Be Prepared for a Power Outage

aquarium with plants and fish
Thomas R. Reich, PhD

Power outages can occur at any time without warning, and therefore all aquarium owners should be ready to handle this situation at any given moment. Although the aquarium is safe for some time without filtration, the inhabitants cannot survive for very long without oxygen. Heat is essential when weather conditions are cold, but overheating becomes the problem when it's hot.

To prevent a complete disaster from striking when the power goes out, these emergency power supply items and manual oxygenation and heating methods will help you be prepared to provide the essential life support your aquarium needs to keep it safe.

  • 01 of 06

    Emergency Power Generators

    Buying an emergency power generator should be considered an investment rather than an expense. Ranging in price from about $100.00 up to thousands of dollars, such a unit can be a real lifesaver, not only for an aquarium but household needs as well. From the wide variety of gasoline, propane and diesel fuel powered 120/240 volt AC and 12 volt DC output compact inverter equipped and lightweight portable, to large home/business automatic standby and commercial mobile units to choose from, consult with a professional to make sure you get the right kind for the job you want it to do.

  • 02 of 06

    UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)

    UPS units are designed to automatically kick in when the power goes out to keep computers from crashing. We have both computers in our office hooked up to one, and once we even took it during a long power outage and used it to run our ​aquarium's sump pump. Buying a UPS specifically for aquarium use is a good investment, as a few essential pieces of equipment like a pump, powerhead and heater can be connected to it. When investing in a UPS it's wise to consider a powerful enough unit that will keep things running for a substantial period of time, because you may not there to attend to the aquarium. If you are, you can prevent exhausting the UPS to quickly by turning it off, only running it for like five minutes at half-hour intervals.

  • 03 of 06

    More Battery Operated Equipment

    There all kinds of items that are battery operated that can be used as emergency aquarium equipment to provide the essentials -- oxygen, filtration, and heat. A good place to find such items are sporting goods and marine supply stores that sell fishing and boating supplies.

  • 04 of 06

    Manually Generate Oxygen and Circulate the Aquarium Water

    If you do not have any emergency power equipment that can be used to provide oxygen to your aquarium, it's easy to manually do so, and at the same time keep the water circulated. All it takes is a simple container like a cup or pitcher.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Retain and Manually Generate Heat

    In cold weather situations, when the power goes out you want to first retain as much of the heat in the aquarium as possible. Once that is done, if the power has been out for some time, the temperature of the aquarium water will begin to drop. If you do not have a power source to provide heat, the next step is to generate it yourself to prevent the aquarium from getting too cold.

  • 06 of 06

    Keep Rising Tank Temperatures Down

    Most people keep an air conditioner running when the weather is hot, but when the power goes out, so does this cooling source. As things heat up quickly inside a building, so does the temperature of the aquarium water begin to rise, but there are many things you can do to temporarily bring down harmful rising tank temperatures and keep your aquarium inhabitants safe in this situation.