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View Full Version : Heater Broke - How cold can the water get before Discus die?



CammieTime
01-26-2009, 12:39 PM
So my heater broke in the middle of the night last night. I live in Minnesota and it was 10 degrees below zero outside last night, which makes my basement where the tank is like 55 degrees.

The tank water temp plunged from 84.2 to 68.2 degrees overnight.

This morning I immediately replaced the heater with a spare.

The discus were still alive, kinda sluggish, but looked okay this morning.

How cold can the water get before the discus die? Will this temperature plunge hurt them in the long term? (at least it was very gradual cooling...)

rickztahone
01-26-2009, 12:41 PM
So my heater broke in the middle of the night last night. I live in Minnesota and it was 10 degrees below zero outside last night, which makes my basement where the tank is like 55 degrees.

The tank water temp plunged from 84.2 to 68.2 degrees overnight.

This morning I immediately replaced the heater with a spare.

The discus were still alive, kinda sluggish, but looked okay this morning.

How cold can the water get before the discus die? Will this temperature plunge hurt them in the long term? (at least it was very gradual cooling...)

you were probably on the cusp of them reaching that coldness level where they might die off. that's why it is always necessary to keep a spare heater. check if you have a warranty on the one that broke

CammieTime
01-26-2009, 12:47 PM
you were probably on the cusp of them reaching that coldness level where they might die off. that's why it is always necessary to keep a spare heater. check if you have a warranty on the one that broke

The replacement heater had the temp up a degree already in half an hour.

LizStreithorst
01-26-2009, 01:08 PM
I've seen them survive a temp of 58. A big drop in temp isn't too detremental to them as long as they are brought back to the correct temperature gradually as you are doing.

Porkchop
01-26-2009, 01:11 PM
That's why from now on I'm using 2 heaters per tank. I'm setting up a 75 gallon this weekend hopefully and it will have two 200watt heaters. I'm also gonna order a couple heaters for my 55 gallon and take out the 300watt one that is in there.

My heater for my 25 gallon QT just went out this weekend and I didn't even have it for a year. The only problem is I don't have a receipt and I didn't fill out the warranty card.

Cammie,

If you had one heater and your basement is 55 degrees, your heater was probably constantly running and that's why it burnt out. I would buy 2 of the same heater and keep the spare as "the spare."

Anthony

poconogal
01-26-2009, 01:13 PM
I've had Discus delivered to me in 60 degree water and they were fine. In fact, the owner of one place I purchased Discus from told me that he routinely gets Discus in from Asia in water between 50-60 degrees and its not a problem, so your Discus should be just fine.

Roxanne
01-26-2009, 02:05 PM
They do get a little cold during transportation I noticed, especially if their flight is long/delayed. I think this is why they get a little fin rot after being transported. An LFS recently lost power and all the tanks were cold, all his fish had fin damage also.

But then, there's a cichlid breeder who says he lost every tank of africans he had due to power out at night, tanks outside, temps plunged, all dead..

You're lucky!;) Go buy a lottery ticket:D

Darrell Ward
01-26-2009, 05:15 PM
I agree, you're lucky you caught it in time. Last week I replaced the heaters with new ones and a brand new controller, on a 125gal. with 15 young discus in it. I rushed thru programing the new controller because I had an appointment. Several hours later I returned to find the tank temp. at 95F. In my rush to leave, I overlooked that the controller was on the chill setting instead of heat, so apparently the heaters never turned off. No harm done to the fish, but I guess I too was lucky that no fish were harmed. A few more hours of this could have resulted in "Discus stew". Anyway, If I had a tank in an unheated basement, yes I would use two heaters, on a controller.

ShinShin
01-26-2009, 05:34 PM
If your discus start to show any sign of clamping or darkening, I would treat with a formalin/malachite green product ASAP. Oppurtunistic protozoans are quick to show when this occurs.

Mat

Dkarc@Aol.com
01-26-2009, 06:03 PM
Just watch them over the next week or two. Down here in Tampa we hear from farmers all the time surviving a cold snap in their ponds, only to lose half of their stock weeks later (especially this time of year). Mostly because of stress related diseases. Since they are in an aquarium, it shouldnt be a big deal. Just keep up with water changes and as Mat suggested, keep an eye for stress related disease such as external parasites and be ready to treat.

-Ryan

CammieTime
01-27-2009, 01:03 PM
I came home last night and they are all fine, and ate like pigs when I fed them.

It took the heater around 15 hours to bring the tank back to 84 degrees.

