Why Aren't Temperate Tanks More Popular?

  1. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Just wondering if I'm missing something. There seem to be hardly any threads / info on Fishlore about keeping temperate (cold water? Not sure of the right terminology, I mean tanks without a heater) tanks. I really like variatus platies and white cloud mountain minnows so was thinking of doing a big tank with these (when I eventually get my dream big tank!) but am wary about the lack of information / interest. Is it just because there is less variety, less colour, or is there something else?

    (I live in the coldish UK if that makes a difference)

    Or maybe I've just missed a whole section of the forum...
  2. 2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    I think because of the limited fish you can have. For most fish, anything close to room temperature is pushing the cooler side for them. But I have a limited selection from my pet store.

    I have a "cold water tank" (spend anytime cleaning that thing and my fingers freeze) that sits at 72-73ish and I have dojo's and a big goldfish. The BN pleco I'meeping an eye on because it is a little on the cooler side but so far he's still active and moving around a lot.

    But I also have a tank set at 80 so that when I need to thaw my fingers from cleaning the cold tank I have a *nice* warm tank to play in. :D

  3. KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member


    I dont think they're unpopular, it's just I think its harder to achieve for some. For example, I live in California and it would literally be impossible for me to keep temperate species or coldwater species during the summer (where I've accidentally had tanks go up to 90 degrees in the really hot weeks) without me either spending a fortune on AC or a chiller/s. Luckily for you, you live in a much more suitable climate.

    So, I don't think its not like nobody know how to keep temperate species, its just a bit more difficult for most of us to do :)
  4. Jerry Miao Initiate Member

    I think warm tanks are better because you won't have to worry too much if it is summer.

  5. TwoHedWlf Well Known Member Member

    Well, there are goldfish, they're probably the most commonly kept fish of all

    But for others, lot of reasons, major ones I'd say are that they're usually kept inside where they may require a chiller to be kept at a proper temp. Chillers are a lot more expensive than a heater.
    Second, coldwater fish tend to be a lot duller than tropicals, but not always.

    If I lost the contents of my current tank somehow I'd probably switch to a coldwater native tank. Then try to get some redfin bullies.

    URL https://photos.smugmug.com/New-Zealand-Freshwater-Fish/New-Zealand-Freshwater-Fish/i-Twdfzd3/6/7e13be27/L/a redfin bully_11106v-L.jpg
  6. 2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    Don't remember who said it but they had to deal with cooking their fish with the heater on at night because they turned the AC off, then freezing their fish cause the heater was off when the AC got turned back on in the morning. :) they lived somewhere hot like California. I'm Canada so I don't have to worry about it getting THAT hot. :)

    OOOOH where can I find that beauty??
  7. grantm91 Fishlore VIP Member

    The uk would be great for a temperate tank, you would still need a heater just to be safe in the really cold months. I think your average joe just wants to say "i keep tropical fish" but your right theres not much floating around about temperate, pets at home have a temperate section.
  8. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Thanks very much everyone! That all makes perfect sense. I forget that not everyone lives in grey drizzly rain all year round ;)
  9. RyleighJ Member Member

    I agree that it's probably because there aren't a lot of common coldwater fish in the hobby. Goldfish, dojo loaches, and WCMMs are the only ones that come to mind. I'm sure there are loads more (nearly all the river fish in North America, for example) but they aren't kept by many.

  10. RyanLewis Member Member

    I love me some darters
  11. NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    It almost seems like every few years, we add a degree to what fish need. It's bizarre. Most of our fish are kept way too warm. And yes, if you are in a tropical region, they are already too warm in many cases.

    There is a wonderful, outdated but brilliant 1950s aquarium book called Exotic Aquarium Fishes, by William T Innes. It is all over the second hand trade, as it was the bible of aquarists in North America til the late 1970s. Beyond the excellent writing, earlier editions (there were many) are a catalogue of fishes for the unheated tank - they didn't have heaters. Sure, names have changed, technology is different - but the species are interesting to peruse.

    Unheated tanks, in my Canadian home that can be 18-19 in winter: swordtails, platys, variatus, wild mollies, danios, killifish, many Cichlids, rainbows, , all Argentine, Southern African, Northern Mexican, southern US, many Asian fish - the list is huge.
    Find out where your fish is from, and then check some weather sites for annual averages.

    It is eye opening.
  12. TwoHedWlf Well Known Member Member

    You can't. It's a New Zealand native, from the description of the photo that particular one was from near Dunedin, NZ.

  13. KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member

    DARN CANADIANS with all your snow and trees and maple syrup! (feel free to stereotype me lol...its only fair) :p. That day when the tanks went to 90/92, I came back from work and my shrimp were pink/dead; California heat literally cooked them alive and now I don't want to own anymore shrimps *cry face*.

    But tbh, the struggle is REAL during winter...its like freezing in the morning and at night, but during the day, I literally walk around in flip flops and shorts. I don't even live near the coast like San Francisco...I live in the valley where heat just toilet bowls all day and laughs at you while you sweat haha
  14. 2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    That's Canada right there. It went from +30C to -20c in a week and within 2 weeks from that we were having straight -30 days and 2 feet of snow. I think I can proudly say with a whimper that Manitoba has the widest temperature range (I think) on the planet. Not many places can jump 80c degrees between 6 months.

    Aka I'll be buying a small heater for my tank. I like it toasty but I'm gonna cook my downstairs neighbors.

    Awwww... all our native fish get 4 feet long...
  15. KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    A lot of us have them. I have one. (You don't hear about it because there are never any problems)
  16. FishFish221 Well Known Member Member

    Does California not have trees?:emoji_deciduous_tree: Oh and maple syrup is really $expensive$ where I live.

    I'm already kind of struggling to keep my platy/black skirt tetra tank under 24 c and its not even the hottest part of summer now:mad:, there's still early August where it gets to somewhere near 28 c indoors (with AC). Temperate tanks are not "not popular" right now, but in some places, its just impossible/really hard to keep the temperature correct.
  17. KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member

    Haha...I'm in the city (not LA lol...something less interesting and more notorious...10 points to who can guess :p) so we have trees, but less interesting ones...my university has some nice redwoods, but that's about it. And because of the nasty dry heat/drought combo, a lot of our trees dried out and fell. And maple syrup is expensive everywhere unfortunately...kinda is disappointing because I really like it :emoji_joy:
  18. grantm91 Fishlore VIP Member

    @NavigatorBlack 921f9a8b35299a4e8fa1a609f2f17e65.jpg a356bdc610a2006fb571ca6853249349.jpg there is my bible lol, its from the 70's and its easier to find certain info inside it than to do a google search on some species, its a priceless thing.
  19. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    I would also say, that especially with beginners, they don't really know there is a difference in tank temperatures. You see it all the time here in the forum. Fish being kept at the wrong temperatures. They just assume all fish are kept at 78 degrees. Or something like that. Not a whole lot of planning to start out with.

    At least that is how I started. It has been a couple years now, but my first tank didn't have a heater at all, and I kept danios. Then once I figured out they needed a heater, the cheap one didn't let me adjust it. So it was set to 78. I think you see the cooler water fish more so with more experienced fish keepers for this reason.
  20. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Ah is that generally true? That there are less problems with temperate tanks? If so this would be a huge bonus!
  21. KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    Wouldn't that be nice. lol
    I guess to a lesser extent that could be true. Bacteria and fungus prefer warmer water but that does not mean you won't find them in cool water. It depends upon the tank owners upkeep.

  22. KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member

    Not quite, but its a good guess!
    Hint: We made top 10 for most dangerous city! (yay...) :emoji_joy: