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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We lost power at about 430 this morning. I woke at 7, covered all 3 tanks with blankets. They don't seem to be losing too much temp, and at least I did water changes yesterday.

I'm thinking about heating some water over a fire, then mixing with cool water before adding to tank if the Temps drop too much. Any advice or input?
 

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Do they have an idea when the power will come back on? Need to get some aeration and movement in the tanks. Do you have any battery powered air pumps or can you go to Petsmart or Petco and get them? I'm guessing you're water heater for the house isn't gas?

Lack of oxygen is more worrisome than the temperature.
 

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Lost power a month ago for about 12 hours. Went out and bought some battery operated air pumps. The main tank in the living room never dropped under 73. My tanks in the basement were losing heat rapidly and had to do 2 water changes on them to keep them from dropping below 70. Luckily, my water heater is gas and not electric, otherwise I would have been screwed. One thing to worry about once the power comes back on is if you have canister filters. The bacteria can and will die off with no movement or oxygen being pumped through. I read somewhere 12 to 24 hours and they could still be ok but I think it really depends on how clean your filter is and the stocking off your tanks. My 3 tanks in the basement are understocked and there was no bacteria die off within the canisters. Unfortunately that wasn't the case for my 265. I have never smelled something so awful in my fish tank. I wound up doing a 90% water change and overdosed with Safe. Luckily I didnt lose any fish and the water was back to normal after a day. I wound up not cleaning any of the filters at that time because I didn't want to kill off any bacteria that remained. I did another massive water change the next day and never had an issue. That was an awful day. Only good thing was the rest of the family went to my in law's so it was just me, the dog and the fish in quiet, peaceful darkness. When I wasn't working my butt off on the tanks anyway. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Everything is completely shut down. No way to go buy a battery powered air pump. Should I stir the water by hand or something?

I have electric water heater, yes.

They are saying we may not have power until tomorrow... help!
 

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Water changes will add some oxygen back into the tank. Do you have a friend or neighbor with a generator? You'll know the fish are low on oxygen when they come to the top. This has always been my worst nightmare. Maybe others have some other tips to help too. Not sure what else I can offer.
 

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Oh man, Andy. You're definitely in the 'worst case' scenario now.
And yes, the info in this article from the site library is much too late now,

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... ailure.php

I do like your ability to heat up the water, though. Do you have any Nalgene type drinking bottles handy? Any sturdy glass type with a screw down or snap-type lid? Possibly the best way to heat the water will be to first get it nice and hot, then transfer it over to your Nalgene bottle or sealed glass container. Then, just (gently) set the hot container down into the tank. The heated water inside the container will slowly warm up the water around it that way.
Outside of that.... you don't have a gas stove in the house? A kerosene type heater? A gas-type (Coleman?) lantern? All of those things build up heat pretty quickly, and will help to warm the house, even if only a little bit.
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This is a tough one Andy. And, I'm really sorry to see you're going through this. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That may be all I can do! Nobody has generators. Right now, the times I've looked, no fish were at the top of the tank. But I'm trying to keep them covered and lids closed to maintain temp.

Augballagh- what would you recommend to help with oxygen if I heat the water the way you recommended? As far as our house goes, we are all just huddled up together under blankets with our dogs lol. I do have a camping lantern that I'm planning on using tonight for light and heat. We will all be fine, I'm worried about my wet friends!

If I still don't have power at 430, I'll start a fire to get some warm, oxygenated water going for them.

After this, I'm going to buy a back up power supply...
 

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Do you have a plastic milk jug or other large container you can set up on top of the tank? Drill or poke a hole in it so you have some surface water movement which will help to break that film layer on the water surface. Use either tank water or if you find a way to heat some water, add that to the container.

A back up power supply won't help long enough for canister filters or heaters as they draw too much power. You would be better off with a generator if powering high wattage equipment.

As fishboy75 mentioned, battery operated air pump such as used by people that fish will work for keeping the water aerated. Any friends or neighbors that may have such equipment available near you?
 

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We had no power for an entire weekend a few years ago after some ice storms. No issues in any of the tanks. I think I had 5 tanks at the time.
It helps if they are large tanks as the large volume of water will help hold the heat in and I covered them with blankets.
I didn't open the lids and didn't feed them until the power came back on.
Don't be opening doors and windows unnecessarily and try to keep the house nice and warm.
 

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Without battery powered air pumps? Sorry man, I got nothing to help with oxygenation.
Yes, the generator would definitely be nice. But, unless you get a second mortgage on your house or something? The affordable sized ones will only be able to provide so many watts of power. So, you may have only enough generator power to heat your house!
What you can do now however, is save your filtration media. First, unplug your filters. Fits and starts of the electrical power could ruin possibly un-primed electric pumps in your filters.
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If you have HOB type filters? Just pull whatever it is out of your filter reservoirs and place it in the tank. That will keep a lot of the beneficial bacteria alive in that media until you can get the power back on. If you have canisters? Just open up the top(s) to let a bit of air/oxygen get in. Doing that will help to save a lot of your media (beneficial bacteria) in your canisters. But, if this thing goes on for more than couple days? You will need to completely rinse out the canister media in tank water before getting the canister filter back up and running. You don't want to flush a whole bunch of dead bacteria and nasty water from the canister filter into your aquarium!
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Beyond that, just try to keep your tanks insulated and covered to retain as much heat as possible for your tropical fish. :(
 

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Hello from the Great White North!

No power you say. Welcome to my world.

As has been mentioned above ("Beyond that, just try to keep your tanks insulated and covered to retain as much heat as possible for your tropical fish.") at this point in time it's all about heat retention.

Regards,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
20 hours later, power just came back. Only one tank went below 70. I kept everything covered with blankets and didn't open the tanks at all today.

My preemptive plan was to do just that. Thanks to everybody for giving options, I learned a lot from this experience. Like have battery operated aerators. But we all made it through this one. All my fish seem fine at the moment, I'll update again in the morning. Hopefully we won't lose power again!
 

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Alright! Sounds good Andy.
Wow, it looks like Texas is being called 'ground zero' for this winter storm. And, 4 million people without electric power? Whew! Plus, I understand quite a few of them had to basically 'bail out' of their homes to their cars, to keep warm.
Did you warm up any water for any of your aquariums?
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Lessons Learned, hmmm? And, in addition to some battery powered pumps, you may want to look into getting a kerosene heater or something. They are fairly cheap to purchase (by comparison to a really big electric generator), and those things really do put out a lot of heat. Pretty handy!
 

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Glad to hear you have power again Andy and sounds like you and family came through this storm OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
All the fish are happily swimming around this morning!

I did not warm up any water- I barely had enough charcoal and wood to make my family some soup... we spent all day bundled up in bed with a pile of blankets and the dogs on us for warmth. As I started dinner, I turned on the car so everybody could fully warm up, and we stayed out there for a couple of hours. It was 40°F in the house when the power finally came on.

Typically, when we lose power here, the temperature concern is that it's too hot
 

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This may be a little late for all, but it appears to work. Make an aquarium air pump from a plastic bottle that uses water power to work. You can do this at home and use it when there is no electricity.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cichlidude said:
This may be a little late for all, but it appears to work. Make an aquarium air pump from a plastic bottle that uses water power to work. You can do this at home and use it when there is no electricity.

Just wanted to thank you again, along with several other Houstonians, for that link! Houston has lost A LOT of fish, and I've given a ton of people that link for aeration help.

I'm so grateful that we haven't lost any fish, especially seeing so many loss stories on Houston Facebook cichlid/aquarium groups...
 
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