Planned power outage

Stormbreach
  • #1
HI everyone. I just had a question about backup power in the case of a power outage. My power company recently told my apartment building that next week there will be a power outage for five hours. I have a 16 gallon freshwater tank currently running an Aquaclear 30 HOB filter, an air pump and a light. I also have a UPS for my desktop computer. The graph on the power capacity for the UPS showed that with a 10 watt usage, the backup would last for 150 mins. I read about the Aquaclear and it says it is only 6 watts. I was wondering if anyone has experience with this sort of thing.
My questions are these: how long can a tank like this go without filtration? The guy at Big Al's told me that my filter can only go for 30 mins without power before all the bacteria dies, which I can understand because although the filter won't exactly dry out it will still have none of the aquarium water running over it so it won't have fish waste to feed on. But someone else once told me the majority of the bacteria lives on other surfaces in the tank, not the filter, so how important is the actual filter bacteria? Next, how long do you think I could go by maybe running the filter 5 mins, unplugging it for 20 mins, running five minutes again, etc? How big of a battery backup do I need for this tank? I would not be running the light or the air pump, just the filter. Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me!

EDIT: Sorry, totally forgot to put what I have in the tank!! 2 oto cats, 5 cardinal tetras and 3 guppies.
 
JessiNoel21
  • #2
You can take your filter insert and put it in the tank that way you well not lose your cycle and BB will stay alive. Another thing you can do is get a battery powered air pump and run a bubble wand or air stone on it to keep your water oxygenated and flowing.
 
kb9plc
  • #3
I'm fairly positive that the BB concept is the other way around. The majority is in your filter media, followed by your substrate, followed by your decor and glass. If you keep your media wet with tank water, I would think the bacteria would be fine for 5 hours. There are people who sell seeded media and ship it in zip lock bags of tank water. If the BB can live thru days of shipping, then I'd say it should be fine for an afternoon
 
Stormbreach
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks for the advice guys! So if I take my filter media (sponge and biomax) out of the filter basket and sit it in the tank then it should be fine for five hours without water flow? I think I remember more about the BB conversation now, I think he said that filters with monthly throw-away cartridges aren't as bad as everyone says because the new media is re-seeded quickly from the bacteria remaining in the tank, don't think he said most of it is there. I just worry. My fish aren't exactly expensive to replace but I don't want them to suffer.
 
JessiNoel21
  • #5
I lost power for a month last yr and all I did was take my media out of the filter and put it in the tank with a battery powered air pump with air stone and I never loss my cycle I did 30% water changes every day and I just loss my Betta Airey this yr due to old age but he was never affected by his filter not running.
 
Mer-max
  • #6
I have a battery powered aerater that I have for
Emergencys. Sorry I'm no help but I was wondering about this subject since I live in the boondocks. When the scratch offs pay off I'll buy a generator lol
 
JoannaB
  • #7
I think I remember more about the BB conversation now, I think he said that filters with monthly throw-away cartridges aren't as bad as everyone says because the new media is re-seeded quickly from the bacteria remaining in the tank, don't think he said most of it is there.

Do not replace filter media until they are falling apart, and this includes so called monthly throw away cartridges. Filter companies want to get you to throw away the filter cartridge monthly so that they can make money selling you more, and unfortunately so do many pet store employees. Most bacteria live in the filter. It may take as long as a month to replentish these bacteria from scratch. As long as your filter stays wet, five hours without power is nothing to worry about, anything less than a day is nothing to worry about. I once left for vacation and the filter stopped working days before I returned, and it took only a couple of days for the bacteria to fully replentish. But the filter media had remained wet. That's important.
 
Stormbreach
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
So from what I am reading, I pick up a battery powered air pump (checked Big Al's, they have one for $16.99), run that during the outage and put the media in the tank before I leave for work that day, and that will keep my fishies alive. Thank you so much for the help everyone!
 
