What would you do if the power went out? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-26-2014, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Question What would you do if the power went out?

What would you do if the power went out? I'm just curious ?
I don't have any fish at the moment but we had power outage today for 8 hours. If the fish didn't had any light, heather or filter will they die very quickly? or slowly?
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-26-2014, 09:28 AM
The biggest issue in a short power outage is loss of your beneficial bacteria in your filter. Long-term, you worry about heat loss in the tank and ammonia build-up. I keep a bait bucket aerator on hand for power outages so they can at least have water movement. You can get small generators and battery operated air pumps as well, though. I had an Oscar through a week-long power outage once. He did just fine, I just didn't feed and kept the tank wrapped in a blanket. He had no oxygenation what-so-ever.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-26-2014, 10:28 AM
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Fish are usually fine in short term power outs. My African cichlids do get angry with no moving water but I don't have any other issues .. From my big tanks on down to my small ones. I've had a filters motor die and stay off for a month or so till I fixed it and still kept it's cycle.
You can if really concerned get a battery backed up outlet . That's a good safety net. I'm not going to bother with that for my fish tanks but I will for my reptiles.. They don't fair as well without heat or light.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-26-2014, 04:07 PM
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The biggest concern with a power outage is not oxygen depletion, not the loss of bacteria, but the loss of heat. The bacteria will survive for MUCH longer than the fish will - you won't lose any bacteria. And assuming that the temp remains fairly stable, the fish will last for as long as it takes for the ammonia to poison them. How long that takes is dependent on how many plants you have in the tank, the bioload of the tank and whether or not you've realized you shouldn't be feeding the fish. If the temp drops considerably, then that's going to take the greatest toll on the fish.

I was without power for 4 days after hurricane sandy. My tanks dropped to 58 degrees that first day. If I had been without power for another day I would have had mass deaths.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-26-2014, 07:49 PM
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I agree with Jaysee that the temperature is the most important thing... especially in the winter.

Never too far from crazy

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-26-2014, 08:41 PM
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Biggest concern depends on your setup. Average stocking with a free standing tank you'll have to deal with heat. Heavy stocking you will have to deal with O2 depletion. I had the power go out for 8 hours about a week ago, thankfully my fishroom was stocked light. The house dropped to 60F, 1k gallons in a 8'x16' room dropped to 76F. I've had it go out before when I was stocked pretty heavy, after a few hours they were having issues. Quick solution was to start pouring water with a huge cup, they started looking better. Next step is fire up the generator.

Since I was stocked light last week I started eating when the power went out, ham sandwiches by candlelight. If you aren't stocked heavy raid the fridge, the fish will be fine, can't have good food go to waste!
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