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COVID-19: Preparing and Maintaining your Aquarium
17 April 2020
While the stress and concern surrounding COVID-19 may be on the increase, we must remind ourselves about the importance of maintaining the calm and tranquillity of our aquaria. So in the name of not taking it for-granted, let’s be prepared for their preservation. It is a good idea to ensure you have stocked up on the obvious consumable products which are required to see our aquatic friends through these uncertain times. But we must also give some thought to the two commodities that our tanks can’t manage without; a water supply and protection from potential power cuts.
In the unlikely event over the coming weeks, we are faced with water supply interruptions or power failures, we must become prepared for the safety of ourselves and also our fish. These issues could potentially arise from staff health issues or logistical hold ups whereby a normally small supply interruptions could become a longer outage.
Water shortages are not difficult to prepare for- simply fill up several water barrels with fresh or filtered tap water and store for up to several weeks. Be sure to remember to aerate the water regularly and if needed, sterilise the water before use.
Obviously, there are several components to proper aquarium care that utilise electricity- Filtration, heater, pump and lighting. Aquarists with set ups which are quite demanding (such as a large marine aquarium or several tropical aquariums) may want to consider perhaps investing in a small generator. This way, the aquarium will not be affected by a potential power cut. Of course if you are a single tank hobbyist, you may be better off purchasing a battery powered air pump (and of course plenty of extra batteries) as your ‘plan B’. Some air pumps offer both aeration and filtration once filled with mature bio media.
Regarding protecting the aquarium from a temperature drop, there are a few ways in which you could become prepared. Some might be surprised about the coolest temperature their fish could live happily in. The stability of water temperature is actually a very important factor for the wellbeing of fish. To reduce the risk of your water temperature raising and lowering like a yo-yo, it may be best to reduce the aquarium temperature to your aquatic life’s lowest ‘comfortable’ temperature. It is advised to do this gradually, perhaps 1 degree per 24 hours. On top of this, stay extra prepared with some form of insulation e.g a hot water cylinder jacket. It is worth noting, we are now in spring and as our general household temperatures rise and become warmer, it may be warm enough to sustain our tropical setups without any extra aid or effort anyways.
If you unfortunately contract Covid-19, it is best to minimise your risk of further health complications by taking extra precautions. To do this, always practice good hygienic procedures by washing your hands thoroughly before and after proceeding with water changes, avoiding sucking on syphon tubes and ensuring you wear waterproof plasters/ longer length protective gloves if you have an open wound.
If you are in a situation where you need something which is vital, some aquatic shops (eg Wildwoods in Enfield) are still operating a no-contact procedure for purchasing the essentials. Also it is worth mentioning that there are many helpful fishkeeping communities found within social media groups. If you would like to join our facebook group, simply search: @TropicalFishFinderUK and click ‘like’ or ‘join’. Of course as we live through this time where we all come together and help one another out, we should always remember to do so whilst practicing the government advice by proceeding with social distancing recommendations.
We would like to wish you all good heath and prosperity during this uncertain time period. Stay safe and take care to all our wonderful Tropical Fish Finder readers.