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Help water too hot!!!
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Aquageek
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Joined: 06 Apr 2003
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.27(Sat)20:38    Post subject: Help water too hot!!! Reply with quote

I have a forty five gallon tank in my living room which houses a single juvenile oscar (until he gets bigger). Tonight, I noticed that the glass of the tank was hotter than usual when I was feeding my fish. I checked the thermometer sticker on the side (which registers temps up to 30 C or 86 F) and there isn't even a color bar to indicate what temperature it's at. To make sure it just wasn't me, I checked the water of another tank I have which is about 26 C or 79 F and there was a very noticeable difference between the two. I then unplugged the heater. So now, I don't know what is worse. The water being hot or getting the temperature down? I don't want to chill my fish, but I don't want it to die due to the heat. Oh and it's almost 11 pm so no store is open for me to get another heater right away. Can anyone tell me how to best handle this crisis?
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Angela G.
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Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Location: Florida

PostPosted: 2007.01.27(Sat)20:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could tell you more but I don't have a lot of experience with heater malfunctions. If the fish doesn't appear to be obviously stressed I'd just try to get some more water movement to make more surface area so the water will cool down a little bit faster. Just don't try to lower the temperature of the water too quickly or you can put your fish into shock.

P.S.
I don't think it'll be a problem if you can't get a new heater until tomorrow. It's going to take your tank a while to cool down by the sounds of it.
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Aquageek
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Joined: 06 Apr 2003
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.27(Sat)20:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well right now, I have the output hose of the filter really close to the surface so there is a lot of water movement and aeration (It was like that before the heater went crazy on me) . I also opened the lid over the tank to let some of the heat escape. When I opened it, the air that hit my face was really warm. I'm keeping an eye on my oscar though. I'm scared he might jump out. But for now, he looks fine.
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ceci9293
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Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2007.01.27(Sat)21:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how hot the water is or hot it will get with that heater malfunctioning... it's never happened to me before but turning it off is what I would have done. If your house isn't too cold inside I think your fish will be okay if you get to the store and buy another heater asap tomorrow.

The size of your tank considered, the water should change temperature slowly enough not to shock the oscar into immediate damage. It would be a scarier story for him if it were a little 5 or 10 gallon tank. Try not to worry too much. When you put the new heater on, raise the temperature slowly on it to get the tank back up to its usual temperature over several hours, no more than a Celsius degree every hour or two.

Good luck!
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Aquageek
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Joined: 06 Apr 2003
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.27(Sat)21:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

The heaters are unplugged and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the temperature doesn't go down to quickly. My oscar is looking a bit odd right now. He's on the very bottom, tilting slightly to one side. Now and then, he moves around a bit but then goes back to the bottom.
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hedgelj
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Joined: 02 May 2006
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: 2007.01.27(Sat)21:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have an airstone I would put one in with the oscar. The warmer the water is the less dissolved oxygen it can hold. When you go to the store tomorrow you may want to get two smaller heaters instead of just one. That way if one malfunctions again hopefully it isn't strong enough to heat the tank too high. Seems to be about one watt per liter as the recommended strength of heaters in this forum.

Your tank should be fine as long as the room it is in doesn't get too cold at night. Its large enough that the temperature should slowly go down, try to keep an eye on it nonetheless. Good luck.
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Shai
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, AB

PostPosted: 2007.01.27(Sat)23:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where in Canada are you located? I live in Calgary and know from the weather forecast that much of the country is quite cold at night right now. If you have an older house that gets quite cool (like mine does) you might want to consider leaving the heater plugged in but turned down to its lowest setting. I recently left one of my heaters unplugged by accident after a water change and the next morning the tank temperature was only 13C. (Nobody died, thankfully.)

If you do leave it plugged in, you can try to offset the higher temp by floating one or two pop bottles full of cold/frozen water in the tank. I do this in the summer and it helps.

However, you should know that one of the risks associated with leaving it plugged in the possibility of the heater shorting out completely and electrocuting the tank.

(Though, it being 10pm in my time zone, chances are high that you've already gone to bed and won't read this until tomorrow. Either way, I hope everything works out!)
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Aquageek
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Joined: 06 Apr 2003
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.28(Sun)8:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in New-Brunswick and it WAS bitterly cold yesterday. Thankfully, despite the winds the power stayed on. I live in a basement appartment and I keep the heater in our living room high pretty much all the time so hopefully it didn't get too cold down here last night. It's now eleven hours after I discovered the problem. The water temp is now at 26 C or 79 F (which is where I normally keep it) and my oscar is now acting normally. I have to get another heater. Since it's sunday, I don't know if the pet store is open. I might have to go at Walmart. I just hope they don't only carry the cheap ones that don't have a dial to adjust the temp with. I really hate those.
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Bob
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Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2007.01.28(Sun)10:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

One way to insure against thermostat / heater problems, is to get two small heaters, rather than one big one.

If one sticks on, the second one will cut out, being smaller, there is less chance of one stuck on cooking your fish.

On the other hand if one breaks, the other one will be man enough to keep some heat going into the tank, so the fish don't get too cold.

Bob
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underOATH87
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Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Location: Plattsburgh, New York

PostPosted: 2007.01.29(Mon)16:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

My tank came with the whole package deal, and it came with a new heater where I can adjust the temp. You should get one of those just in case maybe?
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