Keeping My Aquariums Cool - Weather Problems!!

Bad Wolf
  • #1
Okay, not sure if this is the right place, but, I live in Australia, and we have just started summer. Already the temperature has hit 95 degrees. My fish tanks have gotten up to 90. Last years summer got up to 130 degrees, hotter in some places, and my fish tanks were boiling, and a lot of my fish died.

Too cool them down, I turn off their heaters and I have to put ice in their tank. The ice only lasts about an hour before melting completely, but the water does stay about 78 for another 2, maybe 3 hours. A lot of the day I won't be home, so I can't keep an eye on it.

If it helps, I put about a gallon to a gallon and a half of ice in my 55 gallon and about 1/4 of a gallon in the fry tank and about a gallon in my axolotl tank. Also, the ice is kept in bottles, so no chlorine from the tap gets into the tank.

Is there anything I can do to keep my tanks colder for longer periods of time?

And, what is the absolute maximum temperature the tank should get? (And the minimum, I don't want to freeze them either).

Thanks
 
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gremlin
  • #2
You can try to insulate the tanks with styrofoam. That might help them to not absorb so much heat from their surroundings. I have also read some people use a fan blowing across the top of the tanks to aid in cooling the water through evaporation. Also, leaving the lights off during the day, maybe only leaving them on for a brief time in the evening?
 
mosin360
  • #3
Well, something a lot more 'hardcore' would be like getting those water kits for computers and have them the heat sinks sitting in the water. Thou, that's probably pretty expensive.
 
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Tony G.
  • #4
You could have multiple water bottles frozen at all times and constantly get one or two, put them in a plastic baggie and float them on the tank. repeat the process over and over...

 
Red1313
  • #5
Hmm... Keep them as far from windows as possible. Keep them in the basement?
 
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sirdarksol
  • #6
Hmm... Keep them as far from windows as possible. Keep them in the basement?

If you have a basement, this might be a very good suggestion. In my house, the basement is around ten degrees cooler than the rest of the house.
If you can't move them away from windows, and if you have some small amount of sewing skills, you could make yourself blackout curtains. Get two types of fabric; one light (white or silver) and one dark (black is best). The light color will face the window, the darker will face into the room. The black will keep the light out, the light will reflect some heat back out through the window (this will help keep the room cooler, too.)
If water supply isn't an issue, small fans pointed across the surface of the water can cool it down (heat is lost through evaporation). You've got to top off daily (possibly a couple of times daily) for this to work, though.
 
speed0factory
  • #7
I think the best is to get a chiller but it's too expensive to buy it and maintain it. try to search at our DIY section for DIY chiller, I think I read it once before. it something to do with ice. try it.
 
Bad Wolf
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
The basement idea is out, cause I have none, but thanks. I can't afford a cooler, being 13 and unoccupied. The fan won't work, water restrictions. And just 3 days ago, the freezer went out, so there's no ice and I'm about to move houses and my room is the hottest in the house. I'm out of ideas....

I have just left the heaters off day and night, it keeps the tank cool and saves electricity bills.

If you have ideas, please share

thnx
 
sirdarksol
  • #9
Given what you've said, and if you can do it, you might really want to make yourself a set of blackout curtains (remember, light on the outside, dark on the inside). It will make things more comfortable for you as well as your fish. Probably a good idea to get compact fluorescent bulbs to light your room (if you don't already have them) instead of incandescent, too. That will cut down on a bit of heat.
 
Tavel
  • #10
...air conditioning?
 
gremlin
  • #11
Got any cardboard around? You can always use cardboard in your windows to block a lot of the heat (and light). You can also use cardboard to semI insulate the tank itself. Build your own cooler around the tank to help insulate it. Stuff wadded up newspaper between the cardboard and the tank. Instead of using water ice to cool the tank, maybe a re-usable Blue Ice type product. Basically it is a gel substance in a hard (or soft) plastic casing that can be frozen over and over again. Put it in a ziploc bag to guard against any possibility of leakage. The wadded up newspaper between the cardboard and the tank will act as an insulator to help maintain the cooler tank temperature. Blue Ice is one of the brand names, but there are a lot of different products that are similar. I'm sure you should be able to find something along those lines that isn't too expensive. The cardboard can come from old boxes or whatever. Large stores (WalMart, Sears, electronics stores, appliance stores, etc) will usually let you have old boxes that they are done with.
Good luck and please keep us posted!
 
Bad Wolf
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
right now, I'm in the middle of moving houses, we now have air con, so that's a good idea, thanks all
 
scatty
  • #13
HI Bad Wolf. I've had my heaters off for a few weeks now too. Have been wondering how I was going to go myself as it sure is shaping up to be a hot summer. Where in Victoria are you? I'm up on the north coast of NSW and I would've thought it'd get hotter up here than down there. Unless you're inland I guess. What temps are you guys getting to down there? And are your tanks small? I would have thought a bigger tank would hold it's temp easier. I've certainly found my small tanks difficult to keep consistant. Some great advice above. Basements aren't really a thing in Australia but would've been a great idea if you had one. I guess you'll be ok with the a/c, I have none so I'm really hoping I don't have your problem. At the moment mine are staying at 26 celcius, but I'm dreading them getting too high. Please keep us updated as I may be able to learn from your experiences.
 
sirdarksol
  • #14
right now, I'm in the middle of moving houses, we now have air con, so that's a good idea, thanks all

Sweet.
 
Bad Wolf
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
for now, the steady temp is around 88 f (30) in the fish tank on kinda hot day. they've been okay in the heat, no deaths cept 2 guppies, but they were old.

my tanks are 55g, 15 gallon and 7g (200L, 60L and 28L)
 

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