what caused my fish to die during the power out?

Discussion in 'Power cuts' started by Barlan, 18 Oct 2012.

  1. Barlan

    Barlan

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    hi all

    this may sound silly to everyone, but i am looking for an answer.

    last night wed 17 oct 2012, we had a 7 hour power outage.

    unfortunately for us, we were not prepared. our inverter needs repair and we have no battery operated flow mechanisms.

    so my question is this, what caused our fish to die? (and both our shrimps)?

    was it the lack of flow? because we've had to turn off our skimmer for 24 hours when treating with "Special blend" but kept the flow pumps on.

    what exactly happens when the power goes out, regarding bacteria growth/death, oxygenation or lack there of, etc.

    i'm assuming the fish suffocated but i'm not entirely sure why. i think its cause the water surface was not broken, therefore there was no air mixing with the water and therefore the oxygen depleted. am i totally off?

    it looked like they may have been dead for about 2 hours prior to the power coming back on.

    what could we have done in our situation, given our lack of tools, to save our fish?

    and what is the bare minimum we should have to keep our future fish alive when eskom strikes again?

    whats the verdict on oxygenating pills? i think they have hydrogen peroxide in them.

    thank you all for listening and apologies to those who yell at me for being so negligent.
     
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  3. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    In short they died due to a lack of oxygen. In future you can use a bucket and scoop water up and drop it back into the tank, this will add some oxygen. Some people use hydrogen peroxide and add some every 30 mins I think. A battery operated airpump will make life easier and so would a working inverter.

    In your case it was a little worse since you were dosing special blend. This caused your oxygen to be depleted faster due to the increased number of bacteria.
     
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Barlan -

    The process is as follows:
    - power outage happens
    - bacteria starts dying off
    - this uses up the oxygen in the water - the fish also use up the oxygen in the water
    - the water temperature drops
    - the fish run out of oxygen (as they can still most likely survive the drop in temperature, but not the lack of oxygen in the water)
    - the amount of nitrates/nitrites/ammonia in the water, together with the lack of oxygen would most have killed the fish
    - the change in all the parameters, including the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate spikes, would have killed the shrimps.....
     
  5. Zandy

    Zandy

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    Hi barlan, sorry to hear about your loss...always a sad day. With the current situation in our country i think being in the hobby you should have at least a generator back up in place specially since you dealing with life stock....but that's now over and you have learned a valuable lesson (not nice...sorry)
    I would ideally have a UPS (Uniterupted Power supply which could be utilised. They not too expensive but a must. That way you can make sure you constantly monitor your PH and temp as to try minimise the "trauma" for the fish. If your temp is too hot you can make use of some frozen water in ziplock bags to cool the water down (adding one at a time) I am no expert but i would say that it's probably what i would have done...just my 5c worth
     
  6. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    IMHO I'll say Battery operated Pump...I didn't have one the 1st time we had power outage and I ended up stirring with a wooden spoon, every 15min, for almost 12hours...:p
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Zandy

    Zandy

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    Belinda, i can see myself taking to the sea living so close to it...and go wait it out in a little tank with my stuff and a tent..!!! LOL
     
  8. Barlan

    Barlan Thread Starter

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    thanks all.

    yeah, its definitely a lesson learned.

    for the future, we will be prepared.
     
  9. zak

    zak

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    Out of curiousisty, were the fish congregating at the surface prior to their deaths? If so, this would confirm lack of oxygen. How many fish did you lose?
     
  10. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Zak - marine fish don't usually go to the surface of a marine tank for air. Fresh water fish do that - because they are usually caught in far more shallow dams/rivers.

    Marine fish, need to have dissolved oxygen in the water. So they would not have gone to the surface specifically.
     
  11. Barlan

    Barlan Thread Starter

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    when we found them, they were all on their sides on the substrate.

    i dont really know how they die, i just know that all the fish i have found dead were all at the bottom. contrary to popular belief of fish floating when they're dead.

    we lost 7 fish and 2 shrimps. now before anyone screams at me, they are all small fish, except for the yellow tang who was about the size of a tennis ball, diameter obviously :) and the smallest was our jumping bean, about 3 to 4 cms in length.

    so: yellow tang, jumping bean, diamond back goby, 2 black clowns, cleaner wrasse, regal tang, fire shrimp and cleaner shrimp.

    our pulsing coral isnt looking too hot either... but the torch, zoa, mushroom and sun coral look ok. well, the sun coral is a completely other topic...
     
  12. saaid

    saaid

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    So the size of the fish matters in death?
     
  13. Helga

    Helga

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    Sorry to hear about the loss @Barlan,

    What is the size of your tank?
    Many factors needs to be considered as to how long your livestock can go without power.
    The size of your tank. How many livestock you have for the size of your tank. Tank temp when the power went off and more.....
    Battery operated pumps aimed at the surface will stretch the survival time. Even as Mariusmeyer suggested... the bucket method. If its a small tank, ie Boyu or similar size, the "spoon stirring" would help. Wrap a blanket around the tank if its winter/ ice packs in the sump in the summer. Dont feed the fish.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  14. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    to a degree I suppose....example: 7 large fish in a 4ft compare to 7small fish in the same size tank...the tank with the larger fish will obviously use up the oxygen quicker...in a nutshell
     
  15. saaid

    saaid

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    Yes that is obvious but not how he stated it...anyway:whistling:
     
  16. Helga

    Helga

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    :(

     
  17. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    ..you'r right...I just re-read his Post..
     
  18. Barlan

    Barlan Thread Starter

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    @saaid, to be honest, i was thinking of another post where someone did mention my tangs size, but at least mentioning it was justified (thanks belinda).

    fact is, a lot of factors came into play and there is nothing i can do except learn for the future.

    so all i can say, is thank you all for all the info and thats about it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  19. Barlan

    Barlan Thread Starter

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    oh and the fact that i own a RSM 130d, being a small tank compared to most, so ppl may judge the amount of fish allowed etc.
     
  20. indiozn

    indiozn

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    Im based in durban and we have constant power issues. I hooked up a 2kva UPS to my redsea 130D to run just the pumps. It does give a decent amount of backup.

    The ups ever seems to last long due to the continued power issues, so i have now opted for a battery operated pump/aerator. Got mine from Northlands Pets. Was under R70 and works like a charm. I may need to get a bigger one now as i am getting more fish in tomorrow.

    @ Barlan - i also have a RSM130D
     
  21. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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