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View Full Version : Stable temperature really so nessecary?


d-man
02/27/2015, 08:23 AM
Just wondering how nessecary it is to maintain such stable temps(1 degree variance) all the time?
I currently don't run heaters in my tank as fear of them not turning off. I just bought an apex so now I feel more comfortable but just was wondering if I need it
I live in San diego, ca. My tank has gotten down to 72 but usually stays 76-77 in winter. I ran a heater when it reached that 72 and brought it up. But generally have it unplugged.

So will i inhibit growth or cause san if the range over a few days gets down and back up like that?

Thanks

d-man
02/27/2015, 08:24 AM
Also I only have a couple and they were fine . They are a terra del fuge and RP both are small-med colonies

rovster
02/27/2015, 09:56 AM
As long as your fluctuations are consistent and within a tolerable range then usually its not a problem. My old tank would fluctuate up to 4 degrees daily and I never saw issues. However, if I went out of that range I would see some ramifications....

DSMpunk
02/27/2015, 10:26 AM
IME if you try to keep your temp TOO consistent you are setting yourself up for an intolerant tank. I used to keep my tank between 77-79 degrees. All it took was a dip to 74 degrees for a few days due to a malfunctioning probe to crash my tank.

Now I run my tank from 75-81, which is pretty much the natural swing of the tank. I have a chiller kick on at 82 and the heater at 74.

That said, this isn't exactly based on science. It is just my personal observations with my setup. There could be SPS out there that are intolerant of anything under X or over Y degrees. But I think as a general rule our corals are far more tolerant to temperature swings than we give them credit for.

alten78
02/27/2015, 12:59 PM
IME if you try to keep your temp TOO consistent you are setting yourself up for an intolerant tank....

...That said, this isn't exactly based on science...

LOL I hope that's not based on science, otherwise I have figure out how to program my Apex to fluctuate sporadically on occasion. That, and I think that is the first time I've ever heard of someone suggesting anything but consistency in this hobby :beer:

Eastone
02/27/2015, 03:58 PM
Tthe consistency that SPS rely on isn't the lack of variance in temperature itself, the reading can very quite widely in my experience from keeping them as well as in the reefs around Dubai and the UAE where temperatures move quite drastically, the consistency that one should strive for is keeping the degree of change stable, if you have a 4 degree movement in a day due to morning drafts/afternoon sun/central heating, try and ensure that 4 degree variance is a constant

twon8
02/27/2015, 04:28 PM
I've run successful sps tanks that relied on fans for cooling and would range from 74-84 fairly often.

Paul B
02/27/2015, 04:42 PM
I always keep two smaller heaters in my tank so if one stays on, it won't overheat the tank.

Pife
02/27/2015, 05:03 PM
I always keep two smaller heaters in my tank so if one stays on, it won't overheat the tank.

I do this also and have 3 degrees of variance.

d-man
02/28/2015, 07:59 AM
Yes I have a 300wt heater for 400g of volume so, yes waaaay undersized. But as I stated I use it but once a year. But just didn't know if I should try to keep more stable.

dkeller_nc
02/28/2015, 08:15 AM
Most would, I think, tell you that stability for an SPS tank is desirable. That said, hobbyists have observed for many years that corals are relatively tolerant to changes within a fairly narrow range of temperatures - typically cited as 75 deg F to 84 deg F. In the old days, it wasn't all that unusual for a tank's temp to start the day at 78 degrees F and end the photoperiod at 83 degrees F because of the heat gain from metal halide lights. Not only that, the bi-metal thermostat in hobbyist heaters were typically only capable of maintaining temperature within +/- 2 degrees F, so the water temperature would fluctuate a good bit.

In today's world, open-top tanks, much, much more efficient pumps, inexpensive controllers and moving to lighting systems other than MH has made it possible to maintain tank temperature in a much, much narrower range. My own tank doesn't vary more than 0.2 degrees F around the setpoint (78.3 deg in the winter, a bit higher in the summer).

Many folks, including me, base their tank control within such a narrow range because in the tropics, the temperature of the water on coral reefs typically varies very little over a day's time - changes happen much more slowly on a seasonal basis. And modern equipment makes mimicking this possible.

