5 Tips to Hurricane Prep Your Aquarium
Floridians know the drill for prepping your home and family for hurricane season: water, canned food, flashlights, etc…
But one big item most don’t prepare is your fishtank at home and at the office. Without electricity for only a few hours can mean complete devastation for your fish and corals, costing thousands of dollars.
Common mistakes can be easily avoided and these 5 tips will most likely save your fishtank:
1. Buy extra batteries for your backup air pump.
In the frantic race to get your home and family ready for the incoming storm which was going to miss us and now is coming straight for us … IN 12 HOURS … you can’t find batteries anywhere!
Your fishtank’s lifeline, the battery backup air pump (which you should already have if you have been a client of Poseidon Aquariums since June 2017, if not, call us and we’ll bring you one), needs new batteries every 12 hours. They run on D batteries, same as other items you keep during a storm such as flashlights and a radio.
Last year most of South Florida lost power for 2 weeks or more. That means changing the batteries 28 times! If you have a fishtank, better buy D batteries in bulk (we found a 12-pack for $12 on Amazon), just in case.
Then: peace of mind! Well, not yet.
2. Keep it cool.
Another deadly mistake is forgetting that your reef system needs to stay under 78 Fahrenheit degrees. If not it starts to get unbalanced, sick and ultimately everything starts to die.
Some fishtanks have chillers and others simply stay cool due to running AC. Either way, a loss of electricity would eliminate either cooling sources and your aquarium is in peril.
We suggest freezing one or two plastic 1-gallon bottles (depending on the size of the tank) and dropping them in once the tank starts heating up. Do not add uncontained ice as it will dilute the salinity and cause damage to the health of the system.
3. Connect water pump and chiller to generator
This is probably the best case scenario: you live in a home where you have your own generator in case you lose power. If that is the case, just make sure to hook up both the chiller and the water pump. One to keep the tank cool, the other to circulate and oxygenate the water.
This set up will keep your system alive for up to 10 days and there is no need to add chemicals and feed the fish during that time if you don’t have them readily available.
4. One Person in Charge.
Whether at home but imperatively at the office: one person MUST BE REPONSIBLE. One person must prep AND check on the aquarium within a couple of hours of the storm passing.
“The only aquarium which suffered the most after last year’s Irma storm was due to not having a person in charge of specifically checking the fishtank,” shares Joshua Gray, President of Poseidon Aquariums.
Poseidon’s team went on site before the storm and prepped the tank with the necessary tools. As it did to each of its clients’ aquariums. This included a battery air pump to oxygenate the water in case of loss of power.
But no one was in charge of changing the batteries of the air pump after the storm. So unfortunately, after days without power, the livestock perished.
“In addition to the cost of clean up and replacing the fish and corals, the smell was foul in that office and the clean up extremely messy. All could have easily been avoided.”
5. Prep and Check.
It is critical to prepare your aquarium and your pond for a rainy, windy, potentially power-losing type of storm.
But it is just as important to go check on it after the storm has passed and your area has been cleared to be accessed.
Because damage and loss of power create unforeseeable situations, something might have happened that can be easily be addressed if identified sooner rather than later.
Poseidon’s team can provide you with a free assessment related to your fish tank and pond and its readiness in case of a hurricane. Don’t hesitate to call so we can help!
Also, Poseidon’s team will try its best to assist after a storm. But due to time-sensitivity and physical obstacles around the city, we highly recommend owners to check his/her aquarium and pond as soon as possible. We can provide assistance by phone while trying to get to your home or office.