Aquarium Temperature Guide Part 1
This is the first part of a series on keeping your tank at the right temperature. When you decide to start keeping an aquarium the temperature of the water will determine what you can keep. This is the case whether you decide on a freshwater or marine aquarium. This is because of the way fish have adapted to their habitats very closely.
Fish are ectothermic which means that they have a body temperature that varies with the temperature of its environment.Â Water habitats that are generally stable environments and so parameters like the temperature of the water dont change significantly or particularly quickly.
As a result of this fish and other animals living in the water can and have become particularly specialized to their particular habitats and cannot live outside of certain temperature ranges. They must live in a certain temperature of water for all the chemical reactions in their bodies, like their metabolism, to function properly. If you dont provide the correct temperature for your fish they will unfortunately die.
The next type of environment is often called a cold water environment, but I would like to distinguish between this type of cold water and what is possibly a truer cold water environment. I will call the second water temperature "unheated". This is basically an unheated tank. The habitat it is mimicking is one of a temperate environment. °
This is an environment that that doesnt get frozen over but also doesnt rise too much above 20 °C. The temperature range for this type of habitat ranges from about 16 °C to 20 °C. On a cold night the water wouldnt drop to more than 14 °C and during summer wouldnt rise to more than 22 °C. Some example inhabitants are goldfish and if you live in a temperate area a Siamese fighting fish can be kept.
The true cold water environment is one like that of the northern seas or deep ocean habitats where it can be as cold as 2 °C. In specialized deep sea tanks they even need to recreate the same kinds of pressure some fish experience at great depth to keep them, but that is beyond the scope of this article. In this environment you will want to research exactly how cold you need to keep the inhabitants of your tank at. Some will prefer being kept at anything below 16 °C some below 8 °C. You will need to keep your water very cold even during summer months.