Bandensis temperature crisis!

Discussion in 'Cuttlefish Care' started by CuttlePhilly, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. CuttlePhilly

    CuttlePhilly Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey all,

    Having a GREAT time watching my new S. Bandensis couple (bought from Shipposhack) become comfortable in their new tank. They arrived just over a week ago and are now venturing out from behind the live rock for longer and longer periods of time and enjoying eating mostly live shore shrimp that I'm getting from aquaculturestore.com and keeping/raising in a 5.5 gallon tank below the main tank. They're getting along well and seem to keep each other company (no fighting, ever) probably because they were raised together from birth.

    However, yesterday when I got home I noticed the digital thermometer read 84 degrees!!! :bugout: I panicked and threw open the windows, opened the lid on top of the tank, and turned on an aeration pump to cool off the water. This happened after my compact fluorescents had been on for most of their 8-hour cycle, and that's what I trace the cause to (although my tank always seems to run warmer than I'd like and it's not even summer yet). The male cuttle was grasping at the glass tank walls while swimming kinda frantically, and "breathing" very quickly (probably hard to get enough oxygen at that temp) while staring at me quite disapprovingly. The female was mostly sitting on the sand while staying white (her color matching the sand, but I read it as a stress response as well, since she wasn't changing colors at all). By the time I went to bed at 1am, the tank had reduced to 77 degrees, where it remained until I woke up this morning. The cuttles had calmed down and seem to have eaten some shrimp overnight (a good sign). I've cut the lighting cycle in half (4 hours/day now instead of 8) to help keep the heat down (no corals to worry about in my system).

    I'm getting a chiller for my system before the weather heats up any more!

    So, finally, my question is that although S. Bandensis come from warmer tropical waters (I know 84 is high for even those systems), I was curious what temperature range everyone who raises S. Bandensis keep their tanks at. What temperatures so they seem to prefer breeding at? Also, how much damage might I have done to my poor cuttles? Does anyone know from experience what a one-time shot of high temperatures will do long-term to their health or life-span? While it clearly wasn't immediately fatal, did I do irreversible damage to them? Anything I need to do to help them out besides making sure it never happens again?

    Feeling guilty,
    :oops: Bender
     
  2. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    1
    My tank ranges from 77-79 during hot days, and 76-78 on cooler days.

    You can also use fans for evaporation. However, youll get a good increase in water loss due to this, but if you have a rodi unit/auto top off unit, it will replace the water automatically. I dont use a chiller, but Ive hooked up a ranco temperature controller to turn my fans on if my water temp hits 78.

    I would think that a single heat spike would not cause any permanent damage.
     
  3. CuttlePhilly

    CuttlePhilly Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the quick reply, Paradox. And for the tip on using a fan for evaporation cooling. Do you know how many degrees a fan can help cool a tank by? While I'll have air conditioning in the summer, it can struggle on those 90+ degree days we often get here in Philly from July-early Sept. I know this is reef-keeping 101, but I was just too damn impatient to keep a reef system for a full year (and thus through all seasons) before getting cuttles.

    = B=
     
  4. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    1
    Fans can suprisingly take the temp down a good amount. Can you remind me again on the size of your tank?

    People often use either multiple computer fans adapted to fit a wall adaptor or larger clip on fans. Its a good idea to have a fan blowing on the surface water under your lighting. This way, heat from the lights are removed as well as evaporative cooling. On my system, I constantly have a computer fan blowing into a sump. I have other fans in the hood by my lights that kick in when the water temperature reaches a certain point. If your temp is ok when the lights are off, you can have a fan pointed to the water surface under your lights and keep this on the same time as the lights. This way they will kick in at the same time. If you have heat issues even without lights on, you will need to have a seperate time and experiment on what works best for your system.

    Fans can easily lower temperatures 4-8 degrees depending on water volume. Be ready for significant water evaporation though! I evap around 2 gallons a day which is normal for a reef tank.
     
  5. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,887
    Likes Received:
    11
    I don't know how significant this will be, but evaporation cooling works better in hot, dry weather than hot, humid weather. I haven't spent too much time in Philly, but I'd be concerned that the worst days for heat in New England would also be the most humid...
     
  6. CuttlePhilly

    CuttlePhilly Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a 30 gallon tall tank.

    And I have a Compact Fluorescent Lighting fixture that has 1 double actinic bulb and 1 double 10K bulb, which turn on and off to simulate sunrise, midday, sunset (plus a built-in LED moon light which makes the tank look AWESOME at night!) There are two fans built into the unit, but I realized after using it for some time that the fans only keep the unit cooler and have practically NO effect on the heat transmitted to the tank (because there is a plexi shield between it and the tank PLUS a glass lid between that and the water surface).

    The light unit requires a glass lid below it to protect from salt damage, but I suppose I could cut off the front half of the glass lid (the part not under the light - from the hinge forward) to allow for evaporation and to give my fan a place to blow...

    I have about 5 gallons of fresh filtered water ready at all times, so shouldn't have a problem replenishing evaporation daily.
     
  7. CuttlePhilly

    CuttlePhilly Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's true - the heat here in Philly is ALWAYS muggy. Some days the air is so thick with humidity it looks like fog. I may just invest in a window unit air conditioner to help keep the room with the tank cooler than the rest of the apartment. Now I just need to figure out if I should put it in the window 15 feet away from the tank (halfway across my 30' x 10' main room), or in the window that's 3 feet from the tank (right next to it) with the vents pointed away from the tank. Don't want to over-chill the tank, but also want to be sure it's cooling it enough...
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,082
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    If you do not have corals, why put the lights on at all during the day (especially if you are not home). You might experiment a bit with your light cycle and alter it from the actual to give yourself the best viewing but allowing the ambient to be the only light during the actual day.

    Also, you might consider mounting your light under the main tank rather than setting it on top of the tank (if I understand your setup correctly) and removing the cover of the cuttle tank entirely. This would both remove the immediate surface heat and allow for natural evaporative cooling as well as for increasing the effect of a fan in the summer. If you can remove the cover, a fan is likely to be all you will need with lights off during the heat of the day.
     
  9. CuttlePhilly

    CuttlePhilly Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have adjusted my lighting cycle to skew towards the evening - the lights are now only on for 4 hours a day from 4:40pm-8:30pm. I may adjust it back more if I keep having heat issues, but yesterday the temp only varied by 1.5 degrees by the time the lights had run their full cycle. So I think I'm good for now.

    I've left the front of my all-glass lid up since the heat issue and I'm sure that's been helping too. So I'm just gonna permanently remove the front part of the lid so that it's always open on the front half and set up a fan on a temp sensor to help when the lights are on. Just hate having to clean up the little white spots of saltwater that land on my stand and floor that the lid used to keep in... Oh well, the sacrifices I make to have cuttles :roll: Hee hee.

    My recent lessons in smiley-face form:

    :mad:
     

Share This Page