How to prepare for power outage - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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How to prepare for power outage

Hi guys, I just have my 20G planted tank set up and cycled less than a month ago, I have 15 small community fish (endler guppy, balloon platy, honey gourami) and some ghost shrimp living in it right now.

I just got a notice from my power company that power will be out for 6-8 hours tomorrow for maintenance. I dont have a power backup for my hang on back filter. What are things I can do to prepare for the power outage? Will a 6-8 hours power outage be significant on the ammonia and nitrite level? I have seachem matrix as filter media inside my filter, how will it impact the beneficial bacteria inside?

Tomorrow is also the bi-weekly filter maintenance I scheduled as well, I usually take my filter intake filter pad out and clean all the debris there since my filter flow had gone down a bit after last maintenance form the debris it trapped, but I can probably skip this for another day or so.


Last edited by corgifishkeeper; 06-02-2018 at 06:54 PM. Reason: added photo
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 07:55 PM
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Rather than delay cleaning, I would suggest doing it one day early. The main question may be if the outage should last longer than planned. IT happens, soo being prepped is good. So if the bacteria may be knocked down a bit, having the filter clean, gives them less to do but that cleaning should be done to avoid killing too much of the bacteria on the media. Since the tank is new, the bacteria will just be getting settled in on all the other parts of the tank, so clean gently, just to reduce the big stuff. No hot water nor chlorine, for sure!! Do NOT wipe down walls, etc. as we might want to call any of that slick stuff bacteria until we get sure of there being plenty.
During the power outage, there may be some value in having a jug or two of water on hand. Treated and at near the right temp, the water poured through the filter will be worth it---if practical.
But overall, this is not a major bump and may not create much trouble. Staying alert that it might turn bad is one of the better ways to avoid the gremlins! Testing or watching for fish acting a bit "off" is always good at these times. The time is not too serious but pouring water is one way to get by, even if we had no filter. It's just more work than most of us can handle for full time!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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The power outage shouldn't be long, I live in San Francisco and there are lots of shops in my neighborhood, there will be a big uproar if the maintenance is longer than what the notice stated since it will have huge impact on the small business, and in my opinion it usually only last a few hours. I have never experience any power outage more than 6 hours in my past 20+ year living here, they usually get things fixed pretty quick here and we don't experience any weather issue here, beside the unpredictable but rare big earthquake.

For the filter maintenance, I usually do it follow a 25% water change, I take the filter pad out and lightly shake it in the old tank water to get all the surface debris out, and then I add a vial of the bio digest bacteria to the filter since I got a whole bunch of them left from when I was cycling the tank.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 09:55 PM
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Sounds like you are in better shape than I might have imagined. Metro areas tend to place a higher value on keeping the lights on! Sounds like the cleaning process is pretty much inline, as well.
So being in California, I assume "tomorrow" will be Sunday? Never sure where the poster might be so that can throw a hitch in the plan but if it's Sunday and you can be around, I would go with just kind of keeping an eye out for any signs of things drifting off. Temperature likely to be moderate so that is better than the 20 or 120 scene!
But if it works, pouring some water through the filter now and then will make it pretty safe.
Best of luck to you but I've seen folks in the other places and it usually works out if we just hang on for a bit. Let us know how it goes?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 10:42 PM
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Remember fish are shipped in plastic bags and stay put for sometimes days with 0 circulation. I'm sure some hours would have little effect on the fish, especially with a larger tank.

Edit: not to mention we all have supposedly a planted tank
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kushy04 View Post
Remember fish are shipped in plastic bags and stay put for sometimes days with 0 circulation. I'm sure some hours would have little effect on the fish, especially with a larger tank.

Edit: not to mention we all have supposedly a planted tank
Yup, I wouldn't be worried about an 8 hour outage unless the temp is going to spike or drop more than 6 degrees.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 12:46 AM
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hey a question you say you have shrimp in with a platty and guppies do they not eat them just wandering i would like to try some possibly in my tank with plattyies and guppies let me know thanks i do not want them to be expensive fish food


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kushy04 View Post
Remember fish are shipped in plastic bags and stay put for sometimes days with 0 circulation. I'm sure some hours would have little effect on the fish, especially with a larger tank.

Edit: not to mention we all have supposedly a planted tank
Point taken is quite true for the fish, but the real concern is not the fish but losing too much of the bacteria and then the result may be a variety of spikes and that is what we need to be aware of and work to avoid or fix if it happens.
Not likely to lose much in eight hours but then is a good time to be aware.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 02:00 PM
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Food for [future] thought....

Have a battery powered air pump on hand along with a weighted 'never clog' plastic air 'stone' and air line tubing. Have the Matrix media in a media bag.
If/when there's ever a power failure, setup the the air pump/air stone underneath the bio-media bag on the bottom of the tank....You could run for days this way (may need replacement batteries!).

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Food for [future] thought....

Have a battery powered air pump on hand along with a weighted 'never clog' plastic air 'stone' and air line tubing. Have the Matrix media in a media bag.
If/when there's ever a power failure, setup the the air pump/air stone underneath the bio-media bag on the bottom of the tank....You could run for days this way (may need replacement batteries!).
I ended up doing something similar to this but the battery operated air pump runs at all times (the batteries are a "backup" power source the pump will switch to as soon as it detects a power outage - no wait period). Doing it this way does eventually run down the batteries over time but I'm fine with checking it once in a while to see if I need to replace them. With this setup there's nothing I need to do differently, I just have it connected to an extra dual sponge filter hidden in the back of the tank.

I don't know if this is the best option out there but it's working very well for my needs and it wasn't very expensive: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It can provide 150 hours of power for a 55 gallon tank, I have it on a 15 gallon tank so I probably have quite a bit more time if needed.

Now in this situation, my main filter will probably have a die-off of beneficial bacteria with the loss of power but I don't know that I would lose all of them since the backup filter will keep the air flow going. However even if they did all die off, the backup filter is already established too and will re-seed the main filter quickly.

This doesn't address the heater but I'm not going to worry about it for the summer. I will find a backup power bank for that too eventually.
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