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Old 11-21-2017, 03:30 AM   #1
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What to do when power goes out?

Woke up to the power in my house being out. First time in the year since I started my tanks. It's 37 outside, still in the 60s inside. Once I realized what was up I tossed light blankets over each tank (I have a 20 gal and a 50 gal).

Power is supposed to be restored in about 3 to 6 hours, I think it was out about an hour before my husband woke me to tell me.

I'm pretty sure this will be ok, but it got me thinking about other outages, longer ones in colder weather. What do people do to avoid losing their tanks? I have fish with expected 20 year lifespans, I'd sure hate to lose them.

Are there any batteries one can keep on hand to power heaters and filters? Is heat the biggest concern?

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:21 AM   #2
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Heat not so much an issue here so I just have a battery powered air pump that fishermen use. The temp will drop here but not too badly (survivable).
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:12 AM   #3
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Ok, well that wasn't very helpful. I'm likely fine for today, but it got me thinking about winters. We DO get quite cold here. Can someone who deals with that let me know what they do? Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:48 AM   #4
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Buy a generator
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Old 11-21-2017, 07:48 AM   #5
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Generators are great, but if you don't have one this method might work. If you have a gas water heater the power outage likely won't affect it.
- Change 15% of the water twice a day, replacing it with warm water.
- Keep the tank covered with blankets.
- Pour old tank water through the HOB filter several times a day.

I used this method during a 13 day, Ice Storm related, power outage. I didn't lose a fish.
Of course this method only applies to FW. A SW tank would be toast without a generator.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:22 AM   #6
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Aquarium co-op (YouTube) offers battery powered air pumps, heat packs and thermal blankets. There is also a video on how to use all his products for power outages. Iíve looked into battery backups myself and have realized that even though itís a good idea in theory, the battery life just wouldnít be long enough to be worth the investment. Other then a true generator, I havenít found anything that would work long term to run filters, etc. I, too, am in a cold area with the potential of long term outages (east coast) and Iím worried.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:53 PM   #7
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When your power goes out the main thing to worry about is the nitrifying bacteria that break down ammonia.

I'm not sure what filter you have, but my filter (fluval 50) has a "bio-bag" that the bacteria live on. One time when I came home to the power outage, I put the bag directly in the tank so the bacteria still have ammonia to feed on.

Heating is not so much a big issue, as it is very hard to change the temperature of the water in a short period of time (because of complicated factors like hydrogen bonds and the chemical properties of water)

If your power goes out for a long period of time, I suggest to try and put a blanket over your tank to keep it warm, but make sure you can still see the thermometer so you don't over heat your tank.

Good luck and I hope your power comes back soon
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:47 PM   #8
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DIY King has a few videos on the subject that you might find useful:

Aquarium Survival - Winter Power Outage
Survive a Power Outage - Aquariums
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