Help! Power will be out for 3 days!

BiologyTeacher

Feeder Fish
Aug 16, 2017
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Hi, I am the Biology teacher for a small Montessori school, and I am in charge of running our four fish tanks. They will be working on the electric over the weekend, and we will have no power! What should I do for each of the following:

55-gallon Cichlid
Water Temp: 76-78
Fish: Loach, rainbow frogs, Synodontis, Pleco, Africans, Jack Dempseys
pH: 8

45-gallon Hydroponics - Oscars
Water Temp: 78
Fish: Pleco, Oscars -
*Heavily planted inside tank*
*Currently holds 2x5", 1x3.5", 7x2" oscars to curb aggression
pH: 7.6

45-gallon GMO Tetra
Water Temp: 76-78
GloFish Black Skirt Tetras, GloFish Danios, Danios, Pleco, Ghost Shrimp
*Tank has approximately 50 1" fish - is at capacity

45-gallon Turtle Tank
Water Temp: 78
Fish: Pleco, 4xturtles (important b/c they make a lot of nitrous waste)
*Temperature is sustained in part by the heat of the turtles' basking lamp
 
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tlindsey

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Aug 6, 2011
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Hi, I am the Biology teacher for a small Montessori school, and I am in charge of running our four fish tanks. They will be working on the electric over the weekend, and we will have no power! What should I do for each of the following:

55-gallon Cichlid
Water Temp: 76-78
Fish: Loach, rainbow frogs, Synodontis, Pleco, Africans, Jack Dempseys
pH: 8

45-gallon Hydroponics - Oscars
Water Temp: 78
Fish: Pleco, Oscars -
*Heavily planted inside tank*
*Currently holds 2x5", 1x3.5", 7x2" oscars to curb aggression
pH: 7.6

45-gallon GMO Tetra
Water Temp: 76-78
GloFish Black Skirt Tetras, GloFish Danios, Danios, Pleco, Ghost Shrimp
*Tank has approximately 50 1" fish - is at capacity

45-gallon Turtle Tank
Water Temp: 78
Fish: Pleco, 4xturtles (important b/c they make a lot of nitrous waste)
*Temperature is sustained in part by the heat of the turtles' basking lamp

Welcome to MFK☺

I suggest purchasing battery operated pumps from the lfs. Take bio media out of hob filters and submerge in the aquarium to keep bacteria alive. Also if you can find those battery operated clip on fans to create water agitation on the surface. While you are in the classroom you could manually pour aquarium water once every 1/2 hour to agitate and provide some oxygen.
 

Bigfishnut

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Aug 28, 2016
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You can build air driven bio filters out of plastic soda bottles to keep your tanks healthy with no power. Use the battery powered air pumps as tlindsey tlindsey suggested. You can find a good video on YouTube if you look up 'king of diy' he has several videos on what to do in power failures and how to build emergency filters.
 

dalto

Exodon
MFK Member
Jul 28, 2017
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Most of those are heavily stocked. Ammonia and oxygenation are going to be the biggest issues. tlinsdey has covered the oxygenation issues already.

I don't know much about turtles, how sensitive are they to ammonia? The small fish in high ph tanks are likely to be a challenge. I would stop feeding all the fish right now. Let them purge as much as possible prior to the power going out.

I assume you don't have access to a generator. What about small battery powered ups units? Even running those filters for a few hours each day would help you clean up some of the ammonia.

Be careful if you decide to try using any ammonia binders. Make sure they don't also reduce oxygen.
 

Dieselhybrid

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Mar 31, 2010
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You can use SeaChem Prime or Safe. It will bind the Ammonia to a less toxic form with each treatment for 24-48 hours depending on levels. You could would treat daily, during the outage and daily after the filters are connected again. This is a special, higher dosage than what they recommend to treat tap water. The instruction for this application is on the labels. Available at most aquarium stores, ebay, and amazon.

As mentioned before their use can reduce dissolved 02 levels, so make sure you are aerating the tanks sufficiently should you choose to use them.

You can also do a smaller 20%-30 water change daily and re-dose with prime or safe to be conservative with risk.
 

appak

Candiru
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Apr 2, 2014
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I assume you don't have access to a generator. What about small battery powered ups units? Even running those filters for a few hours each day would help you clean up some of the ammonia.
This right here, if possible. Grab a cheap generator or a few cheap UPS units. Keep the generator fed with fuel, or swap out the UPS units, bringing the dead ones home to recharge, leaving the charged ones to run your lights and filters.
 

knobhill

Redtail Catfish
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May 2, 2007
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A generator is your best bet. OR...if the school is in close enough proximity to a neighboring building/ business/residence that won't be affected by the electrical work, ask if you can run an extension cord for the weekend, offer to pay for the power used...
 

kev012in

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Aug 15, 2017
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Lots of good suggestions here, I agree a small generator would be enough to power everything over the weekend. I'm a turtle owner myself, 2 days without the heat and UVB lamps is not going to cause any long term harm. If you can't power the turtle tank then just throw the bio media in the tank water over the weekend. Turtles are not as sensitive to ammonia as fish since they don't breathe in water. However, higher levels of ammonia can irritate their skin and eyes. 2 days without power they will be ok. I hope you get the fish solved.
 
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