Prepping for and Surviving power outtages

KenisFishRoom

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Oct 8, 2019
26
5
3
19
Bozeman, Montana
To keep my tank warm I float a Tupperware with warm/hot water. Acts the same way as a heater if you watch the temp. ;) Edit: Put the lid on the container. Holds the heat in longer.
 

Tom the bomb

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Dec 24, 2019
100
38
31
Toronto, ON, Canada
You've unexpectedly loss power... Now what? :help2:
So you know you have a major storm of some type coming...
You know there is a good chance of losing power..................
Could be for a few hours or days/weeks even......................:eek:
What about my fish?

Prepping for storms is relatively easy and basic survival gear/tactics can be had for little time/effort/money.
A severe storm can leave you without electrical power and your fish
without filtration, circulation, heating/cooling and problems with maintaining sufficient dissolved oxygen.
Even a few hours can cause serious problems, even less when it comes to filtration/cycling.
......................................................................................................................................................................................................................

The Basics for Survival

1) Stop feeding.


Do not feed your fish during this time,
larger juveniles/adults can go several weeks without food, this will keep waste down.
Fry or very young juvies will need to be fed, I suggest using a BPAP to run a sponge filter.


2) Perform a thorough vacuuming of the substrate and a significant water change.

Water change and vacuuming of waste will remove waste and help maintain low levels of NO3(Nitrate)
and give you more time before maintenance is needed again.
I would suggest testing water chemistry parameters daily and performing
PWC's as needed.
You will lose a significant portion of your bio-filtration ability while your filters are not working,
but your entire tank is a bio-filter, every surface is alive with bio-bacteria.

Note: I would suggest not doing any vacuuming of substrate to remove feces while the power/filtration is out.
I would suggest netting the larger pieces of waste.

3) Perform filter maintenance, lightly rinse media/media chamber and float media in tank.

A very important thing to know is that the debris (organic matter)
and the bio-mass in your filters can die and turn toxic in a very short time period.
This can kill your fish if you let the filters flush this into the tank when power comes back,
filter media should be removed and floated in the tank,
this will preserve your bio-bacteria and they will continue to convert waste.
You may improve the limited bio filtration by placing a airstone beneath the media to induce circulation thru the media...
BPAP's can run sponge filters.
The filters should be either unplugged or primed to restart when the power returns.

4) Pull out your BPAP's (battery powered air pumps), check functionality and batteries. Do you have extra batteries?

Why BPAP's?
You would need to provide some sort of circulation and agitation of the
waters surface in order to maintain the exchange of gases between
water/atmosphere in order to avoid oxygen starvation.
Especially in hot weather.
You can do this by frequently (once per hour at least, half hour intervals even better)
filling a bucket full of tank water and dumping it back into the tank
( this is ALOT of WORK!!!)
Or by utilizing BPAP's and letting the bubbles do all the work.

There are various makes/models of BPAP's.
I have had very satisfactory experience with Penn Plax 'Silent Air-B10/B11 BPAP's.
Never had to change the batteries in them, they ran on the same batteries for four days without a noticeable loss of output.

The B10 model you have to switch on manually but the B11 plugs into the wall and automatically comes on when there is a loss of power,
other than that they are basically the same unit...
Very nice, great products!

Two units, a B10 and a B11 adequately maintained circulation and surface agitation in our Oscar's 75 gal tank.
No sign of lack oxygen deprivation or other stress even with the water temps hitting 85'f.
A single B10 in each of our 10gal tanks kept them practically boiling with circulation.

You can find these units reasonably priced here,
http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524441779314&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302030044&ASSORTMENT<>ast_id=2534374302023693&bmUID=1125866175800
......................................................................................................................................................................................................................

5) Controlling temperature.

During the warmer months tank temps can soar rapidly,
this causes stress as oxygen levels drop as temps rise and this can further stress your fish.
Cooling can be accomplished by...
A. Leaving lights off... (Not a problem when without power.)
B. *Positioning a fan to blow air over and around the tank, this is evaporative cooling and you'll need to top-off the tank frequently.
C. By floating bags of ice in the water.
D. *By your chiller.

*Options B & D require you to have a alternate power unit (APU, i.e. generator).


During the colder months tank temps can drop rapidly,
this too stresses your fish, and cold water and stress can kill your tropical fish.
Heating can be accomplished...
A. Wrapping the tank in a insulating material.
B. Floating bags/bottles of hot water.
C. Water changes with warm water.
D. Depending on your tank/stand it is sometimes possible to position a heat source below the tank.
Some have used oil lamps, camping lanterns and such.
**************************** !ATTENTION!*****************************
Great care must be taken to safely manage such things and prevent the possibility of FIRE and other hazards.
......................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Beyond the basics... (in progress)
I'm planning to include info on the use of various battery backup systems, e.g. UPS/Powerpack, and APU's, i.e. generator sytems.
Noice well I live in canada and hurricanes well ive not heard of any BUT we've got blizzards and those result in powe routages only for 1-2 days tho. There are also some that randomly occur out of nowhere and last for ~3hrs.
no Im not prepared actually BUT i do have batter poweres air pumps an for my next saltwater tank (220 gallons) with liofish and moray eels, its gonna be expensive and I cant lose the fish so Ive got a full on Apex setup and a ton of these: waterboxaquariums.com/collections/pumps/products/battery-backup
and my BPAPs too...

HEY HO.png
 

TheWolfman

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Sep 5, 2010
1,423
2,336
179
34
Long island, NY
Effin tropical storm Issaias took out my power... trees are down Everywhere in my neighborhood and most of the houses have no power right now. Thankfully I have a generator for this exact reason. Extension cords are runing all over my house keeping my tanks running. I have a few Jerry cans loaded with fuel. Hopefully power comes back soon.
 
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FJB

Aimara
MFK Member
Dec 15, 2017
705
1,092
134
Philadelphia, PA
It is great you were prepared.
I hope one extension cord is also helping a fridge.
Hopefully they can power you back up soon.
Good luck and keep the god work up!
 
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NCHornet

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Apr 27, 2012
81
53
36
NC
No problem here, I have a gas powered generator that will run my entire home and I keep about 40 gal of fuel on hand that is properly stored and cycled out before it can go bad. You can get battery air pumps used for keeping live bait alive at WalMart or any place that sells fishing gear. It will run an air stone longer than you would think. They have different sizes. This won't help with filtration but it will keep them alive. You can buy the same pumps but if the box says it's for aquariums the price will be triple and is basically the same pump. A 12 volt battery with an inverter can power a heater, modify an exercise bike to spin an alternator and you can loose a few pounds while the power is out. Hope this helps someone.
 

jjohnwm

Aimara
MFK Member
Mar 29, 2019
917
1,985
134
Manitoba, Canada
Battery-powered air pumps combined with sponge filters can save your butt in an extended power outage, at least in terms of water quality and oxygenation. This assumes that the sponges are kept running in the tank all the time, so they are biologically mature and active when the power goes out and you switch them over to battery power. It's also important to remember that your total biofiltration capacity will be somewhat less than it is during normal operation, when other filters are operating in conjunction with the sponges. Reduced feeding is recommended.

Styrofoam that is precut to fit around the outside of the tank will extend the time before heat loss becomes an issue. Even blankets wrapped around the tank are helpful. Having the battery air pumps situated in a warm spot also helps slow down heat loss.

I've experienced several power outages lasting more than a couple days, and many more that were only a couple hours in duration. Never yet lost a fish due to water quality deteriorating or lack of oxygen. Temperature is my biggest worry, so I devote most of me effort to maintaining it; yes, even a small generator is a literal life-saver.
 
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