One of the most important elements of a healthy fish tank is your tank’s water temperature. Over the course of time, your tank will have many different kinds of inhabitants – all of whom live within different temperature ranges. So no matter what kind of aquarium you decide to have – knowing and maintaining your tank’s temperature is a vital ingredient for success.
Why it’s so important
This one is pretty straight-forward. Fish are poikilothermic organisms. What’s that mean? It means they’re the kind of animal that doesn’t regulate their own internal body temperature. Rather – they rely on their environment.
Poikilothermic organisms function best when they’re in an environment with a designated temperature range. When you get outside these ranges – whether it’s too hot or too cold – you tend to have problems. It can cause all sorts of issues ranging from poor growth, to respiratory issues and possibly even death.
If the temperature increases or decreases too quickly – it can hurt a fish’s immune system and raise the likelihood of it getting sick. It can spike metabolic activity and in some cases – shock the respiratory system. That’s why keeping temperature within specific parameters is so important.
So what’s the best range?
Keeping your temperature in a specific range depends on a lot of things – like where your organisms are from and what their previous environments were. That’s why it’s important to do a little digging before buying a fish.
But like we just said – it all really depends. Many species of fish can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Goldfish can live in water as cold as 40 degrees and as hot as 80 degrees. Others – have a very narrow temperature range- perhaps only a few degrees difference.
The most important thing
One of the most important things you can do when you first buy your fish is to acclimatize them to their new surroundings. It’s the process of slowly introducing the fish to their new home.
This is important because differences in not only the temperature – but the chemistry of the water can stress fish out if they’re not slowly introduced to their new home. There’s not guidebook to this either – but how long it takes to introduce a fish to their new tank depends on the fish itself and their sensitivity to environmental changes.
Doing this simply involves letting your aquarium bag float in your aquarium with the fish inside it. This helps the water in the bag slowly match that of the environment around it. You can use things like digital thermometers to check the temperature of both and ensure that there’s no sudden spikes in the process. Like we said – there’s no definitive way to do this – but most fish take anywhere from 15-60 minutes to get used to their new home.
Managing the temperature of your aquarium is one of the most important things you’ll do as an aquarium owner. If you’d like to learn more about how to maintain your tank’s temperature give us a call today and we can offer you a free consultation. Good luck!