Temperature tropical freshwater fish

Aquarium Water Temperature

Aquarium water temperature is an important factor in the health of your fish. This is particularly true when breeding fish, treating disease, and even when selecting fish to keep together.

Rapid or Frequent Changes
Experts disagree about the need for a constant temperature that never wavers at all. Some feel that fish that do not experience the typical day/night temperature changes that occur in nature, develop a less robust immune system, and therefore are more susceptible to disease. Others feel that all temperature changes are stressors that can lead to poor fish health.

However, all experts agree that rapid and significant temperature changes, as well as frequent temperature changes throughout the day, are stressful for fish. These types of sudden or frequent water temperature changes may occur for a multitude of reasons, including:
- Tank located next to a door or window
- Tank in direct sunlight part of the day
- Large water changes
- Lighting that produces heat
- Faulty heater

Tank Location
Tank location can have a significant effect on the frequency and type of water temperature change that can occur. Aquariums that are located near a window or door can be affected every time the door or window is opened and closed. Even windows that aren’t opened pose a problem, as they allow sunlight in, which can rapidly elevate the temperature of the water. Aquariums should never be placed where they receive direct sunlight for any portion of the day, or near doors or windows that can expose the tank to drafts.

Lighting
Aquarium lights can also impact the temperature of the water. This is particularly true of very small tanks, some of which still utilize incandescent bulbs that can produce a great deal of heat. Even newer types of lighting can heat the water over the course of the day. The best thing to do is monitor and record the temperature in your tank throughout the day long so you know how much the lighting impacts the water temperature. If it's more than a few degrees, you may want to reconsider your lighting options.


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Most freshwater fish sold for aquaria are

by ibbica

*tropical* freshwater fish, so yes they need a heater to be happy.
Minnows are coldwater fish, mollies and dojo loaches are somewhat flexible in their temperature requirments, and neon tetras are tropical fish. Not really a tank I'd set up myself, as it's impossible to maintain the 'ideal' conditions for each species.
I'd suggest looking up the optimum conditions for each of your species, and probably split them into at least 2 separate tanks. Note that 'optimum' isn't the same as 'survivable'.

If nitrates are high, yes live

by ibbica

Plants should help. They don't work instantaneously, though...
Goldfish are very different from other freshwater fish, they need colder water (higher O2 content) and are FILTHY creatures (need lots of plants or other filtration).
pH going crazy stinks. Did you check your source (tap? well? rain?) water at all?
Brand new gravel may cause problems, if the beneficial (ammonia-eating and/or nitrite-eating) bacteria were living on the 'old' substrate.
What sort of filtration system do you use? Mechanical (sponge) or chemical (charcoal or other)?
Most plecos are tropical species, whereas goldfish are coldwater species. Temperature inconsistencies could cause problems as well.

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