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48 Hours With No Power-one Fish Not Looking So Good


jen626

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I know there is another post about power loss, but since one of my fish is looking poorly I wanted to make this a separate post.

We have been without power for about 48 hours now and it is really cold. I know the goldies should be ok temp wise (they are at about 60 degrees right now), and my betta has been placed near, but not too close to, the fireplace to stay warmer since he is usually at 80 degrees. The betta does not have a filter, so he should be fine-we shared a lovely candleight water change last night.

I have two tanks, a 55 gallon with four common/comet goldfish and a 20 gallon with a black moor and a telescope. I do not, unfortunately, have a battery powered air pump but have been pouring water briskly into the tank occasionally to try and get some air into the water. My common/comets in the 55 seem ok, they are bottom sitting a little bit and looking kind of sluggish, but i assume that is because of the cold and probably not a big problem. I stopped feeding as soon as the power went out to hopefully the waste output has been at a minimum. I also added extra Prime to both tanks.

I could not remember what i was supposed to do with the filters though, so I just left them alone (on lfs advice). I have Emperor filters on the 55 gallon, so the media is sitting in tank water still because of the way those filters are set up. The 20 gallon has Whisper in-tank filters so the media in them is also submersed in tank water.

What I cannot remember is if it is safe to turn the filters back on when the power starts up, or if that is dangerous since they have been sitting for so long and there is bacteria and stuff maybe? So mainly what i want to know is if it is safe to just start the filters up again after they have been sitting for so long.

Also, my calico telescope in the 20 gallon is not looking so great. She is mostly sitting on the bottom and sometimes her dorsal fin is down. She does get up and swim around occasionally, but has spent most of the time on the bottom. The black moor in the same tank seems fine and is acting nomally. I checked params and they seem fine, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, ph at 7.2 and nitrates at 10. Temp is about 60 degrees. I am wondering if there is something wrong with her or if she is just more sensitive to the cold than my moor. Any thoughts on what i should do? I *hope* the power will be back on today, i ran over to my mom's whose power came back on this morning, to get on the internet and see what you guys thought. So i will check back in an hour or two.

So, to sum up, I am wanting to know if it is ok to start the filters back up when the power returns (everything is unplugged now) and what, if anything, I should do for my calico telescope. I will try and get two battery poewred air pumps and batteries if I can. But let me know, i am worried about my little Lisa, she is secretly my favorite fish (don't tell the others!)

Thanks for any advice, and hello to everyone since I have not been on here in AGES! :)

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If they were my fish then i would do 50% water changes each day to keep the water fresh.

The filters I would clean out once they start up again, but you may go through a mini cycle so check your params regularly.

Any idea how much longer you will have to wait?

The goldies will be fine in the colder water and you are right not to feed them.

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Hold on tight, up there! I bet you'll have power back, soon.

At 60 degrees, the tank water if going to naturally hold more dissolved oxygen .... I think you're ok there. The filter is the thing that needs the airstone to keep the BB alive. I would just let the filters sit there, unplugged, and when the power comes back on, I would take the filters off the tank and completely empty out the old water, maybe rinse lightly w/ tank water, then set them back up and fill with tank water, and run them.

I've forgotten to plug my emperor back in after a water change and the next day I just plugged it in and the stale water made the whole tank stink, so all I'm saying here is dump that stank water in the filters first.

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I would get the standing water out of the filters and replace it with water from the tank itself before re-starting it. The filter cartriges should be fine but you can replace them if you think it would be safer.

It usualy is a good idea to remove the filters before/right after the power goes off because the fish poop, etc. tends to siphon back into the tank.

Lisa is probably just sensitive to the temp. but I would closely watch her for problems. The air pumps would probably help some and if affordable, are a good idea/investment.

Hope the power comes back on soon.

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You are doing all of the right things and as previous posters have mentioned, before you start your filters rinse out the filter media and the filters.

