Temperature Fluctuations

KeMiKiLL

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I'm seeing a lot of posts talking about how important keeping water temperature stable is, often with ranges of only a few degrees being considered tolerable, but how accurate is this really?

In a real reef environment, fluctuations can often be 2-8F and sometimes as high as 12F and these reefs don't experience massive die offs or collapse as a result.

Is the temperature sensitivity a problem of our own making? What I mean is, if you have an organism that has never been acclimated to swings in temperature, it will be less equipped to cope with those changes. We have some reefers that keep their tanks in temperature controlled rooms with reduindant temperature control systems on the tanks themselves so these animals never really experience temperature changes in their environment. That said, if we program our reef systems to do a natural fluctuation of a few degrees (if your home doesn't already do this for you naturally) wouldn't that be beneficial to the reef inhabitants?

I think this would make the animals more hardy in the cases where something went wrong as well.
 
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laverda

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I'm seeing a lot of posts talking about how important keeping water temperature stable is, often with ranges of only a few degrees being considered tolerable, but how accurate is this really?

In a real reef environment, fluctuations can often be 2-8F and sometimes as high as 12F and these reefs don't experience massive die offs or collapse as a result.

Is the temperature sensitivity a problem of our own making? What I mean is, if you have an organism that has never been acclimated to swings in temperature, it will be less equipped to cope with those changes. We have some reefers that keep their tanks in temperature controlled rooms with reduindant temperature control systems on the tanks themselves so these animals never really experience temperature changes in their environment. That said, if we program our reef systems to do a natural fluctuation of a few degrees (if your home doesn't already do this for you naturally) wouldn't that be beneficial to the reef inhabitants?

I think this would make the animals more hardy in the cases where something went wrong as well.
I agree 100%. There is no benifit to keeping temperature with in .1 or .2 degrees like some people try to. It just runs up your electric bill unnecessary. It also makes fish ND coral much more sensitive to temperature swings in a power outage or equipment failure.
 

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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I can only talk about experience from the California coast. I remember when I decided to setup a temperate cold water system, I ordered a handful of inverts, fish and corals from a supplier. The supplier was collecting from tidepool surf area.

I remember when I ordered them, and opened up the box, they looked all dead, pretty much just not alive looking, to be exact. But once I entered them into 55F degrees, they sprung to life and started literally in months proliferating.

The only thing that died was the anemone shrimps, DON'T KNOW WHY THEY DIED, but they did.

I then came up with the conclusion that surf/tidepools fish, corals, inverts etc., are subjected to the harshest of environments; predators, seagulls, pounding surf, temp swings from the warming of the sun on the pools until the return of the tide. In other words, nature has evolved for these specific animals to survive these conditions.

So, when my order traveled through the Priority Mail, they took a hit, from those conditions but sprung back to life when they made it to my tank.

What does this all mean? Well, your concept is logical, that if your corals learn to adapt they will survive, however, who is willing to take that risk, on very expensive corals, fish etc?

I personally as a diver off the California Coast, did not like the temperature swings, I could only do a 20-30 minute dive in a 14mm wetsuit in 50F degrees, and if you dropped the temp to 48F, just two more degrees, my dive would be only 10-15 before I had to call it quits.

Now, also body type and how much fat you have, helped out as well, many factors to contend with to understand the true nature of temperature swings.
 

JosephM

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I use an ink bird to two undersized to proper sized heaters. My temp fluctuates about a degree a day up and down and sometimes as much as two degrees. I think it’s a little excessive to try and keep it at the exact same point all day everyday
 
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laverda

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I think heating and cooling your water would be difficult. It is a lot easier to keep a body of water at a constant temp than to try and heat it and then cool it rapidly.
No reason to do as your suggesting. Just adjust you temp set points to vary 3 or 4 degrees not .1. Natural fluctuations in your house will do the rest and save a lot on your electric bill and reduce wear on heaters, chillers and controllers, making them all last longer.
Natural temperature variations between summer and winter are also one of the triggers for spawning. These can be programed and are used by most breeding programs along with moon cycles.
 
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KeMiKiLL

KeMiKiLL

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I think heating and cooling your water would be difficult. It is a lot easier to keep a body of water at a constant temp than to try and heat it and then cool it rapidly.
I'm thinking more of gradual temperature changes. Maybe a degree every 6 to 12 hours for an overall change of 6 to 8 degrees over a few days. With the right controller, these fluctuations could be made to mimic actual temperature changes in the sea.
I can only talk about experience from the California coast. I remember when I decided to setup a temperate cold water system, I ordered a handful of inverts, fish and corals from a supplier. The supplier was collecting from tidepool surf area.

I remember when I ordered them, and opened up the box, they looked all dead, pretty much just not alive looking, to be exact. But once I entered them into 55F degrees, they sprung to life and started literally in months proliferating.

The only thing that died was the anemone shrimps, DON'T KNOW WHY THEY DIED, but they did.

I then came up with the conclusion that surf/tidepools fish, corals, inverts etc., are subjected to the harshest of environments; predators, seagulls, pounding surf, temp swings from the warming of the sun on the pools until the return of the tide. In other words, nature has evolved for these specific animals to survive these conditions.

So, when my order traveled through the Priority Mail, they took a hit, from those conditions but sprung back to life when they made it to my tank.

What does this all mean? Well, your concept is logical, that if your corals learn to adapt they will survive, however, who is willing to take that risk, on very expensive corals, fish etc?

I personally as a diver off the California Coast, did not like the temperature swings, I could only do a 20-30 minute dive in a 14mm wetsuit in 50F degrees, and if you dropped the temp to 48F, just two more degrees, my dive would be only 10-15 before I had to call it quits.

Now, also body type and how much fat you have, helped out as well, many factors to contend with to understand the true nature of temperature swings.
Great point. It could potentially be an expensive experiment for anyone willing to chance it.
 

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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You are correct, this is already a very expensive hobby when you get into it, It's a balance of so many variables before you are even off the run way. Then you get cleared by the tower to climb to between 33,000 - 42,000 feet, that is about 6-8 miles above the ocean. So, when a reefer is flying high at that altitude, he is not keen on rocking the boat per say, he/she wants to use all navigation equipment and pilot experience to allow a successful trip back to ground zero. So, if there is going to be any type of testing it will be with the Wright Brothers, and clear of any potential failures that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars when your tank crashes. It takes a maverick of a reefer to move the temperature all around in hopes of finding a new niche in reefing. But my hat goes off for the thought of what if?
 

Dburr1014

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I'm getting 1.5-1.8 changes everyday. My Apex is set to .1 change on and off.
I'm using 2 undersized heaters, 1 in the display and 1 in the basement sump. By the time the heating kicks on, the temp drops a little more. When the heating turns off it may go up slightly.
No problems yet with inhabitants.
 

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