No heater discussion

SouthAmericanCichlids

So I recently saw a video on no heater aquariums and was wondering if others on here have done it. And if they could give additional advice on it and insight. I thought this was interesting.

86 ssinit mattgirl Spudsssy coralbandit A201 Just wanted to tag some fish veterans.
 

BigManAquatics

Gets too cold in winter for me to be comfortable doing so except for like goldfish or minnows.
 
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mattgirl

Gets too cold in winter for me to be comfortable doing so except for like goldfish or minnows.
Same here. My fish are tropical fish and I feel sure they wouldn't be comfortable without a heater during the winter months. The only thing I have without a heater is my 2.5 gallon snail jar. Everything else is held up to a constant 76 degrees during the winter months although it does get warmer than that during the summer months.
 
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A201

Maintaining a heater-less tank depends on the variety of fish kept & geographical location.
 
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jkkgron2

I don’t use a heater for my goldfish and guppies. All my other aquariums have heaters on them, even my 13.5g, which has sub-tropical fish who probably don’t need a heater.
 
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SotaAquatics

Yeah, really comes down to a pretty basic question, what kind of fish is it. There are plenty of fish you can find that do fine without heaters, there are also many fish that will do a lot better with a heater to keep them in optimal temp range for normal behavior and health, and many fish that require a certain temp just to keep alive.

Just because I live in Minnesota and can survive 15 degree days doesn't mean I don't prefer and do better on the nice 76 degree days.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

I have mollies and cherry shrimp in no-heater tanks. But only indoors and above the basement, otherwise it gets too cold in the winter.
 
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Spudsssy

If your climate matches fishes temp range then sure you don't need a heather..... Or if you wanna crank up the heating 24/7 during winter lol.....

Fish can handle wide temperature ranges for periods... We got seasons after all. For home aquariums it's best to keep it at optimum temperature... and that means a heater for most Americans and Europeans keeping tropical fish.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

I had a heater malfunction on a tank of mudskippers. Cooked them I found them on the floor. Water was over 100 degrees.

I try to get by without a heater if I can. Keeping the room comfortable for me makes the room OK for fish too.
But in the winter some of my tanks can get too cold so I 'risk it' and use a heater on some tanks.

My guppy tank is heaterless.
My blind cave tetras are heaterless.
Goldfish are heaterless
Platys are heaterless

Gouramis get a heater
Cichlids get a heater
Puffer fish gets a heater
Killifish have a heater
 
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86 ssinit

So I recently saw a video on no heater aquariums and was wondering if others on here have done it. And if they could give additional advice on it and insight. I thought this was interesting.

86 ssinit mattgirl Spudsssy coralbandit A201 Just wanted to tag some fish veterans.
You do know I keep discus? Right? No heater! Come on I use 2 all the time :). No heater!!!
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

You do know I keep discus? Right? No heater! Come on I use 2 all the time :). No heater!!!
Yeah, I thought you might have more tanks. And when you stepped away from discus for a ton of years. So, I was more wondering about those years rather.

Well, I looked at lake victoria and it has an average of 60 degrees, much lower than what most guides say to keep fish. In vietnam, average temperature is 70 degrees. The highest average temp. in the Orinoco river is 69, which hosts many tetra species. I've just looked at a few waters. I just found this interesting, an apparently fish farms down in florida don't heat their ponds. ANd some people don't heat their stores except for the discus and the GBR etc.

I mean, we've raised the temp. of fish a ton, and had success. I personally have had BN in 84. I've had hillstream loaches in 78 and some have even bred them in that temp. But why not lower? Though I guess, as shown above, it's not even lower.
 
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86 ssinit

I’m in NY so all my tanks have heaters. Running even in the summer :). AC keeps them running :).
 
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coralbandit

My fish room is 80f - 82f+ but I have heaters in all tanks .
They don't have to run often but are more a safety measure IMO .
Depending what fish you keep and the temp of where the tank is at you may or may not need a heater ..
 
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RayClem

I have two heaters is most of my tanks. I try to size them such that if a heater gets stuck in the on position, it will not overheat the tank as Frank the Fish guy experienced. However, I also want them to be large enough to maintain a reasonable the tank temperature should one of the heaters fail.

