Emergency tank set up for Hurricane season

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by SabrinaR, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Ok so its that time of year again here in the Lone Star State and I need to figure out a way to keep HP alive in the event that a hurricane happens.

    Restrictions...

    I am thinking long term power outage... example... during Ike we were with out power for 2 weeks.

    As much as I will want too I can not run a generator all the time. It gets really expensive and we couldnt afford to do it during IKE so that cant be the only option. I think the longest at one time I will be able to run it on the genny at one time is 7 hours max.

    Another problem, my house has a split floor plan where the living room is upstairs and the bedrooms are down. I would not be able to leave the octo in place as heat would be to big of a factor.(is currently upstairs)

    My kind of sort of plan-

    Take a large container of some sort and put an acrylic divider in it drilled with holes. then I would be able to keep the octo in one side and the protein skimmer in the other. This will run for about i dont know hopefully at least 7 hours a day and this would only be at night.

    The rest of the time I would need to have a battery powered air pump for O2 and do water changes everyday... If the container was say 25-30 gallons then I would change at least 5 to 10 gallons a day. Mind you this is if and only if I can store enough... During Ike I couldnt get water from the ocean so I will only have what I will have. Right now my water tank holds roughly 96 gallons so given a few days warning I would be able to have 96 plus the 45 I can store in my travel containers.

    The big question is how to keep the temp stable long term or at least under 85. I dont know that my freezer will be working but my thought is that at night while its on I will freeze bottles of saltwater and then during the day I will drop them in as needed to cool the water. This is a problem if I ever decide to leave the house.


    So if any of yall have tried to to maintain a tank in an emergency situ or if you actually have a plan to work in a major outage for heat or cold let me know. Any and ALL thoughts would be helpful.

    Thank you
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    My thoughts:
    I keep bottled RO water in the freezer for power outages in the summer but I will warn you it does not last long. I would probably dispense with running a skimmer because of the heat, your water change scheme should be enough for the anticipated time. I would make a compartment for the ice bottlle and a Koralia or other water moving, low heat pump. I would also look for a battery operated and a 110 generator operated fan (clip on style) The fan will do more than anything I know of and I get about 4 degrees below ambient using them. Since you will have to keep a lid on the tank, I would suggest leaving the mini-sump open and running the fan over it so sealing between the two needs to be considered. I would also put vent holes on the tank top but inset them so they are 4" or so from the sides.

    I have a very tall tank that would kill the fish if air is not pumped continuously. I found an air pump that will cut on when the power cuts off so it stays plugged in but does not run unless we have a power outage. It will run a day on one D cell. This in combination with a regular air pump to be used with the generator will be helpful.
     
  3. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I do have another kind of sort of option... tell me what you think. I have a friend who used to keep octos. He is far enough away that he was with out power for an hour during Ike. So I had the thought that maybe I could have a 911 tank set up over at his house that way my octo would have all the things she might need. Your thoughts?
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    That is a novel idea but would you be able to get the animal to her house? Would you keep an empty tank and just fill it and replace water (no substrate) and use something like a canister filter? I know a lot of people lost a lot of animals of all kind during Katrina but I am not sure that is something you can prepare for. Storing water long term is somewhat problematic and needs, as a minimum, to be kept aerated but mold and mildew are a concern as well as the fact that you are using water that is still somewhat alive. Long term power outage is not something I think about often but we were out for about 4 days a several winters ago. I wrapped the tanks in blankets, kept the fireplace going (minimal help but still helpful) and we bought a keorsene heater for the breakfast/fish room (which allowed me to heat coffee water). I was keeping seahorses then and everyone survived but I was concerned the whole time and would not have a lot of confidence if it happened again. However, it has only happened once in 15 years.
     
  5. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Maybe my second idea isnt such a good one after all... The transfer would probably be bad and the roads could be a problem too.
     
  6. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    One thing you might consider instead of a "911 tank", is just find someone or somewhere that you could leave the animal during the power outage. Place it in a plastic container with holes drilled in all of the sides (top, bottom, sides) and float it in what ever body of water the animal will be staying. This will greatly widen your options of where you could send your animal. As long as the container has a firmly sealed top the animal can take the confinement for a short time until you are able to bring it home again. The care taker of the animal would just float it in their tank and throw some food in every day to feed it. I've never been through a hurricane, so I don't know how well you could travel but it's just an option.
     
  7. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    Also if you are worried about road conditions, if you know that a hurricane is going to hit, you could always make arrangements prior to the storm hitting. Take your animal to it's "foster home" until the storm has passed. Once everything is back to normal (if something does happen that prevents your from bringing the animal back) you can go get the animal back. The worse scenario is that the animal will have to go through two acclimation periods, and cramped living quarters for a short period.
     
  8. snowmaker

    snowmaker Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I keep a deep cycle marine battery charged and have a very small (200w Black and Decker) inverter. This will run a Koralia #2 for around 48 hrs. so prob. same run time for a MaxiJet pump, small fan...

    A fan blowing across water surface will remove quite a bit of heat as -D mentioned. You will have to replace more water due to the evaporative cooling that takes place. You can boost cooling at the cost of running a very small pump
     
  9. snowmaker

    snowmaker Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I just checked - my Azoo battery powered pump takes 2 D cells, wired in parallel (1.5v output), so as many more batteries as you can practically add, in parallel, should substantially increase the run time.
    I may consider re-wiring an off the shelf 4 - D cell battery box and mounting it right to the back of the Azoo pump for 3x run time. Good rechargeable batteries are pricey but will cost less over their life compared to disposables.

    I have a generator for extended power outages, but it's good to have a few options.
     
  10. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    Well if you all are so insistant on keeping a "911 tank" instead of transporting the animal, then why don't you just simplify this. Just get a small - medium tank and put an under-gravel filter with medium sized substrate, a decent amount of live rock, and macro-algae. The algae and live rock will aid in filtration. You can run the under-gravel filter with a Azoo Non Stop Automatic Aquarium Air Pump. All you have to do is keep a large supply of batteries that will last the power outage. No heat transfer from the air pump and you can seal the top of the tank with a glass top and some tape. The live rock and algae will keep you from having to water change the system as often, and to aide in this you could cut back HP's feedings to eliminate excess waste. I know it sounds harsh, but you do what you have to.
     
  11. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Except ditch the under gravel filter. Ditch all substrate....live rock and water. If the UG is not cycled it will, and that will be bad. If the substrate is cycled, you need to stop running circulation for some reason, the substrate will suck up O2. Live rock, air pump and you should be good to go.

    Check out this pump - days on 2 d batteries
    http://www.aquariumguys.com/silentairpump.html
     
  12. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    I like how you think Thales. Simple and easy. So a bare bottom tank with some live rock and an air pump is the pest way to go in your opinion?
     

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