In Case Of Emergancy...

hudsona85

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Hello all,
 
Indeed it has been a while since my last visit. Hope all is well! Any who, onto my "Discussion".
 
I have been researching around for some decent answers and yet have not been able to come to something that could potentially work. In the last few days, there has been winter storm warnings which got me thinking... I have 4 tanks and all of which obviously require electricity to keep the inhabitants (and plants) alive! None of which prefer cool/cold water. So now becomes the concern. Water movement is going to create circulation to keep the oxygen in the water. So in the event of a power failure, what can be done to ensure survival?
I live in an apartment with no generator, no backup battery power, and the only saving grace is where I am located in the complex, the temp does not fluctuate much. This however, does not change the fact that it wont drop. I have thought of putting blankets around the tanks in hopes of the water minimally dropping in temperature. I've heard crazy things such as using heat packs in a freezer bag... But is it THAT crazy of an idea?
I also read somewhere that lowering the volume of the water will aid in oxygen levels since the fish have less space to swim and thus making their own circulation. Is this even a logical thing to do? Any ideas as to other things I can approach?
This also raises another question... In the event of a power failure, does that mean feedings need to stop as well?
 

Baccus

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In my opinion ever fish keeper should have in their arsonal of fishy paraphonalia as many battery air pumps as tanks. An air pump with attached airstone can keep bacteria alive in a filter or be used to add oxygen to the tank. When we had 5 days of no power and absolutely stinking heat and sweltering humidity, the airstones where what saved my fish and bacteria. I removed the filter media from the filters and put it in the tank and then had the airstone bubbling away nearby keeping movement happening around the media while giving the fish some oxygen.
Always remember if you have had a substantial power outage dont just turn the filter straight back on, because if the bacteria have died in the filter from lack of water movement you are effectively dumping all the now toxic water into the tank with your fish. It is also advisble to do a large water change once power has been returned to help get rid of any build up of toxins.
 
As for emergency heating, the best I have heard of has been wrapping the tank in blankets, to try and conserve as much heat as possible. Fish can be pretty resilient and if the temp gradually decreases ( at least not down to freezing and rock hard) the fish might be able to adjust as the temp drops. However their metabolism will also slow so feeding should be reduced. A drop in temp could also cause stress which will often allow secondary infections such as white spot and fungus to raise its ugly head.
 
To add insulation to your heat trap of wrapped blankets around the tank, you could also wrap the tank in newspapers (paper has very good insulation qualities), I would probably remove any tank lights prior to wrapping just in case the power comes back on unexpectedly and your not home or awake. The last thing you want is to set fire to your home from a tank light coming back on and setting fire to the wrappings.
If you have access to a portable gas/ propane BBQ/ hotplate you could use it to boil water, which you can then put into a heat safe sealable container and float this hot water in the tank. Once the container with the once boiled water cools off you can repeat the process, while still keeping the tank wrapped against the surrounding cold air. Because the warm water is going to generally stay close to the surface you can try to disperse the warm water through the tank a bit more by using existing tank water and pouring it over the container holding the boiling water. If deciding to float containers of boiling water you might want to remove some tank water first since the added volume from the container(s) will raise the water height in the tank.
 

Far_King

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You could look into buying a UPS for your tanks - if only perhaps to run the filtration every now and then.  Different options are available but none are particularly cheap.
 
I've considered this route myself.  It's not going to run the tanks permanently in case of failure but will give perhaps another 80 minutes of runtime or more if required (depending on specification and load).  For example leaving a heater connected and an air pump manually switched on for five minutes may produce a small load and you may get four hours out of a UPS.  This should allow heat and oxygenation as required.
 
I'm not sure how quickly a filter may drain the charge.  Perhaps on a timer it may last a while, I have no idea.  It may just be worth considering.
 
http://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/categories/power/uninterruptible-power-supply-ups-/computer-and-peripheral/back-ups/_/N-1nzwthz
 
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hudsona85

hudsona85

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Definitely great advice! Despite the abundance of power outages we had in NC, I was not one of them. Sadly it was not something that was thought about before. At least I know now that I will be better prepared in the next events. I actually thought about this last week. One of the tanks has a canister filter with a manual pump! Although it would get tiring after a while, I could at least pump and circulate the tank.
 
Far_King- While I really like the idea of having a UPC, for 4 tanks will be pretty expensive?
 

Far_King

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Yeah that'd be pretty expensive.  And they vary so much on capacity and output.  If you really wanted to do it and had plenty of space (and cash!) it would be conceivable to use the sort of UPS used in small data centres :)  
 
That is more than a bit of overkill however!
 
It would be prudent to prioritise the tanks you'd like powered and what you'd like to remain running during an outage and do everything you can to conserve the charge.  There is a chart on output per device on the APC website somewhere.

failing that there's always a balloon pump to fall back on http://www.partypuffin.co.uk/party-supplies/Balloon-Pump/133817/viewDetail?gclid=CIrYjOuOzMoCFQeVGwodWMID1w you can't go wrong at 99p :D
 

HarpyFishLover

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Just found this. I have wondered the exact same thing as well... so an airstone (which I need ANYWAYS) and blankets? Sounds easy enough...
 

Blobfish

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Lots of great advice in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8mgFG5cgaw
 

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