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Old 12-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Winter storm/Possible long term power outage

Okay experts, there's a winter storm heading my way and we are expecting long term power outages. I have a 150 gallon mbuna cichlid tank with a sump/diy wet dry filter. Is there anything I can do to prepare besides a large water change? How long can my babies go without filtration? My bio-load = 13 mbunas and one bristlenose pleco. I'm worried
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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They can go a while without filtration. It is helpful if you have a battery operated air pump or can otherwise keep the water aerated. This is a time where I'd use a dose of Prime or something like it to keep the ammonia in check. If you can, make sure you have a way to keep the water temp stable. Some people use heat packs like the ones used for winter sports. You can wrap blankets or other insulation around the tank and possibly the filter.

When my power went out in a storm for 5.5 hours last month, I rigged a double boiler arrangement on the gas stove which I could light with a match. Every half hour I poured some warmed tank water into the tank. I let it dribble to get some air in it. I never let the water temp vary more than a degree. I only have a 29 gallon tank and it was a lot of work, but my fish came through fine as did my benficial bacteria which are in a canister filter on the floor. In my case we had no heat, but the heat from keeping a big pot of water simmering on the stove kept the main part of the house at 65 F. I keep my tank at 76 F.

Your large tank is a blessing. It will take a while for the temp to drop. A multiday power outage will be difficult and it will help to have people who can take shifts to keep the fish alive. I was looking at staying up all night when our power came back. I was grateful I didn't have to do that. I had no other help.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Stay safe and good luck. Heard its a pretty bad storm.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
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Thank you for the advice. We have a wood burning stove in the living room where the tank is so we should be able to keep the temp stable. Filtration, aeration, and keeping the bacteria in my wet/dry alive are my main concerns.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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If the power goes out for a long time, should I immerse the bio balls in the sump or just pour water over them a few times each day?
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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Can't help you on the bioballs. Just don't let them dry out, whatever you do. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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I would go out to homedepot and buy some styro insulation and cut it to the size of the tank. Get it a couple layers thick. That'll help with holding the temp. They have bubblers that can be powered with D batteries. Might look into those. Good luck
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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Keep the fire place stoked no worries with the heat. I would be more concerned about aeration and would keep several batter operated pumps going with air stones running a sponge filtration system.
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