I keep the main living part of my home at 76 degrees in summer and 68 degrees in winter. The tanks tanks upstairs range between 75 degrees in winter to 81 degrees in summer. Lighting and sun also elevate the tank temperature above room temperature in summer; the heaters do not need to run.

I also have several tanks in the basement. The temperature down there is typically about 8-10 degrees cooler than the temperature upstairs, both summer and winter. When the Chicago winters get really brutal, it can get even colder. In 2019, Chicago officially recorded a temperature of minus 23 degrees F. In Rockford, it got down to minus 31 degrees. I live half way in between and recorded a temperature somewhere around minus 27. In those conditions, the furnace struggles to keep the house at 65 degrees. I do not remember the basement temperature during the polar vortex, but it was probably between 50-55 degrees. My fish would not have done well without a heater (or two).



 
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86 ssinit

A great device to protect your tank from the heater not shutting off is the ink-bird controller. It also works with 2 heaters in the tank. Set temp on it and when reached it shuts off power to heaters. Nice failsafe. I use them on my big tanks.
 
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TClare

Well, I live in the Andes just South of the equator, at 2,750m (over 9,000 ft) above sea level so although we don’t have too much seasonal. variation in temperature (though it is significantly colder June-August), what we do have is strong daily variation, it can get very cold at night, sometimes with frost in the morning if the sky is clear, but then it warms up considerably during the day. We have wood burning stoves for the evenings but no central heating. I don’t think these variations would be good for most tropical,fish. I have heaters in all my tanks. But people here do have goldfish without heaters so it must be OK for them. For a while I tried to keep a daphnia culture outside without any heating, it lasted a few months but then died off, I think because of these temperature extremes.

Regarding South American Cichlids’s post about average temperatures in Lake vIctoria and the Orinocco drainage, the averge temperature in Lake Victoria may be 60 degrees, remember this is an average - I know Victoria is not a particularly deep lake, but still I believe that the deeper water will be considerably cooler than the surface water and the shallow waters close to the lake shores, where many fish spend their lives. Also in the Orinocco, much of this area is densely forested so small streams are shaded and therefore cooler than regions more exposed to the strong tropical sun, for example in the Llanos region where day time air temperatures in the dry season can reach 35 degrees - (95F). While many fish species can probably tolerate quite a wide temperature variation, there are others with more localized distributions that have more specific requirements.
 
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RayClem

Well, I live in the Andes just South of the equator, at 2,750m (over 9,000 ft) above sea level so although we don’t have too much seasonal. variation in temperature (though it is significantly colder June-August), what we do have is strong daily variation, it can get very cold at night, sometimes with frost in the morning if the sky is clear, but then it warms up considerably during the day. We have wood burning stoves for the evenings but no central heating. I don’t think these variations would be good for most tropical,fish. I have heaters in all my tanks. But people here do have goldfish without heaters so it must be OK for them. For a while I tried to keep a daphnia culture outside without any heating, it lasted a few months but then died off, I think because of these temperature extremes.

Regarding South American Cichlids’s post about average temperatures in Lake vIctoria and the Orinocco drainage, the averge temperature in Lake Victoria may be 60 degrees, remember this is an average - I know Victoria is not a particularly deep lake, but still I believe that the deeper water will be considerably cooler than the surface water and the shallow waters close to the lake shores, where many fish spend their lives. Also in the Orinocco, much of this area is densely forested so small streams are shaded and therefore cooler than regions more exposed to the strong tropical sun, for example in the Llanos region where day time air temperatures in the dry season can reach 35 degrees - (95F). While many fish species can probably tolerate quite a wide temperature variation, there are others with more localized distributions that have more specific requirements.

