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Re: Acrylic Tank -- Too much insulation?

>Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 13:10:15 -0700
>From: "Rick Flower" <Rick.Flower at trw_com>
>Subject: Acrylic Tank -- Too much insulation?
>Hi.. I've just setup (last Sunday) an Acrylic tank (50 gallon) and have
>some problems with the tank running too hot.. I got the tank all setup
>with the Tetra substrate material mixed with the gravel, lots of plants,
>and some fish to help stablize the "new" tank.. Anyway, my main
>problem right now is tank temperature.. When I setup the tank, I got
>the temperature to about 77-78 degrees, and the first night I left the
>light on for about 8 hours.. When I came down the next morning, I
>forgot to check the temperature, but did turn the light off and went to
>work.. When I got home, I looked at the temp. and it was hovering at
>about 81 degrees!  
>I was just at home a little while ago and the tank was still at 80 deg.
>The only things running are a Fluval 403 (w/o activated charcoal)
>and a powerhead.  Unfortunately, I've had to put to rest one of the
>fish in the tank (molly -- suggested as good by our LFS)  -- too 
>much heat?  Fish heat-stroke?

Rick, you've done a few things that should help.  Are your lights on
timers?  If not, you'll need to put them on timers so your plants get a
consistent amount of light.

Acrylic tanks do retain heat better than glass tanks.  You mentioned
another big heat source in your tank too.  Your powerhead continuously puts
as many watts of heat into your tank as its wattage rating.  It basically
works as an always-on heater.  If it's a 50W powerhead, it's a 50W heater.

You mentioned a high temperature of 81 degrees.  That's not high.  Many
fish can easily tolerate temperatures higher than that as long as they have
the right water conditions.  Mollies live along the southern coast of the
U.S. in estuarine waters that sometimes reach temperatures higher than
that.  You didn't mention if you have a sailfin molly or another species,
but if it's a sailfin, it's a brackish water fish and needs a certain
amount of salinity/hardness to survive.  Other species of molly also prefer
hard water, but not to the degree that sailfins do.

What plants are you keeping?

David W. Webb
Live-Foods Digest administrator
live-foods at actwin_com