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Cool-Water Fish in 55F/13C degree water long-term?


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Was thinking of keeping my summer tub fish, White Clouds and Rosy Barbs, in the basement over winter, which stays in the mid-50s F. 

I've seen and heard the anecdotes about them surviving with ice over the top of the water, so my question isn't so much "can they tolerate that temperature", but more "how will they do at that temperature for 7ish months?"

I don't see much out there on the internet discussing long-term cold-ish water, so was hoping some of you had some practical experiences; how they did, if they still laid eggs, how much less food they ate, etc. etc. 

It may just boil down to that "one stress factor" they can tolerate and still be fine that Cory often mentions, but would appreciate anyone's actual experiences. Thanks!

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On 6/17/2021 at 9:09 PM, walruseggman said:

Can you explain this a bit more? Why without a doubt? Does metabolic activity stop or slow too drastically? 

It's more of the hardiness of fish. You can get a super hardy fish, but in less-suitable conditions they may not be able to adapt. For example, we just got white clouds as an experiment because it's a little cold still, some died off either infection or couldn't adapt. Some fish cannot adapt to colder than recommended temps. If you've moved them inside before (not to assume, but I think since your asking they may be new to you?)  they may be adapted to larger changes. With the metabolic rate, with the fish that cannot adapt for some reason their metabolic rate (activity level) will slow down and then stop.With the ones that can adapt they will basically move slower and eat less, but be healthy. Similar to discus at high temps. If they are at 84 they eat regularly, but when the temp is raised and their metabolism goes up, the eat more and produce more waste. Adaptation is similar to I have a plat that has lived here for 1.5 years, my first fish. Platies are harder water fish, this fish was not acclimated properly, pore water change schedule, and overfeedings. Other fish died off in m first tank as I learned how to keep fish. Man funguses and illnesses. The fish still lives today in soft water. It is really about hardiness and strength. I would tr it but as I said you ma have die offs of a weaker ones. 


About the "they do it in the wild" this is 100% correct info. However these fish are not wild-caught (I assume) so they did originally live in the wild, but the were bred many and many generations to a weaker form of fish than in the wild that only take certain parameters and that have lived and been breed in controlled aquariums such as ours for decades. The fish adapts in the wild, as they can at home with proper care. Similar to the reason people are told not to mimic parameters of the ocean/rivers for other fish unless they are wild caught.


Thank you

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I keep my fancy goldfish in my basement that stays 47f-53f  the entire winter (november through march). I had a rogue white cloud that did fine in the one tank before I fished him out when it got warmer. 

I think there is a MASSIVE benefit to doing this, at least for the goldfish, their breeding behavior is robust when things warm up, much more so than my goldfish keeper friends who keep them at warmer temps over the winter, it helps the females develop the eggs, also its widely known to increase linespan during these periods of cold for goldfish and other fish and inverts who experience periods of cold, I would assume this would also apply to the barbs and clouds. I say do it! 

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