View Full Version : Gradual, low-tech tank cool-down -- your opinions, please

10-24-2010, 11:21 PM
I saw a couple of my coldwater fish struggling to breath, and had done a forty-percent water change and gravel vacuuming only three days ago. The pump was working fine, and the Venturi bubbler was spitting out bubbles like there was no tomorrow. Couldn't figure it out.

THEN --- I decided to do another small water change, and when I felt that tank water, it was like a sauna! Must have been 80+ degrees! No wonder some fish were struggling. Oxygen is thinner in warm water!

SO -- I did the water change and gradually added colder water to the existing water to cool it down, overall. Then, I got a single ice cube from the icemaker of our frig and dropped it into the tank, where it floated for several minutes, gradually melting. Finally, I hooked up the electric fan and aimed it toward the end wall of the tank, dialing it to the low setting.

I probably run the risk of ich, but being that I kept the cool-down gradual instead of suddenly or drastically chilling the water, it shouldn't be a problem.

Now, my fish are much more active and obviously breathing much more easily.

I would like your feedback on this low-tech method of cooling things down ... Has anyone here ever done it this way?

-- mermaidwannabe

10-24-2010, 11:28 PM
it will obviously work as it did for you.Keep in mind that the ice cubes have not been water treated for chlorine if they are not ground water.What type fish are they?Nevermind,I just looked at your profile.They truly should not have had such issues in water only 80 deg.Goldys handle that temp just fine long term as they are not really a coldwater fish.You have other issues causing problems,though I dont know what that may be.One more thing,is this chinese hi fin you have the chinese high fin shark?

10-24-2010, 11:33 PM
80+ isn't that bad. My tanks are usually around 81-82. 86+ is pretty hot though. For me I turn on the ceiling fan or open the window if the tanks get too hot.

10-24-2010, 11:58 PM
I don't know the exact temperature of the water, it felt really warm, like a heated swimming pool, even warmer. It could have been a good 86 or so. Fish do seem more comfortable, now.

I need to invest in a thermometer. Next trip to the LFS, I'm getting one.

The Chinese Hi-Fin "Sharks" (it really isn't a shark) are only two inches long right now. I know they get big -- very big -- but they also grow very slowly. When they reach a point where they're about to outgrow the tank, I will rehome them at that time, and plan to eventually donate them to a public aquarium. I got the second one because my research indicated they like company of their own kind.

Plans are to eventually construct, or have constructed for me, a very large and deep fish pond on our property. At that time, the hi-fins will be rehomed, along with the goldfish. This will hopefully be big enough and deep enough that solid freezing in the winter won't be an issue. I will also try to have electrical power run to it so if need be, I can hook up a pond heater. That's quite awhile in the future, though.

I have removed the goldfish, and they are set up in their winter digs in our pole shop. The only fish in my 20-gallon-high right now are minnows and danios, a dojo, and the two hi-fins. There are also snails.

We have well water, here, so no chlorine. Nonetheless, I still use a water conditioner whenever I do a water change.

-- mermaidwannabe

10-25-2010, 12:05 AM
All that sounds great!The water conditioner is serving no purpose though.

10-25-2010, 12:35 AM
In this case, the water conditioner isn't being used to remove chlorine -- there's none to remove. Our well water is on the hard side and tends to leave mineral deposits if not wiped up right away. I can only imagine what that could be doing to the fishes' protective slime coating. The purpose for which I use the water conditioner is to help repair their slime coats, which it is also designed to do. I don't use the full label dosage, as I believe that minimal use of chemicals in the water is best. If I had chlorine, it would be different. I would use the entire amount recommended. As it is, I only use about half what they say to, and I really think that's sufficient. I stir the water well when I apply it.

-- mermaidwannabe

10-25-2010, 12:42 AM
Just fyi.The hardness of the water is only multiplying in your tank.No amount of water conditioner does anythng to offset whatever affect the hardness has which is not a problem to there slimecoat at all.I too am not a chem user so Im just tryn to save you an expense that has no real use for your application.

10-25-2010, 01:09 AM
Thanks, Smaug. Looks like I need to research this a bit ... Of course the gal at the LFS said I should use the conditioner regardless, but then, her job is to sell products. Come to think of it, the goldies lived in their outdoor pond all summer long without any water conditioner, and they thrived. So, maybe it is totally unnecessary unless one has chlorine.

-- mermaid