Keep it Cool
I live in Michigan. The winters are cold and the summers can get hot. When buying a saltwater tank it was common sense for me that the tan needed a heater in order to keep the temperature controlled. This only works if the temperature outside the tank is cooler than the tank water. How is the tank temperature controlled when the outside temperature is hotter than the tank temperature?
This issue never crossed my mind until last summer. My tank was doing great and the fish seemed happy. Just when I thought “I might be doing okay” it blew up in my face. One warm day I looked at my saltwater tank’s temperature and it was 83 degrees Fahrenheit. This was a few degrees warmer than normal. I jumped on the computer and started to research how to keep a tank cool and how warm is too warm. In temperatures of 83 degrees or higher the fish and Invertebrates can die. I learned many saltwater hobbyists keep their tank in a cool place or they have a chiller. A chiller is a piece of equipment for the tank that helps to keep it cool. By the time I learned how to keep the tank cool it was too late. It was painful to sit there and watch the fish suffer when there was nothing I could do to help. My tank ended up reaching 84 degrees or higher; 84 degrees was the maximum temperature on the thermometer. I lost an emerald crab. I was lucky I did not lose any other fish. Until I figured out how to get the temperature in the room down, I opened the lid on the tank and set up a fan. I thought ice would be a great idea, but floating ice in the tank can shock and kill the fish. I was not going to purchase a chiller for the tank they are around $500. I decided, for me, it is better to have air conditioning in the house or at least in the room the fish are in.
There is air conditioning in the new house. I do not have to worry about the tank getting to hot in the summer. My new tank system also has a piece of equipment called Medusa. It controls the heater and fan in the tank. When the water gets too hot the Medusa will turn the fan on. But, when the water gets too cold it will turn the heater on. This equipment will also set off an alarm if the water gets too hot or cold. For example, my tank is set at 79 degrees, if the tank gets up to 83 degrees an alarm will go off to let me know something is wrong with the tank. The Medusa can be a tank saver.
If a person has a saltwater tank, he/she should have a plan on how to keep their tank cool. I still have to deal with this issue even though I have air conditioning. I use a wood stove to heat my house in the winter. I will need to make sure I can keep the house under 80 degrees. If the house gets above 80 degrees the tank will get too hot.