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Thread: Power outage

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Power outage

    The power company is gonna shut off the power in my area on the 19th, any tips? Ive heard that the beneficial bacteria in the filter will die because theres no movement. So ill need to replace the filter media, and also how would the filter work? Do i need to recycle it or is there enough bacteria in the substrate?

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    I recommend 1) battery bubbler. Petsmart sells them for around 30 bucks, maybe even less if you look online (they price match against chewy.com)

    I also recommend getting an uninterrupted power source (ups) from where like home depot, lowe's, office depot or the internet.

    Check your wattage rating of your filter, and get a ups that is greater a rating for 2 or 3 hours, or more.

    Unfortunately, traditional filters are usually AC operated, and as a result, operate at a reasonably high wattage.

    If in the event that your ups dies, your bubbler dies, have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide handy and add aporoximately a 1/2 cup an hour over the course of an hour per 40 gallons.

    At this point, you are only keeping your fish and other fauna alive, negate there will be no other options to keep your cycle going.

    It won't be that big of a deal.

    Once your power is back on, perform a20% water charge daily for about a week, and it should come back.

  3. #3
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Shades View Post
    I recommend 1) battery bubbler. Petsmart sells them for around 30 bucks, maybe even less if you look online (they price match against chewy.com)

    I also recommend getting an uninterrupted power source (ups) from where like home depot, lowe's, office depot or the internet.

    Check your wattage rating of your filter, and get a ups that is greater a rating for 2 or 3 hours, or more.

    Unfortunately, traditional filters are usually AC operated, and as a result, operate at a reasonably high wattage.

    If in the event that your ups dies, your bubbler dies, have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide handy and add aporoximately a 1/2 cup an hour over the course of an hour per 40 gallons.

    At this point, you are only keeping your fish and other fauna alive, negate there will be no other options to keep your cycle going.

    It won't be that big of a deal.

    Once your power is back on, perform a20% water charge daily for about a week, and it should come back.
    Oh shoot im gonna be at my grandparents for 2 days so i cant do daily water changes

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Before, after, or during the power outage.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Shades View Post
    Before, after, or during the power outage.

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    After

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  6. #6
    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    So here is the deal.

    Water movement provides a flawless cycle.

    Light/photo synthesis provides respiratory cycle in the form of carbon dioxide into oxygen for inhabitants. Low tech.

    Lack of both provides no cycle.

    Your beneficial bacteria tend to die at a rate of 50% per hour each hour. So, plot it like this:

    Power goes out, run your backups. Ideally, power comes back on before your back ups end.

    In one hour, you will be down to 50% of beneficial bacteria.
    In two hours, you will be down to 25%
    3, 12.5%
    4, 6.25%
    5, etc, etc.

    After power has returned, doing a 25% water change will be most ideal, period, but just a 25%.
    Before you leave to your grandparents, do a 35% to 40% water change, but do not go over 50% at all. Make sure you are working actual water volume and not total water volume (10 gallon aquarium with tons of substrate might oniy give 7 gallons total water volume. Part of the reason which many individuals recommend keeping track of how much water you fill from day one in order to keep extensive track of volumetric for accurate water chemistry). Hence - be cautious with that large water change.

    As long as you do this, even if any of your fauna suffer mild nitrate or nitrite poisoning over two days, you can treat it with seachem prime when you get back for ammonia neutralization, but just be calm and patient about it, and ultimately you should be fine.

    Regarding that little tidbit up top about your light/photosynthesis...even though we all say, "keep your tank out of the window/sunlight", this might actually be a boon if you have plenty of sun in your tank's view.

    If so, just bump up the amount of sun that can come in through windows, and that might help quite a bit. The more fauna, in this case, potentially the better.

    You can kill your filtration media after this, or keep it. It will recharge itself one way or another, but I might just recommend removing it for the day of.



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    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    Before you freak out over what the overly enigmatic Nick has said. Give info on your set up. How long is the power going to be out? Will you be home when it's turned back on? Is it a canister that will start up by itself? Is it an HOB that all the water will drain out of?

    Unless your tank (say with a canister filter) is over stocked, don't worry about it just let it run. I've had established tanks with no power for 2 days and never lost a fish after without water changes or anything drastic. There is enough beneficial bacteria in the tank to counter any loss in a canister. Freak out with all of Nick's ramblings if it's salt water.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    Before you freak out over what the overly enigmatic Nick has said. Give info on your set up. How long is the power going to be out? Will you be home when it's turned back on? Is it a canister that will start up by itself? Is it an HOB that all the water will drain out of?

    Unless your tank (say with a canister filter) is over stocked, don't worry about it just let it run. I've had established tanks with no power for 2 days and never lost a fish after without water changes or anything drastic. There is enough beneficial bacteria in the tank to counter any loss in a canister. Freak out with all of Nick's ramblings if it's salt water.
    Its a 10g with an aquaclear 20, powers gonna be out for about 3 hours. Ill be home when it goes back on

    Instead of prime will fritz complete work? Also what about those live bacteria they sell in bottles?

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    My dads thinking of getting a generator, is one good? Does anyone have any recommendations?

