Monday, February 11, 2013

What to do in a power outage - Part 1

I have several aquariums in my home and some of the species, like the angelfish, are very sensitive to changes in their environment - from temperature to water quality to oxygen levels.

So what happens when the power goes out?

This week I'll address various things you can do to keep your fish alive and healthy during a power outage.

Temperature Fluctations

If your power goes out in the winter, the most important thing to do is keep your fish from freezing. Take some heavy blankets and drape them over the tank. This will do two things: keep the temperature from dropping quickly and also keep your fish from being too active. The more active your fish are, the more likely you are to have more waste in your tank, so you want to keep it dark and keep them more still.

If your power goes out in the summer, the water needs to remain cooler. Fortunately, water temperatures shouldn't rise rapidly unless you are in the midst of a severe heat wave. In that case, you'll want to keep cool water flowing into the tank. This can be done by taking a gallon of water in a plastic jug, poking small holes in the bottom and propping it across the top of the tank. The small holes allow the water to flow in steadily but not too quickly. This is assuming the water flowing in is cooler than the tank water.

Tomorrow: how to keep the water aerated.