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Old 05-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #1 
LolaQuigs
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Power Outages and Nitrogen Cycle

The weather is terrible here and the power has been out for an hour. Maybe I should have posted in the lounge because it's not my bettas I'm worried about; it'll get hot in here with the air conditioner off and they don't need their filters. What I'm worried about are my panda cories. I've read that if the filter is off for more than six hours it will kill the cycle, is this true? Panda cories are very sensitive to params and can't be in an uncycled tank, so if the filter's off long enough to ruin the cycle I don't know what to do. Is there anything I can do? I don't want anything to happen to them!

Last edited by LolaQuigs; 05-23-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:44 PM   #2 
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Depending on how big the tank is, live plants, how mature the tank, the last water change and the way you cleaned the tank last........

The nitrifying bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything inside the tank-like the walls, decoration, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate.....and in the filter media....they need surface area, oxygen and a food source to colonize.....if you have lots of live plants in the tank...you should be fine.....usually there is enough oxygen in the water itself to keep the BB alive, however, they may not reproduce as well and you may have some death of BB but usually not enough to be problematic with short term power outage.....after 5-6 hours I would dump the filter and give it a good cleaning before you re-start after the power comes back on.....its also a good idea to get in the habit to un-plug filters and heater when the power has gone out for longer than 2-4 hours especially if the storms are bad and the power may be off for a while.......I deal with this on a regular basis...lol......
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:25 PM   #3 
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Thanks so much ofl. It's a ten gallon tank, aqua-tech 10-20 hob filter, 50% water change and gravel vac on Saturday, sadly no live plants. So if the power doesn't come back I should just clean out the filter? will my cories be ok if I do that? Should I do a water change once the filter is back on, or would that just potentially remove more of the surviving bacteria?
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:36 PM   #4 
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Once the power comes back on and if it has been longer than 5-6 hours...yes, make a water change and vacuum in all areas you can reach without moving anything in the tank, clean out the filter and give the media a good rinse in fresh dechlorinated water....the good bacteria may not all die but may be slowed down so to speak......I can't say that your corydoras will okay....just no way to say that....just that the cycle is not totally dependent on the filter media-there are other factors involved....I would either test the water daily for a week and make water only changes based on results of test or make an extra 50% water only change along with the regular weekly change to be safe...often you will have a mini-cycle.......the good bacteria recover pretty fast in an already cycled tank......

Hold all food while the power is out too.....
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #5 
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Thanks so much. The power just came back on after about 3 hours of being off, so I'm just leaving everything as it is, though I will test my parameters for a week, just to make sure. I eopl remember your advice for future outages and maybe get some live plants in the meantime!
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:16 PM   #6 
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Good power back on...and a good idea to test for a while after an outage.....did you get hit my the storm....I hate/dread when spring/summer storm season comes and especially in the winter when ice storms hit......I have been pretty lucky...we have lost power for weeks and I didn't lose any fish...not even fry when we lost power in the winter for over a week...water got pretty cold...I worried more about the tanks freezing and breaking than anything else....that would have been a mess...laffs......lots of live plants saved the day.......
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:56 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaQuigs View Post
Thanks so much. The power just came back on after about 3 hours of being off, so I'm just leaving everything as it is, though I will test my parameters for a week, just to make sure. I eopl remember your advice for future outages and maybe get some live plants in the meantime!
I see you are in Missouri, Lola. Hope you weren't involved with the tornado that hit Joplin!!!! Prayers to all down your way and everywhere that this strange, strange spring has affected!!!!
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:32 PM   #8 
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Thanks for the well wishes guys. I'm in the St. Louis area so all we got were storms this weekend and today, but my thoughts are definitely with those in Joplin. The weather here has been really wild this year, we had a tornado on New Years which is the most unusual time of year to have one, then one hit the airport last month, and now this huge devastating one in Joplin...plus all the rain is starting to cause floods. It's pretty scary; I'm just hoping the awful weather will stop soon now that spring is ending.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:02 AM   #9 
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Small air powered sponge filters (ones that sit on the bottom) can be operated easily using compressed air and hand pumping.

I've got one of those foot folding pumps for inflatables that I use to keep air going in my two non-betta tanks, its something to do while reading a book!

IF you're going to use battery backup air pumps I'd suggest getting rechargeable batteries for it, they tend to be hard on slow discharge batteries. If you only have one tank you can even get away with a rubber medical hand-bulb like they use on blood pressure cuffs. Small portable bicycle pumps (the little clamp on ones) work very well, only problem would be fitting the air-line into it. The ones for inflating sports equipment have adapters.

DON'T use automotive tire pumps, you'll end up putting oils into the water.

My LFS actually has a filtered air compressor as well as generators.

This is an issue to be concerned with if you are near stock count or overstock your tanks.

Last edited by Thunderloon; 05-24-2011 at 02:08 AM.
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