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How cold do your tanks get?

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#1 Guest_andyavram_*

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 12:41 PM

Every winter I have the same trouble (and probably the same whining on here) where most of my plants die back in the winter. Lighting is the same as summer and I typically get good growth all summer long, but once the tank starts getting under 60 the grown slows, except for algae, whose growths goes nuts.

My vals especially die back. Hornwort and Elodea usually grow pretty slow, or die off. This year I tried some pondweed and it isn't doing too bad this winter. Better than I expected.

So for those with planted tanks, how cold does your tank get in winter and what sort of plant growth do you see?

My tank is 55 right now and the plants look terrible and the fish look great.


#2 Guest_steve_*

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 01:18 PM

I've got 3 planted tanks. It is 63F in the house right now and my tank lights have been out for about 10 hours, so they are probably as cold as they are going to get. My plants include hornwort, elodea, Ludwigia palustrus, Sagittaria subulata, Eleocharis ? , Cabomba caroliniana, and a few others that I can't remember the names of right now. The temperature in my house is usually about 7-8 degrees cooler in the winter time than in the summer. I haven't noticed any die back. In fact, I just trimmed back a gallon of elodea from my 75 gallon a few days ago. The tanks and present temperatures are as follows:

  • 45 gallon tank, 65.4F, lighting with a 48", 40watt fixture with 1 bulb.
  • 75 gallon tank, 68.5F, lighting with two 48" T8 fixtures with 2 bulbs each.
  • 55 gallon tank, 65.8F, lighting with one 48" T8 fixture with 2 bulbs.
Hope this helps.


Edited by steve, 28 January 2012 - 01:21 PM.

#3 Guest_EricaWieser_*

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 01:19 PM

Have you tried decorative algae, mosses, and liverworts? They could probably be grown in cold water without dying off. For example, marimo (毬藻) grow in the cold waters of Lake Akan national park in Japan. I don't imagine getting cold would impair their growth much. Also, when I was in Japan I saw some interesting liverworts growing in a cold stream. ( http://img.photobuck...ru/DSC00729.jpg )Maybe you could decorate your tank with a cold tolerant liverwort much like the Riccia fluitans tanks that are so beautifully done.
Riccia fluitans 'trees': http://www.aquascapi...t-20-litre.html
Another example of a beautiful riccia fluitans tank: http://img43.imagesh...edtsukiyama.jpg
Another: http://images50.fotk...sp_dwarf-vi.jpg

If algae is what grows in your tank setup, then you might as well take advantage of that. There are some very beautiful algae tanks.

Edited by EricaWieser, 28 January 2012 - 01:20 PM.

#4 Guest_rickwrench_*

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 05:36 PM

There are some very beautiful algae tanks.

I had a 15g metaframe tank setup for a while that was just a bunch of branches thickly covered with brush algae. It was a flagfish only tank. They kept it trimmed back to about 1/2" long. Looked great, I thought.

I'm surprised the vals are dying back, mine have survived without browning at 55 in a big (= temperature stable) outside tank. They don't really grow, however.

Anacharis is about unkillable. Growth at 50 in my pond is common.

Native Hydrocotle sp. also do very well in cold water. I have hundreds of new baby hydrocotle leaves in the pond right now. The current pond temp is 51.

Thread on APC discussing cold water/northern state plants:


#5 Guest_nativeplanter_*

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:38 PM

Below 60 is pretty cool for some plants, especially since they generally live in the shallows where the water is warmer during the growing season. They most likely are just going dormant, expecting an even cooler period to follow. If you don't like the looks of the tank with all the algae, you could try reducing the amount of light in the wintertime, which is what would happen naturally anyway. Or you could heat the water just enough to get some plant growth going.

#6 Guest_MrCatfish_*

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:20 PM

My 75 and my 135 get down in the upper 40s at times throughout the winter and I don't have any die back.Right now they are around 52 degrees. I have vals,sagattaria subulatta,elodea canadensis,myriophyllum pinnatum,ceratophyllum,ludwigai palustris,Lemnoideae,and some kind of moss that started growing on my driftwood.I am still getting good growth and have to trim every couple weeks. I have soil capped with sand collected from local river.Lighting is two 48inch 6500k t8 bulbs in a shop light. Lights are left on for eight hours.

#7 Guest_andyavram_*

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:05 PM

Thanks everyone. It seems to be that somewhere under 60 is the cut off for decent growth, although I am sensing it may depend on other conditions.

Erica, it is a 180 gallon aquarium so I need the height of the vascular plants. Also, all species in the tank are native to Ohio and that is the way it is going to stay.

Native, that will probably be my move next winter, but I thought I would see what happened this year, especially after adding the Pondweeds in mid-fall.

Mr. Catfish, those are some nice cold temperatures. Where are your tanks? Garage?

#8 Guest_MrCatfish_*

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:52 PM

My tanks are in a room attached to the back of my garage. It has heat and air,but I try not to use either unless it gets extremely cold or hot.

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