So far so good. I will keep an eye on them to see if there are any negative long term affects.

Thank you everyone for your input on this - it was pretty scary but I am glad everything came out okay.

Roxanne
01-27-2009, 04:21 PM
If your discus start to show any sign of clamping or darkening, I would treat with a formalin/malachite green product ASAP. Oppurtunistic protozoans are quick to show when this occurs.

Mat

That's a great tip Mat...that one is going in my medical notes!!

Alfred
01-27-2009, 04:40 PM
I came home last night and they are all fine, and ate like pigs when I fed them.

It took the heater around 15 hours to bring the tank back to 84 degrees.

So far so good. I will keep an eye on them to see if there are any negative long term affects.

Thank you everyone for your input on this - it was pretty scary but I am glad everything came out okay.

I'm curious, Why would you let your fish be cold for 15 hrs when a simple water change would have brought the temp back up.
If that's not possible, just take some of the tank water and warm it on the stove and slowly add it back over an hour or hour and a half to temp so as not to shock the fish.
Waiting for your heater to bring it back up seems like the wrong way to go.

gotfish?
01-27-2009, 05:31 PM
can i ask what kind of heater you have?

alpine
01-27-2009, 05:59 PM
Alfred , like Harriet said is Best to bring the temperature slowly.
A thing I would like discus keepers to believe in is keeping two heaters of a smaller wattage in the tank . No Cooking-No 50* Temp
it is really a good insurance !!!!

Roberto.

Roxanne
01-27-2009, 09:53 PM
I second that Roberto;)

Alfred
01-27-2009, 11:38 PM
Alfred , like Harriet said is Best to bring the temperature slowly.
A thing I would like discus keepers to believe in is keeping two heaters of a smaller wattage in the tank . No Cooking-No 50* Temp
it is really a good insurance !!!!

Roberto.

Slowly yes but 15 hours is ridiculous
2 hrs max.

Roxanne
01-28-2009, 07:49 AM
Sorry, I meant I agreed with two heaters in the tank...15 hours IS too long if you consider what Mat said about opportunistic protozoans...

still think you should buy a lottery ticket:D

CammieTime
01-28-2009, 12:32 PM
I'm curious, Why would you let your fish be cold for 15 hrs when a simple water change would have brought the temp back up.
If that's not possible, just take some of the tank water and warm it on the stove and slowly add it back over an hour or hour and a half to temp so as not to shock the fish.
Waiting for your heater to bring it back up seems like the wrong way to go.

I was late for work and did not have PTO to use on something that required a lot of time.

Putting too much warm water too quickly directly into the tank would have shocked them, since the water was so cold I didn't want to stress them any more than I had too. Since I did not have time to do it slowly, I chose not to do it at all and let the spare heater do it.

It took 15 hours because I live in Minnesota and it is 10 degrees below zero outside at night with daytime highs in the single digists above zero and the basement stays at 55 degrees. It's pretty cold down there right now.

Yes, two heaters is the solution.

susantroy1
01-29-2009, 03:57 PM
What happens when you loose power.... like millions of folks did this week due to the storm that is going through the mid west???? Anyone a victim of this??? This ice storm in Ohio Valley said it may take weeks to restore power. Bet those deep cycle marine batteries are flying off the shelfs right about now....

All The best

Troy

CammieTime
01-29-2009, 06:11 PM
What happens when you loose power.... like millions of folks did this week due to the storm that is going through the mid west???? Anyone a victim of this??? This ice storm in Ohio Valley said it may take weeks to restore power. Bet those deep cycle marine batteries are flying off the shelfs right about now....

All The best

Troy

Many people in Minnesota own gas powered generators that are about the size of a small snow blower.

susantroy1
01-29-2009, 08:38 PM
Many people in Minnesota own gas powered generators that are about the size of a small snow blower.

That would be one of my first purchases if I were up there!! Only I'd do a whole house Gas fired generator system.

Stay warm.

Troy

calihawker
01-29-2009, 09:13 PM
It's a lot warmer here in Cool:p than for a lot of you folks, but I'm so paranoid about losing power that I bought a generator and I have specific instructions written out in case I'm away. Also, my tank is monitored with an aquacontroller and will give an alarm if the temps drop below a set temperature. I use inline heaters but have a couple spare titaniums to drop in at a moments notice.

Guess I'm just paranoid.

Good luck with those guy's Cammie Time:)



Steve

FLGirl1977
01-30-2009, 09:12 PM
We still didn't find out the brand of heater this was that failed... I'm curious to know... :confused: