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I receently bought a new heater for tank, the temp was down to 71 degrees. I was kind of nervous of the temp going down any lower and loose all my fish. Iheard through verious aquarium shops the temp on african cichlids malawi and tangs is supposed to be 78 to 79 degrees. I raised the temp in an 8 hour period to 76 degrees, the guy at the aquarium where I bought 5 of my told me 'MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE TEMP AT 78 DEGREES' , I was kind of leary of this because when I didn't have a heater my tank was always 73- 75 depending on nomal room tempature the fish looked happy they could not wait for the next feeding time. So after I got the temp to 76 then 12 am I raised the temp I barely touched the nob on the heater. I woke up at 3am the temp was now up to 79 I looked in the tank and one of my kingsizei malawi cichlids was leaning on it side WO NOT what I expected I scooped out a half gallon of water and put 75 degree water back in I didnt know what to do so I put the kingsizei in my spear tank and, after a day of laying on it's side and swimming HE made it he's alive and eating well he even established domanince again after fighting my red top hogni mouth to mouth lip locked for about ten minutes. As the temp slowly came down by it's self about 10 hours or so I noticed my Black Congo calvus laying on it's side SAD to say it died and it's my falt. SO I recamend if your going to raise or lower your temp it should only be about to 1 - 2 degees a day at the most. I also found out through the internet the tangayikan cichlid can't handle the upper temp 0f the 76-to-78 standard tank temps. I hope I helped someone, I know I sure learned alot.
 

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Welcome to the boards and sorry for your loss.

A few thoughts on your post.

IME, happy Tangs are the result of great and consistent water quality and appropriate tankmates.

I have kept Calvus (Got bored and sold them after 18 months) , Julies (Breeding right now), Multies (Breeding right now), and Cyps (Bred like crazy until I sold them) with no problems with the tanks getting into the 80's at times during the year. So, as far as higher temperatures, based on personal experience the 76-78 max idea in bunk. I do know the temperature in my smaller tanks will change a few degrees throughout a 24 day and never have issues.

I have read that some of the sand dwellers are very intolerant of temperature changes, I have not kept them - but alas Calvus isn't in that group.

Barely touching the heater and having it go up 3 degrees sounds like a mis-sized or cheap heater - I would be deathly afraid of it - I have lost more fish to heater malfunction than anything else - I now spend money on the best heaters I can find and use multiple small heaters on larger tanks.

Higher water temperatures will cause the water to become more toxic if it is not well maintained. I would be far more concerned about water changes and water quality than water changing by a couple of degrees over the course of several hours.

The first stocking issue I see is a Kingsizei and a Hongi with a Calvus. I would have given the Calvus zero chance in the long run in such a setup.

We might be able to help figure out if anything else was in play if you can answer a few questions.

How big is the tank length width height?

How long has the tank been running, how long have the fish been in it?

What are the water parameters? (pH, Amonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, gH, kH)

What is your maintenance schedule?

What is the full stocking list?

Did the fish die after adding new fish, your post is not clear on when fish went in vs. illness?

Good Luck.
 
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