It’s summer here, and I’ve noticed several tips going around for rabbits, dogs, and reptiles, but none for fish, so I thought I’d write up a few tips on keeping your fin friends cool during a heat wave, especially if you don’t have air conditioning!
Cool the Room
First, focus on the room where your fish are located. Try to keep your fish in the coolest room, dark and away from windows, if possible.
* Keep your drapes closed during daylight hours.
* Turn off room lights. Turn off other electronics. Unplug stuff.
* Be mindful of airflow in your home. If the fish room is generally cooler than the others, keep the interior door closed. If it’s hotter, keep the door open, and even aim a large box fan out the door to draw hot air from the room into the rest of the house.
* Use a fan to draw hot air from the room outside, by placing it in the window facing out. If the temperature outside drops to lower than the temperature indoors, turn the fan around to draw cooler air in at night. If possible block the area around the fan with cardboard or something similar.
* Aim a fan at a large, shallow bowl of ice. Tilt the bowl towards the fan so the fan is blowing directly on the ice. A metal bowl works best (acts as a heat sink). Ceramic is second best. Alternately, blow a fan on gallon plastic jugs of frozen water (when you fill them to freeze, be sure to leave extra space for the water to expand). Replace the ice as needed, but even cool water will help a little.
* Go for stable room temperatures. Even houses with AC, particularly those with small room units, can suffer from fluctuations. Remember, stable temperatures are best for fish, even if they’re a little high. If whatever you’re doing to try to cool your tanks is causing fluctuations, you might need to move your tanks to somewhere safer in the house. Keep an eye on those temps! Some thermometers have max high and low readouts, and these are very helpful.
Cooling the Tank
After you’ve worked on the room itself, then you can start to focus on your fish tanks.
* If your tank is only a few degrees above your fish’s maximum preferred temperature, but stable, it’s best not to mess with it too much. For example for bettas, 82 is fine, if not ideal, and they can handle a temperature of 84 for a week okay; they come from tropical areas with extreme temperatures and live in shallow bodies of water. But if you’re getting up to the higher 80s or 90s, you must do something. However, cold water fish like goldfish, or deep water fish, which are less used to large temperature swing, like lake cichlids, may be more sensitive to temperature swings depending on species. Remember, stable temperatures are the most important; do not shock your fish.
* Add extra aeration. Warmer water holds less oxygen, leading to stress for your fish, especially cool water fish. Also, aeration can pull in cooler air from near your ice fan, for example, to help cool the water.
* Replace the glass lid with a screen lid or a lid made out of plastic canvas. Remove the hood. Turn off the tank lights. (Don’t remove the lid entirely if you have a jumping species or cats or other dangers!)
* For temperate and cold water fish (and amphibians) in the summer, it can be lifesaving to invest in a chiller. These are expensive but many are cheaper than air conditioning units (and many cold water fish prefer temps below room temperature even with air conditioning).
* Do small water changes often with water cooler than tank temp. For many tropical fish (particularly those who don’t come from deep water) this mimics natural conditions where a rainstorm would lower the temperature, so it is okay to do. Do not, however, do a large water change with vastly different temperatures. This could shock your fish! Also, as a warning, this can stimulate breeding behavior in some species, which for some species does involve some aggression, so keep an eye on your fin friends in community tanks.
* Float dechlorinated ice in your tank inside of some sort of closed container (baggies or an aquarium-safe bottle). The ice cubes must be made of dechlorinated water properly treated for your fish, in case the container leaks. (Let people know not to use your “special ice” in their drinks and smoothies. Haha.) Use really high quality baggies (and possibly double-bag them), mostly because otherwise they’ll sink and you’ll have to fish them out. A water bottle also works. Replace as the ice melts. Keep an eye on your temps, to see how many ice cubes you’ll need per day and how often you have to replace them.
