Do you allow your reef tank to run COLDER during the winter months?

BRS

Do you allow your reef tank to run COLDER during the winter months?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 84 20.2%
  • NO

    Votes: 320 77.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 11 2.7%

  • Total voters
    415

revhtree

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Most of us live in places where the temperatures are considerably colder in the winter time. No matter what season it is though, the goal is to keep your water temp consistent year round. That being said it can be a bit more difficult to maintain warmer water in your reef aquarium depending on certain variables. I noticed yesterday that my tank temperature shot up beyond acceptable levels just because I raised the temp on the thermostat by 2 degrees! Let's talk about it!

Do you allow your reef tank to run COLDER during the winter months? How many degrees if any?

image via @sfgabe
ha_bali.png
 

Vette67

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I recently, a couple months ago, had to purchase another 300 watt titanium heater for mine. I have the Inkbird controller, which is capable of turning on 10 amps of heaters. I used to have a single 800 watt heater on my tank, but the alarm for the Inkbird went off a couple times (ALWAYS at 2:00AM) saying that my heaters had been on for 12 hours straight. So, 800 watts wasn't enough to keep my tank at 78. Since adding the extra 300 watts, I have not had that alarm go off again.

Even in the winter months, there's nothing a few extra hundred watts of electricity can't fix!
 

NanoReefLovers

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Do you allow your reef tank to run COLDER during the winter months? How many degrees if any?

Allow? No. It just happens. I live in Florida, so cold is usually relitive. I get a new heater every year for the "cold months. It is normal for the tank to run 79º-80º in the warm months and drop to76º in the colder months. I like it to stay above 76º and mo more and 81º
 

DeniseAndy

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Sure. It runs about 76.5/77 degrees in winter and closer to 78/79 in summer. It can go up, but my chiller does a good job holding it stable.
No particular reason. Always had good success with animals in the tank.
 

Rob.bucek

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haha this is funny timing. Maybe you were thinking of me this morning @revhtree . This quite literally happened during the wee hours of this morning and relates to cold weather and tank temps.

I had an interesting learning experience this morning and I wanted to share it with everyone. Having just moved into my current house a year ago during the previous winter which was fairly mild by Wisconsin standards I really didn't pay much attention or mess with the programmable thermostat at all as we seemed fairly comfortable throughout. Fast forward to this year when we now are in a bitter freezing snap with an arctic Canadian front (thanks @JoshH ) and the house has been struggling to stay warm.

I woke up this morning to alarms going off in the basement and it was my inkbird squawking at me and I look to my phone and sure enough, inkbird alarms as well as a host of Apex alarms b!tchin at me. Never heard them because I have a google pixel that i set on my wireless charger and the current settings muted everything so i never woke up :mad::mad::mad::mad:. My bad, I fixed those settings promptly.

The alarm was initiated from the inkbird initially which caused itself to turn of. It was termed an abnormally long heating cycle and it shut itself down for safety I'm assuming. While a cool feature in this instance it wasn't doing me any favors, not that I helped it any. The cold weather, coupled with stupid programming on the thermostat (was set to drop to 64 between 1030pm and 530am which caused the heaters to struggle to keep up. I'm using two 300w titanium heaters from BRS. I'm still thinking this is fine for the future but it's good to note. Tank temp had gotten down to 75 degrees. Hopefully nothing bad comes of it, but I'm sure everything will recover fine.

Good lessons learned here.
  1. Make sure your phone is set to receive important notifications while in do not disturb mode.
  2. Always go thru your thermostat programming and make sure it's appropriate for conditions.
  3. Set the temp alarms to be a bit higher (76 degrees).
  4. Evaluate heater sizes for your tank.
So while it wasn't a big disaster it was a learning experience that I was glad I was home for and able to react to. The temps were only under for an hour or so by luck of timing is all. Seems things went south around 3 or 4am. Sometimes things like this happening are good as it only makes you a better, more experienced reefer in the end.

Moral of the story: Just a few points can make a difference!

 

gabesreef

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My tank is always 78-76. During the day it’s 77-78 and at night my tank drops no lower than 76. Mostly because I sleep with the ac down haha but I feel like it’s more natural for the temp to drop a little at night.
 

saltyhog

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No, with my Apex running my two heaters my temp varies by less than 0.5 degrees F through out the year.

If I did try to change temps with the season intentionally. I would run a little warmer in the winter and a little cooler in the summer to give me a little more time in case of a power outage when I'm not there.
 

iron_mike_gt

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It's not so much that "I allow it to" as it just does. I have the heater come on below 76 degrees. In the winter it comes on quite a bit particularly at night. In the Summer, the area the tank is in is typically a little warmer. So it may only come on once or twice at night to keep it at 76, but during the day get closer to 77.5.
 

dbowman5

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i said yes. full story i was running 80 deg on start up to help the bacteria and stuff grow, and after 6 months I let it drop to 78
BTW thank you for your timely question. When i looked behind my tank the reading on the Finnex Digital control heater was 74 deg. the Current usa digital said 80 and the floating analog thermometer agreed with the Current USA. The Finnnex was pushing its 200 W to get back to 78,Time to unplug!!
 

Gtinnel

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With my skimmer pulling in outside air, in the winter my heaters have to run more. So I probably stay at the lower part of my temp range more often, but not on purpose. I don't change my settings.
 

ca1ore

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Heaters are set to 78; chiller to 80. Partly to try to be a bit more economical on electricity but mostly because I don't want them 'fighting'. Tank doesn't seem to notice.
 

sfgabe

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Most of us live in places where the temperatures are considerably colder in the winter time. No matter what season it is though, the goal is to keep your water temp consistent year round. That being said it can be a bit more difficult to maintain warmer water in your reef aquarium depending on certain variables. I noticed yesterday that my tank temperature shot up beyond acceptable levels just because I raised the temp on the thermostat by 2 degrees! Let's talk about it!

Do you allow your reef tank to run COLDER during the winter months? How many degrees if any?

image via @sfgabe
ha_bali.png

Since you used my example (thanks for the tag!) I'll explain my setup.

It's not actually that I'm deliberately running different temps in the winter months. I've setup my system - a custom expansion of Reef-pi with Home Assistant - to poll current water temperatures, tides, and sun times from a reef region (Bali) and adjust based on actual daily measurements from NOAA. Due to this the temperature actually runs warmer in the winter because Bali is in the southern hemisphere and I am in the northern so the seasons are reversed. The temps do get cooler at night though, which is the adjustment you see in the image above.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I ran mine hotter in winter and cooler in summer to allow better buffering against power failures. Only by about 2 degrees F, if I recall correctly.
 

phil bevilacqua

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I allow mine to run 75 ish in winter and 78 in summer. The Coral‘s are fine and it’s way way way less on the equipment for the heaters and chillers… And the power bill to be honest. Lol.
 

dan3949

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I utilize the APEX Season Table to vary the setpoint in a manner that mimics actual ocean temperature changes throughout the year. It is very easy. Instead of giving a temperature setpoint (e.g. 78), just use the "RT." This will tell the controller to use the "average ocean temperature" found in the APEX seasons tables. You can make the setpoint temperature slightly above or below the value in the APEX Table by using "RT + 0.5" for a setpoint temp 0.5 degrees higher or use "RT - 0.5" for a setpoint 0.5 degrees lower.
 
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Buckster

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I run my 180g at 78. I use a 300 watt heater during the winter which has not problem. I believe this is due to a closed canopy with 3 AI's in it.
Summer time I like to keep the AC in the house at 74 and the heater hardly ever kicks on as the lighting is enough to maintain temp. I've been lucky!
 
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