Emergency Heating Help!

bottomdweller72

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 29, 2017
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Florida
Hello everyone! I live in the tropics of florida and we are in a cold wave. it has been below 70 during the day and in the 50's at night. today it has been in the 60's and we are dropping down to the 40's tonight. my heat is not working and won't get looked at until tomorrow morning. meanwhile, i have a rope fish, cory cats, bn pleco, and ghost shrimp that are in a tank about to hit 70 degrees and it will continue to drop over night if i don't do something. my cory's are fine and active, the rope has been inactive today (she is usually pretty active during the day for some reason) and the bn i have no idea as he stays fairly hidden usually. the ghost shrimp can't handle below 68 and right now, they are all huddled together in a corner.

i don't have a heater in my tank because i haven't had a need for it living down here. i can't get one for 3 weeks but it is at the top of my list. but for tonight, i need emergency help. can i do a partial water change and add back in warmer water to warm the tank up? if so, how much water do i take out and how warm should the water be in comparison to the current temp?

can i wrap my heating pad on one side of the tank and tape it down (wrapped in a towel) and then wrap the whole tank in a fleece blanket? i am extremely worried about my rope fish in a tank this cold and shudder to think how cold it will get over night in there :(
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 16, 2011
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Tennessee
Hello; While the temps seem cold to you down in the warm climes, I went thru that sort of thing already this fall. I just closed up the house and the appliances kept things warm. it also can take a while for a warm house to cool down.
The fridge will put off some heat. Other appliances that use electricity have that electric energy eventually changed into heat.
I rented a small apartment for a winter. The landlord never fixed the heat unit. I did two things. First I would bake a lot of things. I also would leave the oven on at 200F with the door shut.
The main way I got heat was to run the tub full with hot water and the sinks. The place had good hot water.
I guess I wasted some water and the cost to the landlord likely was greater than a repair bill. She was older and a horder. She drove an old chevy station wagon which was so pilled up with newspapers and what-all there was only one small place to sit.

Last is that fish can and do handle cool water fine most of the time. One winter in Harlan County KY my power was off for several days. Tanks got down to the mid 50's F. When the power came back I warmed tanks up slowly and all were fine.
 

robham777

Potamotrygon
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Jan 9, 2013
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The water temp is going to drop much slower than the air temp in the house. I think using the heating pad and covering with a blanket will take care of it especially if you have tight fitting lids. Also if you have a non led light fixture it will generate a decent amount of heat if you leave it on.
 

bottomdweller72

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 29, 2017
185
132
46
48
Florida
Hello; While the temps seem cold to you down in the warm climes, I went thru that sort of thing already this fall. I just closed up the house and the appliances kept things warm. it also can take a while for a warm house to cool down.
The fridge will put off some heat. Other appliances that use electricity have that electric energy eventually changed into heat.
I rented a small apartment for a winter. The landlord never fixed the heat unit. I did two things. First I would bake a lot of things. I also would leave the oven on at 200F with the door shut.
The main way I got heat was to run the tub full with hot water and the sinks. The place had good hot water.
I guess I wasted some water and the cost to the landlord likely was greater than a repair bill. She was older and a horder. She drove an old chevy station wagon which was so pilled up with newspapers and what-all there was only one small place to sit.

Last is that fish can and do handle cool water fine most of the time. One winter in Harlan County KY my power was off for several days. Tanks got down to the mid 50's F. When the power came back I warmed tanks up slowly and all were fine.
the house is at 70 right now, chilly but no big deal really. i am just worried about the fish tank being that cold. i have a rope that needs the tropical temps and the shrimp only handle down to 68 from what i have read? someone else told me to put hot water bottle in the tank to warm it up so will be doing that. it's gradual that way then i'll be wrapping it up in fleece.
 

bottomdweller72

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 29, 2017
185
132
46
48
Florida
The water temp is going to drop much slower than the air temp in the house. I think using the heating pad and covering with a blanket will take care of it especially if you have tight fitting lids. Also if you have a non led light fixture it will generate a decent amount of heat if you leave it on.
ya it's been mid 70's in the house the last few days. we just went to turn the heat on this morning and it kicked on for a minute then pooped out on us. my room is on the warmer side but again, it's been a few days of colder temps here and the tank is down too low for my ropes needs and the shrimp but my concern is the rope, she is my baby. on my rope thread someone just told me to put a hot water bottle in the tank which i have handy. i'll still wrap it up good in the fleece though to hold the temp from dropping more. my lid is fairly tight because of the rope but my lights are led. do they generate heat? if not, i will turn it off at night then like usual. otherwise i'm leaving it on in case it helps. it's a daylight/moonlight led lid.
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 16, 2011
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do they generate heat?
Hello; Yes LED do make some heat. Less that the other types. The old incandescent lights got very hot.

I built a nice doghouse years ago with two compartments. One compartment had the open entrance door so the dog could get out of the rain. The second compartment was sectioned off so the dog could get further back and much more out of the weather. I rigged a mason jar so an incandescent did fit in. That way I could leave it on in the more protected section without fear the dog would get a burn. A waste of my time and energy as the dog would sleep out in the snow, he was a Husky.
 

robham777

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Jan 9, 2013
1,122
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Mobile
ya it's been mid 70's in the house the last few days. we just went to turn the heat on this morning and it kicked on for a minute then pooped out on us. my room is on the warmer side but again, it's been a few days of colder temps here and the tank is down too low for my ropes needs and the shrimp but my concern is the rope, she is my baby. on my rope thread someone just told me to put a hot water bottle in the tank which i have handy. i'll still wrap it up good in the fleece though to hold the temp from dropping more. my lid is fairly tight because of the rope but my lights are led. do they generate heat? if not, i will turn it off at night then like usual. otherwise i'm leaving it on in case it helps. it's a daylight/moonlight led lid.
I live in AL. so we just had the same front move through. The great thing about led lights is they use so little power, but because of the low wattage the heat put off is minimal. If you cover the tank and throw in the hot water bottle I think everything will be fine.
 
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bottomdweller72

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 29, 2017
185
132
46
48
Florida
I live in AL. so we just had the same front move through. The great thing about led lights is they use so little power, but because of the low wattage the heat put off is minimal. If you cover the tank and throw in the hot water bottle I think everything will be fine.
one heat bottle in the tank and 2 fleece blankets quad folded taped around it and part of the lid. that should be good for the night. led lights are new to me so i wasn't sure on the output of them, i never notice much heat from them though. thank you robham777 robham777

manual heating.jpg
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
May 16, 2011
4,299
3,450
164
Tennessee
one heat bottle in the tank and 2 fleece blankets quad folded taped around it and part of the lid. that should be good for the night. led lights are new to me so i wasn't sure on the output of them, i never notice much heat from them though. thank you robham777 robham777

View attachment 1282132
Hello; Even tho LED's give off less heat it is not no heat. You may be fine but maybe check fairly often to make sure the cover is not getting too hot.
 
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