Power outage - HELP! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-01-2012, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
Chesh's Avatar
Power outage - HELP!

We've been without power for over 48 hours (feels like weeks, I swear!). It came up for about 30 minutes earlier, so I thought all was well - but it went right back out again, and has been out since. . . I'm looking for any information or advice on how to manage my tanks in this situation. My internet connection is intermittent right now, but I'm hoping it stays on so I can check this thread!

So far I've been:

*not feeding the animals to keep waste to a minimum
*preforming small, frequent water changes (every few hours) in the hopes of keeping enough oxygen in the water to support the fish and the bacterial colonies, and also to keep the temperature in the tanks at a reasonable level. (The temp here has been around 100f, and I had to vacate a newly purchased frog from the QT tank in my attic bedroom because temperatures were getting too hot. The (empty) tank hit 90f after about 8 hours without a water change)

Thus far, all of the fish, frogs, and snails seem to be doing well. They're breathing normally, swimming normally, and don't seem to be gasping for air or in any great amount of stress. They are a bit confused by my refusal to feed them, and insistence on changing their water constantly - but aside from that, coloration is good, respiration seems normal, no signs of flashing or fading color. . . I've been testing the water in my tank a couple of times a day, and the only evidence I've seen of unpleasantness was in my daughter's 3 gallon betta tank, which tested with a slight trace of nitrate this morning after being left alone overnight. This is the smallest and most recently established tank, so I'm not surprised, and am keeping a close watch on the situation in there.

Is there anything else I can or should be doing in this situation to minimize any negative effects on my tanks?

I actually fasted my tanks on Friday, which may have worked to my advantage in this situation, but they've gone for 3 full days without food now. Tomorrow, regardless of the power, I'm going to feed my new Dwarf African Frog a light meal. He's a juvie, and VERY thin - I don't want to cause him any harm. . . I may go ahead and give all the tanks a light feeding, since I'm changing the water so frequently, I think it would be okay - any thoughts on this?

So back to the frog:

How long are defrosted foods safe to feed a DAF if they've been kept cool?

Everything from the freezer is in a cooler - including the frozen frog foods (brine, bloodworm, krill, mysis, etc). These are NO LONGER FROZEN, but still cold, and have been kept in the cooler since a few hours after the freezer lost power. I can't run out and buy fresh, because the pet stores are closed - also without power (the new batch would just go bad anyway!) and neither of my frogs will eat pellet food. They never have, and I highly doubt they ever will.

Any advice appreciated - and thanks!!!

- Chesh

Last edited by Chesh; 07-01-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 07:13 AM
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What kind of filters do you have? You'll probably want to transfer the media into the main tank, inside the HOB or Canister it won't be getting any fresh water and may start to die off.

A battery powered airstone would eliminate any concern over oxygen and provide some water movement ... but with no power to stores you can't get one anyways =/

If your tap water is still cold even with the high temperatures outside that's the best you can do to try and regulate any kind of a temperature in the tanks. Floating ice is another option (if you can get ice....). Just keep up with what you're doing.

Continue to hold back on the feedings for the fish. They can easily go a week with no food and not have any ill effects from it (other than sad puppy dog looks as you pass by). Without your filters running, you want to keep ammonia as minimal as possible.

I can't offer any advice on the frog, I don't know much about them.

For the frozen foods ... I'm not really sure. For 'people' food, refridgerated items must be kept under 41 degrees in the food service world, but seafood has a tighter range of 30-34 degrees. If they are in completely sealed containers, ice water is always at 32 degrees and may offer the best storage solution for the time being.

I feared this myself actually, so while Costco had generators on sale I went ahead and bought one. Funny that I buy one for the fish and not for myself >.> But, most often around here the power goes out in the winter and they'd freeze to death with no heaters.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Geo! Ug, this is a nightmare, and I TOTALLY can understand getting a generator for the tanks, lol! LUCKILY we've just been loaned a generator from a family member who doesn't need it anymore, so we have the filters on in the tanks and the AC running - and one extra spot that is strong enough to power such things as a laptop or a coffee maker or charge a cell phone. My husband didn't bat an eye when I told him that the filters had to come up before we got the refrigerator going. Love him for that! the fish in the fridge are already dead - I don't care about them! Plus after 48+ hours with no electricity, everything is either thrown out or in the cooler, so I'm WAY more worried about the tanks!

