Finally it looks as though we can start to enjoy a little nice weather (yes we know we live in the UK and it’s probably raining when you are reading this!) It’s important to remember your aquatic friends when the temperatures start to pick up, fluctuations in your aquariums temperature can cause catastrophic effects.
Let’s start with a misunderstanding “an increase in temperature can kill your fish”. Most tropical fish are able to live quite comfortably in raised temperatures for a few months at a time, it’s not the direct heat that causes the issues, it’s the side effects the increase in temperatures bring with them.
An increase in temperature will bring about a decrease in your aquariums oxygen content, if you have algae issues or a build up of organic materials this process can be exasperated, so it’s important that in warmer weather your aquarium is well aerated, breaking the surface of the water with a power head is a great way to promote gaseous exchange, moving the harmful gasses and replenishing your oxygen levels.
During the warmer months a fishes metabolism will increase and increased feeding may be required, this means that they will be producing more waste and adding to the build up of organic materials that contribute to the depleted oxygen levels.
The real dangers with a tank that has had a dramatic increase in temperature is when the conditions return to normal, if this process happens too quickly then this can cause stress to your fish increasing the risk of infection outbreak. If your aquarium does suffer a dramatic rise in temperatures, it is better to maintain these temperatures and reduce them gradually (no more than 1 degree every 2 days) Do not be tempted to switch of your aquarium heater(s), it’s far to easy to forget to switch them back on again, and night time temperatures may still fall below your regular temperatures.