Can you have a coldwater saltwater aquarium?

homersimpsonlikesfish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 28, 2023
Messages
153
Reaction score
53
Location
San Jose
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
What are my options if I want to have a coldwater saltwater aquarium? Are there coldwater saltwater fishes that will fit in a 29 gallon tank? And do aquarium chillers work in hot weather?
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
7,312
Reaction score
8,771
Location
United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
What are my options if I want to have a coldwater saltwater aquarium? Are there coldwater saltwater fishes that will fit in a 29 gallon tank? And do aquarium chillers work in hot weather?
To answer the questions here:

-You have quite a few options, though coldwater livestock are somewhat harder to find than.

-Yes, there are some coldwater marine fish (and inverts) that could work for a 29 gallon tank. Importantly, though, the term “coldwater” covers a wide range of temperatures, and not every coldwater fish is suited to the full range of temperatures (some prefer just under tropical temps, some prefer literally arctic temps, others prefer somewhere in the middle) - because of this, I’d recommend finding your favorite coldwater fish species and researching what their ideal temperature range is, then picking other fish you like that can thrive in that range as well. Generally speaking, fish that are found in the same location are usually okay at the same temperatures (exceptions for fish that tend to migrate for seasonal temperature changes), so if there’s a coldwater area that has fish you like, researching the fish found in that area may be a good place to start.

-Yes, they work in hot weather (though if the weather gets really hot, a more powerful chiller may be necessary to keep a coldwater tank at its desired temperature).
 

livinlifeinBKK

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
5,787
Reaction score
5,260
Location
Bangkok
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
To answer the questions here:

-You have quite a few options, though coldwater livestock are somewhat harder to find than.

-Yes, there are some coldwater marine fish (and inverts) that could work for a 29 gallon tank. Importantly, though, the term “coldwater” covers a wide range of temperatures, and not every coldwater fish is suited to the full range of temperatures (some prefer just under tropical temps, some prefer literally arctic temps, others prefer somewhere in the middle) - because of this, I’d recommend finding your favorite coldwater fish species and researching what their ideal temperature range is, then picking other fish you like that can thrive in that range as well. Generally speaking, fish that are found in the same location are usually okay at the same temperatures (exceptions for fish that tend to migrate for seasonal temperature changes), so if there’s a coldwater area that has fish you like, researching the fish found in that area may be a good place to start.

-Yes, they work in hot weather (though if the weather gets really hot, a more powerful chiller may be necessary to keep a coldwater tank at its desired temperature).
I was literally about to write the same thing!

If you're really in San Jose, even with a chiller you'd need to be running your air conditioner constantly to keep a lot of the fish many think of as "cold water" but different people have different definitions. It would likely take a lot of money to maintain the temp in a hot climate imo.
 
OP
OP
homersimpsonlikesfish

homersimpsonlikesfish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 28, 2023
Messages
153
Reaction score
53
Location
San Jose
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
To answer the questions here:

-You have quite a few options, though coldwater livestock are somewhat harder to find than.

-Yes, there are some coldwater marine fish (and inverts) that could work for a 29 gallon tank. Importantly, though, the term “coldwater” covers a wide range of temperatures, and not every coldwater fish is suited to the full range of temperatures (some prefer just under tropical temps, some prefer literally arctic temps, others prefer somewhere in the middle) - because of this, I’d recommend finding your favorite coldwater fish species and researching what their ideal temperature range is, then picking other fish you like that can thrive in that range as well. Generally speaking, fish that are found in the same location are usually okay at the same temperatures (exceptions for fish that tend to migrate for seasonal temperature changes), so if there’s a coldwater area that has fish you like, researching the fish found in that area may be a good place to start.

-Yes, they work in hot weather (though if the weather gets really hot, a more powerful chiller may be necessary to keep a coldwater tank at its desired temperature).
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. If I go fishing in the bay will the fish I catch fit in a 40 or 55 gallon tank?
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
7,312
Reaction score
8,771
Location
United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. If I go fishing in the bay will the fish I catch fit in a 40 or 55 gallon tank?
Depends on the fish - there are some little fish in the area (I know a few different species that stay by the shore stay small), but a lot of the fish you could catch (including some of the tiny ones close to shore) could end up growing to be well over a foot.

It has been awhile since I’ve looked at the fish in the Bay Area (and my list of cool coldwater fish is on my computer), but I know you can find things like Tidepool Sculpins and other fish that do well in smaller spaces.
 

KrisReef

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
14,012
Reaction score
29,208
Location
ADX Florence
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. If I go fishing in the bay will the fish I catch fit in a 40 or 55 gallon tank?
Yes, or no. That’s why they call it fishing. The cold water fishes of California are not as beautiful as the tropical ones available in stores. The cost of running the chiller year round is enough money to buy a new tank, live rock and beautiful tropical fish that can live through a power outage much easier than the cold water tank.
 

bushdoc

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 12, 2022
Messages
1,422
Reaction score
1,817
Location
Fresno
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
You can catch fish in rock pools with a net or small hook.
The biggest problem with cold-water tank is filtration as biological proceses, including nitrification are temperature dependent and higher the temp, faster proceses, to a certain point when they slow down and stop as protein denatures. Inversely with lower temp proceses slow down.Basically you would have to rely heavily on water changes and chemical and mechanical methods to get rid of nutrients.
 

bushdoc

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 12, 2022
Messages
1,422
Reaction score
1,817
Location
Fresno
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yes, or no. That’s why they call it fishing. The cold water fishes of California are not as beautiful as the tropical ones available in stores. The cost of running the chiller year round is enough money to buy a new tank, live rock and beautiful tropical fish that can live through a power outage much easier than the cold water tank.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Below an example:
IMG_1127.jpeg
 

steveweast

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
100
Reaction score
389
Location
Portland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Coldwater tanks are certainly possible and not that difficult. However, they differ in a few key areas from tropical reef keeping.