Your fish are probably just more sluggish because of the cooler temperature and also lower light. Once you warm them back up again, they will become more lively.

I actually keep my pond fish in tubs in my basement without filters. As long as I change the water regularly, and don't overfeed, they do just fine. Our basement is unheated, so the temperature can drop to 45 f. in winter (beneficial bacteria becomes inactive at those temps, so filters are counterproductive).

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Take the media from your Emperors and drop them into the tanks. They will stay much better that way. And then, just before you restart, clean out the filter box, drop the media back in and restart. All should be good. The bacteria should remain viable for up to a week - and if it is in the tank with the fish and the waste, it will be fine for a lot longer. :)

If I had to guess, I would guess that the lethargic fish are responding to the temperature drop. Fish are cold blooded - and when the temperature drops, their bodies slow down in response.

Be careful to keep an eye out for ich. It is notorious for popping out on fish that have been stressed due to cold temps....

Other than that, hang in there. IF you have water to change out, do so.

I hate power losses!!!! :(

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I actually keep my pond fish in tubs in my basement without filters. As long as I change the water regularly, and don't overfeed, they do just fine. Our basement is unheated, so the temperature can drop to 45 f. in winter (beneficial bacteria becomes inactive at those temps, so filters are counterproductive).

As an aside - out of curiosity, what is the warmest your basement gets? Or better yet, the average temp of your basement over the winter? How often do you feed, and change the water?

I think that your ontario winters are probably similar to where i am in BC, and i'd like to learn more about wintering pond fish indoors.

Thanks!

Dana.

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Thank you SO MUCh you guys! I feel way better. My fiance is just telling me to call the pet store and I am all, "No, you don't understand, I NEED KOKO'S!" :D

I am hopeful that the power will come back on tonight, my parents live nearby and their's is back on, but we have a tree down on poewr lines on our street, so even once our town lights are on they may still be out on our street. They are saying everyone should be back up by Monday, but I am crossing my fingers for sooner.

For those of you who don't know we had the biggest windstorm in the history of Seattle here Thursday night, winds up to 90 mph. Nothing compared to those of you in hurricane areas, but very high for up here. Over 1.5 million people without power as of Friday moning, so slowly they are getting it back on. I have the ability to heat water on a propane grill (although I probably won't need it for water changes since the temp in the tanks is already so cold) and we have lots of firewood so I am trying to keep the fish room warm. Hopefully they are just being sluggish from the cold. I will keep an eye out for ich, that is great advice. If I get to a pet store with poewr I will pick up some battery operated air pumps too, always good to have around (hindsight) or for car trips.

Thanks again for being here guys, as soon as my power and internet are back up i will write more, i have not been around much lately.

YOU GUYS ROCK!

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Sorry Jen, I was just getting off and didn't see your thread until now. Sounds like everyone has given you great advice. Nothing I can add. Hope everything works out for you.

How horrible to be without power...........hope you get it back on soon.

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Hey Jen! You got plenty of good advice! All I will add is that I am sending you lots of good wishes for all your fishes!!

PLUS I know this sucks for you & your family!! Years back when Hurricane Opal came to visit Georgia we lived without power for awhile.....man it is a pain!! May this end soon for you!! :exactly

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Great news...the power came back on about half an hour ago! :rockon

We were walking out the door to pick up my daughter from grandma's (where I am now) so I ran back in and plugged in the air pumps and my betta's heater, plus turned on the heat for the room. So when I get home I will empty out the filters and hopefully all will be well.

My commons and comets sure do poo a lot! You don't realize until there is no filter...and this was without even feeding them! :yikes

Thanks again for all of your help, and i am dying to come on and see how everyone is, I have been awol from the internet for awhile. I miss you guys!

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Great news. Please let us know how everything goes.

JenW: I think it is worse in the summer, for sure. I haven't lost a fish during winter power outages, but I did lose a cute little oranda during a summer one. It was during a heat wave and the temp in the tanks soared :(

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