Heater Or No Heater? Help

  1. BalaBoy

    BalaBoy New Member Member

    I recently bought 3 Odessa Barbs for my 20 gallon. There is only a Raphael Catfish and a Upside Down Catfish in there, is they have settled nicely. Even though these are all females I believe I love the colors. They are also very active and seem happy in the tank. But I read that barbs prefer cooler water, around 78 F. So should I just pull the heater to make them more comfortable? I feed them frozen blood worms and they eat great, but would this make them happier?
     
  2. bryangar

    bryangar Well Known Member Member

    No, without a heater the temperature will constantly fluctuate causing stress to your fish.
    78 is a good temp. for a community tank.

    Also, you shouldn’t be feeding bloodworms as a staple food. They’re high in fat and protein.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    BalaBoy

    BalaBoy New Member Member

    well the temp with the heater is 82. I just said I read 78 is what barbs like. Ive only had the barbs for a couple days so what should I substitute the bloodworms for? Isn't fat and protein good for juvenile fish?
     
  4. bryangar

    bryangar Well Known Member Member

    That’s pretty high, odessa barbs can take temperatures from 74-79 F, raphael catfish 75-80 F and upside down catfish 75-82 F. Maybe a steady temperature of 78 would make all fish comfortable. Do you have an adjustable heater?

    I know you didn’t ask but barbs and the upside down catfish should be in schools/shoals. The raphael catfish gets anywhere from 6-9 inches. Not suitable for a 20 gallon.

    Protein is good for fry. The fish have already developed their organs and body parts so now they’ll need more nutrients and since bloodworms are usually frozen or freeze dried on an empty stomach, they have no nutritional value to give the fish. They do good as a treat once a week or so. Get a quality pellet or flake food. Hikari and New Life Spectrum make quality fish food.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    BalaBoy

    BalaBoy New Member Member

    I know about the catfish, they just fell into my care and both are a decade old now, and spend all their time together. Should I just exchange the barbs for something smaller that likes higher temps?
     
  6. Bradley Moles

    Bradley Moles Valued Member Member

    Get an adjustable heater(most adjust down to 76 or lower) fish like it to be towards the higher end of their confort zone, especially tropical fish. 78 should work fine