First, the water temp results in sweating and condensation generation on all non-insulated tanks, pipes and equipment. It’s just like leaving a glass of ice water on the counter….it sweats. My system eliminated sweating by using a tank and sump made from 1” thick acrylic. Plumbing was 80 schedule. Equipment was always in-sump.

Second, biological processes run quite a bit slower. It takes many months to cycle a tank.

Third, lights are mostly irrelevant since most livestock will be non photosynthetic. Heavy feedings are thus required along with powerful skimmers and extreme nutrient export.

Fourth, a powerful chiller is needed depending on the desired set point. I ran my system for several years which mimicked the Puget Sound environment with a set point of 55F. Attached is a video of that system

 

TangerineSpeedo

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
2,420
Reaction score
3,395
Location
SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
My temperate tank is one of my easier tanks. I do run a chiller and keep it at 63 deg F. I run a 1/15 hp Artica and it uses less watts than my heaters in an equivalent tank. You can purchase Catalina Gobies that have been acclimated for warmer tropical tanks and re-acclimate them to there proper temperatures. Don't listen to @bushdoc... about the biological process being difficult. that is a bunch of Hooey! LOL... I am having low nutrient issues at the moment.
FullSizeRender.jpeg
IMG_1028.jpeg
 

TheClown

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2024
Messages
44
Reaction score
32
Location
California
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. If I go fishing in the bay will the fish I catch fit in a 40 or 55 gallon tank?
I have tried that with The smaller crabs there, they did fine with a moderately cool aquarium, though given the time of my reply I might be too late
 

AquaticEngineer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 20, 2012
Messages
90
Reaction score
14
Location
Damascus, Oregon
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yes, or no. That’s why they call it fishing. The cold water fishes of California are not as beautiful as the tropical ones available in stores. The cost of running the chiller year round is enough money to buy a new tank, live rock and beautiful tropical fish that can live through a power outage much easier than the cold water tank.
It use to be that the "tropical" fish in stores were actually the cold water one from California. Cost of running the tank is relative to the needed output. I have a 1/2 HP chiller and it only needs to run for a few minutes every 3-5 hours because my house is already climate controlled and I put the tank in a walk out basement that stays 65-68F year round. Tank is only chilling down to 55-57F. So instead of running a heater constantly to keep a reef maintained at a temperature above the ambient room temp, I run a chiller to keep mine just below room temp. Also, no high output lighting needs so less cost. Coldwater tanks will survive a power outage during the times that a tropical reef wouldn't AKA anytime that the temps are lower. So it's all relative to where you are and what you are trying to do.
 

AquaticEngineer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 20, 2012
Messages
90
Reaction score
14
Location
Damascus, Oregon
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
You need a commercial fishing license to take Catalina gobies. They are not found anywhere near San Francisco in the wild where the Op is fishing. :smiling-face-with-sunglasses:
Or you can just buy captive bred ones when available or get them from a licensed collector getting them from any of the areas other than the protected islands. I used to buy them every year as young of the year so that knew how old they were and so the could be kept together longer without developing into a hierarchy with a dominant male. If I was fishing for something in San Francisco I would be going for one of the Fringehead species. Probably a one spot Fringehead or something smaller than the Sarcastic Fringehead.
 

TheClown

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2024
Messages
44
Reaction score
32
Location
California
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yes, or no. That’s why they call it fishing. The cold water fishes of California are not as beautiful as the tropical ones available in stores. The cost of running the chiller year round is enough money to buy a new tank, live rock and beautiful tropical fish that can live through a power outage much easier than the cold water tank.
You should see kelpfish, they are a kind of blenny, in particular the crevice kelp fish, also the Various sculpins are very pretty
 

AquaticEngineer

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 20, 2012
Messages
90
Reaction score
14
Location
Damascus, Oregon
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
You should see kelpfish, they are a kind of blenny, in particular the crevice kelp fish, also the Various sculpins are very pretty
The variation in color in the Crevice Kelpfish alone is amazing from bright green to deep red and coraline pink! Fluffy sculpins do the same thing and it's all based on their diet and surroundings when they are growing.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20240618-205155.png
    Screenshot_20240618-205155.png
    1 MB · Views: 28

Tamberav

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
9,664
Reaction score
14,757
Location
Wauwatosa, WI
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
What are my options if I want to have a coldwater saltwater aquarium? Are there coldwater saltwater fishes that will fit in a 29 gallon tank? And do aquarium chillers work in hot weather?

ya I have had one a long time now, 10 years? idk!

Had various fish and my catalina gobies finally died of old age...

My photo is a fluffy sculpin and crevice kelpfish

I live no where near the ocean to getting stock for me is a nightmare...
 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN REEFING? (TELL US YOUR BIGGEST MILESTONE IN THE COMMENTS!)

  • Less than 6 months

    Votes: 17 18.9%
  • 1 year

    Votes: 6 6.7%
  • 2-4 years

    Votes: 14 15.6%
  • 4-6 years

    Votes: 5 5.6%
  • 7-10 years

    Votes: 6 6.7%
  • 10-15 years

    Votes: 9 10.0%
  • 15-20 years

    Votes: 15 16.7%
  • Over 20 years

    Votes: 6 6.7%
  • Over 30 years

    Votes: 10 11.1%
  • Umm....Yeah, it's been a super long time. No comment.

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Other (Please explain!)

    Votes: 1 1.1%
Back
Top