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As for fish and aquarium lovers, winter is not only a tough season for us, but also for our fishes. How can we do better for our fishes and aquatic animals? Here is the interview with Lawrence,  INKBIRD aquarium specialist, and hope we will offer some help for all of fish and aquarium lovers.


Q: Do we need to do fish tank maintenance in winter?

Lawrence: Yes, of course. Doing fish tank maintenance in winter is the key to maintain the good health of our aquarium fish as the temperature drops in winter. Fishes may suffer from health problems because of increasing stresses during the winter months.

Q: Are heaters a must for aquariums in winter?

Lawrence: Well, I think so. Most fishes are ectotherms, they are like reptiles and amphibians and their bodies cannot produce heat, so they need to use surrounding or environmental sources to heat up or cool down. So, I think heaters are a must for aquariums, especially in winter months.

Q: How can we keep adequate temperature for aquariums?

Lawrence: We have to create the temperature which suits fishes’ natural habitat for their development. Especially, if we live in cold towns and have a fish tank, we must have an efficient heating and cooling system. We can use temperature controllers such as INKBIRD ITC-306A, a dedicated temperature controller for aquarium, and INKBIRD ITC-308-WIFI to set such kind of heating and cooling system, which can allow us to regulate and control the internal temperature of our fish tank. We need be very careful that our fishes will be in trouble or even in danger when the tank water is over heated or over cold.

Q: Do we need to turn off the pump?

Lawrence: Well, based on our experience, we do not suggest to turn off the water circulation pump. We all know that our fishes may be less active in winter, but they still need adequate oxygen. If you need to turn off the pump, we suggest you to exchange some larger tank for your fishes.

AS for the fish tank, I would like to share the following tips with all:

First, if it is possible, it is an deal choice for us to get a wide fish tank;

Second, do not leave our aquarium outdoors, no matter it is in winter or summer.

Q: Fishes are less active in winter, so we need to feed them less correspondingly, right?

Lawrence: We know that most of fishes will change their eating habits during winter time, but we cannot just think that we need to feed them less roughly. If we can build a good and healthy heating and cooling system which suits their living habits, we still need to feed them regularly., just as what we do before winter. However, if you let your fishes go into hibernation, you may just only feed them once a day. What we need to do is to balance the feeding, not just deduct the feeding.

Q: Do we still need to pay attention to fish tank ecosystem in winter? If we do, how can we know if the fish tank ecosystem is well balanced?

Lawrence: Yes! We still need to care about the fish tank ecosystem in winter all the time. This is no doubt about it. Well, the easiest way to judge if the fish tank ecosystem is well balanced is to observe how your fishes behave. If the tank condition is not right, our fishes will show symptoms immediately, because they are very sensitive to the tank conditions. If the temperature of the tank water is balanced, our fishes will eat and swim routinely, or they will turn on their survival mode, that is, they will stay at the bottom of the tank motionlessly and will not swim around as usually.

So we need to observe their behaviors regularly, especially when we feed them, if we find that they have abnormal behaviors such as eating less or swim less, we need to consider if the temperature of the tank water is too low.

So we strongly suggest that we need to and have to pay more attention to our fishes in winter and the best way for us to protect them is to maintain our fish tank.

Q: If the inner temperature is lower than the outside temperature, can we expose our aquarium to the outside weather?

Lawrence: No, we do not suggest that. We need to always keep our aquarium under a certain temperature. If the temperature of the surrounding is low, we do suggest to adopt temperature controllers and thermostats to keep the best temperature for the tank.

However, if we expose them to outside weather, they may get sick or even get kill because of the temperature changes.

Q: Do you have to monitor the tank temperature regularly?

Lawrence: Yes! Monitoring the tank temperature regularly is one of our daily major tasks. But we do not need to stand by the tank and keep eyes on it all the time. We recommend INKBIRD ITC-306A, the dedicated aquarium temperature or INKBIRD ITC-308-WIFI, with them, we can monitor the tank temperature from our cellphone via INKBIRD app, easy to use, easy to keep eyes on our fishes.

Q: Do we need to buy the heater or temperature controllers based on our tank conditions?

Lawrence: My answer is YES! And I do suggest that we need to learn enough knowledge about aquarium before we buy one, especially for those beginners.

A small heater or temperature controller for your big tank or a big heater or temperature controller for your small tank is not the choice, just get the right match.

Q: Do we need to keep the tank water clean in winter?

Lawrence: Yes, of course. We cannot think that we do not need to clean the tank regular because our fishes may eat less or move less, that is not a correct point. We can know if the water is clean by using some testing kit. The most important is to check the filter if working perfectly and if any fungus or other stuff is inside the tank.

Q: Do we need to change the tank water in winter? If we do, what should we pay attention to?

Lawrence: Changing tank water is necessary and a task for us to do even in winter. But we need to be cautious when we change the water. WE CANNOT CHANGE THE WHOLE WATER INSIDE THE TANK. The correct method is to change less than half of the water inside the tank. We have to realize and keep in mind that our fishes are more vulnerable in winter.

Q: How do we feed our fishes in winter?

Lawrence: We need to keep in mind that we need to feed our fishes healthy. How can we do that? First, we need to feed them nutritious meals and we can feed some frozen food to offer enough vitamins. Second, please do not over feed them. Third, do not change their diet suddenly. We need to feed them regularly based on their eating habits.

Q: What can we do if our fishes get sick in winter?

Lawrence: Please do not get panic if we find the our fishes get sick. The first thing we need to do is to consult a vet if it is possible, and the we can treat them with medicines based on our vet’s advice. If it is impossible for us to consult a vet, we can do some check from Internet or ask some of our friends who know fishes. And we can store some antibiotics at home for just in case. But if we realize that we cannot hold the situation, we have to consult a vet via phone call or Internet.

The best way for our fishes to avoid getting sick is to take good care, more care of them in winter.

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