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Power Cut - Filter performance

Simmo

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11 Dec 2020
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Location
Scotland
Hi Folks,
We have just had a 60 hour power cut after Friday's storm with electricity restored at 3am this morning. It's been a dark few days!
My tank is a established Juwel Lido 200 (litre) quite heavily planted with common plant species and a large internal filter and 600 lph power head with spray bar.
Stocking is 16 neons, 4 honey gouramis, x2 Apistos, 5 bamboos shrimp, 6 Amanos ad a coouple of retired corydorus plus various snails. I fed the fish only once to reduce organic input but fed them this morning as they are hungry!
The tank has had no light for 60 hours, as we kept the curtains shut to conserve heat, the tank has remained above 20 C throughout thanks to the multifuel stove in the room (and the entire family as it was the only warm room in the house!).
I took water parameters yesterday and nitrite was slightly elevated so did a 25% water changed and it was then clear.
Today about 6 hours after the filter re started I tested and again nitrite is slightly elevated and so is Ammonia so I will do a 50% water change.
My question is whether the bacteria in the filter will have survived 60 hours without flow?
I have added ferts again and the light will come on as usual 1-9pm.
Any other advice appreciated, I don't want to lose the occupants now.
Will post a photo later.
Thanks
Dave
 

Corbie

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22 Oct 2021
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Aberdeenshire
Dave your situation is almost exactly the same as mine! Power restored 11.30 pm last night. Tank temperature kept up with multifuel stove. I emptied out my filters and refilled with tank water, and added 20 litres of R/O water. Apart from that everything looks normal and as it should- hopefully the bacteria have survived.
 

Simmo

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Cheers Corbie, do you mean you washed the filter media in tank water? Did you take water parameters? Fingers crossed!

I’ve turned the light on, figure tgat photosynthesising plants will help restore water quality
 

MirandaB

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28 Apr 2013
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Suffolk/Norfolk Border
Hard to say how badly the filter bacteria has been compromised,I'd say you will have lost a fair proportion of the beneficial bacteria.
It's going to be a case of closely monitoring the tank and water changing as soon as you see any nitrite and ammonia.
For the future it's worth buying a couple of the battery operated air pumps,they really are a saver in situations like you've just experienced.Amazon product
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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1,892
I agree with the others in that it's a fair chance you will have lots of the bacteria died off with out the constant flow of oxygen through the filter and the first thing I would probably do is give the sponges a good clean in tank water.
Next step is water changes and if you have it then seachem prime can help bind the ammonia before it becomes a problem.

Lastly I'd just really reduce the amount of food that is going into the tank for the next week. Healthy fish, might look hungry, but can easily survive for a week without food, although the odd little food every couple of days should be ok.

Luckily bacteria is pretty good at reproduction so it should bounce back quickly.

Battery powered airpumps can be a lifesaver so definitely worth investing in.
 

Simmo

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Cool thanks Guys, never anticipayed such a long power cut, will get battery pump as a contingency for next time. Great advice Mort, thanks!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
do you mean you washed the filter media in tank water? .............
What @mort says. I'd pour the water out of the filter and then rinse the filter media, there is a possibility that you may have a build up of ammonia (NH3) from the anaerobic decay of organic matter in the filter while the power was off.

If it happens again, disconnect the hoses and pour 90% of the water out of the filter, then just leave the filter with the taps (and lid) open until the power is back on.
..... I’ve turned the light on, figure tgat photosynthesising plants will help restore water quality
Definitely, plants are always your friend.

cheers Darrel
 
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Konsa

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20 Nov 2010
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Lostock Hall
Hi all
I past I had quite a few power cuts.When that happened what I do is disconnect the filters and open them slightly to ensure access to atmospheric oxygen,empty most of the water leaving the canisters about 1/4 full so there is good amount of humidity, give the canisters a shake every now and then to ensure media is kept wet.Once power is back empty and discard the remaining water from the canisters and give quick rinse of the media in tank water ,then large water change of the tank and its just a matter of connecting the filters back on and I am good to go.
This has always worked for me and I had never had any loss of live stock.
Regards Konstantin
 

Simmo

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Thanks Darrel
As coincidence has it I cleaned the x3 bags of sintered glass beads and x5 sponges a few days ago and also siphoned off the detritus in the filter body. I’ve just removed and cleaned the sponges and media in tank water again.
Juwel in their wisdom bind the filter housing to the inside of the tank so it cannot easily be removed. I will have a go at cleaning the second compartment that holds the heater and power head.
Thank you
Dave
 

Simmo

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So I have now siphoned the crud from the heater/pump chamber and it was pretty vile, both halves of the filter box are now clean. That was super advice, thanks
I think if it happens again I might remove the sintered glass beads as they seem to hold some sediment even when cleaned and bank on the sponge filters doing the job. Juwel filter below for info
Cheers
 

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Simmo

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Has anybody considered using a UPS with their aquarium? Might be a worth while addition when you consider the financial (and emotional) investment our aquariums are.

No but I am thinking about a wee generator that could support fish, refrigerator, immersion heater and some lights. 😂
 
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mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I've helped a lot of people move more tanks than I care to remember and the tip I picked up was that when you move a filter you are best keeping the filter material wet but open to the air. The way we did it was with a tupperware tub, with some air holes, and a little water in the bottom to swish about with the movement. In your scenario just keeping them moist is good if you know the power will be out for several hours but you could also transfer them to a tub and run an air stone in it.
You just need to keep the filter media wet/damp but open to the air, basically the way bio balls work, to keep the bacteria healthy. With the juwel filters you could just take out a couple of the sponges (or ceramic media if you have it), keep those happy and then heavily clean the rest. This way the bacteria will bounce back quickly.
 

tiger15

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14 Mar 2018
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It depends on the type of filter. If you have sump or HOB filters open to the atmosphere, there is no bacterial die off and the media stay aerobic at all time and you need not do anything. If you have canister or internal filter shut off from the atmosphere, the media can go anaerobic and the dirtier it is, the faster the bacteria will die off. So it is prudent to clean the media before power ireturns to prevent flooding out of anoxic gases.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
If you have sump or HOB filters open to the atmosphere, there is no bacterial die off and the media stay aerobic at all time and you need not do anything.
That is one of the great advantages of <"these types of filter">. Canister filters are really convenient, but they have a finite amount of oxygen enter them and it can't be replenished inside the filter. All the time you have a reasonable volume of flow-through things are fine, but once that stops your problems start.

cheers Darrel
 

tiger15

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Hi all,

That is one of the great advantages of <"these types of filter">. Canister filters are really convenient, but they have a finite amount of oxygen enter them and it can't be replenished inside the filter. All the time you have a reasonable volume of flow-through things are fine, but once that stops your problems start.

cheers Darrel
Canister filter is convenient for planted tanks in directing flow, driving the CO2 reactor, and hidden esthetically from view and sound. But it is the least convenient in cleaning and susceptibility of leaks.
 
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