* For sensitive fish, drip cooler water into the tank slowly over time. You’ll have to keep a close eye on this method (so you don’t cause a flood, mostly), and it’s best if you’re home if you use it. If you look up “drip acclimation” you can see how to physically set this up, but the purpose is different. What you’re going to do is use a line of hose (like airline hose) to drip cool water into the tank, and use another length of hose to drip the too warm water out of the tank. You’ll need a jug or bucket to hold your cold water, and another bucket (as big or bigger) to catch the old water. In the fresh water jug, you’ll want to put in cold water – dechlorinated and properly treated for your fish. You can cool this water with dechlorinated and treated ice cubes. Run a siphon line into the fish tank. An airline holder is useful to keep the hose from moving and spilling water all over your house. Using knots in the line, or better yet an airline control valve, control the rate of flow to around 2-4 drips per second. Use another line to drip out of the tank into your catch bucket at the same rate. Be sure your buckets are bigger than the amount of water going in and out so you don’t have a spill. Be sure to do this steadily, keep the cool water refreshed so you don’t cause fluctuations in the tank!
Some contrast here to the previous images featuring older, seasoned, male firefighters. This young girl, just beginning her career, is extremely focused on the task at hand. Not concerned with the cold temperatures which turned the water dripping down the wall into ice, or the fact that her coat and gloves are soaked, she concentrates on her assignment.
The use of a wide aperture dramatically separates her from the distracting background and keeps just enough of the foreground in focus to maintain the texture of the frozen siding.
Even though the background is very bright, the viewer is still drawn to her face which is framed by the dark helmet and turnout coat.
Prompt: The Avengers each have individual interviews (because according to their publicists, it’s good to stay in the world’s good graces, whatever) and each are asked about fighting bad guys, why they’re uniforms look the way they do, to sign fan art, and most importantly, the relationship between Tony and (Y/N).
“So, we’ve gotten word that Mr. Stark and Ms. (Y/L/N) have quite the strange relationship. Would you care to shed some light on the subject?”
“Oh, god! Where do I even begin?” Clint states during his interview, dramatically leaning back in his chair to shout at the ceiling.
“Better grab a snack, because this could take a while,” Steve laughed.
“Those kids…they’re insane. Just simply, out of their minds,” Bruce admitted with his head buried in his hands.
“I simultaneously love and hate them. I didn’t think that was possible, but spend an hour with them. You’ll understand,” Natasha stated, dead serious.
“They used to steal my arrows and paint them like candy canes before I went off on missions,” Clint shook his head, “Dumbasses…”
“They spend way too much time together,” Steve explained, “It seems like one is always following the other around, very much like lost puppies. Whether (Y/N) is in front with Tony in tow or vice versa, they are always together.”
“Do you ever get jealous?” The interviewer asked. The camera focused in a close-up of Steve’s face like the Office.
“No,” Steve shrugged, shaking his head. He was totally jealous.
“It seems I can never just work in my lab anymore. Every hour or so, I’ll find a new surprise somewhere. Whether it be a pile of anger management squeeze-toys stuck in one of my machines, or (Y/N) and Tony reciting words from an anger management book over the loud-speaker…” Bruce took a deep breath, “I just want to work in my lab,” He looked downright pitiful by the end.
“They’re ideas are either the most genius concoctions of unique thought in history, or the dumbest train wrecks to have ever burdened the planet. There is simply no in between,” Natasha shrugged.
“One time, (Y/N) came back from CVS down the street around Halloween time with these 99 cent rubber clown masks,” Clint disclosed, shaking his head at the embarrassing memory, “Apparently, immediately when Tony saw the masks, the both knew exactly what to with them. Unfortunately, the fucking thing involved me. Now, I don’t scare easy, and I saw (Y/N) from down the hallway just before she jumped out at me. Good little goddamn actress that one is. She feigned disappointment when I continued to my room, thinking it was over, but nope. If you’ve got (Y/N), Tony’s waiting just around the corner with an identical clown mask waiting to scare the piss out of you…I didn’t actually pee…Okay, just a little.”
“Jealous wouldn’t be the right word. It’s more annoyed than anything,” Steve continued, attempting to defend himself, “It’s just, when you find another man standing on your girlfriend’s back claiming he’s giving her ‘A shiatsu,’ in the middle of his own bedroom, you have to ask questions…right?”
