July of 2021 I wrote “How to Care for your Small Aquarium in Hot Weather“. So I decided to provide some updated and additional information here for your small freshwater aquarium summer care.
Aquarium Temperature Gauge
If you have air conditioning, of course, this might not apply to you so much. In any case, you still will need a temperature gauge for your tank. The ones I prefer sit on the inside glass with a magnet attaching the gauge from the outside. I believe I found these on Amazon during Covid. The other types I have found at pet stores seem difficult to read.
I don’t find the type I prefer on Amazon at present but they do a digital thermometer now.
As stated in my previous post, smaller fish, my Dwarf African frogs, and my Nerite Snail prefer the water temperature between72 and 78 degrees. A good tip for hot weather care for your aquarium if you are having a heat wave with no air conditioning is to check and, most likely, turn off your tank heater. The water stays only about 4 degrees cooler than your room temperature.
There are many heater brands and types available through your local pet store and online. Penn Plax and Aqueon make quite a few.
Another thing I do when the heat soars outside, I freeze small containers of water to float in the aquarium. Do not use ice cubes. They are not treated for your swimming friends and will poison them. That is, actually, how I lost my first Betta fish. I inadvertently added some cool untreated water to her small tank.
Of course if you live with air conditioning you probably want to continue using your heater. Unless one stops working or malfunctions, I make a practice of replacing my aquarium heater and filter every year for proper fish tank maintenance.
Check out my post: “No Power? Me and My Aquarium Critters“.
Changing your aquarium water will also help to cool your tank critters. I change about a third of my guys’ water weekly. If you cannot do that, do it at minimum every two weeks. It only takes me an hour or maybe a bit more weekly to change and clean their tank. That includes readjusting their heater if it is on, and cleaning out and reapplying their filter.
There are different cleaning methods you can find at your local pet store. What works best for me is a turkey baster to ‘slurp’ up debris. I am just very careful to know where my guys are in the tank when cleaning.
Another important note I was made aware of is cleaning off any utensils used for cleaning with hot water. And that should be done before and after cleaning, including any bowls used to hold tank water. Soap is a definite NO NO.
I use a stainless steel bowl which was recommended by a fish specialist. Nasty critters can easily attach themselves to plastic or more porous materials. Also it is a good and safe practice to always wash your hands before and after cleaning your aquarium.
The filter is also helpful in keeping your swimming buds cool. So do remember to clean it thoroughly . The kind I prefer is Penn Plax Cascade 170 for my five-gallon tank. They have been producing pet products out of New York since the 1950’s. And, their filter I am using is good for tanks up to 10 gallons. Also, It is available at most pet stores and online.
Always remember to safeguard your small friends by treating their water with water conditioners. In addition I use a small bit of aquarium salt for my fellows. The pet stores have a few brands of conditioner available with directions on usage. You can try API or Marineland brands for USA-made products.
Even if you just add a small amount of water, still be sure to treat it as needed. And that is another possible way to help cool your swimming buds in very hot weather. You can add some cooler water to top off their tank. Just remember to treat that water before adding it.
If you are without air, I suggest removing your aquarium cover, even at night, during very hot summer months. Otherwise, definitely use your cover. Normally I use a wraparound cloth just for nighttime for my aquarium critters to keep out light and drafts.
There are lots of great decorative objects you can find now for your aquarium. Zilla has a few and your local pet store has quite a number to collect and make your fish tank a showpiece.
Floating plastic type ‘shrubs’ are available too as are silk plants and small bridges, or logs. These are great for your swimmers to enjoy swimming through or under or into. My frogs like to lie on top or amongst the leaves of the floating ‘shrubs’.
I use Catappa leaves every week when I do a water change. For my tank I usually throw in five small leaves. These leaves are helpful in keeping any nasty water creatures at bay. My frogs do like to hide or sleep under them too.
That will wrap up my information for this post. Let me know if you have any questions through ‘comments’ or our “Contact” page –
Pet Food Recalls
Please read recall notice info for your pet’s food at the FDA.org site or subscribe to the notices from DogFoodAdvisor.com. They happen too often, so do alert yourself.
We’re so glad to have you stop by this week. Keep coming back every week and do let your friends and family know about Pet Viewpoint if they might be animal lovers. Remember to click on our “Subscribe” button so you do not miss some important pet facts and fun stories. To locate it just go to the very bottom of this page.