AdamNC
02/28/2015, 08:45 AM
Mine usually swings from 77-80, doesn't seem to bother much.

Peter Eichler
03/01/2015, 12:10 PM
Most would, I think, tell you that stability for an SPS tank is desirable. That said, hobbyists have observed for many years that corals are relatively tolerant to changes within a fairly narrow range of temperatures - typically cited as 75 deg F to 84 deg F. In the old days, it wasn't all that unusual for a tank's temp to start the day at 78 degrees F and end the photoperiod at 83 degrees F because of the heat gain from metal halide lights. Not only that, the bi-metal thermostat in hobbyist heaters were typically only capable of maintaining temperature within +/- 2 degrees F, so the water temperature would fluctuate a good bit.

In today's world, open-top tanks, much, much more efficient pumps, inexpensive controllers and moving to lighting systems other than MH has made it possible to maintain tank temperature in a much, much narrower range. My own tank doesn't vary more than 0.2 degrees F around the setpoint (78.3 deg in the winter, a bit higher in the summer).

Many folks, including me, base their tank control within such a narrow range because in the tropics, the temperature of the water on coral reefs typically varies very little over a day's time - changes happen much more slowly on a seasonal basis. And modern equipment makes mimicking this possible.


Actually, your first scenario is closer to what you would find on actual reefs. Your last statement is quite false, and reef temperatures are quite dynamic, have typical day to night swings, as well as various swings throughout the day from shifting currents. These swings can be several degrees in a matter of a few moments.

There's nothing stable about natural reefs temperature wise, and in my experience temperature stability plays little factor in coral and fish health as long as it's kept in a natural range. For most of our inhabitants that range is mid 70's to mid 80's.

D-man, I'd personally keep that heater going and not let the tank dip lower than 75.

d-man
03/01/2015, 04:44 PM
Cool thx guys

DSMpunk
03/02/2015, 03:38 PM
LOL I hope that's not based on science, otherwise I have figure out how to program my Apex to fluctuate sporadically on occasion. That, and I think that is the first time I've ever heard of someone suggesting anything but consistency in this hobby :beer:

It does seem a little counter intuitive. I would't suggest engineering temperature swing into your tank on purpose.

It's more being mindful about your natural daily temp swing and not deviating too far beyond that. So in a given scenario, without chillers fans heaters etc you top end temp is 83 and your low point is 76. I would set my chiller to turn on at 82 and have the heater turn on at 77.

Say my chiller went out on me in July. The temp would most likely top out at 83-84 degrees. That is only a degree or two off of my daily swing. If I had it set to 77-78 every day, I think my chances of failure would be higher.

Then again, Im a guess test and revise kind of guy and I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. :idea:

Bongo Shrimp
03/02/2015, 06:30 PM
So I see you guys mostly talk about having the temp swings over the period of a day but what about having multiple swings throughout the day?

I know this might sound weird or maybe even stupid, but my 29g fluctuates about 2F multiple times per day. This is because the tank heats up to about 81F if it is left without intervention. So I have a fan setup that turns on at ~80F until the tank cools to ~78F. Depending on the season and the temp in the house this can happen not at all or 4 or more times a day. There is a heater set to 78F incase its cold but usually this is not the case.

Do you think this could cause problems with SPS? My acros grow well but their color isn't the best.

DSMpunk
03/03/2015, 09:21 AM
I doubt it's the temp. You should see my Apex log, it looks like a roller coaster in the summer lol. Mine will creep up to 84 which is outside of my acceptable range so my chiller runs quite a bit.

When you say the color isnt the best, are they pale or browned out?

Bongo Shrimp
03/03/2015, 03:52 PM
They are between brown and colorful. I adjusted the hysteresis on the fan which cools the tank today and I think that might help.

DSMpunk
03/04/2015, 08:48 AM
Typically temp issues will cause them to pale out, not brown. Brown/dull color is usually a light or nutrient issue.

Came across this article if anyone is interested.

http://www.reefsmagazine.com/forum/reefs-magazine/100587-great-temperature-debate-part-iv.html