Frozen fodder unfrozen in the fridge? It must not happen!

It occasionally happens to every aquarium keeper: the ice cubes housings or the freezer become victims of an electrical blackout, an accidentally unplugged power cable or other structural damage, the kind of which would usually be harmless in and of itself.

Temperature will be kept stable for a few hours without power supply, but it will increase after a certain amount of time. When the fridge is opened a pale brown liquid will leak, and the bags, once full of perfectly sorted mysis tables or frozen artemia, are filled with a malodorous mass. A quite irritant eventuality, especially when it is a relevant supply of fodder that is rendered unusable. Unfortunately the tissue structures of mysis or artemia or other feeding animals decay after a very short amount of time, therefore it is not at all recommended to refreeze the fodder again.

Thermal accumulators

It is obviously better to prevent, especially during the warmest periods of the year, during which a loss in functionality of a fridge or freezer can lead to problems in a fairly short amount of time. The best solution would be the use of thermal accumulators placed between frozen fodder tablets, since these devices would be able to handle refrigeration for many hours. If the fridge or freezer dies, the accumulators will keep the fodder frozen through contact.

Polystyrene container

Congelati2Another equally effective way involves the use of polystyrene containers to be filled with the fodder destined to fridges or freezers. Fodder would stay frozen for many hours on end inside these containers, in case the refrigeration system ceases functioning. Preservation can be prolonged further with the addition of one or two thermal accumulators inside the polystyrene container. It is worth to adopt this method especially in the case of preservation of a relevant quantity of frozen fodder. The simplest preservation method uses insulating materials in which fodder will be enveloped. To this purpose it is also possible to employ packaging materials like bubble wrap, which would be otherwise destined to the garbage can.

The main stock goes in the freezer

Bubble wrapping material can be useful in case of malfunctions, to limit an otherwise drastic increse in temperature.

Bubble wrapping material can be useful in case of malfunctions, to limit an otherwise drastic increse in temperature.

It does not usually make any sense to store frozen fodder in the ice cubes closet. It is definitely better to place them in the freezer. The refrigerating power of the ice compartment is of course strong enough to keep the temperature under 0° C, but this is not sufficient to stop the decaying processes happening inside the fodder. “Freezing does not always mean freezing”. At four or five degrees below zero a sensibly reduced preservation can be observed in comparison to what happens at 20 degrees below zero. In addition, in case of malfunctions, the aliment will be as spoiled as quickly as its freezing temperature gets near to its natural temperature. In a freezer, temperature varies at a much slower ratio than that of a fridge’s ice compartment, therefore there is much more time available for fixing the failure. Those who, for various reasons, do not want to give up placing the fodder in the fridge’s ice compartment, can only store a modest quantity, whereas the main stock will be left inside the freezer, which will keep it fresh for longer and safe from unexpected events.