Jun 30, 2021

How to Keep Your Aquarium Cool in the Heat of Summer

British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest are reporting record high temperatures this week. It's been in the 90s on the East coast of the US. Most reefers and aquarists aren't prepared for this relentless heat. Aside from buying an aquarium chiller, what can we do to help keep our aquariums cool?

1. Freeze as many water bottles as you can and float some in the tank or sump. Rotate thawed bottles with frozen bottles. Repeat.

2. Use a clip on or standing fan to blow across the top of the water in the tank or sump. You can get up to a 4 degree drop down with a fan. You'll need to top off frequently as water evaporates. 

3. Wrap the tank in insulation - layers are best. You can use blankets, cardboard, and/or Styrofoam. Secure the materials with packing tape.

4. Reverse your light cycle. Turn on the lights during the cooler night and turn them off during the heat of the day. You can throw a blanket or two over the top of the tank during the day to help insulate the tank. Monitor your pH and oxygen levels. Having a refugium with macroalgae and a small light can help increase oxygen when using a reverse light cycle. 

5. If you're in full emergency mode and just can't seem get your tank's temperature down, start unplugging the tank equipment that gives off the most heat - usually the highest wattage gadgets. Make sure to leave wavemakers or air pumps turned on in the tank and sump for proper circulation. Leave your protein skimmer on.

6. Remember your fish need MORE water circulation and oxygenation right now as the temps rise. You may want to turn off high wattage pumps, like pumps that need to battle head pressure in the sump. But should add some additional low wattage powerheads, WaveMakers, air pumps. Break the water surface with the flow. 

7. Dosing hydrogen peroxide in an aquarium can help raise oxygen levels, but can be risky if you aren't familiar with this method. Familiarize yourself with the proper dosage and warnings before using hydrogen peroxide in your aquarium. 

Can you think of any more ways to help keep your tank safe during a heat wave?