It might be hard to imagine as we wait for the return of the summer barbeque weather, but this time of year can often bring problems as temperatures exceed the healthy range of our tropical pets. There are a few techniques that can prove useful when we get too much of a good thing…

aquarium in room

Adding a chiller is a solution which gets more attractive for large systems, or those containing expensive livestock. There’s no denying that it’s an investment but it will buy you peace of mind for years to come. For peak efficiency, site your chiller somewhere well ventilated.

aquarium chiller

Cooling fans are rather less of an investment but can prove very effective, especially when boosting evaporative cooling. As these units work best over an open-topped aquarium, make sure that provision is made to prevent fishes from jumping and keep an eye on salinity if using this technique on a marine tank.

dd ocean breeze cooling fan

At the other end of the scale, floating sealed plastic bottles of water is effective and these can be easily replaced and rotated as they thaw. Removing the aquarium cover to take advantage of lower night temperatures is also effective but as above, make sure that your fishes can’t jump out. If you’re running an external filter, consider placing it in a bucket of cold water. It’s tempting to unplug aquarium heating during warm spells but be aware that forgetting to restore power can lead to new problems if temperatures drop unexpectedly. As the thermostat will turn the heating off until it’s needed, it’s safer to leave these units running.

Freshwater fishes are generally hardy and adaptable but can suffer from low oxygen levels or increased appetite due to high metabolic rates at their upper-temperature limits. For some systems, adding an airstone may be essential and extra feeding, supported by increased water changes, will often be needed to keep your pets in peak condition.