Preparing Your Fish for a Potential Power Outage. (I’m Looking at you Winter Storm Liam!)

Hi everyone,

Today I’m writing to you because I may not get any power after tomorrow. The northeast is expecting a decent size winter storm..They even gave it a name: Liam. I feel like that’s how you know a storm is probably going to be bad, when they give it a name lol.

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This supposed storm is going to travel from the Midwest to the northeast. Apparently though, the storm will be more moderate out west than it will over my way, we are expecting a total of 10-12 inches of snow fall, and a mixture of ice and sleet. So when I hear that, I get a head start on my preparations with my fish incase we lose power. Even though I am skeptical because they told us we were supposed to get a “storm” about 3 times now this winter, which only resulted in about 4-5inches of snow each time..Which is nothing to us…I am still going to take precautions to make sure that I have everything I need in place.

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So for now, I am going to monitor the weather and make sure I make the right decision about driving to work tomorrow (the storm should start around 9am). I have a sports car, which is a big no-no in the snow..

So moving on, What will I do to prep my fish for a potential power outage?

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#1- Water Changes: I feel like this is a given when you are expecting the power to “potentially” go out. Even if you just changed your tank a few days ago, I would change it a day before the storm is supposed to hit because you do not know how long it will be out for and the water you changed three days ago can quickly turn into 6 or 7 if the power does not come back on. -This is especially detrimental if you have an overstocked tank, as the oxygen levels will be depleted very quickly.

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#2-Unplug your filters: I would strongly recommend this one if you have small crustaceans such as ornamental shrimp.. If you unplug your filters before the storm then you are able to decide when to plug it back in when the power is back on. Why does this matter? because when your filter is stopped for an extended period of time the build up of harmful toxins such as ammonia and nitrites can loiter In your filter and when the power comes back on it will all come rushing into your tank which will cause a pretty significant spike in your parameters. To keep your beneficial bacteria alive and well, you should transfer any bio balls or ceramic stones to your actual tank below the water line. When the power comes back on, just rinse out the filter and its contents before starting it back up.

#3-Aeration: To ensure that the tank will not become stagnant water and the fish can get some sort of oxygen, I would invest in a few battery operated air pumps. You can get these online or in a pet store just to help with the quality of the water while you and your finned babies are out of commission.

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#4-Warmth: For this I would just move your cold sensitive fish away from a place with a draft, (if applicable)- like my tiny 12 gallon tropical nano tank for instance, I would move this away from the window and possibly next to (not too close) a space heater or place a blanket over it to hold in warmth for a little longer.

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#5-Feedings: Lastly, I would feed your fish the night before/day of the expected storm..but would not feed them during the power outage. Fish can go 4-5 days without food. And to help prevent waste build up I think this would be wise. However, if the power outage goes beyond this..you will have to start feeding your fish again or else they will become very weak and get sick/die.

Well that’s all of the main points I have to talk with you about today. I am heading out of work shortly and home to take care of my babies. If you live in an area that will be hit hard by the upcoming snow storm, I hope your power stays on and I hope you have an easy time the next couple of days. If you can think of a few more things I missed please feel free to add it to the comments.

 

Thanks for reading and stay safe!

sar

Sarah

 

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