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…
Adding a chiller is a solution which gets more attractive for large systems, or those containing expensive livestock. https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/d-d-aquarium-chiller 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.
Cooling fans are rather less of an investment but can prove very effective, especially when boosting evaporative cooling. https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/d-d-ocean-breeze-cooling-fans 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.
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.
With spring well and truly in the air, pond sections are starting to buzz. Display ponds are appearing and this year we’re focusing on wildlife in many of our stores, as well as the fishes which are always the stars of the show. It’s not all about the great outdoors though, and some very exciting captive-bred marine fish are causing a stir, as well as some nicely settled tropical fishes following a busy winter season of imports.
Fishkeeper Fry 2022 has now come to a close and it has been a real joy to have been able to deliver this year’s programme, particularly having lost a year due to Covid restrictions. Our schools have produced some amazing work with the support of their fantastic teachers and we’re thrilled to see the way in which the children have engaged with the tasks and activities throughout.