A comfortable water temperature in the aquarium is one of the most important conditions for the existence of fish. How to define it correctly and not harm pets?
Why is it so important to monitor the temperature of the water?
First of all, you need to know that for each fish there is a certain temperature range at which it will feel good. Please note: this is the range, not a specific indicator because in the wild there are no aquarium heaters that guarantee that the temperature will always be constant. Rain, hot summer days, cold winter nights – all these factors affect the habitat of fish and can affect the stability of temperatures. Freshwater fish experience daily temperature fluctuations, and even in a reef environment, the daily temperature ranges from 20 to 32 ° C, which can be measure through a thermometer.
If so, why are the fish owners so worried about the temperature stability in the tank? It all comes down to how quickly conditions change. Because oceans and rivers contain a lot of water, it takes a long time for temperatures to rise or fall. This change can take an entire day or even a season. Also, in the wild, freezing fish simply swim towards warmer waters. This is not possible in an aquarium. A small amount of water can quickly heat up or cool down depending on the temperature outside the tank. It is this drastic change that is the problem.
It is known that fish are cold-blooded. And you will probably be surprised to learn this: this does not mean that their blood is also cold. It’s just that the fish cannot regulate their internal temperature – as the temperature of the water changes so does the temperature of their bodies.
If the temperature of the water in the aquarium is chosen incorrectly, this negatively affects the health of the fish. The metabolism of pets changes: in too cold water it slows down (then the fish will become lethargic and sleepy), and in hot water, it accelerates (this leads to hyperactivity and anxiety). Stress caused by temperature fluctuations weakens your pets’ immune systems. Even beneficial bacteria in an aquarium are affected by temperature. The preferred range for these is 18-29 ° C. At temperatures of 35 ° C and above, bacteria are killed, which can lead to surges of ammonia.
What happens if the temperature of your aquarium is too high?
Excessively warm water causes the biggest problems. As a rule, when the temperature exceeds 32 ° C, the fish begin to feel discomfort. Your fish breathes by drawing oxygen from the water, and under normal conditions, the aquarium will have enough oxygen to move around. Warm water makes pets become more active and consume more oxygen, which is simply not enough for breathing. Also, without enough oxygen, ammonia starts to build up in the tank, displacing the oxygen and burning the gills of your fish, so it is advised to cool down the tank’s temperature within a range of 20 to 32 ° C.
What happens if the temperature of your aquarium is too low?
For tropical fish, cold temperatures are deadly. Pets will become sluggish and lethargic, many of them will die from hypothermia. So, you have to make some adjustments to maintain the fish tank water temperature.
What is the recommended water temperature for aquariums?
In general, all fish can be divided into three groups:
• Prefers cool water below 20 ° C
• Tropical fish that like temperatures of 24-27 ° C
• Fish of a temperate climate, for which the optimal temperature will be around 22 ° C
Most popular fish species thrive at 25 ° C, but there are exceptions. For example, discus fish (thermophilic Amazonian fish) love very warm water (28-32 ° C). But the family of goldfish, on the contrary, prefers a cooler one – 18-22 ° C. Find out in advance what temperature regime is comfortable for the fish of the breed that you have chosen. You can find out about this from a consultant at a pet store or an ichthyologist.
Often, even experienced aquarists make the common mistake of placing fish with overlapping temperature ranges in the same tank. Consider this example: Fish-1 is able to survive at a temperature of 18-22 ° C, and Fish-2 at a temperature of 22-28 ° C. Accordingly, both individuals can exist at 22 ° C, and, at first glance, they can be kept together. Alas, in reality, this is not the case. The fact is that under such conditions, each fish will live at the border of the temperature range. Maintaining a constant temperature in the aquarium for them is like creating constant summer for the first fish, and eternal winter for the second.
Remember, it’s best to stick to the middle of the temperature range: this leaves less room for error.