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How to keep your aquarium cool during an Emergency ?

How to keep your aquarium cool during an Emergency ?

Living in a tropical country like in Singapore, there will chances that we encounter some issue with the temperature of our tank rising either due to a chiller break down, power failure or pump failure.

In a marine tank environment, an escalating water temperature if it does not handle fast enough, it could be devastating resulting in a total tank crash or fish/coral causality.

Below are some of the tips to help keep your tank cool when your power is restored, or when you manage to obtain a replacement pump or chiller.

It can be quite a challenge to keep an aquarium cool

Yes, we are living in a hot tropical country, it is not easy to keep the aquarium cool. But during an emergency, we can help to keep our aquarium cool by using one or some of the following method ;

Method 1: Fans – These are a great way to cool your aquarium tanks. The good thing about them is that they are a very inexpensive method that can be used. Fans also help in blowing away the hot air that is created in the tanks as a result of lighting fixtures present in the tank. There are many choices of fans that are available and these include fans that can be attached to the canopy, as well as fans that can be mounted to the tank rim.

Fans also help in cooling the aquarium as they blow air over the water surface. As a result, an increase in evaporation takes place in the tank. And this, in turn, cools down the tank. This is a process that is known as evaporation cooling, and it serves as a very good backup for use during an emergency situation to help keep the water cool.

Method 2: Keep only minimum pump running – A lot of us might not have noticed but one of the key source of heat in our aquarium water is from the various pump/powerhead we use for our calcium reactor, phosphate reactor, return pump ect… By minimizing the use of the pump, keeping the water running only on one return pump running or wavemaker running, it will help to reduce the heat being introduce into the water until the chiller is repair or replace. Remembering that a DC return pump runs cooler compared to an AC return pump, thus if you have two return pump use the DC pump instead of the AC one.

Method 3: Air Pump – Making use of a strong air pump to aerate the tank during a power outbreak or chiller failure not only help to keep the livestock alive, but it also helps to keep the water cool. The air pump will help in increasing the exchange of gases that are taking place on the water surface. And in this process, heat exchange will also take place and this will cool down your aquarium.

Method 4: Floating Ice – A big advantage of this method is that it is a very inexpensive one and could be available instantly in any emergency situation. It is thus advisable to keep some of those bottles with water stored in your freezer as standby for any emergency situation.

Method 5: Open the tank covers – If you keep your aquarium covered, open the covers. By allowing more air exchange on the water surface, it will help cool the tank as well and if your tank is placed next to a window, remember to cover it up to avoid all direct or indirect heat source into the water.

What can you do to avoid such situation?

  • Consider setting up a battery backed-up wave maker that kick in during a power failure.
  • Consider switching from an AC pump to a DC pump since DC pump runs cooler.
  • Consider setting up a power failure notification or controller that help notify you in the event of an emergency.
  • Consider setting up a web camera that enables you to monitor your tank on the go.
  • Some of the aquarium computers like apex comes with a notification that alerts you when something in your tank goes wrong. It is a nice gadget to have if the budget allowed.

Above are some of the situation that we can use during an emergency situation of power failure, or chiller breakdown to avoid any tank casualty until power is restored or chiller is replaced.

Larry Ng

Larry Ng (aka Harlequinmania )- Blogger, chef editor of SRC, and experience reef keeper, with over twenty years in the marine aquarium hobby. His love and crazy for marine life and fish keeping since a young age has turned his passion into a lifelong hobby. His personal 1000 gallon tank, and setup has been featured on the magazine and video.