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Re: Unheated tanks

> Great post, Neil, I enjoyed it. BUT:
> >factor, so cut backs in appliances is considered. This can involve heaters.
> >In a home evironment, heaters are NOT generally essential for healthy fish
> >or plant tanks (The one caution are the few fish like clown loaches who are
> >sensitive to sudden swings in temperature and can succomb to ich.... this
> >has happened to me and I now try to make sure that the heaters are working
> >in my clown loach tank during the transitional month of Oct when my indoor
> >home temperature drops from 80 to 70.
> I can tell this is a Southerner speaking.<g>  My winter daytime temperature
> PEAK at 68F, and in the downstairs area drop to 55F during the night.  This
> is _not_ unusual for those of us who live in colder climates and must pay
> $$$fuel$$$ bills.  I don't know _anyone_ in New England who keeps tropical
> fish in unheated tanks outside of a heated fish room.  In fact, we had
> trouble with Robbie's fancy goldfish until we threw a heater in the tank
> set to keep the tank from dropping below 68F.

Thanks for pointing out that indoor temperatures do vary in different
parts of the US, and in fact in different parts of the world. You quoted
from the last part of my message, but earlier in the post I said "In
general heaters and maintaining constant temperature are NOT necessary,
provided that the surrounding environment is 'room temperature' and
reasonably stable. We are not talking about cold basements, except for
temperate climate fish."  I also gave the range of my room temperature
as 68-80+. This was not totally correct. This is the daytime
temperature. Even though I live in the South, I do believe in energy
conservation and therefore turn the heat down at night... so the
nighttime temps got to 64. Of course, the water temperature does not
respond nearly as quickly. 

It sounds like your temps are more like a basement, even in the south
<g>. I am surprised however, that you had trouble with the goldfish
below 68 deg F (for everyone outside the U.S., this is 20 deg C.)  Have
they been inbred that much?  

Nevertheless, I stand corrected.  

> One of the other things that we all have to keep in mind when assessing
> whether a particular method will work for us are the ENORMOUS differences
> in water chemistry and climate in various areas of North America.