Aquarist
  • #9
Good afternoon,

A link with some great information concerning power outages:


Ken
 
Stormbreach
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Just thought I would update everyone. The power outage was two days ago. I had taken my sponge and biomax out of my filter basket and placed them in the tank. I also hooked up the battery powered air pump (which actually has a better flow rate than my AC air pump). The power came back on maybe 20 minutes early and I hooked everything back up. All of my fish are still alive! So everything worked! Thanks for all your suggestions guys, I never would have known that amount of time without filtration would be safe.
 
Ann Constantino
  • #11
The power company has informed us that there will be a planned outage of up to 7 hours on Tuesday. It's warm here, so I'm not worried about heat, but what about filtration? Is there anything I can do?Thanks.
 
EbiAqua
  • #12
From my understanding, as long as your filter media stays wet it is good for up to 48 hours.
 
ystrout
  • #13
I've had my HOB filter burn out before. So I put the filter media in the tank overnight until I could get a new one in the morning. Transferred over the filter media in the AM and had no problems.

You could also get one of those battery packs used to jump cars and plug into that. They're like $50-60 and are overall just a good thing to have.
 
Kody Grieve
  • #14
depending on the power consumption of your filter, the car battery jumper may or may not work. (at least for any length of time that counts)

I vote on putting the filter media in the display tank.
 
Hunter1
  • #15
You should be good as far as B.B. goes.

I have forgotten to plug my filter back in after water changes for a day or 2, more times than I care to admit.

I do have sponge filters in both of the tanks it has happened with.
 
Ann Constantino
  • #16
From my understanding, as long as your filter media stays wet it is good for up to 48 hours.
Thanks. If he outage were more than 48 hours would I replace the filter?

I've had my HOB filter burn out before. So I put the filter media in the tank overnight until I could get a new one in the morning. Transferred over the filter media in the AM and had no problems.

You could also get one of those battery packs used to jump cars and plug into that. They're like $50-60 and are overall just a good thing to have.
Sounds like a good solution. Since this outage is planned, I'm going to unplug everything beforehand and then carefully restart everything after the power is back on.
 
Hunter1
  • #17
Still wouldn’t replace the media.

I read a post here by minnowette where he cited research that said the B.B. lasts way longer than 48 hours without being fed.
 
Ann Constantino
  • #18
You should be good as far as B.B. goes.

I have forgotten to plug my filter back in after water changes for a day or 2, more times than I care to admit.

I do have sponge filters in both of the tanks it has happened with.
Haha, that's actually reassuring to hear. Good to know that the BB will not suffer, thank you.

depending on the power consumption of your filter, the car battery jumper may or may not work. (at least for any length of time that counts)

I vote on putting the filter media in the display tank.
The car jumper thingy is way beyond my technical capacity, I'm sure! I found battery-operated air pumps at a LPS.
 
smee82
  • #19
I wouldnt feed my fish for a few days before and do a waterchange that morning or the day before if your worried.
 
GEM8820
  • #20
The power company has informed us that there will be a planned outage of up to 7 hours on Tuesday. It's warm here, so I'm not worried about heat, but what about filtration? Is there anything I can do?Thanks.

I always keep a replacement media and heater available and I have a backup generator so never lose power but I know this isn't feasible for everyone on a budget...
 
jdhef
  • #21
Your filter media will be fine for 7 hours so long as you keep it wet. But what I would do, if it were me, is take the media out of the filter and place it directly in the tank. This way, at least some of the ammonia and nitrite should get converted. I would also add enough Prime to treat the entire tank volume, this way and ammonia or nitrite that might start to build up in the water will be detoxed.
 
Ann Constantino
  • #22
I wouldnt feed my fish for a few days before and do a waterchange that morning or the day before if your worried.
That's kind of the plan. No feeding the day before and water changes. Thank you.

Your filter media will be fine for 7 hours so long as you keep it wet. But what I would do, if it were me, is take the media out of the filter and place it directly in the tank. This way, at least some of the ammonia and nitrite should get converted. I would also add enough Prime to treat the entire tank volume, this way and ammonia or nitrite that might start to build up in the water will be detoxed.
Good ideas, thanks very much!
 
jdhef
  • #23
You are welcome.
 

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