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Thread: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

  1. #1
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    Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

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    Hi guys,

    I just recently setup a planted tank more than 2 months ago and i'm concerned about the constant high water temperature (sometimes it's 31C on a really hot day) as typical in Singapore.
    Based on what I found out, typically plants prefer something around 20-28C. One way to solve this issue is to install a chiller but that's not possible for me due to cost (those equipments are even more expensive than some refrigerators!). For those who like me does not use a chiller, how do you guys deal with hotter temperatures?

    So far most of the plants I keep have yet to show any signs of decay or deterioration due to high water temperatures but who knows as I've only been running it for 2 months.
    Below are the list of plants I keep and how they do in my tank:

    Elodea
    - melted within days, new stems kept growing but old ones melt like butter.
    - from what i gathered this is a very hardy plant but demands cold water (20-24C) so i'm guessing high temperature killed it

    Green Ambulia
    - grows like crazy. reached the top of the tank in less than a week.
    - I don't see any issue with this with respect to water temperature

    Althernanthera Reinikki
    - Slow grower but grew nicely. older leaves turn yellow and holes appeared starting on 8th week. could be nutrient deficiency so i started dosing fertilizers (seachem flourish N, K, Excel, FE and flourish once a week based on recommended dosage)
    - I'm not sure if high water temperature contributed to the decay of older leaves but if this issue stops after a couple of weeks of dosing fertilizers, then i will conclude that temperature has nothing to do with it.

    Bacopa
    - slow grower but very beautiful and strong stem. started noticing new leaves getting "veiny" during 8th week as well so I hope this is caused by nutrient deficiency and will be solved with fertilizers.
    - again, as with the reinikki, temperature may have nothing to do with the veiny new leaves

    Pearlweed
    - grow fast but older (bottom) stems/leaves turn yellow. could be nutrient deficiency as well and be fixed by fertilizers in time?

    Monte carlo
    - slowly carpenting and minding its own business. no issue on this plant and it even starts to propagate in shady area of the tank.

    Rotala indica, dwarf pennywort, water wysteria
    - fast grower and need to trim often. no issue here as well


    My tank spec
    - 65L (2f) tank
    - CO2 injected (another issue I have is the ability to measure how much CO2 I am injecting in the tank)
    - EHEIM 2028 canister filter
    - 2x24W T5 HO light (Aquazonic)
    - Fertilizer (Seachem flourish, Excel, Iron, Potassium, Nitrogen)
    - gex plant aqua soil

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

    Allan, have you considered installing a fan to bring the temperature down? The downside is that water will be evaporated considerably and you will be topping up your tank water more.

    Another tip that I can offer is that you should try to run as much equipment as you can externally but I can see that you are already doing that.

    You can also consider to run LED lights as they do generate lesser heat. I think.

    As for your CO2 measurement ability, you can get a CO2 drop checker to measure it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

    If budget is your concern, you can try a fan. I'm using a gex(M) fan for my 2ft. I manage to keep the temperature between 27-28. Plants and livestock doing good.

    Alternatively, just leave it and get plants that have adapt to the tropical temperatures. i.e you can save money on equipment, but you will have a more limited choice of plants to play with.

    co2 can be measured using testing kits (I believe sera has one), or using a co2 indicator (glassware and solution sold separately). For this, there are quite a few versions in the market, cheap to expensive.

  4. #4
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    Re: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

    You can consider two methods:

    1) installing a strong ac fan like ans 3000 fan. Pro: cheap. get the required cooling power of 2 or 3 degree. Con: need to top up water very regularly, powerful fans are very noisy.

    2) Buy a thermo chiller those which uses peltier chip for cooling. Pro:cheaper then true chiller around 150 ++, good if you are keeping shrimps that dont take well to too many water topup, very little evaporation. Cons: may not get very low temperature since it depends on your ambient temperature.

    At the moment I am doing using both methods. For number 2 it works best if you can help the chiller by placing some ice made of distill water. It can hold the temperature better with such help, can achieve 26 degrees and hold it there if you are lucky.
    Last edited by qool; 20th Oct 2014 at 08:41.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

    Hi guys,

    thanks for the advise!
    Based on your feedback, a fan is the best and most economic solution with temperature issue.


    By the way I forgot to mention 2 new plants I added in the tank last week - staurogyne repens and dwarf pennywort. These are stunningly beautiful plants!
    At the moment I notice the existing leaves are melting away but they are growing new plants. Staurogyne repens melt the worst but upon checking I noticed significant amount of thick roots growing and digging into the soil so that I believe is some good news there.
    The same goes for the dwarf pennywort. Existing leaves prior to planting it have withered away but lots of new stems/leaves have grown. I started pruning a few stems and replanting them yesterday.

    I will continue to observe these plants' progress and see if getting the temperature down to below 30C at consistent rate will help get them healthier.

    Again, many thanks to all the advise!

  6. #6
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    Re: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

    Hi, Co2 requires a lower temperature to dissolve readily in water like oxygen, i was running my Nano tank without any chiller for a time being. Plants will normally melt under new tank syndrome when they have trouble adapting to the tank's environment. Around a week or so the plants will melt but it happens after that, it might be other parameters that have issues. Yellowing of the leafs would mainly be the cause of nutrient deficiency like irons or other trace elements. Is there a constant algae build up on your tank? Are the growths stagnant? Are the plants pearling? What i did with my tank with high temperatures is that i froze some ice in plastic containers, apply them only during the lighting period. I lowered down the temperature of my tank from 29-30 to around 24 before i start injecting CO2. I would like you to observe that when the water's temperature is high, what usually happens is that the injected CO2 moves at a high speed towards the surface regardless of the filter flow. If you are able to lower your water's temperature, observe that the CO2 bubbles becomes slow flowing and does not escape quickly to the surface after being diffused. After the lighting period i allow my tank temperature to go back to 29-30. The temperature fluctuations has not affected my plants. But livestock i may not be so sure. Please provide more info as i cant tell if your plants are thriving or they are stunned. For carpeting grass, is there any signs of melting or tiny leafs? if the monte carlo has tiny new leafs they lack CO2. If the bottom stem grows yellow or wilts, its nutrient deficiency. I use Flourish Trace for the problem. Probably check for signs of algae build up, that can be used to determine if your plants are really thriving or not. That is all i can say for now, let me know again about your tank's progress, cheers!
    My tank's spec is ADA garden 30x18x24.
    Lighting: Twinstar 300C
    Filter flow rate: 60L/h
    Plants: Monte Carlo, Althernanthera Reinikki, hemianthus micranthemoides, cryptocoryne wendtii and rotala rotundifolia green,
    Nutrient: Tropica Specialised Nutrition (green), Flourish Trace SeaChem
    Soil: Tropica powder sand
    Substrate: ADA power sand Basic

  7. #7
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    Re: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

    Elodea confirm prefer cooler waters. I suggest you sub with another plant species.
    Plant growth accelerate at such temp based on my personal experience and thus will consume nutrients faster provided other conditions like light and CO2 is not limited.
    So, with higher temp, ample light and excess CO2, the limiting factor are nutrients, the lack of it.

    But everything will have a limit though in terms of temp.

  8. #8
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    Re: Dealing with water temp at 30C or higher

    Buy a chiller only if you intent to keep cooler water plants and fauna.

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