Finally, we can say goodbye to the sweltering temperatures of summer! I look forward every year to the return of fall colors and to the milder weather that the changing season brings. When the nights start getting cooler and the days are shorter, I know that it's time to dig the warm clothes out of the closet. What does all this have to do with fish?
Well, fish are sensitive to temperature changes just like we are, they get cold too. Stable water temperature is important to a fish’s overall health and immune system. Frequent swings can open the door for disease and infections. But, for a couple of other reasons, they can be more affected by a drop in temperature than humans.
The first is that they are tropical fish (yes, salt water fish are also from the tropics) where the weather is always warm and it's not unusual for water temps to be in the mid eighties. The second (and more important reason) is that fish have no way to adjust their body temperature. Unlike humans who have an internal body temp of about 98.6 degrees, a fish’s body temp is dependent on the surrounding water for warmth. Their bodies run on what is know as an exothermic system. In simple terms, it means that they don't generate any of their own heat. If the water is only 65 degrees, their body and blood is also 65 degrees. Burrrrrr!
So, since the fish depend on their environment (which happens to be an aquarium in this case) for their body heat and we control that environment, it is important that we maintain it properly.
Fortunately, it's pretty easy to do. First, make sure that the thermostat in your building or home is not set too low. We recommend 68 degrees. You also want to make sure it does not turn off at night or on the weekends. Secondly, make sure that your aquarium heater is plugged in and in good working condition. If your tank is serviced by one of our technicians, they will do this for you at no extra charge. In fact, they have already begun inspecting all the units that they care for. In some cases it may be necessary to replace some older or worn out units. They will let you know if they find a problem.
So, let's do our part to help our fish feel happy and comfortable in the cooler months ahead.