Saturday, 26 May 2012

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Just a word of warning to folk to keep a vigilant eye on temperatures at this time of year.

Now that the summer days are finally upon us (hope I've not just jinxed it!), we need to keep an eye on our tank temps to avoid any problems for our seahorses.

Increased temperatures in tanks cause problems for a number of reasons:

  • Higher temperatures provide a better breeding ground for bacteria in the tank. For example, the Vibrio sp. increases at just 74* and starts to become more infectious at this temperature.
  • The dissolved oxygen within tanks lowers as temps get higher
  • Evaporation

So, what can we do about it?

Well, to try and keep the temperature down, if you can't afford a chiller;

  • Remove the lid from the tank if possible
  • Use a desktop fan aimed at the top of the water (obviously make sure the fan is in a safe position where it can't fall in the water)
  • Reduce your photo period

Some people do freeze bottles of RO water and place these in the tank. I personally don't like this method as its hard to control the rate of defrosting and thus constant temperature.

Oxygen can be increased in the tank by adding additional airlines, powerheads (make sure inlets are safely covered to avoid trapped tails) or positioning spray bars to increase surface agitation.

Evaporation needs to be very carefully monitored as you may need to top up your tank every day or more frequently. A top up unit is perfect at this time of year!

Any of the above going unchecked for a day or two can cause severe problems for seahorses and its usually at this time of year when we see more problems with bacteria related issues.

Remember, prevention is better than cure! 

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