Disaster Hit when Sandi Came Along
tank 1 20gal long with 3 bolivian rams, 1 albino br pleco, 4 neon tetra, 2 corys, 3 amano shrimp
tank 2 29 gal with german ram, gold ram, alb Br pleco,2 corys, 2 amano shrimp
tank 3 55gal with 5 dension barbs (3-4inch), 1 blur fem Gourami, alb Br Pleco.....this tank was being stocked
Tank 1, 2, &3 all resided at a Bicycle shop
Tank 4 55gal just set up for 5 days with 2 spikes of sponge squeezing and a few plants, rock, and driftwood from tanks #1 & #2.......
Then Sandi Hit.....power out a the store, home, and everywhere, no gas.....just running cold water, my wood burning stove and many oil lamps. It hit tues night in north NJ and really it was just the winds 60-90mph...not much rain unlike south jersey and the shoreline. Trees down every where, power goes out monday at 6pm. By morning i am able to weave my way to the store thru all the downed trees and power lines and see that temp of all the tank are 68, 70, & 72.....one more day and they are in the 60's......
EVERYONE OUT OF THE POOL!!!
I grab the nearest 5 gal bucket and start scooping fish.......
loaded another with rocks, driftwood, and plants, along with squeezing out the filter sponges into the 2nd bucket.....then removing the filter sponges from the filters standing water and place them into the tank directly........
What temp does the benificial bacteria start to die? not sure of how low the tanks got becasue the power came on wed night and i did not get back until thur morning and found them int he low 70's still re heating......
So anyway.....grab both buckets and rush back home where i have heat...and dump every one into the new pool...........at this point i just put a lot of fish into a very new tank.......there is no way that these fish are going to live.
starting heating tap water on the woodburing stove, filling 5 gal jugs and placing them infront of the wood stove...brought it from 55F up to High 60's F where i would temper it witht he hot water to 76-78.
Doing 20% water change 2x daily ( that was as fast as i can heat the water up-limiting factor).....also the temp needed to be maintain thru the day so i had to mix/ drip in some hot water to the tank directly.
I would lightly vaccuum the surface of the gravel to remove some of the waste and remove the cooler water(definity a gradient from top to bottom when you stick your hand in.
I stopped feeding them from day one.......they are eating the plants and the algae growth.
I test the water every day both with the multi sticks and the liquids tests. All i see is nitrates going up very slightly....almost subjective when looking at the colors.
I am using a tap water conditioner.
I lost a gold ram on day two.
Thurs the store tanks were back and some of the plants were doing ok....and after putting them back together they cleaned up to clear water just abit of algae growth on the sides.
Fri morning i see the blu ram is starting to stress.....i know he will be done if i leave him in there...between the fluctuating cold water and the fish activity it was a bad place.
Then i notice that under the driftwood the damn plecos had shaked up.....little eggs being guarded.....had no idea what to do....had no internet to researching pleco eggs and care....so i removed them (never toughing air)...... knowing with all these hungry fish ...they are dead..........
My only option was to get them to the store tanks.......mind you becasue of the gas crisis i am on y bike. i pack up the driftwood, the ram, and a few neons and pack them in my paniers (bike side bags) and ride 10miles to the store where the power is back but my confidence of the condition of the tanks are not. The ram looked good by sunday in tank #1, got his blk spot back, got some color back and has been eating. But on monday (today) he has ick on one fin. Now i am starting to heat this tank to treat the ick.....all strikes against this little guy.
Also noticed that in tank#2 a few of the eggs have hatched but i see no sign of the little guys.
Power at home is expected tues. All those fish look happy and stress free. Been 6 full days of no filtration & feeding.
Now i uderstand the need for backup power.
Most importantly to me is keeping the tank heaters at the store running.
I am thinking a multi marine battery/dc/ac converter system.
At home i need to do more of a subpanel direct whole house generator. I can hook it into a natural gas line of maybe go solar......10hp 5500watt unit should do hot water, a light or two and some heat....and ofcourse the tank.
I am not out of the woods yet.......after i get my power restored i am sure the recovery of these tanks will be very rocky with recycles, water changes, illnesses, and etc.......
Would keep close eye on water parameter's after filter's are re-started.
Lot's of dead bacteria, organic's, will be pumped back into the tank = elevated ammonia,nitrites.
Might consider some zeolite or Purigen for the filter's while changing water as needed.
I went through ice storm a few year's back, and managed to keep fishes alive with no power for five day's, but could not maintain temp's and all fishes from six tank's died with exception on one clown pleco which I still have.
When power was restored on the seventh day,, the filter's had been off for a week, and there was huge ammonia spike when they resumed operation.
Wow :shock: Best of luck with the remaining fish. You're quite a trooper to be carting fish around on a bike.
Def. go with the generator. It was the best purchase we ever made. Built this house 2-1/2 years ago and have lost power three times since then. Once for 5 days.
After all the money, time, and effort put into these tanks (and beside the fact that I happen to be somewhat attached to the fish), it would kill me to lose them during a power outage.
I bought a generator over the summer for this very reason, however we didn't lose power during this storm so it's still in its box. But at least I have it. I'm actually not very prepared, I need to go out and buy a couple 5 gallon gas cans to keep on hand, always filled (but cycled with fresh gas every couple months).
One concern I have is in an extended outage, gas stations have no power and thus can't pump gas. Generators fuel tank will last at most 8 hours. My goal is to have enough gas to last 2 full days, and hopefully by that point gas stations will at least have power. I wouldn't really want to cycle the generators on and off throughout the day as wild temperature swings are very stressful to the fish as you've found out.
Perhaps there should be a 'temporary' Sandy sticky thread...
My power went out 6:40 pm on Monday, returned Sunday afternoon @ 2 pm. It hiccuped a little while later for about 15 minutes. We now also face the prospect of a nor'easter on Wednesday. I fear if the power goes out again it will be off for another long period.
I tried to stop the downward temp on the tanks by boiling water, putting it in plastic bags and floating in the tank but there was no way in hell I could keep it up that way.
My mom has an old kerosene heater which I managed to fire up. Remarkable since it hadn't been started in well over a decade. The next day I replaced the wick and the fuel. It kept my room @ 71 degrees. The tanks never dropped below 65 degrees (freshwater tanks). I only think I lost 3 young empire gudgeons in the 29 gallon tank. They may well be there, but I have not seen them since the lights came back.
I may well get a generator.
so many people lost everything they had. I was lucky.
I've also been thinking about all the people with and without fish during this terrible disaster. My thoughts are with you all out in that part of the country, hit by Sandy. :-(
This too will pass. So sad however.
For all our modern advances...this brings home how helpless we are against nature. Thoughts and prayers are with all affected by Sandy.
I have one heater and one filter connected to a UPS. I think I would likely unplug the filter and just run the heater off the UPS. I'm uncertain exactly how long it will last.
On the heals of Sandy, I just happened to watch the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow'. Basically global warming triggers huge storms that put much of north america into an ice age.
My house is all electric and Sandy and the movie got me thinking. I didn't spring for a generator (yet), but with winter coming soon, I did buy a 23,000 btu kerosene heater and K1 clean kerosene today.
If I lose power, I can stay warm which will also help keep the tank water warm and allow the UPS to last much longer.
Good luck with the fish. Sandy was a terrible thing for a lot of folks in NJ and NYC.
Edit: Just an update. The heater works great and at 23,000 BTU's it's rated to heat 1000 sq. ft. My whole house is 1500 sq. ft. so it should get the downstairs toasty and the upstairs even livable.
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