Power Outage

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Hey guys

Let me tell you about the past 16hours of my life: :crying:

Power went down last night at 19:00. I never invested in generators, UPS's etc, as load shedding never lasted more than 2 hours (THIS IS NOT LOAD SHEDDING THOUGH)

I did not think that the power would be out long, so I tucked my tank in with a nice little blanket. Woke up (forced by my 2yr old) at 12:00 - still no power. So I knew this is going to be a long night. Went to the tank - and yes, Damsel = MANDOWN!!!

Took it out. Sorted out my baby and she decided to play a bit. Fine by me, as I then started boiling wat on my gas stove...

By 1:00 she fell asleep again, and I then started to stir the water with a plastic spoon. Did this until 2:15, and also poured the boiling water into water bottles and introduced the bottles into my tank as well. (Those of you whom are not in JHB, we have been having winter rain for four days now.) At 2am my temp was down to 23C.

Went to bed at 2:15. Then I woke up at 4:00 and stirred for another 30 min. Then again at 6:00. Now my wife is doing the stirring every hour for 5 minutes.

POWER NOT ON YET. Eskom says it will be restored through the day.

Okey, so, my snails seem fine, they are eating away. Hermit crabs stacked upon one another on my LR (all three on top of one another)

My tubeworm seems fine, as he constantly appears and spreads nicely. My Star Polyp also started opening this morning as the curtains was opened and natural light came in.

I think I might survice this one (except for the Damsel:frown:)
What do I do from here on to
1) prevenrt further loss
2) if power gets back on, should I just go on as normal (lights, p/heads etc)
3) Prevention is better than cure - so, should I; a)get a generator; b)get a UPS; c)get an inverter; or d) buy 90% of Eskom shares?

Please advise urgently, as I need to prepare for in case this thing takes me through another night.

PS: $$$ is a problem for me at the 30th of the month as I only get my $$$ at the 15th. There is no R2000 for a generator now - so please spare my budget here!!! :biggrin:
 
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Hi Jaco,

Ouch ! Sorry to hear about your loss.

Yeah , these damn power outages are ridiculous indeed. Had one as well last night for approx 2 hrs.

Insofar backup power is concerned:

Cheapest option is going for an inverter with battery. You just need to check your total load (heater , pumps etc.) to work out what the wattage of the inverter should be.

You can pick up some fairly cheap inverters from Midas , Makro for approx R 600 for a 300W inverter.

With a 300W inverter , a load current of 1.2 A and a battery of about 10Ah you will have power for about 8 hrs.

For flow , you can invest in a 12V DC bilge pump which will sort you out nicely. Not sure of the cost , but as far as I know they aren't hugely expensive.

In this way you maintain the flow at least. Heating wise you could continue just adding some "warmer" water to the tank as an intermediary measure.

Good luck !
 
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Thank you guys... Will do. Just another question: How sensitive is a tank to gas? Reason I ask is I am thinking of runnig my gas heater next to the tank, and just monitor the water closely (as not to boil it...)

I only have a little tank (3 foot) so it might help a bit. Water is now at 22C. But will the gas emmited not bond with the water and cause trouble?
 

Shaun

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Thank you guys... Will do. Just another question: How sensitive is a tank to gas? Reason I ask is I am thinking of runnig my gas heater next to the tank, and just monitor the water closely (as not to boil it...)

I only have a little tank (3 foot) so it might help a bit. Water is now at 22C. But will the gas emmited not bond with the water and cause trouble?
I think that is a question for Hennie.

For now just close all door and make sure their is no draft, maybe put the heater in the room but not directly in front of the tank.
Temp will be fine at the mo, just as long as their is not sudden change in the temp, up or down.
 
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Phoned my LFS, the got pump for me for R120 - uses two AA batteries. He says the 12V might be a bit big for my tank (3foot)

Correct?
 

Tobes

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Sorry to hear about the damsel. On a power outage the most important thing in a tank is to prevent oxygen deficiency/depletion. The bacteria and the fish can use it up fairly quickly. If the bacteria dies - everything else in your tank dies! So we need flow inside the tank to take away toxins etc from the corals, to cause surface movement for gas exchange and let oxygen in. Ideal is to have a 12V return pump so that water flows over the DSB as well. Temp won't be such an issue as the temp will drop very slowly. Slow changes is ok, it's the quick ones that can kill! Besides, the cooler the water the more oxygen rich the water - so a little drop in temp might even help in this case.
 
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Unlucky dude.

I use battery operated pumps for oxygen.

Also I have had temps go down to lower than 23 and have not had a prob.

The most important thing is oxygen

Sounds like you have a nano, if so, this is one of the difficulty of caring for such a small volume of water. Temperatures change very quickly, for my tank to drop by one degree in cold whether it takes a couple of hours, great advantage of bigger volumes.
 

Tobes

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Thanks for the great advice Tobes. Does anyone know where I could get one of those 12v pumps?

I think someone mentioned a camping/caravan place once? Not shure :p
 
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Just another question: How sensitive is a tank to gas? Reason I ask is I am thinking of runnig my gas heater next to the tank, and just monitor the water closely (as not to boil it...)
I would not feel comfortable with this.

Your greatest problem with an extended power outage would be a lack of oxygen in the water. A temperature drop or increase could also cause problems, but IME the fish (and even worse for the sessile invertebrates) would suffocate and die long before the temperature drop affects them. If you now have minimal water movement because of the power failure, you don't want to use up any oxygen in the air by burning a gas heater in the vicinity, as this would just accelerate the suffocation.

I would suggest that you invest in a few (I have 3) battery operated air pumps. The pumps I have use 2 D-type torch batteries each, and can pump air for more than 12 hours on a fresh pair of alkaline batteries. As soon as a power failure occur, you should add the airtubes with course airstones attached to the tank (and one in the sump!) while you prepare for the next line of defence (although with a few of these pumps you should be OK as far as preventing suffocation is concerned, you would then have to tackle the secondary issues such as heating/cooling...)

Secondly I would suggest an inverter (could be a cheaper square-wave type) and lead-acid deep cycle battery (or two), to supply power to a single heater or air fan, depending on external temperature. This would halp for a few hours (overnight, if you have enough battery power), but won't be any use in a long-term failure, as once the batteries are drained then that's it.

If you really want to be safe then unfortunately you will have to buy a genset. If you do, make sure that it has automatic voltage regulation (AVR) and a large enough fuel tank (at least 8 hours running time) - and of course that it is large enough to supply power for the tank, some lights, the fridge and freezer, and a bit more (microwave oven ?).

Hennie
 
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Oh, one more thing - Bilge pumps work great, but you MUST make sure that they don't have copper/brass washers or screws in them, else you will poison your whole tank (and most bilge pumps are designed for marine use, and do have these copper/brass parts)
 

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