Basic Advice

Prepping Your Tank for Winter

You may be wondering, “Is there anything I need to do to prepare my aquarium for winter?”. Ideally, your aquarium shouldn’t be affected by the changing of the seasons. However, one thing you need to be prepared for is how to take care of your aquarium in the event of the loss of power, which does happen occasionally during winter storms.

First, a note about regular aquarium maintenance: it should happen year-round, because a tank that has regular cleanings, water changes, and equipment checks will fare better in a variety of scenarios.

Your emergency power outage kit for your aquarium should include the following:

  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Pencil and notepad
  • Mylar Blankets
  • Ziploc bags
  • Battery operated aerator and extra batteries
  • 1 to 2 cup plastic container with a pour spout
  • Hand warmers
  • Fish net

The key things to consider during a power outage is maintaining both heat and oxygen for your aquarium’s inhabitants. The battery operated aerator will keep water moving while the filter is off.

Wrapping the tank in the thick Mylar blankets will reduce and minimize heat loss. If the power is out for too long, fill the zip lock bags with hot tap water and place inside the tank to provide ambient heat. Hand warmers may also be used inside baggies if you no longer have hot water. Notate the water temperature regularly, and adjust accordingly.

Do not feed the fish during the outage, as that will only cause more waste while the filter is not running. If the power is out for more than two hours, replace or remove the filter to prevent dead bacteria from entering the tank.

When power returns, adjust your heater so that it heats gradually rather than return to normal right away. Wait until the temperature returns to normal to feed the fish, test the water for ammonia, and make other changes.

If you experience problems with your tank, call us at (773) 774-3474 to get a qualified tech over to your home!

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.