Proper Fish Tank Temperatures

Posted on March 26, 2012 on 10:30 am by Brittany.

Fish Tank Temperatures

What is the correct fish tank temperature for my fish??

This seems to be a fairly common question among those interested in buying a fish and I thought it would be worth addressing today. The important thing to realize is that the proper fish tank temperature is related to the type of fish in your fish tank and then you have to keep in mind the temperature of your home, and what kind of seasons you have to deal with, and the placement of your fish tank (is it by a window with the sun beaming on it during the day?). Most fish species can only withstand a limited range of temperatures, and consistency of that temperature is key.

Freshwater fish should typically be kept in water that is between 72 and 78 F. There are some that require higher or lower temperatures, you should try to look up your fish before you set the temperature of the tank (I’ve heard blind cave fish can take as low as 63 F and Bettas can go as high as 85 F. Yours might be special too, so try to check!).

Saltwater fish that come from the tropics usually require 75 – 80 F. Some corals and fish coming from warmer tropical waters will fair better at higher temperatures of about 80 – 85 F, or higher.

Coldwater fish should typically be kept just below 68 F. Some examples of these fish are koi and goldfish. Coldwater fish are generally considered easier to keep.

Even more important than the range though is the temperature consistency. Make sure you keep the temperature consistent for the fish. Most fish are not accustomed to sudden changes in temperature. If it does experience a sudden change it can lead to shock.

If the temperature is dropping at night, but staying within a good range during the day. You can increase the temperature on the heater, but you’ll want to make sure the temperature is not getting too hot after you make the adjustment. You also want to make sure you don’t make a sudden change as I mentioned a moment ago, a sudden drastic change in the temperature can kill your fish.

If you experience a power outage during a cold month and you need to keep your fish warm you should place a blanket over the fish tank to slow down the temperature change in the tank. If your tank is getting too warm and needs to be kept cool try to fan across the surface of the water to keep it cooled.

When placing your fish tank, make sure you keep it out of direct sunlight. The sunlight can cause the water to heat up quite a bit, both the change in temperature and the heat in general can be dangerous for your fish.

Make sure you research your fish before buying, or talk to a pet store representative that has been educated on the fish you are purchasing, and set the temperature of your tank up before submerging your fish in its new home. After you have completed the initial set up make sure you keep the temperature consistent. When you purchase your fish you should receive a care sheet with information regarding the ideal temperature for your fish, if you do not you can ask for one and see if they have it.

If you want to be sure you are regulating your water temperature correctly make sure you utilize a thermometer, like the one we sell here at ShopHDE (see below image), in combination with a heating or cooling unit.

Digital Fish Tank Thermometer

When it comes time to change the water in your fish tank, use a thermometer to check the temperature of the tap water you are using to refill the tank. Adjust the temperature of the water until it reaches the current temperature of your tank and make sure it stabilizes before you add it to your fish tank.


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