HALP! Power Outage!
We had a lovely (grrrr, not!) power outage in our city yesterday. It was a brown-out that gradually became a full outage, lasting up to 5 hours. Between work & home, I have 10 tanks (ranging from 1-29 gallons), and now I need to come up with a plan to get all these fish & inverts through the coming mini (hopefully mini) cycle that I am pretty sure is coming!
What I have to work with: plenty of Prime water conditioner, the ability to do regular water changes in as large a % as needed, an ammonia testing kit (API liquid kid, and a Master test kit from API, though that will not last long with 10 tanks!), and access to PetSmart & Amazon for some supplies (small-budget allowing).
4 ten gallon planted tanks (crypts, elodea, & frogbit, mostly), each with 3-7 guppies, and 0-7 mystery snails. Some with a few ghost shrimp, all with pond/bladder snails. These tanks have the old "bubbler" filters, with aquarium gravel & filter floss inside them.
1 twenty-nine gallon tank, with a decent internal filter, a random air-stone, and a *small* HOB that has a bamboo plant growing in it (I cannot believe the motor on this didn't die last night, as it did not restart correctly - of course - and I came in to it still dry-running, probably for about 12 hours). This tank has 15 guppies, a "living out their long life" assortment of 5 random tetras/otos/twig catfish, along with around a dozen mystery snails, a nerite, 3 amano shrimp, and a metric ton of cherry shrimp. It is also quite heavily planted with many, many mature crypts, cyperus helferi, & exploding frogbit (over half the surface full).
*all tanks are planted but not old enough to be "heavily" planted yet, most significantly with crypts & frogbit, have pond/bladder snails, and are 3-8 months old. There are random other plants in most of the home tanks as well, but I don't think it matters enough to waste time writing/reading those specific details. Suffice to say that some tanks have amazon swords, a moss ball or two, cyperus helferi, java fern, java moss, anubius petit nana, etc. None are terribly mature and some are still in the struggling stage, due to the age of the tanks*
1 gallon jar: 1 betta (plans to move him to bigger accommodations, I promise - he was a surprise & this was supposed to be a cute shrimp jar!). Has homemade undergravel filter running with an air-stone.
2 1/2 gallon "dirted" jar: 1 female betta, 1 mystery snail, 1-2 ramshorn (I think) snails & about 6 cherry shrimp: has a very small sponge filter.
5 gallon: 1 betta, has stock "Tetra" HOB filter with gravel, sponge, and a bamboo plant growing in it.
5 gallon: 1 betta, 6+ cherry shrimp, & 1 mystery snail. Has sponge filter & treasure chest/airstone decoration - only has a very few, floundering plants total.
5 gallon portait: 1 mystery snail, ??10-24 cherry shrimp, has stock internal pump (Marineland Portrait tank AIO, without cartridges & carbon, with ceramic rings & sponges instead) - this tank is a little more heavily planted & is the oldest of the home tanks
15 gallon "dirted" tank: 2 female bettas, 6 panda/dawn tetras, 3 female guppies, 6-12 cherry shrimp, handful of ramshorn (I think) snails, and a Dwarf Mexican Crayfish. Penguin/Marineland HOB with a bio-wheel & customized sponges & bio rings filling the container, instead of the cartridges. I am most worried about this tank, as I JUST added 3 tetras & the crayfish on Saturday night, and the guppies a week ago.
1. regular ammonia testing (and more conservative nitrite testing eventually)
2. water changes as needed (both normal weekly 25-40% changes & similarly sized whenever ammonia is present at harmful levels), with prime added for the entire tank, not just the # gallons changed
3. possibly unplugging heaters in the 29 at work (others @ work have been unplugged since April or May), and 15 & 5 gallon tanks at home (the jars do not have heaters right now). When I was researching the nitrogen cycle, I noted that lower pH's and lower temperatures allowed ammonia to be converted to ammonium, which is not harmful to fish, but will allow the cycle to progress, so long as the pH isn't TOO low. My tanks are usually around 6.8, though the oldest of them can get as low as 6.2 when I don't keep up with water changes.
1. Should I buy some bottled bacteria from PetSmart if I start seeing ammonia levels over a certain number, to help speed up the cycle? I was given some at one point when I started the 15 gallon tank, and it did speed up my cycle (I think), so I'm wondering if the PetSmart available stuff is better than I have read in these forums in the past. Keep in mind that I do not think there is any sort of $ from my workplace budget so this will be all on me.
2. Should I be adding prime every day/2 days to keep ammonia/nitrite poisoning possibilities down?
2. This was supposed to be filters cleaning week (done 1x/month) -- should I leave them alone, clean them extra well, or take care of them normally??
3. In order to be budget conscious of my testing supplies, I'm likely to test less than daily -- if anyone has experience or advice on the most intelligent way to do this, I'd love to hear it. I was guessing maybe 2-3 times per week.
Any and all advice is appreciated -- I read A LOT online, but there is no substitution for specific advice from experts! Thank you!
It's not a mystery...snails are the BEST!
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Last edited by Cinnamonamon; 07-01-2019 at 05:36 PM.
Reason: title adjustment