Jump to content

Preparing for Power Outage


Recommended Posts

Okay, so apparantly, my area is going to have power outage sometime during tonight or tomorrow. That means possibly no eletricity or heating for at least a 30 minute interval. How do I make sure that my fish survive? I have a 29 gallon and a 10 gallon (both communities with fish, shrimp, fry, and snails), and my sibling has a 5 gallon betta tank with snails. We have already covered the tanks with towels, but I'm not sure that will be enough to keep the fish warm. Also, I plan on aerating the aquariums by scooping out aquarium water and pouring it back in to give the fish oxygen through water movement regularly. Any suggestions on what else to do would be greatly appreciated.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For 30min I actually would not do anything. If your fish are in indoor aquariums, your house should provide enough insulation that a 30 or even 2hr lapse in electricity won't effect temp much. Keep in mind that water holds temperature differently than air too.

The only thing I would do is, if you know what time the outage will occur, unplug your heaters and HOB filters. At the very least, confirm that they are on a surge protector so that they are protected if they are plugged in when the electricity comes back on. I would perhaps invest in a USB air pump or battery powered air pump in the future, but again, this is a very short amount of time and will make almost no difference to your fish.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Fish Folk said:

Check out this recent thread:


Weird that didn't show up as a ping.  I keep my house at around 20C (68f) and just so happened to datalog my 5.5gallon tank loosing heat (it was actually just a really bad heater that had too big a gap in its on and off temperatures).  This is with a lid but no towel.


You can see it lost about 0.75C (~1.5F) in an hour so 30 min is nothing to worry about and I'd do nothing.  Incase you're curious i think the leveling off at hour 4 is when my furnace kicked in and it blows a bit on my tank.


I'd only worry about fish getting too cold if you keep your house cold and you expect power going out for extended periods.  Also not that larger tanks will cool slower as they have less area vs volume.


Edit: To add to that I suspect many tropical species are fine at fairly cold temps for a day or two but I don't know that for sure, so again I'd love to hear from an expert there.



Edited by CT_
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do water changes before power goes out if you know it's coming

Calcium Chloride Heater  (note must be pure 100% Calcium Chloride:  130F

Plastic water bottle  500 ml bottle

Add water to almost fill and 100 g calcium chloride

Monitor temp take out or add more bottles


Heat packs

113 F  tape to side of tank with painters tape

Tape near bottom, cover completely with painters tape

Cover tank with Mylar Emergency foil blanket or reg blankets.

Battery powered air pump


Ammonia filtering  *****Unplug regular filters or ammonia will be pumped in .****

Need filtration put air stone to bottom of aquarium place filter media over air stone or  attach battery air pump 

directly to sponge filter. 


Don’t feed fish*****


Power back on

Let tank go back to normal temp

Don’t feed fish right away

Do a large water change


Make an emergency kit

Battery powered air pumps

sponge filter

airstone/ weighted airstone

batteries D size for air pumps

mylar blanket  52 x 84  -36 x40 for 20 gal  heat rises


flash lights

500 ml bottles

heat packs/ 72 hr  110 F  red line to outside for oxygen 1 to 20-30 gals  monitor

tape/ painters tape

box filters

air tubing



Tank will be ok at 63 degrees if necessary

Watch for ICH



  • Thanks 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am in an area experiencing rolling blackouts as well and frigid temperatures in the negatives (-35° windchill) and the main thing I've done is insulate to keep the house warm, cover drafts around doors and windows, and cover tanks. With these temperatures, tanks can lose heat very quickly in a short amount of time. I was a bit surprised with how quickly the tanks lost heat in this cold... and even the house. I am a little worried about today's blackouts while I'm at work as they are completely random and I still have a few tanks with AquaClears 🤦🏻‍♀️


  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I survived a 7 day outage boiling water for bottles on our wood stove 24 hrs a day,  switching out bottles to all the tanks. Battery air pumps are a must!  I had only one casualty, the loss of my 13 yr old King Kong Parrot due to the fact I didn't have emergency air pumps at the time. The fluctuating  water temperatures, even monitored the oxygen was removed and he most likely suffocated. A sad loss indeed.  

After 25 yrs with no generator I now have one wired in, although I have not used it yet.  


  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Martin said:

Hey @CorydorasEthan!  I hope everything is going okay for your tank.  Our power just came back on and I posted what I ended up doing in the other thread the others have already mentioned.  I hope it helps you out.  Everyone here is awesome.

Thanks! There hasn't been a power outage yet, but I will be prepared if it comes!

Edited by CorydorasEthan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Kat_Rigel said:

@Trishthe mylar blankets are a very good idea. I had to use one once (long story, but I got stranded) and it saved my tushie. I can imagine it would be very helpful with an aquarium.

I'll throw one in my glove compartment, you can never be too careful!   Glad everything turned out well for you @Kat_Rigel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...