Living in a trailer, heat is from a fireplace in my bedroom (where my tanks are) or an industrial heater in the hallway. What should I do for my tanks

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Fae

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Sorry this is gonna be kind of a long post, I could really use some advice from someone who hopefully has some experience in a similar situation though.

So I got my first fish, a Betta, in February last year after the worst of the winter weather was over. He was in a 2.5g tank with at first no heater then a small heater. We were heating our place with the woodstove, which is in our bedroom. His temperature would fluctuate between 67F-84F. I know how terrible this is now and I feel awful because it definitely contributed to his getting sick all summer, which he finally recovered from thankfully.

I was hoping we would have moved by now, because my bf and I are living with his dad in his trailer after we had to move in due to bad roommates, but then covid hit and all possibilities of moving out have seemed to dry up... Anyways, now I'm trying to prepare for another winter here.

So it's a trailer, which means it's incredibly drafty and perpetually damp. Heat doesn't hold like, at all. The woodstove is in our room, which means we have some say in when it's going... But I won't be able to effectively argue against using it when it's really cold, especially when the heating bill goes up from using the portable industrial heater my in-law prefers. I also have a smaller portable electric heater. There's no other heat in the place.

I have two tropical tanks and one axolotl tank.
Axolotl tank is 20g and on the floor, preferred temp is 60-65f and anything above 70-75f ranges from stressful to deadly. Anything 50f or less puts them into hibernation, which is fine. I think they're like goldfish in that as long as the water doesn't freeze they'll survive, but I would have to look into that more.
Tropical tanks are 5.5 Betta kept at 80 with an automatic shut off heater, and a 29 community kept at 78 with an adjustable auto off heater.

My idea would be to move the axolotl tank to the spare room, which would have the door shut to keep unnecessary drafts out of the rest of the place. It's not my first choice because I love seeing lavender, and I know she would be sad alone there. I'm also wondering if that might be too cold. My other issue is that I'm planning on buying some kind of power backup, and with her tank in another room it would be difficult to power (although I could just get a battery pump).
Where her tank is right now, is against an outer wall on the floor of my closet (far away from the woodstove) where there's a pretty decent draft. Maybe it would be best to keep her there because heat rises anyway?

My Betta is in the same closet, but on a shelf at head level. (The closet has no doors, also). In such a small volume of water, do I run the same risk of fluctuating temperatures as I did last year? Would getting an adjustable auto off heater for his tank prevent that? Or would he need a larger tank/to be placed on the floor as well?

For my 29g, do I have to be worried if I have a fire going? The room gets pretty hot with the woodstove, and that tank is the closest to it at about 10 feet away, and is on top of a tall dresser so close to the ceiling. Luckily I fixed the woodstove door gasket so it's not leaking heat like it was last year, but the room still gets uncomfortably hot.

I don't think the room is consistently warm enough that I could go without heaters in either tank, as I mentioned this is a trailer so when the fire burns out or the heater is off, the temperature drops pretty quickly. I also won't have say in when the heaters or fire are on at a certain point, as my in-law is purposefully ignorant and careless when it comes to my fish and my bf does his best but ignorance runs in the family at times.

Sorry for the essay but I'd really appreciate any advice anyone has! To recap, my main questions are:

Will a woodstove in the same room cause temp spikes in my tropical tanks?
If my axolotl tank is on the floor in a drafty area in the same room, will it be safe from temp spikes, or should I move it to an unheated room?
Should I get an adjustable heater for my 5.5 or will the same auto set one work the same?

Thank you!
 
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FishBoy101

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Fae said:
Sorry this is gonna be kind of a long post, I could really use some advice from someone who hopefully has some experience in a similar situation though.

So I got my first fish, a Betta, in February last year after the worst of the winter weather was over. He was in a 2.5g tank with at first no heater then a small heater. We were heating our place with the woodstove, which is in our bedroom. His temperature would fluctuate between 67F-84F. I know how terrible this is now and I feel awful because it definitely contributed to his getting sick all summer, which he finally recovered from thankfully.

I was hoping we would have moved by now, because my bf and I are living with his dad in his trailer after we had to move in due to bad roommates, but then covid hit and all possibilities of moving out have seemed to dry up... Anyways, now I'm trying to prepare for another winter here.

So it's a trailer, which means it's incredibly drafty and perpetually damp. Heat doesn't hold like, at all. The woodstove is in our room, which means we have some say in when it's going... But I won't be able to effectively argue against using it when it's really cold, especially when the heating bill goes up from using the portable industrial heater my in-law prefers. I also have a smaller portable electric heater. There's no other heat in the place.

I have two tropical tanks and one axolotl tank.
Axolotl tank is 20g and on the floor, preferred temp is 60-65f and anything above 70-75f ranges from stressful to deadly. Anything 50f or less puts them into hibernation, which is fine. I think they're like goldfish in that as long as the water doesn't freeze they'll survive, but I would have to look into that more.
Tropical tanks are 5.5 Betta kept at 80 with an automatic shut off heater, and a 29 community kept at 78 with an adjustable auto off heater.