“It seems I have to grow eyes in the back of my head anytime I’m near them,” Bruce groaned.
“They don’t really bother me,” Natasha revealed casually, “They know any prank they pull on me is only half of what I can do to them.”
“You’d think being a SHIELD agent would train you for anything,” Clint sighed, “but the people who designed those training’s haven’t met Dumb and Dumber…It was only a drop of pee.”
“There’s many reasons (Y/N) and I moved out of Stark Tower. One of them being, Tony,” Steve confessed. “You know, he helped her pick out a bra for our date once. She came to the table saying, ‘Tony thought the lace matched my eyes.’ Sometimes…” Steve took a heavy breath, “I think I might start a Civil War with that guy…”
“I just need some peace,” Bruce sighed.
“For example, the one time Tony decided to throw my uniform in the freezer before we left for a mission,” Natasha reveled, “that same night, I drugged him, then glued his butt cheeks together. He couldn’t walk for two days,” She finished with a satisfied smirk on her cherry red lips.
The interviewer took an involuntary scoot back in his chair, silent in horror, but somehow managed to continue on.
“Two weeks ago, you know, when Hunger Games came out, now keep in mind, I hadn’t see the movie yet when this happened,” Clint started, his hands up in a defensive position. “I was out practicing shooting at the training center, as I always did, but I started to hear a weird noise. Like a whistling. Four tones over and over again, but no culprit. This lasted four days, okay? Four. Days. Before Nat and I went to watch Hunger Games, and I realized what it was. Marched straight up to (Y/N) and Tony who were sat on the couch in the lounge, and you know what that asshole said to me?… ‘Hello Katniss.’ God, I hate them sometimes…”
“But, in the end, they really complete each other,” Steve explained, “(Y/N) always compares our situation to one of her favorite television shows, ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ I think?” The interviewer nodded. “Right, so (Y/N) is Meredith, I’m Derek, and Tony is Christina, apparently. I’m her soulmate, but Tony is her person…If you met them, it would make sense.”
“No,” the woman interviewer answered with a smile, “That makes perfect sense…You sure you’re her soulmate, or…”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Steve laughed awkwardly, “Really, really, yes.”
“Yeah, they’re annoying,” Natasha sighed, “But you have to love them. The things they do are weird and sometimes slightly illegal, but hey, at least they’re happy. Happier than most people I would say.”
“Guarding the fact that they may bother you sometimes,” The interviewer asked Bruce, “Would you say they make a good team?”
“Uh…sometimes,” Bruce answered slowly, scratching the back of his neck. “Out in the field, they fight a lot like Clint and Natasha. They always seem to have each other’s back. It’s kinda cute actually…But I still like them much better separated. Keeps the world from imploding when they’re apart.”
“You called me your person?” Tony chided (Y/N) during their conjoined interview.
“Fucking hell Steve,” (Y/N) whispered to herself as Tony hugged her, “Don’t touch me! I don’t know where your hands have been,” (Y/N) joked.
“And you’re my person,” Tony concluded, hugging (Y/N) again.
“So, you’re relationship is simply ‘friends,’ is that correct?” The interviewer asked.
“Well, now it is,” (Y/N) mock sighed, “We got divorced last month. Why I’m dating Steve now,” She dramatically whipped her hair around, hitting Tony in the face.
“We got annulled, (Y/N)! Annulled! Quit telling people about it!” Tony yelled.
“See, this is why we got divorced,” (Y/N) fake cried, “He never treated our relationship like it existed. He was just never home and-”
“It didn’t exist! You just showed up in Malibu with the papers saying we were married!” Tony shouted.
“And he never lets me finish my sentences,” (Y/N) fanned her face, sniffing her nose.
“Because you kept insisting that we were married. I mean, I just felt bad for Pepper. She was so pissed…had to sleep on the couch for a month,” Tony continued, shaking his head.
