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Power Outages and the Aquarium
Ardan Huck March 14, 2003

If the power goes out for an extended period of time, there are things to consider when keeping an aquarium:


1. Temperature
The temperature must not drop too far for too long. To prevent this, you can:

A. Wrap the aquarium with blankets, insulation, or styrofoam.

B. Float jugs containing hot water in the aquarium (gas hot water heaters do not need electricity and fireplaces can heat the room and water).


2. Biological Filtration
If the power remains off, the bacteria in the filter do not get oxygen and will die. If the bacteria die, the ammonia/nitrite will not be consumed and the fish will be harmed or killed. If the bacteria die in the filter and then the filter is restarted, the dead bacteria enter the water column and pollute the water.


Things to do:
A. Hook up a generator for the heaters and filters.
B. Hook up an "uninterruptable power supply" (a battery backup used for computers).
C. Use battery-operated air pumps to run the sponge filters.
D. Remove media from filters, keep them damp, and expose them to air. This will keep the bacteria alive.


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