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Old 01-22-2006, 03:36 PM   #1
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thanks Katrina...what now???

A few months ago, a mean mean lady by the name of Katrina came and killed all of my fish, and inverts. Lucky for me she left my house alone.

My tank is still up and running, but all live is gone with the exception of a few nassirus snails, and maybe whatever life is left on my rocks.

I am in the Marine Corps, stationed here in New Orleans, have less thatn 1 1/2 yrs left in this area.

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.

I need advice as to what I should do. I have been thinking about just tossing in damels for something to look at.

Just thought I would post this to see what others would do, or what advice I could get.

Thanks!!!!!
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-50gal tank
-20gal tall sump / refugium.
-About 15-20 lbs of live rock
-60 lbs (3") of sand.
-2x65w power compact lights
-2x18w power compact in the refug.
-bak pak 2R
-3 LARGE feather dusters all differebt colors
-orange spotted goby
-fire fish
-12 or so hermits
-50-60 nassairus snails
-about 12 turno snails
-emrald crab
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:42 PM   #2
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I can't really see that there is an answer that any of us can give you. I too, am in Louisiana...from Florida through Texas, hobbiests deal with this situation annually. We do the best we can. We accept the risks, or we get out of the hobby. I do not mean that to sound harsh...just the way it is. Frankly, I put as much importance on the damsel as I would any other fish or coral in my tank, but that is just me.
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:48 PM   #3
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I say get a good generator and pray for the best. I live about seven blocks from the shore in Panama City Beach, FL. I agree with Hara, it is a risk we take.
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:32 PM   #4
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I lost my first tank to Ivan, so I too had to think about putting the tank back up. I have a generator now but I am only 1/4 of a mile from gulf and less than 50 yards from bay. I did put the tank back up an glad I did it gives me a lot of hope to know that its back up and I did not give up. If we love it we take the risk.
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:49 PM   #5
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i lost both of my tanks, fw and sw to hurricane katrina and my house also, i was living in new orleans, i started up another sw thou
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: thanks Katrina...what now???

Quote:
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.

--Mike
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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Oh, forgot to add... an emergency setup like that would probably cost about $350 (the biggest expense would be the batteries... I think I paid $100 for each of mine). And, if you want to buy more time, each battery would give you another day or two of running time.

--Mike
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