“She never loved you!” (Y/N) yelled dramatically in Tony’s face, “I loved you! But you never saw it! You never saw me!”
“Oh, I saw you! I saw you standing outside my window with a Boombox shoved over your head playing ‘Who Let the Dogs Out!’”
“It was a metaphor for you, you pig!” (Y/N) threw her shoe at Tony then stormed off the set.
“I thought I was a dog!” Tony yelled after her, marching off the set as well.
The interviewer had no words. He just sat, microphone dangling from his limp hand, mouth wide open while the camera continued to run.
Tony’s and (Y/N)’s publishers bum rushed the two who were bent over in laughter, charging them like linebackers tackling the quarterback, screaming, “What the hell was that?” and “Are you two crazy?” Tony and (Y/N) looked at each other, then (Y/N), dead serious said, “That’s how you get out of an interview.”
The day of (Y/N)’s departure to Asgard, Tony and (Y/N) decided it was time to watch the tape of their drunken excursion to the dive Horseshoe Bar in East Village. A night of memories, cast from their minds in a blackout episode lasting through the night and into the next morning. Until now.
Naturally, Natasha, Clint, Steve, Thor, and Bruce gathered around the flat screen in the lounge to watch as well. Who the hell would miss this?
The tape was blurry at first, then revealed Horseshoe Bar. Neon lights lined every inch of the crumbling brick walls, being most of the light inside the darkened dive. The bar itself was lined with hoses of Blue Moon, Samuel Adams, Budweiser, anything and everything to every customer’s taste. It seemed normal at first. Quiet bar, small groups of people, heads bent in conversation.
Then, there. Tony and (Y/N) walked into the bar, leaning on each other, already slightly drunk from Tony’s party that they left early for no reason other than, “why not?”
The tape didn’t have sound, but everyone could tell Tony and (Y/N) were being loud as hell because every head in the bar turned towards Dumb and Dumber.
“Wow,” Natasha stated sarcastically, “You two really know how to make an entrance.”
“Please,” Tony huffed, “You haven't’ seen anything yet.”
The tape continued to play as Tony and (Y/N) approached the bar and ordered their drinks…more drinks. Then, (Y/N) whispered something in Tony’s ear and they both began to giggle like schoolchildren.
“I just told Tony the bartender had a nip-slip from his muscle-shirt,” (Y/N) laughed.
“Ah, yes,” Tony remembered, “Those were some nice nipples,” He stated. Clint flicked the back of Tony’s head.
“Don’t stare at other men’s nipples. That’s considered rude in all cultures.”
“(Y/N) was the one who noticed!” Tony defended himself. (Y/N) stared at the screen, then turned around slowly.
“…I love you, Steve,” She smiled. Steve just sighed and rolled his eyes.
The tape ran on, showing a lot of drinking, dancing, yelling, banging fists on the bar, yelling more, drinking more. Then, it happened. Now, the bar was known for it’s punk-heavy jukebox that constantly played, filling the bar with power chords and heavy bass. (Y/N) was the first to walk over, well, stumble over, to inspect the jukebox. Tony was right on her tail after he downed another beer. He fell twice, once on a body-builder guy who shoved a laughing Tony to the floor.
On the couch, watching the tape, Tony put his head in his hands.
“That’s why I had all those weird bruises,” He put the pieces together.
“Probably not the only reason,” (Y/N) thought out loud.
“Why do you say that?” Bruce asked.
“I don’t know. I’m half-hoping I’m right, half I’m wrong,” (Y/N) answered coyly, still staring at the screen before her, sitting cross-legged on the hardwood floor next to Tony.
On the tape, (Y/N) and Tony bent their heads over the machine, they’re backs turned to the security camera. All of a sudden, Tony almost stumbled over laughing, head thrown back, clutching his stomach. He had to hold onto the edge of the jukebox just to stay upright.
“What the hell was that?” Steve asked.
“Just watch, this is the good part,” (Y/N) answered, body convulsing in tiny seated jumps of excitement. Everyone was on the edge of their seats, waiting for something they would never forget.