According to Wikipedia, Lake Victoria contains 2424 cubic km of water. It has a max depth of 81 meters and an average depth about half that. Unlike our aquariums, temperature changes in such a large body of water will be quite gradual. There will be variations in temperature throughout the lake, but fish will be able to seek out a water temperature that is to their liking.
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

While many fish species can probably tolerate quite a wide temperature variation, there are others with more localized distributions that have more specific requirements.
Well yes: Discus, GBR, etc.
I also have several tanks in the basement. The temperature down there is typically about 8-10 degrees cooler than the temperature upstairs, both summer and winter. When the Chicago winters get really brutal, it can get even colder. In 2019, Chicago officially recorded a temperature of minus 23 degrees F. In Rockford, it got down to minus 31 degrees. I live half way in between and recorded a temperature somewhere around minus 27. In those conditions, the furnace struggles to keep the house at 65 degrees. I do not remember the basement temperature during the polar vortex, but it was probably between 50-55 degrees. My fish would not have done well without a heater (or two).
I'm talking more average temps. in our homes because I would definitely keep some heaters around just in case it got cold, if I did pull the plug on all the tank's heaters.



Ok, I'll use different waterways as examples. All the ones for neon tetras.

Napos: 84-91 in daytime, 68-75 at night.
Yarapa: Avg: 88 daytime, 72 nighttime
Tiger: Avg. high in the hottest season: 84.2 Avg. high in the coldest: 60

ps. These are the 3 that came up on google search.

Bolivian ram:

Itenez river (Just the first I saw): Avg. temp between seasons: 75-80.6 (This isn't including day/night, probably gets much cooler during the night)

Apistogramma Cacatuoides (I could only find info on these 2, as I din't want to spend forever looking):

Pachitea River: Avg. annual: 77 degrees (Again not saying the cold months nor nighttime)

Ucayali river: Hottest avg.: 79 Coldest average: 76.5 (Again, not accounting for nightime temps.)

BN pleco:

(I could only find one) Rio de la plata: annual avg. 55 degrees Fahrenheit (The source for this one isn't just a random one, it's Britannica)



Also, if you think I'm just cherry picking, I'm not, but even if so, it still shows they can live in these temperatures.
 
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TClare

The Rio de La Plata is much further South and experiences seasonal temperature changes like parts of North America. The other rivers mentioned are in the tropics and much more comstant throughout the year, the temperatures in these rivers are typical of those we keep most of our tropical fish at, my tanks would get colder if I didn’t have heaters as our hous is not that warm most of the time. On two occasions I accidentally left the heaters unplugged after a water change and they were off all night, the temperature got to about 22 -23 (about 71-73 F) degrees in one night which is Ok, but the tanks in question are quite large and insulated underneath and at the back with polystyrene so the temperature change would have been slow. If I left the heater off more time the tanks would get quite a bit cooler.
 
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emeraldking

I keep tropical and subtropical fish overhere for close to 5 decades now. I haven't used heaters for many years now, no matter what kind of fish. But we have central heating in the house. But even then, a lot of those fish can be kept at room temperature. But yes, as already mentioned overhere, it depends also on the kind of fish it may concern.
But I do keep in mind to keep those species that feel comfortable at lower temps, that those tanks are kept on lower shelfs and those that prefer a bit higher temps, are located on higher shelfs.
Geographical location 'can" be of importance. I've put 'can' between brackets, for it doesn't have to be. For even in a tropical zone, there can be a subtropical subzone (depending on the location and altitude of course). Most people forget about this.
The past couple of days, summer left the country and it seemd a bit like fall. The temperatures in my outdoor tubs lowered to 17°C at day and 10°C at night. And all of my livebearers outdoors were just doing fine. They just eat less. Today, it looks like summer again...
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

The Rio de La Plata is much further South and experiences seasonal temperature changes like parts of North America. The other rivers mentioned are in the tropics and much more comstant throughout the year, the temperatures in these rivers are typical of those we keep most of our tropical fish at, my tanks would get colder if I didn’t have heaters as our hous is not that warm most of the time. On two occasions I accidentally left the heaters unplugged after a water change and they were off all night, the temperature got to about 22 -23 (about 71-73 F) degrees in one night which is Ok, but the tanks in question are quite large and insulated underneath and at the back with polystyrene so the temperature change would have been slow. If I left the heater off more time the tanks would get quite a bit cooler.
Well, I'm not completely addressing places w/out indoor heating. As, there is no way to keep it at a consistent temp. And even hot places can have a period where it goes under 40 degrees.


Though they are more constant, they'll still get cooler during the night.
 
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