View Full Version : 21 hours without power

Lady Hobbs
10-05-2006, 02:29 AM
A storm come up outta no where last night about 10 PM. Thought it had gone thru so I logged in a couple hours later to check out the forum and bam…there’s goes the power at 12:30 AM

Oh Oh. Now just guess who still has the portable air pumps on their list? That’s right. Me. Amazing how a person can buy 20 treats for their fish, decorations, plants and everything else and the one thing that sustains life is not purchased yet. At a cost of $10.

By 1:30 I was draining buckets of water from the aquariums and while standing on a stool, pouring it back into the aquariums at speeds greater than Niagara Falls to get some aeration. Now, let’s not forget, it is pitch black in the apartment other than for my one candle. Water doesn’t always go where you want when you can’t see, you know. Nor, can you tell when the bucket is full by a flickering candle.

Obviously, keeping up this routine, by 3 AM in a soaking wet, the carpet is satured, one chair in the living room and the fish tanks are dripping water. I did find some benefit in wearing wet, cold clothing as it keeps you from dozing off. Since this routine was to continue to the next 21 hours, sleep was not an option. I also decided this was to be my punishment from God for not buying the portable air pump.

Sometime in the wee hours, my Bala Shark decides to leap from the tank. Now that was fun finding him by candlelight, as well. Even he was ready to commit suicide.

By 7 AM this morning, I hated my neighbors, hated myself, hated my fish and dog and now was starting to hate the power company. (No coffee, you see.)

From sheer exhaustion, I decide that doing this with only two tanks would certainly be better than trying to keep 3 going so all the fish in the 20 gallon were transferred into the 55 gallon. Yes, the same one that has only been cycling for 5 days! The transfer of fish went well until I got to the neon’s. Holding a candle in one hand, net in the other with eyeballs pressed to the tank I finally round those little rascals up. Do you know that catching a neon in the dark is something like trying to catch a knat? Try to net a neon in the dark and you’ll know you’ve never lived a full life.

What’s a girl to do now with two empty tanks? Well, heck. Move them. You now know that this is so much fun that you simple must find some different real estate for these empty ones so you will be ready for the next tank. (After buying the portable air pumps, of course.)

The best is yet to come. Don’t give up yet. I decided to run to the hardware store in town on the slight chance there are portable air pumps. The owner of the store tries to sell me a bicycle tire pump. I decide that pumping that thing all night is worse than carrying the buckets but then he says “the only other thing I have for air is this”……and hands me a can of Fix-a-Flat! I swear on my granny’s grave. What does he think you do with it? Pump it in the fishes mouth?

I should mention the reason for this power outage was many trees in town had been toppled on power lines. Possibly this guy had been hit in the head with one.

So, after upteen hours with no sleep, one kinda rotten ham sandwich and a hot coke, I can only leave with this advice. Get a portable air pump!

Every one of my fish survived. I did not.

10-05-2006, 06:13 AM
Although I feel for your terrible night Hobbs....I can't help but giggle as you paint the mental picture in my head of how life was for a short period of time. Glad all of your fish made it okay, enjoy your rest now.

Lady Hobbs
10-05-2006, 01:19 PM
:) Short term of time would apply to having a portable air pump. :) Long darned time bailing water. I am exhausted today but the fish are smiling. I didn't know it until this morning that it was a tornado. Right across the street a huge tree toppled on the guys roof and brand new car knocking holes in both.

Hey, all kinds of maple leaves out there right now. Do you think I should dump some of them in the aquarium? I've read it will help bring pH down (?) and maybe it will help with the cycling??? I suspect with the filter not running so long that things are messed up already.

10-06-2006, 03:58 AM
That is a new one...never heard that about the maple leaves. Give us more information....I have a HUGE silver maple in my back yard...hmmm

10-06-2006, 05:50 AM
I wouldn't just because of certain pesticides that could be on the trees. The city could spray for all sorts of reasons and i wouldn't want that in my tank.

10-06-2006, 11:36 AM
Well, I live in a township...no city comes and sprays for us so I would be safe. We don't use pesticides due to the kids and dogs running around our yard. One time we had to spray an ant hill that decided to move into the pile of dirt from the pool installation and everyone was locked out of the backyard for a few days!

10-09-2006, 05:55 AM
Yes, there are apparently a handful of local leaves that will do this. Look up ketapang or indian almond leaves on aquarium related sites to get an idea of the affect. Very common in the betta breeding world.

Also, why was it you were doing water gymnastics? I had my 50g with no power for almost three days. The only damage was my old Fluval filter couldn't keep a seal once power was out, so I had about 20 gallons or so so pass under the wall and into the carpet/pad in the next room. I was out of the state, so I couldn't do a darn thing and didn't lose a single fish.

10-10-2006, 09:42 PM
Hobbs, great post, thanks. Would you be at all interested in putting that post as an article on my site Articles on Fish & Aquariums (www.learnaboutaquariums.com)? Fair enough if not, just wondered if you might be interested? Happy to include full credit/links etc.

12-12-2006, 06:17 PM
Hope you don't mind me asking again, it is just that you didn't say "No", so I wondered if you hadn't noticed my earlier query. I've PMed you a link to this thread.
Once again, completely understand if you'd rather your post wasn't used, just wanted to ask...

12-12-2006, 08:32 PM
You could always invest in a Powerstart device (jump start) with a power inverter built in, that way you could always run a heater and air pump for several hours depending on how many watts these use.

12-12-2006, 09:53 PM
Goodness Hobbs, what an ordeal. You have my sympathy and empathy, about a year ago we were having power outs almost every day for about a month, sometimes for a couple of hours sometimes up to 16 hours a day. Granted I only had one tank then, so a little less work, but I tell you the stress at not knowing when it was going to go out next was awful, I ended up losing four of my six corys :(