Backs turned to the camera still, Tony implemented a code. Now, this code was something he devised a lot ago that somehow connected him to his own music account on Spotify. He selected a song, then, extremely dramatically, Tony and (Y/N) turned simultaneously and began to march down the aisles of the bars like Victoria Secret models on the runway, blowing kisses to the rest of the bar, doing random cliche poses, holding each other up every few seconds…It was a work of art.
Tony and (Y/N) were lying on the hardwood floor, crying in laughter, holding on to each other as they were on the tape.
“Oh my god! I didn’t think that actually happened! Thought maybe I dreamed that shit!” (Y/N) yelled.
“Hot damn! Call the police and the fireman!” Tony howled back.
“What song did you two pick?” Natasha asked, completely perplexed. Everyone else was left speechless, mouths agape, watching what they couldn’t believe actually happened.
“Okay, backstory,” (Y/N) started. “The night before, I was watching 27 Dresses when Tony walked in. Well, we only watched the scene where they were in the bar, and ‘Bennie and the Jets’ started to play and…”
In that moment, on the tape, Tony jumped up on the bar, pulling (Y/N) up next to him as they started to sing and dance to, yep, “Bennie and the Jets.”
Jumping, can-canning, jazz hands, howling, clapping, stomping, hips swaying, a lot of twirling. A lot of twirling.
The team were expecting security to come, busting through the door at any moment, angry bar-comers forming a mob, handcuffs, anything.
Nope. Instead, the whole bar, slowly at first, but gained enthusiasm, cheered them on. The bartender even shuffled ones at Tony who picked one up and stuffed it seductively down his pants with a wink.
(Y/N) and Tony were rolling around on the floor in laughter, pointing at the tape, pointing at each other. Eventually, Clint burst out laughing too, followed by Thor, Nat, Bruce, and finally Steve who just chuckled, keeping his arms crossed.
If (Y/N) had to guess, that was one of the best nights of her life, despite her not physically remembering it fully.
When the song ended, so did the tape. Battery life out. But, nobody cared. Everybody shit on Tony and (Y/N) just as much as they shit on themselves. It really was magical.
“Okay, the real question here, is how the hell did we not fall off the edge of the bar?” (Y/N) yelled.
“Guess Odin had our backs that night,” Tony laughed.
“Oh, my father would not support of your silly stupors. I would not mention it to him when you meet, (Y/N),” Thor commented, still chuckling about the video.
“Dully noted,” (Y/N) answered.
“I must apologize, friends, but (Y/N) and I must be off. Heimdell has been waiting for my summon long enough,” Thor announced.
“Oh, come on! Let’s watch it through one last time!” Tony shouted, pulling (Y/N) back to the floor, but she stood back up.
“Hush, Tony. I’ll be back in a week. Clint’s gone on longer missions than that,” (Y/N) tried to soothe him as Steve pulled Thor over to the side again, a stern look on his chiseled face, eyebrows drawn.
“Yeah, but never to another…the fuck did he call it, ‘realm?’” Clint argued.
“I’ll bring you back a postcard,” (Y/N) stated, “If they even have postcards… Hey, Thor!” (Y/N) called to him, “Do you guys have postcards on Asgard?”
“What is this postcard you speak of?” Thor questioned.
“Question, answered,” (Y/N) stated as Thor and Steve shook a firm handshake, then nodded to one another in some form of understanding.
“Alright, Lady (Y/N). Let us head off to my home, the Kingdom of Asgard,” Thor declared, chest out proudly.
“Will there be food?” (Y/N) asked jokingly.
“A feast in your honor my fellow warrior!”
“Wow, I was kidding, but bring that shit on!” (Y/N) yelled as a blinding white light lifted her and Thor into the space like a UFO out of The Twilight Zone.
If (Y/N) thought skydiving was a rush, the feeling of being sucked into a wormhole was a high speed chase on crack in the middle of a tornado.
And she loved it.
*follow and like for more. Starting Part 2. Posting tomorrow.*