Hot Summer weather can get the best of any of us, including our aquarium fish. Here are a few tips to help your finned friends through the season:
- Don’t panic! Fish are far more likely to survive high temperatures than a drastic change in environment. Unless fish show signs of great distress, any adjustments should be made gradually.
- Maintain vigorous aeration and filtration. Warmer water holds less oxygen, so the primary danger in overheated aquariums is suffocation.
- Feed sparingly. Even though warmer water will increase your fishes’ appetites, waste and uneaten food further reduce the water’s ability to hold oxygen.
- Don’t crowd the aquarium. The fewer fish, the more oxygen available per fish.
- Leave lights off during the hottest parts of the day. Lights are an additional heat source.
- Open aquarium cover to Open aquarium cover to release heat. Evaporation cools; aiming a fan at the open aquarium will help as well. (Keep an eye out for fish jumping while tank is uncovered.)
- Check your heater. If the pilot light is on when the tank is already too warm, unplug the heater and repair or replace it. In Spring and Autumn, it may actually be best to set the heater a bit higher, to avoid huge differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
- Add cool water or ice only in emergencies (for example, fish are turning pale or gasping for air), and only in small, but frequent portions. Remember: change temperature gradually.