Live plants are your friend when you don't have power.....Our power goes out a few times a year too and sometimes it is week to 10 days before we get it back-especially in the winter with ice storms. Then not only do you deal with no filter-its no lights or heaters. As long as the water temps don't stay below 50F for too long-usually the fish will be fine-or at least mine all survived a couple of winters ago when that happened. I opened the curtains during the day to let in the light for the plants. I did cup up a few of the more important breeder and place them over the fireplace. Totally stop feeding-no food-let the fish kinda hibernate or go dormant-in a way-since tropical fish don't really do that-but they don't need to eat.
When the power goes out and you are going into the 5-6th hour or the power is expected to be out for a long time.
Unplug everything-filter, lights, heaters...etc.....
If its cold-cover the tanks with blankets, towels...etc....or move the fish to the warmest area of the house.
Stop feeding-even if its going to be over 10 days-No food and no water changes-disturb the fish the least you can.
In tanks-if the fish seem to be struggling due to cold or temp drop down under 50F for more than 24h.
You can remove some water from the tank and fill plastic jugs with hot water to float in the tank.
Sometime you have to get creative and finds things to wrap around the tanks-like cardboard, newspapers, styrefoam....etc...
Remove any dead/dieing fish ASAP-
Get battery operated air pumps if needed for some species of fish that need higher levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, remembering that cold water has higher oxygen.
Once the power is back on-
Plug you heater back in and monitor the temp-once the temp is in the 76-78F range-make a water change and feed.
You want to warm then back up slowly
Dump the filter and either clean the filter media or change it-get the filter re-started.
Monitor water prams daily or add an extra water only change for a couple of weeks along with your regular weekly water change
You may or may not have a mini cycle-depending on how long the power was off, how mature your tank, stocking, general care...etc.....But its easy to take care of it and nothing like dealing with a brand new cycling tank.
The beneficial bacteria might not survive in the filter/filter media, however, the BB on the surface area in the tank, in the substrate might survive-Of course this depends on how long the power was out, stocking, age of tank...etc.....
Most important-be safe and take care of yourself and family during these stressful times.
Last edited by Oldfishlady; 10-26-2012 at 10:16 AM.