Originally Posted by supermarvin76
I want to add fish and inverts again, but in 5 months the hurricane season will be here again, and I am certain that we will have to evacuate atlease once, which will leave the tank to be unattended.
Greetings from Slidell, LA. I experienced plenty of anxiety leaving behind the small FW
tank we had just set up a few weeks prior to Katrina. It only had a couple of gouramis in it, but I hated the thought of them possibly dying from the expected power outage. Fortunately, when I returned a few days later, they were still alive (though the water looked terrible), and I was then able to run the tank off of the generator.
This experience made me think long and hard about whether I really wanted to set up a large (well, 90g... large to me) SW
tank. Generators are great (the Honda EU2000i is very quiet!), but don't do any good if you're not there to run them. So, I had to come up with a good plan for keeping the tank alive with no power for a few days during an evacuation.
Basically, my plan is to (before next hurricane season) find the most power-efficient 12 volt water pump (maybe a small bilge pump), and maybe a 12v air pump used for keeping bait alive (or perhaps one of those battery-powered aquarium air pumps specially designed for power outages). To run the water pump, I'll borrow the two deep cycle batteries out of the boat. With both of these 100 amp-hour batteries connected in parallel, a 360gph bilge pump could be run for at least 2-3 days. The pump would actually run for 4 days, but it's not good to fully discharge the batteries like that unless it's an emergency.
Now, one key element to this plan is preventing the batteries from draining before they're even needed. In other words, if I start running the 12v pump when we leave, by the time the power actually went out a day or two later, much of the capacity would have been wasted. The solution is to have a small (maybe 3 amp) automatic battery charger connected to the batteries along with the pump. The battery charger would keep the batteries charged even though the pump was running, so that when the power did go out, the batteries would be fully charged.
Anyway, my hope would be that this circulation and surface agitation would be enough to keep the tank alive (my primary filtration is live rock) until I could return home and fire up the generator.
Other things I would probably do...
1) Stop feeding the fish once we decided we were evacuating... less waste production.
2) Dose the tank with Prime right before leaving.
3) Bring some ice with me upon returning, to cool the tank.
4) Have a couple weeks' worth of gas for the generator on hand (and maybe only run it part-time).
Of course, I'm not within the city of New Orleans. Returning to Slidell 2 days after the storm was difficult. But returning to New Orleans was pretty much impossible for a couple of weeks. That complicates things for you.