It's that time of year when it's starting to get warmer.
My tanks have been around 78-80 degrees on normal days with my heaters, but today they were around 82.
Is it okay to unplug the heater when it gets too hot? What's the best way to keep a steady temperature during the summer?
UGH the heat is driving me nuts too! This depends on your heater. If you have one that "senses" the surrounding temperature, they should automatically keep themselves off if the tanks are hot enough (which they probably are). However, if you happen to have one of those heaters that are just preset and have no temp indicators, like basic Betta heaters, I'd probably unplug them because they have a tendency to just stay heated.
Depending on where you live and how hot your willing to be depends on how you can maiming your temps. For example, I keep my thermostat at 82 (hot I know!) and keep a little energy-saving fan on myself instead (I live alone, no else suffers this lol). However, if you can't do that, you can actaully point a fan at the surface to help circulate and cool the water, and this keeps it pretty constant if need be (this is probably a better idea if you don't own that many tanks) Or, if your willing to pay for AC, keep ur heaters and stuff going on like normal, as long as the AC is running. You can also use chillers (but those are pricey) and have less light on. MinI water changes in between can also be nice for holding the heat over and reducing it if you have to (just make sure it's not too cold, a degree or two less is fine)
It is okay to unplug it if it isn't in use. The way I keep my tanks cool is by having a small clip/desk fan blowing across the top. With this method you would want to keep the heater in it so it doesn't get too cold.
I just rely on the heaters' thermostats. I have two 150W heaters in my 125 gal. If one goes haywire in the winter it won't be a problem but in the summer it may be enough to overheat the tank. Now if I had six 50W heaters...
This will be our first summer with aquariums and we don't have central air, just a portable A/C unit in the room where the fish are.
All of our heaters have thermostats so I expect them to turn off when the tanks are at the respective set temperatures.
I have a preset heater in one of the nano tanks, but it has a thermostat that is set to 77.
The bigger issue for us is going to be when the ambient temperature of the room gets higher than the ideal tank temperatures.