Controlling Humidity in Your Fish Room
By Randy Rhoades
Hi! My name is Randy Rhoades and I keep lots of fish. I love fish so much that I DREAM about them all the time! My favorite fish is the frontosa, with my Aulonocara coming in a close second.
I have a 160-gallon tank in my living room, and three 15-gallon tanks, four 20-gallon tanks, and a 100-gallon tank with frontosa in my guest room. In my “official” fish room I have three 75-gallon tanks, four 58-gallon tanks and one 40-gallon tank. My bedroom houses three 10-gallon tanks, and six 15-gallon tanks.
I have a little over 1,000 gallons of aquariums in my house, and would like more, but I haven’t figured out how to make a double-stacking stand straight. I would also like to put a 40-gallon tank in my fish room to use as a breeder tank.
One day my mother told me I needed a dehumidifier to keep the humidity from destroying the walls of my house. I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I moved to a new house and saw what the humidity had done to the old one.
I bought a dehumidifier for my new house, and–lo and behold–it kept the water off the walls! The dehumidifier worked well. I didn’t have to worry about the walls peeling. However, I had to either dump the water out every day or else punch out the drain hole and add a hose drain in order to it that way.
I thought you couldn’t put the collected water into a fish tank, but one day I decided to put it to the test. I added some of the dehumidifier’s water to a tank with “troublemakers”—fish that couldn’t get along with my other fish. I took out 10% of the water, added water from the dehumidifier, and waited 24 hours to see what would happen.
Nothing happened! The fish were fine, thank goodness. I then put 5% dehumidifier water into another tank and waited nine hours. Again, those fish were find. Humm, I decided this was going to work—no more dumping water from the dehumidifier outside.
I also discovered that the dehumidifier water had a pH of 6.0, which was great for my discus. Those fish are doing better with this “new” water than they did with tap water. Maybe I can even get them to breed with this new lower pH, since that’s what they like.
Although I know this water will not harm the fish I have, I don’t know about other fish in the hobby. You will have to experiment with the fish you keep.