HURRICANE DIRECT HIT - Any last minute suggestions? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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HURRICANE DIRECT HIT - Any last minute suggestions?

Hurricane Ike will be a DIRECT strike over my area, and I wanted to ask if anyone has any last minute suggestions I haven't thought of. I only have 1-2 hours before I leave.

My tanks are in my apartment which is on the 3rd floor. I have 3 large windows facing North. There is nothing but an open field to the North so there's nothing to block the winds.

Here's what I've done and will do:

1. I have installed 2 battery operated air pumps, one for each of my 2 larger tanks (75g and 20L). My 2.5g and 5g tanks have NO backup.

2. I've taped the windows (can't board them), but I have to think in my mind what will happen should one of the windows break, allowing rain and wind to inundate my apartment. I'm moving all nick-knacks that would blow around to do all I can to minimize debris that could break a tank.

3. I am unplugging anything and everything not absolutely necessary for the fish. I will unplug all lights, uv sterilizers, CO2, etc., leaving only 1 pump per tank running.

4. I will close all doors so if there is a break, the wind and rain won't go everywhere (although, in my living area, there's little I can do since it's an open floorplan of living room, kitchen and dining combined).

I will be leaving my apartment and will ride out the hurricane at my house. So if anything did happen in my apartment, I won't be there to minimize the situation. My fish will be on their own.

Is there anything else that I can do to help protect my fish?

For anyone interested, my apartment is in zip code 77478 (recently changed to 77498) and my house is in zip code 77479. My house is very safe; my only concern is something flying through a window. I may lose power at both locations, but I should be able to get back to the apartment 24-48 hours after hurricane Ike leaves. My family and I should be safe. We might sustain some damage should something go through a window or a tree falls on our house, but we should be fine. I'll get back on asap to tell you guys how it goes once when I can after the storm passes.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

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post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 04:33 PM
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best of luck to ya....I have a bunch of friend down in the gulf who are making there way north as well. I have faith, and I'll predict your tanks are going to be a-okay, save for maybe a fish loss or two (depending on the power outage situation). I had a late night power outage here a week or two or three ago and set up a gravity-drip to help agitate the surface and oxygenate the water since I had no battery op. air pump and didn't want to stay up pouring water into the tank over and over again. Sounds like you've done all you can, so just try to relax and think calming thoughts while your away....
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post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 04:34 PM
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Sounds like you have the right plan. The only thing I would like to add is to move all unneccessary tank equipment into another room with your nick-knacks. If the wind does come in and I seriously hope it doesn't, anything loose (meaning not bolted down) could become a flying missile inside your apt.

I wish you and everyone else in Texas good luck with this hurricane.
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post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cah925 View Post
The only thing I would like to add is to move all unneccessary tank equipment into another room with your nick-knacks.
Good idea. I'm moving everything except the things enclosed by my cabinet in my 75g. But all lights and other stuff I can move will go in my closet.

How long can fish survive in a 2.5g and 5g tank without power? I have about 25 small Barasas brigittae in the 2.5g and 6 adult Barasas and my RCS colony in my 5g tank.

Would it be a good idea to lower the water level to cause more splashing from the HOB filters for those tanks? Would that add more air into the tanks so they can survive longer if I lose power?

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

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post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 05:06 PM
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Good luck Complexity. Me and my family are just going to wait it out in our apartment. Stay safe!


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post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 05:06 PM
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I'm here in College station and we are supposed to get some of the rain and wind as well (not nearly as bad as galveston). I'm staying put and hoping nothing crazy happens. Hope all goes well for your house.
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post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 05:57 PM
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I'm in Baton rouge and just went through this with Gustav. I was able to keep all of my fish alive. Granted, I only had 4 cories, 1 Otto, and 4 Rasboras in a 12 gallon. I was without power for 10 days (just got it back Wednesday). I had 1 battery operated airpump running the entire time. I also did a small water change and stirred the water up almost everyday. I added Prime once or twice and didn't feed the fish much. I cleaned the filter and left it plugged in so as soon as the power came back on it would start running. The tank got very dirty but I had very little plant die-off and no fish deaths. After a few hours with electricity the water was clean again and everyone looked happy. So I rewarded them with this....



Now it's time to find them some friends...

We're getting the outside bands of Ike right now. The wind is supposed to pick up a little this afternoon and tonight. Stay safe! It's a nasty looking storm.
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post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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I have almost everything set. I've moved the 2.5g to the floor with a lot of protection since it's close to the largest windows. I was able to move my 5g into my kitchen where it's more protected. I removed some water and then added new water from the sprayer at the sink which added extra air. I've also put plastic garbage bags over all tanks (except my 75g) with the idea that they would help keep the lids from flying off.

