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tank too hot?

i would like to share some of my experiences with keeping tanks from
cooking, in response to rick flower inquiring about too much insulation
in his tank.

i live in the top (sixth) floor of a building in brooklyn and in the
summers i sometimes have to scramble to save my fish, since i don't have
air-conditioning.  one of the things i have found out over the years is
that many fish are hardier and stronger than i thought.  most of my fish
have survived the day that hit 101 F a few years ago, and also 5 straight
days of temp. above 95, like we have sometimes.  fortunately, this year
the summer has been very mild for us in new york.

when i know it will be too hot, i unplug the lights and keep the tanks
dark.  even if kept dark for several days, most plants will do ok.  i
also keep the tanks uncovered so that the heat can dissipate (of course,
you can't do that if your fish are jumpers, but i've done it even with
silver hatchets and they don't jump out unless something scares them).  i
used to make lots of ice and dump the ice at nighttime when i got home
after work (this can drop the tank temp. about 10-15 degrees, depending
on how much ice you use) but now i just make a partial water change with
the much cooler tap water (the chlorine doesn't seem to bother my fish). 
i also keep a fan running at the tanks during the day while i'm gone.  

hope this helps.

tsuh yang chen, new york city

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