My idea would be to move the axolotl tank to the spare room, which would have the door shut to keep unnecessary drafts out of the rest of the place. It's not my first choice because I love seeing lavender, and I know she would be sad alone there. I'm also wondering if that might be too cold. My other issue is that I'm planning on buying some kind of power backup, and with her tank in another room it would be difficult to power (although I could just get a battery pump).
Where her tank is right now, is against an outer wall on the floor of my closet (far away from the woodstove) where there's a pretty decent draft. Maybe it would be best to keep her there because heat rises anyway?

My Betta is in the same closet, but on a shelf at head level. (The closet has no doors, also). In such a small volume of water, do I run the same risk of fluctuating temperatures as I did last year? Would getting an adjustable auto off heater for his tank prevent that? Or would he need a larger tank/to be placed on the floor as well?

For my 29g, do I have to be worried if I have a fire going? The room gets pretty hot with the woodstove, and that tank is the closest to it at about 10 feet away, and is on top of a tall dresser so close to the ceiling. Luckily I fixed the woodstove door gasket so it's not leaking heat like it was last year, but the room still gets uncomfortably hot.

I don't think the room is consistently warm enough that I could go without heaters in either tank, as I mentioned this is a trailer so when the fire burns out or the heater is off, the temperature drops pretty quickly. I also won't have say in when the heaters or fire are on at a certain point, as my in-law is purposefully ignorant and careless when it comes to my fish and my bf does his best but ignorance runs in the family at times.

Sorry for the essay but I'd really appreciate any advice anyone has! To recap, my main questions are:

Will a woodstove in the same room cause temp spikes in my tropical tanks?
If my axolotl tank is on the floor in a drafty area in the same room, will it be safe from temp spikes, or should I move it to an unheated room?
Should I get an adjustable heater for my 5.5 or will the same auto set one work the same?

Thank you!
I can help answer the first question and the third.

1- Do you have running water? If you do, I think that you will be fine. If it gets to cold, put in hot water bottles and vica versa.

3- I think that you should, I have no idea how auto set works, but I know that you can't control the heat very much.
 
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Fae

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FishBoy101 said:
I can help answer the first question and the third.

1- Do you have running water? If you do, I think that you will be fine. If it gets to cold, put in hot water bottles and vica versa.

3- I think that you should, I have no idea how auto set works, but I know that you can't control the heat very much.
Thank you very much for responding, I didn't even think of that for cooling the tanks (even though I did it this summer for my axolotl).
For autoset, they turn on when the temp drops but I'm unsure what happens when the heat rises from outside sources above their range. The cheap one I had in my Betta tank last year didn't turn off, but idk if my slightly better one now would..
 
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Pfrozen

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I would just move everything into the cold spare room and put heaters in every tank. You'll be able to control the temperatures that way, might burn through a few heaters during the winter though
 
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Skrabbitskrabbit

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Not much help but if I could point out the obvious, make sure to have a thermometer in each tank. My heaters temp wasn’t very dependable and a good thermometer could help ease your worries, if you don’t already have them. Also (probably obvious) is the fact that the smallest tank will fluctuate temp faster and if you have a well-functioning heater, you should only need to worry about it if the room gets really hot (then you can check thermometer and add cold water if needed).
The only other thing I would say is try to learn the ins and outs of the wood stove you have. Does it have a fan? That would help disperse the heat throughout the trailer. I lived in a cabin witha wood stove in Northern Maine and learned to set an alarm for 3am to add wood so I didn’t wake up with cold coals.
 
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Trenzalore

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I agree with Pfrozen, move the tropical tanks to the cold spare room and use a few tricks to keep them warm.

I would absolutely get a preset heater for the tanks. The heater won't overheat the tank - when it reaches the determined temperature (usually 78F), the heater automatically switches off. Then switches on again if it gets cold. Worst case scenario, when it's cold, your betta will hang around the heater to stay warm.
Also, do your tanks have lights and hoods? Having a light generally emits some kind of heat, and having a hood on the tank keeps the heat in.
Further, I would be interested in what some more seasoned fish keepers have to say about having 2 low powered preset heaters on opposite sides of the bigger tank to keep it evenly warm..

I have a crested gecko tank by my window, which gets cold in the winter.. When the temperature starts dropping, I put her light on for more hours than usual, swap her normal light for one that generates more heat, and keep a hand towel over the light and top of the tank to help keep the heat in. Not saying it's a good idea to get a light that gets super hot for an aquatic animal, but maybe there's a bulb that fits what you already have and is safe that emits a little more heat. And if you have a hood or not, you can still use the towel trick to keep the heat in a little more when it gets cold. Just make sure to check the temperature.
 
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