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    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    Your tank will be fine. Just make sure once the power goes off you remove this flow control knob so the water drains from the uptake. Fill the water back into the filter till it just starts to flow out. Then put the flow control knob back and when the power comes on it'll start priming and run like normal. It's a 10 gallon tank it will be fine for 3 hours.

  12. #11
    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    For 3 hours you have nothing to worry about. I thought perhaps you were getting a remodel done in your house or something.

    Just get some natural sun in the same room as your tank, your plants will respirate, and you will be just fine.

    Yes, the bio spira and similar products work, but were I you, I would jist get a battery powered air pumo and turn it on that morning. They last days, and you will be just fine even without it. It is just a safe guard.

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    I personally like having my pump on a ups. We live in an old neighborhood, and they have to shut shutdown power every couple of months due to new construction (old transformers running entire neighborhoods), and i do it to keep my sumps from overflowing.

    Any ups is better than none.

    Take the wattage of your filter/pump and divide it by the total amount of watts covered.

    So that ups is rated at 1500VA of DC current. Due to dc inversion back to AC, it probably only will push between 55% and 60% of that, or around 750 to 800 amps.

    Your filter should not be over 250 watts, which means that at 120ac,it is pushing about 2.5 amps, max.

    If that is all you plug into it (which, i recommend that all you push into it) it is going to feed two 12v batteries in parallel back in at 24 volts*.

    To get that 250 watts, the 12v batteries will run at 24v, pushing 10..5 amps an hour for a good steadiness until its charge drops to about 50%. Then it is not going to likely push any more.

    1500va claim, 800va real, get out down to 400va after about 38 hours in a perfect world.

    Reading the reports and reviews of it on amazon, people say that cam get 6 hours out of their 250watt [blank], i would expect about the same.

    159 bucks is alot more than an air stone for 30.
    Last edited by Nick Shades; 04-13-2019 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Corrected bad math

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Shades View Post
    I personally like having my pump on a ups. We live in an old neighborhood, and they have to shut shutdown power every couple of months due to new construction (old transformers running entire neighborhoods), and i do it to keep my sumps from overflowing.

    Any ups is better than none.

    Take the wattage of your filter/pump and divide it by the total amount of watts covered.

    So that ups is rated at 1500VA of DC current. Due to dc inversion back to AC, it probably only will push between 55% and 60% of that, or around 750 to 800 amps.

    Your filter should not be over 250 watts, which means that at 120ac,it is pushing about 2.5 amps, max.

    If that is all you plug into it (which, i recommend that all you push into it) it is going to feed two 12v batteries in parallel back in at 24 volts*.

    To get that 250 watts, the 12v batteries will run at 24v, pushing 10..5 amps an hour for a good steadiness until its charge drops to about 50%. Then it is not going to likely push any more.

    1500va claim, 800va real, get out down to 400va after about 38 hours in a perfect world.

    Reading the reports and reviews of it on amazon, people say that cam get 6 hours out of their 250watt [blank], i would expect about the same.

    159 bucks is alot more than an air stone for 30.
    Dont really understand all the wattage stuff, but my dad wanted one anyways so he got one from costco, its a different one i think. Hopefully it can power the filter. I checked online and it said the aquaclear 20 was 6 watts

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Also if that generator doesnt work, what filter media should i get. Ill probably use that sechem one for bio, dont know to much about the sponges though

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr the.under.ground's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    Your tank will be fine. Just make sure once the power goes off you remove this flow control knob so the water drains from the uptake. Fill the water back into the filter till it just starts to flow out. Then put the flow control knob back and when the power comes on it'll start priming and run like normal. It's a 10 gallon tank it will be fine for 3 hours.
    Exactly. 3 hours of no power is nothing. The tank will be fine and so will the fish. Itís really not that complicated....


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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the.under.ground View Post
    Exactly. 3 hours of no power is nothing. The tank will be fine and so will the fish. Itís really not that complicated....


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    So the bacteria wont die?

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Some of the bacteria will die, but not enough to truly worry about.

    After 1 hour of no water movement you lose 50%, and after each hour, 50% of what remains.

    Your plants will still be respirating though, so the normal equation will be thrown out the window. If the power outage maxes at 3 hours, you likely will not even notice a single difference.



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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Shades View Post
    Some of the bacteria will die, but not enough to truly worry about.

    After 1 hour of no water movement you lose 50%, and after each hour, 50% of what remains.

    Your plants will still be respirating though, so the normal equation will be thrown out the window. If the power outage maxes at 3 hours, you likely will not even notice a single difference.



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    So i dont have to do anything?

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Same as I previously stated: get a battery bubbler, and open your windows to let the sunshine in.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    I agree with swoof. You don't have to do ANYTHING except it would be wise to make sure that your filter sponges don't sit dry for the three hours, and that your filter will restart when the power comes back on.

    You can test this by turning your filter off and waiting a minute. Did it drain? if not, then plug it in again. Did it start up? if so, you don't have to do ANYTHING. You don't need extra bubbling, or sunlight, or anything. Three hours is no big deal (as long as your tank isn't so hugely dramatically overstocked that your fish will run out all the oxygen in mere minutes without water flowing through the filter)

    You lose way more bacteria any time you rinse out your Aquaclear sponges than you will by letting the water sit in the filter chamber for a few hours, and that's just no big deal.

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