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Fish – Temperature Guide For Tropical Fish Tanks

By J W Chase

If you have a freshwater aquarium, one of the most important things to watch is the chemistry. Along with chemistry, you also need to keep temperature at the desired temperature range needed for your fish.

Not only is temperature important for your fish but also for the plants you put in your aquarium. Close attention to keeping your temperature in the right range will ensure you have a thriving freshwater aquarium.

Temperature Ranges

Most tropical fish prefer a temperature range of 72 to 79 degrees. Most people who operate tropical fish aquariums will keep their tanks at a constant 77 degrees.

The best thing to do is ask the sales representative at your local fish store for the best temperature for the fish you want. You need to be sure that the fish you put in your tank prefer the same temperature.

Other fish, such as Goldfish, will require cooler temperatures that range from 52 to 65 degrees. So mixing Goldfish with freshwater tropical fish will not lead to a successful conclusion.

Keeping fish at their ideal temperature will help keep your fish happy and healthy. Temperature to low will expose your fish to diseases by stressing them out. High temperatures will also starve them of oxygen.

When To Raise The Temperature

There is a time when you will want to raise the water temperature of your aquarium. If you want to breed your fish you may want to raise the temperature a couple of degrees to 79.

Another time you may want to raise it is if your fish develop the disease Ick. Ick is a pretty common disease that your fish could develop because of changes in conditions in your tank or stress your fish are undergoing. To help cure Ick you should raise your tanks temperature to 80 degrees.


Any temperature changes made to your tank should be done slowly. For example, if you need to raise your waters temperature from 77 to 80 degrees to combat Ick, the change in temperature should be done over a two-day period.

Take caution also when you change out your water. I found the best way to do this is to fill up your replacement water with hot tap water, let it sit overnight and then slowly add the new water. This allows the replacement water to cool down to room temperature rather than rising to room temperature which is more difficult.


If you are thinking about or all ready have a tropical freshwater aquarium, the temperature should be kept at 77 degrees. Check with your sales representative at your local fish store for the best temperatures to keep your fish and live plants.

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