Your aquarium & Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

There is a very good article about how to do a number of things for your aquarium if the power goes out. They sell a battery-operated air pump for $15 plus shipping. You may find one also at yur local pet store or a bait shop. One thing they suggest to get some oxygen into the tank is a bit of hydrogen peroxide. Aerobic oxygen would be better. And the best brand is from Canada. See (Only brand with only neg. ions, no pos. ions that form free radicals.) Heat is another matter, which article does not have a solution for. (If power out only a few hours, insulatilng tank will do.) But, if you really love your fishies and you can spare the heat from your emergency heat source, you can keep taking some water out of their tank, heating it, putting it back in tank.... This heat will then radiate out into your living space, so it won't be "lost" to you at all in terms of overall heat.

-- Shivani Arjuna (, November 09, 1999


Had a power outage for 11 days in 1982.
All the fish died from the cold. The
storm took so much of our own survival
time that fish CPR was not possible.

-- spider (, November 09, 1999.

Boy, do I sympathize with you. I have some very handsome koi (japanese carp) in a technology intensive indoor pond. I have experienced several power outages over the years; the longest outage was 24 hours. I have Back Ups that will go four hours. After that, I have four battery operated pumps that will go for another six hours per change of D cell batteries. Nonetheless, the bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrites and nirites to nitrates in the biological filter will die four hours after the Back Ups fail. So the filter is disconnected from the system at that point. Every four hours, an 80 percent water change is administered. No feeding occurs during power outages. Each outage is a stressful event. Going into Y2K, I am keeping my koi elsewhere in a larger pond where they may have 100 gallons of water to each fish in terms of stocking load. The koi will have a better chance and I don't have to deal with them dying in my hands. I've been there, done that.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, November 10, 1999.

This is one I've been dreading. 150 gallon reef aquarium, 200+ pounds live rock, 100 pounds live sand, corals, and fish. 700 watts of lighting (corals) 1000 watts for heating, pumping 1200 gallons per hour. Heating we can handle (fireplace and propane heater). Light is required for the corals as well as water circulation.

If electrical interuptions are minimal (short term) then the genny/batt bank can support (plan A). If things are bad (long term) the only thing I can think of is to let it go cold and dump it in the yard (plan B). I struggle with this one. The tank is fully established after three years and there's been a lot of work involved with building this environment not to mention the monetary expense.

The thought of selling everything is painful so I'm gambling that here in the PNW electrical problems will not be severe. If I'm wrong then, it's plan B. Any plan C's???

Thx and Good Luck to All in these interesting times we find ourselves in!

-- Ken Mitcham - Bothell WA. (, November 14, 1999.

Stan, When I moved from Colo to WI I brought my damp gravel with me and the bacteria in it did not die. I put it in a plastic bag, in a box. Several days trip from breaking down the old tank to setting up the new one, but the bacteria were obviously alive and went right back to work. Maybe a few of them died, but not enough to notice. Last spring we had a 9 hour outage. I immediately covered the tank with quilts. The fish (and the gravel bacteria) all survived without any noticeable trauma. We are tinkering with a bicycle tire pump to aereate our 35 gal. tank if the power goes out. Hook the plastic hose right to the tire pump. I am sure (from the above experience and talking with a fish person) that pumping just a few minutes now and then would be sufficient to keep the water passable. Another thing that could be done to increase the oxygen in the water is to add a few drops of aerobic oxygen. This is an amazing product. Does not have the drawbacks of hydrogen peroxide. Just one brand of it that has only negative ions. From www.good for 1-800-661-8364 My "fish person" also told me that if our tank stays around 72 degrees from being near our wood stove, that would be warm enough for the fish to make it. Anyway, easy to warm up some of their water on the woodstove. These ideas not too helpful for that big setup mentioned above, though. Any way you could put the fish into somethilng smaller for the duration? I once transferred mine to a large food "cooler" for the time it took me to mend a leak when the sides of my tank came apart. A couple of the fish died. The rest OK.

-- Shivani Arjuna (, November 15, 1999.

Hi Shivani! Good information for all us fish lovers.

Unfortunately for myself with a reef environment, where everything is tied together in a miniature eco-system, it's all or nothing. The rock and sand are the biological filtration of the system. Our largest rock weighs 47 pounds and is covered with living organisms ie. corals, mushrooms, poylps, sponges, and a wealth and abundance of other (unknown types to me) life forms. The system literally crawls with life. The whole tank is alive. Much more to it than just the fish.

Talk about interconnectedness eh? Each piece plays a significant part in keeping the system stable. One thing goes out of balance and the potential for problems increases and can dominoe. Phosphates too high = algae bloom, not enough light = corals don't eat, nitrates too high = corals die, the rock starts to die - the fish have nothing to eat, the fish die, the corals die, on and on. It's all tied together, incredibly fragile, and totally dependent on technology. All or nothing.

Think I just depressed myself. :)

Take care!

-- Ken Mitcham - Bothell, WA (, November 15, 1999.

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