View Full Version : one big question for all of you who are experienced...

09-02-2007, 03:00 AM
How do you ensure the temp and the viability of the biological filter for possible power outages? When the bio-wheel do not turn, the bacterial on them begins to die due to lack of oxygin....so how do you deal with the possible power outage? How many hours can the overall bio-environment of a tank last without power? Thank you in advance. mike

09-02-2007, 03:07 AM
do a CRAPFUL of water changes if the power goes out

Lady Hobbs
09-02-2007, 03:09 AM
I don't get too excited about the biowheel drying out. It takes quite a while but you could always drop it in the tank to keep it wet. There's a lot of filters out there without the biowheel and the filter media is still there......remaining wet......so this is not really an issue. Keeping the tank oxygened during a power outage is the most important.

I will share my story with you of how I survived such a power outage.

Oct 06, 2006

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 I am 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. Actually it was a tornado I later learned.

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.

09-02-2007, 03:09 AM
1500 VA battery backups on all of my tanks

09-02-2007, 03:17 AM
and portable air pumps like hobbs mentioned, a lifesaver. i actually have never experienced a power outage except like 17 years ago, but by then i had no aquariums. else, its been smooth sailing.

09-02-2007, 03:23 AM
where I can purchase this all important portable air pump? I assume that it runs on battery which can be recharged or reloaded in someway. If one pump is good, perhaps several would be even better. But what about the water temp...especially for sensitive fish like the discus. How do I try to maintain the 85 F for a large tank with no electricity? These questions should be dealth with long before any real situation arises. Or am I just anal-paranoid! Thanks mike

09-02-2007, 03:24 AM
as far as keeping the biowheel(s) bacteria in a living state, i submerge them in my tank when i conduct water changes. the same can hold true for a power outtage. it's definitely wise to have a reliable battery powered air supply for a power outtage, just in case you're without power for an extended period.

here's a very good backup pump. it is pricey, but well worth the extra dough i believe--

09-02-2007, 03:26 AM
ive seen a battery pump at petsmart for 15$, not sure of the quality but it should be fine

09-02-2007, 03:28 AM
ive seen the pump at petsmart for 15$

i was merely giving mikel an example

Lady Hobbs
09-02-2007, 03:30 AM
Power outages in the winter is something I have bad dreams about. Some have mentioned cutting Styrofoam sheets to tape to the tank to keep the warm water in as long as possible but no way can we predict what would happen in a cold house for 5 days. Hopefully a person would have a generator for those really bad times. (Not me) Several hours of room temp is fine if during the other seasons. Nothing will happen to your fish if temps should drop to 70 because the drop is gradual.

The portable air pumps run on batteries for several hours. I've seen them at WalMart even and they can be purchased online at several sites. They only run about $12 and some are pretty good running up to 70 hours.

Don't forget if you have friends who fish and have battery powdered bait buckets. Those work too.

09-02-2007, 03:40 AM
i was merely giving mikel an example

whoops, sorry about that, i was referring to hobbs post. i accidentally skipped the last few. your link seems really good, azoo is good quality, their micro filters are awesome

09-02-2007, 03:43 AM
I am off to buy these rechargable pumps for the emergencies. My attitude is to do one's best to prepare...but if the situation is truly overwhelming, then it is the will of heaven.

Lady Hobbs
09-02-2007, 03:56 AM
Keep your batteries in the refrigerator. They last longer.

09-02-2007, 03:59 AM
Keep your batteries in the refrigerator. They last longer.

excellent point. the cold keeps the process of the battery acid from depleting (lol, gr.6 science i know)