Keeping your cool..or staying hot...or...


Quick one today...

This popped into my head during a discussion with a fish geek last night:

Seems like one of the things we spend like the least time discussing in tropical fish care is temperature...You know, like the temperature that we maintain our aquariums at. Other than the people who breed fishes, we seem to adapt a "set and forget" attitude about the temperature of our aquariums..

And the interesting thing is that if you ask 10 different hobbyists what temperature they keep their tanks at- you're likely to get 10 different answers! It seems that we go with "what works for us" and stick with it. I Know I do...Like for pretty much very tank I keep, it's 77.5F (25.28C). I think it came from a little "study" I did many years back where I averaged the temperatures out for most of the tropical regions of the world where the fishes I was into came from...VERY scientific! (But hey, I was like 12)

And the funny thing is, it's worked really well for me! Oh sure, I suppose that certain fishes, like Discus, Bettas, etc. will prefer the warmer temps, but those are the exceptions to the rule, and when I've kept those fishes, I adjusted the temp upwards of course. Yet, for pretty much everything else...77.5F. 


Interestingly, the water temperature of my beloved Amazonian igarape/igapo habitats averages around...26.6C (79F) during the month of October..Which kind of makes sense, as the water levels are fairly consistent during this time. Seasonal temperature variations in these habitats seem minimal.

Of course  in other parts of the world, we have similar stable ranges, too. 

For example, in general, many Southeast Asia average (based on my non-scientific survey of like 1982) around 26C. So yeah, finding "averages" are cool, but as we all know, seeing generalities are never good. You probably want to research your specific fish and the typical range in their habitat, obviously.

And of course, habitats like brackish water estuaries have tidal influences which may create daily temperature fluctuations; something the inhabitants have evolved to live with, but something we as hobbyists tend to eschew in favor of stable, unwavering temperatures in our tanks!

Although I find it interesting that we as hobbyists tend to find a comfortable "go-to" temperature for our tanks and maintain it. I think it's like a lot of things we do...we find what works and keep at it. I suppose things to explore in regards to temperature would be seasonal temperature see what impact they have on fish behavior, overall health, and spawning. So, how would one do this? Probably with tiny incremental increases/decreases over a period of weeks?

Like everything else we do, temperature is just another variable to be explored in the more realistic world of functional aesthetics and blackwater/botanical-style aquariums. There is a tremendous amount of good field data out there for the taking, and utilizing this information to create more realistic functional interpretations of nature is becoming a real fruitful endeavor, with all sorts of potential benefits for those who would but take a look and give it a shot.

So to conclude...I suppose i"m curious if YOU have your own "go-to" temperature or temperature range...and if so, what is it?

As always, I'm curious!

Stay experimental. Stay creative. Stay studious. Stay bold.

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics 


Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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