Broken fish tank heater---- emergency!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by MonkeyZero, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. MonkeyZero

    MonkeyZero Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Right when i get new ghost shrimp, my filter breaks...
    There was a crack in it and the temp wasnt moving up or down on the dial.
    I have some guppies and fry, neons and ghost shrimp
    However, i cant get a new heater for 2-3 days. Will the fish be fine?
  2. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Whats the temp of the room you have the tank in?
    Is it possible to have the house temperature set so it doesent drop below 75? Also, try to protect the tank itself from drafts and sudden temperature changes. How big is he tank? The greater the volume of water, the more time it takes the temperature to move up and down and better for the fish.
  3. MonkeyZero

    MonkeyZero Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    The tank is a ten gallon
    The room stays about 70 ish give or take 5 degrees.
    the water is at 79 atm
  4. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    i had/have about 6 fish tanks with guppies,amazno shrimp,goldfish and catfish im in the basement and i dont have heaters in ANY of my tanks fish are so i wouldnt worry about it too much if they begin sitting along the bottom looking sluggish you could take a gallon or two out and replace it with really hot water to bring the tank temps up
  5. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Fish kept for a certain length of time under certain conditions, adapt to those conditions. Meaning your fish, raised in and used to 78 degree water are going to require water as close to 78 degrees as you can make it. Adding hot water to a tank is going to do two things, both of which are bad... it's going to shock the fish when the temperature suddenly changes, stressing them out. And it's going to keep the tank fluctuating between hot and cold, when the water starts to cool off... stressing your fish more. Not to mention that tropical fish like guppies, ect, require tropical temperatures.
    Since your tank is only a 10 gallon tank... thats not a lot of water volume to act as a 'buffer'. Is the room at 70 because of air conditioning.. or is it due to outside temperatures? If its the ac.. ask if its ok to raise it to 75 at least until you get a new heater. Since the tank is still at 78 right now.. my only, somewhat silly, idea is, you could try to buffer the tank a little.. which will only help in reducing drafts that get to it.. by siding it with styrofoam.. but it wont help much.
    Other than those things.. don't do anything drastic... if you have another tank you could move your more expensive fish or the babies to, then I would do that.. and in the problem tank.. add in some stress coat if you have it.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  6. MonkeyZero

    MonkeyZero Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Well I have a 50 gallon heater with a 50 gal tank(quarentine)
    I could add in the fish, however, i have feeder goldies i rescued and they have ich(treating with heat and salt .01 %salt
    can i move them in there and but the goldies in a large breeder net?
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Let the water cool off slowly, as it will. Don't feed them because their metabolism will slow down as their body temp drops. They will be OK if your house is at normal room temperatures. When we had 2 week power outages during the ice storm there wasn't much I could do for was about 50 *F in my room I'd guess. They survived and lived, dang, like 9-10 more years after that.
    Don't do anything to change the temp suddenly, just let it cool at it's natural rate and re-warm it slowly when you can. I think moving them would be more stressful, especially with the ich problem
  8. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    No, no, don't do that. You don't want your healthy fish getting ich.
    Do you have an aquarium thermometer? What I would do.. take the 50 gallon heater.. sterilize it well.. and put it in the 10 gal. Set it on a much lower setting than you want..perhaps to 72 or so.. and monitor it carefully with the thermometer. After a few hours, if the temp isen't high enough.. just start inching it up.. If it gets too hot lower it a bit more. And keep a good eye on it, so it doesen't cook your fish.
  9. MonkeyZero

    MonkeyZero Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Very Smart Squishy! [​IMG]
    I shall do that

    But now what about the goldies?
    Im afraid the ich might get the best of them... [​IMG]
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    79F is a bit high for even a tropical tank. Unless you have temperature stabilization issues (I had a tank in a room that could range from 50-90F in 24hrs so I put in double the usual heating set at 85F) there's no need to keep it that warm. It only leads to problems like this when something happens. A standard 76F tank would have allowed the fish to adjust down near 70F just fine but a possible 10F difference is a little extreme. Most tropical fish can handle down to 68F if adjusted slowly to that temp but you don't want the temp set much if at all lower than the highest temp the room gets to or you will get temp swings that cause stress and ich. If you can't find a suitable heater then wrap the tank in blankets to slow the heat loss so the fish can adjust to the change as well as preventing temp swings if the room temp changes and don't feed them. I would not use a 55g heater unless it was one with a thermostat that registers temperature which means it should have numbers on it not just a range. You can also fill empty bottled water containers with hot water and float them in the tank. The opposite is done to cool tanks for coldwater fish. Do not pour hot or cold water directly in to a tank and do not try to maintain 79F. It will prove too difficult if the room is 70-75F. I'd aim for 75F.

    Goldfish should not be treated with heat and heat does not kill ich until something like 95F which the clown loach is about the only fish that survives those temps. Anything below that just speeds up it's lifespan so the meds can kill it faster since it can only be killed when it is not attached to the fish. Goldfish are cold water fish and the stress from increased heat will only cause their immune system to fail at getting rid of the ich. It's preferable that the temperature does not go above 72-75F for goldfish but that's usually not possible in summer. To get rid of ich water changes are the most important thing. Suck up all the loose ich parasites and give the fish fresh water to improve their health so they can fight it. With a healthy tank and fish that are not carrying other illnesses this is usually all it takes. I only ever treated my first ich outbreak (from the tank in the room with huge temp variations) and after that I learned to just keep the fish happy and it would go away on it's own. Healthy fish in a healthy tank do not suffer ich. Salt is marginally helpful but it does no harm if you have a species that tolerates salt well. Ich meds work great but will kill plants and can have negative impact on the health of the tank possibly sending it in to a mini cycle. Then you have to watch for ammonia and nitrites and do more water changes until the tank establishes itself again. When I used ich meds after treatment was over I switched the biowheel part of my marineland filters between my 29 and 55gallon to avoid that problem.

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