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Keeping Your Fish Safe In A Power Outage

If you have an aquarium, a power outage can be a very scary event. If you don’t act quickly, your fish could be at risk.

Fish Tank

If you keep a fish tank, it’s very important to prepare for a power outage as they can happen at any time. If you’re experiencing an outage, here are some tips to keep your aquarium healthy:

1. Use an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)

A UPS – “Uninterrupted Power Supply” – is basically a battery-backup, used mainly for computer systems but can be just as useful for the aquarium hobby. It’s unlikely to keep your tank running continuously for 6-8 hours, because the heater will quickly suck the juice out of it, so it is recommended to keep it on for only 5-10 minutes every hour.

2. Keep the water moving

Fish Tank Water Movement

One thing every aquarium owner should keep nearby is a battery-operated air pump and a set of batteries. These cheap little pumps run off standard batteries to power a small electric motor which will keep pumping air into your fish tank during an outage. They can usually last for up to five stays before the batteries need to be changed over.

If you can’t find a battery-operated pump, don’t worry — you can use a jug instead. Use a regular jug or mug to scoop water from the tank and dump it back in. This will agitate the top surface of the water, create an oxygen source and contribute water movement to the fish.

3. Use bottles to warm the tank

You can heat water in a pot or kettle and pour the hot water into plastic bottles. With the heated water, float the bottle on the surface of the aquarium. This will help distribute heat to the tank, however most of that heat is going to stay towards the surface; it’s important to use an air pump or jug to make sure the heat reaches the rest of the tank.

If you want to be creative and distribute heat faster, you can get a 2kg bag of gravel or sound and distribute some of the sand or stone into the bottle to help sink it further. This is not necessary, but it may help to get the heat around quicker.

4. Cover the tank with a blanket

Fleece Over Fish Tank

Grab a fleece blanket, wrap it over the top of the tank and left it drape over the sides. What this is going to be used for is insulation to keep the heat in. The lights are going to be off during an outage, but be sure to switch them off in case power returns unexpectedly.

If you don’t have a fleece blanket, you can use newspaper, styrofoam or anything else that will provide insulation to the tank.

5. Invest in a power generator

If you want to be safe, invest in a power generator. These can cost upwards of a few hundred dollars, but they will keep you calm during an outage.


Have you only lost power in parts of your Melbourne home? You may have a fault with your electrical wiring somewhere, so you should book a qualified electrician with SwiftHero as soon as possible.