October 20

How to Make Your Aquarium Ready for Chilling Winters and Power Outages


During winters, it is easy to put a sweater or a blanket on your dog. The same treatment to your reef aquarium or tropical fish might not be an easy task. You can take uncomplicated precautions and handy emergency kit to protect your

  • saltwater or freshwater fish
  • invertebrates
  • aquatic plants
  • live coral

The correct steps save your creatures of the aquarium from illness and death that is often the result of inadequate aeration because of cold weather blackout.

Now you must not worry about your prized coral or pet fish dying in the upcoming Snowpocalypse or Snowzilla. Instead, there is the requirement of enough supplies to prepare your aquarium for the weather tomorrow.

Take the following necessary precautions to save your saltwater tank or tropical aquarium from the chilling winters and power failures.

General Tips to Save Your Tropical Fish and Aquarium From Cold Weather

Never place the fish tank near the window.

Keep the fish tank in a room that will remain closed and retreat in case of power failure during cold weather.

During the winter blackout, it is necessary to shield the windows with plastic covers, sheets, or blankets. It is also vital to place a rolled-up towel or a draft dodger under the door.

Place the tropical fish tank in a warm room.

Never give extra feed to your fish in case of a blackout, as it will help in reducing the waste build-up and water quality degradation in the fish tank.

Vital Supplies for Keeping Your Aquarium Warm During Power Failure

  • Heat Packs
  • Duct Tape
  • Mylar Emergency Blankets
  • Uninterrupted Power Supply or UPS

The kit must consist of one minimum Mylar Emergency blanket, air pump or battery-based device for power aeration, heat packs that may last for sixty to seventy-two hours under the aquarium, and duct tape.

A UPS or a constant supply of power is imperative in a cold-weather blackout. It is advisable to keep the remaining kit handy in case of an extended power failure.

Method of Tropical Aquarium Blackout Emergency Kit Utilization

Once the supplies are ready with you, this is how you can bring the emergency kit into use.

Battery-Based Air Pump

To protect your aquatic pets against the cold-weather blackout, immediately connect and put on the air pump that is battery-oriented. It will provide adequate oxygen to your aquatic pets in the aquarium for survival.

Heat Packs Arrangement

Place three to six heat packs that can last for at least sixty to seventy-two hours surrounding your aquarium. Fix the heat pack outside the fish tank to the duct tape’s sticky side at the bottom edge.

Fish Aquarium Cover

Make use of the Mylar emergency blanket for covering the fish tank from every side, keeping the shiny part inside. Be careful and never wrap the blanket tight around the heat pack.

    You would require taping the blanket similar to a tent on the upper side. Duct tape is necessary to make the blanket stand.

    Always ensure that a battery-based air pump is not inside the Mylar emergency blanket; it is imperative to keep it outside.

    Mylar Blankets

    At times of power failure, Mylar helps in keeping the tropical aquarium warm. You might require at least one or more than one.

    You can buy Mylar at a sporting goods outlet or from the sporting goods section in a super or a hypermarket.

    The measure of your reef aquarium or tropical aquarium will help you decide the number of Mylar blankets needed.

    Mylar has to be eight-inch or more in combined length than the aquarium circumference.

    If you are not sure how many Mylar emergency blankets are required, better to have more than one. More than one Mylar becomes stronger in heat containment.

    For a tank that is 10 gallons, a blanket measuring 54” x 80” is ideal. And for a 90-gallon fish aquarium, a set of two Mylar measuring 54”x 80” may be comfortable.

    Heat Packs – Disposable

    You must always keep an adequate amount of heat packs. A heat pack lasting for seventy-two hours is better, however, a 60-hour heat pack is available with ease.

    It is advisable to use a dual heat pack per twenty-five gallon of fish tank at a time. For instance, if you have a hundred-gallon fish tank, you must use eight heat packs; it may last for sixty hours in case of a cold-weather power failure.

    Battery-Based Aeration

    During cold-weather power failure, it is vital to keep the flow of aeration in the reef and the tropical fish tank. Bubblers are the best alternative to provide a continuous flow of water at the time of emergency.

    But it is not used in a saltwater setup. Never compromise on the quality of a battery-based aerator as it may not give the desired result.

    Keep extra batteries for continuous aeration in the aquarium with you before facing blackout. Two batteries are enough to perform eight to sixteen hours on these devices.

    Duct Tape

    A duct tape is necessary for sticking every part of the kit so that your aquarium remains warm. There is no compulsion of duct tape but a two-inch-wide duct tape is better.

    You can use the wide duct tape that easily sticks the sides of the Mylar blanket.

    Uninterrupted Power Supply or UPS

    A UPS or an uninterrupted power supply is crucial to saving your fish tank from cold weather power outages. Although, many of the UPS is not capable of providing power supply for an extended time.

    It protects your fish aquarium automatically once there is a power failure. UPS are handy if you are planning to move out of your house for less than eight hours.

    You can go for alternatives to protect the fish tank once you come back home. Make sure to plug the heater into the UPS during the winter season.

    Be Responsible for Giving Protection to Your Fish Aquarium

    The fish in the aquarium needs close attention. They are pleasing to your eye while they are active in the fish tank. To protect them from any issue arising becomes your responsibility.

    You need to be aware of what could lead to your fish dying in the aquarium.

    Once you know what makes them ill and ultimately leads to death, you might plan better to protect them.

    There are many things available in the market to give safety to the aquarium from various conditions. Know and learn about everything that will increase the chances of your fish survival.

    Only feeding your fish is not the only thing ensuring that your fish will remain healthy in the aquarium.


    You will have to take care of a steady flow of oxygen, warmth during winters, and power back-ups to ensure ill-free fish in the tank.


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