Power outages are common and it can be distressing as fishkeepers because you want to make sure you are doing everything possible to keep your fish healthy during a power outage. Here is what to do with your aquarium when you lose power.
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Do I Need to Do Anything to my Aquarium if I Lose Power for an Hour?
If you are going to lose power for an hour or even two hours, you don’t have to do anything to your aquarium. Your fish will survive with no filter and no heater during a short power outage.
However, if you are going to lose power for longer than 2 hours, here are things to do with your aquarium to safe guard your fish during a power outage.
What Should I Do To Retain Aquarium Heat When I Lose Power?
In order to minimize aquarium heat loss, wrap a blanket or towel around the aquarium glass. You can also put a cardboard on top of the aquarium lid to prevent heat loss. Just make sure there are breathing holes so you don’t cut off oxygen supply to your aquarium.
What to do to Keep Aquarium Water Heated When I Lose Power in the Middle of Winter?
If it’s winter and you lose power, you should closely monitor your aquarium water temperature with a thermometer. Use a floating thermometer to gauge the temperature. Wrapping your aquarium with blankets may not be enough to keep the heat in your aquarium. If the aquarium water is too cold, warm it up by floating a hot bottle of water.
When preparing the hot water bottle, make sure you don’t use boiling water and don’t use a plastic bottle that will melt in the fish tank. Also use a clean water bottle so you don’t introduce harmful contaminants into your aquarium. Condition your water first with water conditioning drops before you put it in the bottle in case some water leaks out.
Continue to monitor your aquarium water temperature 3-4 times a day and change out the hot water bottle with newly warmed water as needed.
What to do to Keep Aquarium Water Aerated During a Power Outage?
Normally, oxygen in aquarium water is introduced by the movement of water from your filter and from plants. When you lose power, your aquarium filter will not run and there is no movement in the water. If your power outage is longer than 2 hours, you will want to make sure your aquarium water is aerated otherwise your fish will not get enough oxygen.
You can aerate your aquarium using a battery operated aquarium air pump. I like the Penn Plax Battery Operated Aquarium Air Pump because you keep it plugged in and when there is a power outage it will automatically turn on. This will ensure that your aquarium water is aerated even during a power outage.
Should I Feed My Fish When I Lose Power?
Don’t feed your fish when you lose power. You want to minimize waste matter during a power outage. When you lose power, your aquarium filtration system will stop running which will result in a deterioration of water quality. Without a running filter, waste matter and detritus will build up which will become toxic for your fish overtime.
Your fish can survive without food for a few hours, even a few days. It’s better for them to go hungry than for the aquarium water quality to deteriorate.
How to Make Your Aquarium Ready for Future Power Outages
It’s smart to be ready for future power outages. Here are four things you can do to make your aquarium ready for future power outages.
1. Install a Battery Operated Air Pump
It’s wise to invest in a battery operated aquarium air pump for your aquarium. Install the battery operated air pump so it’s ready to run whenever you lose power. This will ensure that your fish receive much needed oxygen during a power outage.
2. Have Blankets and Towels Ready
Set aside blankets and towels that are big enough to wrap around your aquarium. Do a dry run, test out a few blankets so you know which ones work. You don’t want to be searching around for a blanket during a power outage. Better to be ready!
3. Have a Water Bottle Ready
Have a water bottle ready that you can use to add warm water to heat up your aquarium in case of a power outage. Do a dry run, test out a water bottle that you can use to heat up aquarium water when you lose power. Remember, don’t use plastic water bottles that can melt and make sure this water bottle is thoroughly rinsed out and clean so there are no contaminants that will harm your fish.
4. Keep a Thermometer in the Aquarium
Always have a thermometer in your aquarium. Make sure you have the old fashioned thermometer (not the digital type). That way, you have a thermometer ready during a power outage and you can easily gauge if you need to heat up your aquarium water.