The only thing left now is to unplug and cover the TV, internet and unplug everything on my 75g except one filter.

It is my hope that the windows won't get broken, but I've done the best I can to prepare everything for the windows breaking. Being up so high and having nothing in front of the windows to prevent debris from flying into the windows, I don't know what to expect.

Looks like I've covered my bases so it's going to be just a matter of what this hurricane will do.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

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post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:12 PM
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Complexity,

It sounds as if you have planned very well.

I hope that you, your family and everyone else in the threat area are OK. Please know that people from all over the country will be thinking of you all and praying for everyone's safety.

The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. S. King
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post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
I have almost everything set. I've moved the 2.5g to the floor with a lot of protection since it's close to the largest windows. I was able to move my 5g into my kitchen where it's more protected. I removed some water and then added new water from the sprayer at the sink which added extra air. I've also put plastic garbage bags over all tanks (except my 75g) with the idea that they would help keep the lids from flying off.

The only thing left now is to unplug and cover the TV, internet and unplug everything on my 75g except one filter.

It is my hope that the windows won't get broken, but I've done the best I can to prepare everything for the windows breaking. Being up so high and having nothing in front of the windows to prevent debris from flying into the windows, I don't know what to expect.

Looks like I've covered my bases so it's going to be just a matter of what this hurricane will do.
I dont know about covering the tanks with plastic bags. That will probably hinder o2 exchange, which will be important now. Will make your tanks hotter too. I kept the lid off my 12 until the last day. I stayed around 79 with the lid off. When I put it on it went up to almost 83.
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post #11 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rpayer View Post
I had 1 battery operated airpump running the entire time.
What brand of pump were you using? The pumps I have are Penn Plax model B11:

http://www.aquariumguys.com/silentairpump.html

They each take 2 D-cell batteries. Nothing that I can find gives me any idea of how long these pumps can run off of the batteries.

So it would help if you or anyone else who's used one of these air pumps could give me some idea of how long your pumps ran on one set of batteries.

Best of luck to the rest of you who are in this storm's path. If I have power and any of you don't, I'd be very happy to house your fish as best as I can. I have 6 tanks running that do not have any fish in them (plants only) so I am able to take in fish if anyone needs it.

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post #12 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rpayer View Post
I dont know about covering the tanks with plastic bags. That will probably hinder o2 exchange, which will be important now. Will make your tanks hotter too. I kept the lid off my 12 until the last day. I stayed around 79 with the lid off. When I put it on it went up to almost 83.
Good point on the oxygen issue. But I'm confused on the heat issue. All of these tanks have their lights removed/turned off. As far as the a/c, there's little I can do.

As soon as I can, I'll be coming back to check on things so the bags will come off then. I have them there for just the actual hurricane with the concern of having a window break. I don't want the lids off where glass can get in.

Vicki Rena Filstar pimp #142 (four XP4s/three XP2s/one XP1) Eheim pimp #301 (Pro II 2128) Victor pimp #27 (VTS-253B-320)

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post #13 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:22 PM
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Did you tape the entire window up? If you literally cover the entire think in masking tape, putting the tape over the window sill as well, then if they break the glass won't shatter inward and allow things inside. You should probably keep the water level a little low so it doesn't slosh.

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post #14 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
What brand of pump were you using? The pumps I have are Penn Plax model B11:

http://www.aquariumguys.com/silentairpump.html

They each take 2 D-cell batteries. Nothing that I can find gives me any idea of how long these pumps can run off of the batteries.

So it would help if you or anyone else who's used one of these air pumps could give me some idea of how long your pumps ran on one set of batteries.

Best of luck to the rest of you who are in this storm's path. If I have power and any of you don't, I'd be very happy to house your fish as best as I can. I have 6 tanks running that do not have any fish in them (plants only) so I am able to take in fish if anyone needs it.
Same pump I used... I had the same problem as far as not knowing the run time. I switched them with new batteries everyday for the first few days. After a few days of that I could tell just from the sound of the pump that they still had plenty of juice. I let the last set of Duracells run for 96hours none stop.
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post #15 of 93 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
Good point on the oxygen issue. But I'm confused on the heat issue. All of these tanks have their lights removed/turned off. As far as the a/c, there's little I can do.

As soon as I can, I'll be coming back to check on things so the bags will come off then. I have them there for just the actual hurricane with the concern of having a window break. I don't want the lids off where glass can get in.
My tank just stayed cooler with the lid off. When the a/c goes with the electricity it will get hot. Especially after that storm passes. I guess the lid trapped the humidity in the tank and caused the temp to rise.
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