use an Aquarium Chiller
Ice may not be your best bet if your fish tank is always warm or contains saltwater fish or corals in it. This is why an aquarium chiller is a good idea.
Aquarium chillers provide a more constant change in the temperature, and you don’t have to constantly check the temperature either. The thing about aquarium chillers is that they are not cheap, but they are permanent, which makes things easier for you in the long term.
The first step is to know your aquarium’s size. Get a chiller that is one size smaller than your tank. Most people prefer getting a big chiller because it works more efficiently. If you get a small chiller, it might not do the job properly.
After deciding the size, choose if you want a drop-in chiller or an inline chiller. Drop-in chillers can be easily dropped in the tank, and the cool water automatically circulates in the whole aquarium.
Drop-in chillers are pretty easy to install, but you can easily go wrong while installing them. Drop-in chillers are known to kill beneficial bacteria, which might leave your fish vulnerable to all kinds of diseases.
Inline chillers will take time because they require setup and are more expensive than drop-in chillers. The inline chillers stay outside of your tank and have lines that run into the tank. These chillers simply suck up warm water and expel cool water through these lines.
Make sure to purchase and install your chiller depending on what you might need, but also make sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the instructions closely because your tank might be sensitive to changes. And, just a reminder, don’t forget to check your temperature every day.
There are various ways to keep your aquarium cool on hot days. A cool aquarium can prevent your fish from getting sick or worse – dying. Hence, try to always check the temperature of the water so that you can take measures to make sure it meets the needs of your fish.
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