Tropical Fish Site

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Double Up Your Fish Tank Equipment

Some might call it O.C.D. and overkill, others say it is necessary but we all tend to keep extra’s or spares of many things around the home such as light bulbs and kitchen roll. It is ever so frustrating to be caught out without a spare light bulb and be fumbling around in the dark until such a time as you can get to a shop to get a spare light bulb. You can cope with this though and it isn’t life threatening.

If this situation was life threatening though wouldn’t you make absolutely sure that you were covered and had enough light bulbs so that you never ran out?! This brings me on to my point about the equipment we use for our fish tanks. This is effectively all life support equipment, I am not talking about the latest glass scraper or lighting, I am talking about the filtration, power heads and air pumps. All of these pieces of equipment, whichever you may be using, will be in some way essential to the life support of your fish so does it not make sense to have spares of these?


If I was suggesting getting a second item of everything and storing it away then you might call me crazy, this would really be a bit of a waste of money and taking it a little too far. But how about if you had the extra equipment but it was running on the tank all of the time. This way you have the added benefit of additional filtration or water oxidisation permanently and should any of your equipment break then the remaining equipment will be able to cope with the task in hand until such time as you are able to replace the broken equipment a couple of days down the line.

It is rare that filters break but being that they are the lifeblood of the aquarium and key to a successful eco system it makes sense to always have a back up. For any of the following bits of equipment, if you are going to use them then I would recommend having a back up (ideally running in tandem):

  • Filter
  • Air Pump
  • Powerhead
  • Heater

Any other equipment such as lighting is not essential as fish don’t pay much attention to how light it is anyway, lighting is primarily for our benefit when we are viewing the aquarium.

Fluval 405 Filters

On top of equipment, always keep back up food too. You might accidentally spill it (even worse, knock it all in to the aquarium and have to scoop it all out again rendering it useless) so having a back up pot of food is also a good thing to consider.