Tips for Aquarium Care During a Winter Power Outage

LogoCalifornia may not get the frigid winter temperatures of other places in the U.S., but in the event of a power outage, the drop in water temperature could put your fish at risk. Good aquarium care during a winter power outage will ensure your aquatic pets have the best chance of surviving. If the power goes out, your tank will lose temperature regulation, filtration, and oxygen from insufficient water movement. If the power does not come back on within 30 to 45 minutes, it could prove harmful for your fish.


A Perfectly Clean and Happy tank will always fare better in an emergency than one less cared for. Have regularly scheduled cleaning and maintenance done on your aquarium, and keep a thermometer on or inside the tank so you can monitor the temperature. Prepare an emergency kit that includes: a flashlight and batteries; pen and paper; a fish net; blankets, large, thick towels, or a Mylar emergency blanket; a Ziplock bag; battery operated aerator; and duct tape; and keep it near your aquarium.


In the event of an emergency, write down the initial water temperature, then fill the Ziplock bag with hot water from the tap, seal it, and place it in the tank. Refresh the hot water bag as needed. Wrap your tank with the blankets and secure with duct tape to retain as much heat as possible. Lay a blanket on top of the tank as well, or make a tent with the Mylar emergency blanket. Place the battery operated aerator inside to keep the water moving while the filter is off. You can purchase an aerator at most pet shops, but if you don’t have one, you will need to aerate by hand, because beneficial bacteria in the water require oxygen. It’s best not to feed your fish while the filter is off.


Continue to monitor the temperature and aerate the tank until the power comes back on. When the power does come on, adjust the heater so that the temperature comes back up slowly, allowing your fish to readjust to a normal temperature. Wait until the water temperature returns to normal before feeding your finned friends, then continue to monitor them for health and vitality. If you have any questions about power outages, how to care for your tank after the power comes on, or need to set your aquarium up on a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule, contact PCH Tanks today. 

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