I have a HOB filter on my main tank, and those weird Biowheel things on the other two. I've been trying to keep them damp during water changes, hoping all is well now that they're moving again.

You can BET I'll be looking into a battery operated airstone asap when the shops are up and running again. . . and, actually, a generator WILL be on the list of things to save for.

We actually have a gas-powered water heater, so we have both hot and cold water - and the water is still running (lots of others have no water around here, either - thank GOD this is not something I have to worry about). So I have been using water changes to keep the water at a stable temperature. It's been so hot. . .

It made me laugh when you referred to fish as giving 'sad puppy dog looks' cuz' they're begging for food. I don't know HOW they do it, but they DO! Poor things! I'll continue to hold off on feedings, but now with the filters up and running, I may do a light feed tomorrow - after they've been running for 24 hours. . . and I did go ahead and feed the frog a tiny bit this morning. I changed the water after an hour or so. I'm not sure either. I think the bigger one would be fine, but the little one is so tiny! I dunno if I should have risked it, but I did - and everything seems okay, and the frozen worms were still cold. Hopefully things will get up and running before another 48 hours pass, and I can get fresh food and keep it frozen for the next feeding.

Just did tests on all of the tanks again. Everything is still testing normally, except that I have a low reading for nitrIte in the 3g tank still. . . hopefully I can keep that in check with water changes, and it will re-establish again soon.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 01:08 PM
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I think the frogs will be fine. Like betta they last in tiny designer tanks. :/
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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LOL! Thanks, Olympia!

Latest update from the power company says that we might be out of power until this weekend *dies* They're thinking that *most* people will be up by Thursday or Friday. . . but STILL!!!!! Just happy and thanking God that my family is safe, and so far all of my pets, including the finned ones, are doing okay - and that we got ahold of a generator to take the edge off this insane heatwave!
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 02:27 PM
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Have faith! I was told we wouldn't have power until the 8th but it came back yesterday afternoon.

My BF and I saw a bunch of utility trucks as well a tree trimming crews from all over that were headed East on US 70. Help is on the way!

ETA: I woke up to a warm house this morning. Seems my AC is now broke some I'm laying in front of a fan watching the Olympic Swimming Trials. I'm blessed.
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Last edited by sparkyjoe; 07-02-2012 at 02:30 PM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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LOL! Thanks, Joe. . . of all times to have your AC break - just after the power comes back on. I'd be CRYING!!!

Power has come up TWO blocks over from me! I know that it really doesn't mean anything, but I've decided to see it as a positive sign that we'll be up very soon!!! *prays*
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 06:11 PM
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At least I have a fan blasting me with air straight from hades! Happy thoughts!!

Chesh, what part of the country are you from? I too would take it as good that power came up close to you. I finally got a chance to see the local Columbus news and it is a real mess out there. I count myself lucky to even have power, water, and an old fan.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yes! Lucky indeed! I know Ohio has been declared a state of emergency, too. Ug!

I'm in Maryland, and we're all just a mess! They got our power on for a very short time on Sunday - turns out that they had to shut it off because it caused 5 fires due to downed lines, or lines with branches tangled in them that the power company didn't know about. . . don't want my house catching on fire (though the fish might survive that better than my family), so I guess I'm okay with being patient. Thanking God for the use of this generator, and praying that it holds out (it's like, 493 years old, lol!). Just crossed over into day 4 without power. . . hopefully today is the day they get us back on the grid!

Good luck to you over there - any idea when you'll be able to repair/replace that AC? It's too darn HOT!!!
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 11:19 PM
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Yeah, it is horrid! Thankfully my power had stayed on, and my BF brought me a new fan, so I've got one fan pulling cooler air into my bedroom and another sucking the (now warmed) air out of my bedroom throwing it into the rest of the house.

No clue when (if???) the AC will be fixed. I do have a home warranty, but the repair guy today told me the claim might be denied? I dunno, I'm praying everything works out.

On a more positive note, I've now learned that my BF thinks the sweaty, tank top/sport-bra/shorts, "trailer trash" look is hot! (His word!) LOL! I'm a happy woman!
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