Power Outage 2018-05-28T13:01:15+00:00

A Power Outage can happen to you

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Carbon dioxide is created from waste, which goldfish make lots of. This harmful gas takes up space in a body of water, keeping oxygen from entering. In order for your tank or pond to be oxygenated the surface must be agitated. This action and this action alone expels Co2 from water. Once these gases are expelled the surface must be exposed to fresh air. The greater the surface area, the greater capacity for oxygen to enter. In an aquarium, the body of water is small compared to the surface area. If the water is to be heavily oxygenated, serious compromises must be made

Always keep Oop Boost on hand to oxygenate tank or pond water in case of an outage

Moving water has many benefits. The moving water eliminates green water algae, forcing it to become substrate algae. Moving water breaks up supersaturated gases and expels carbon dioxide, and last but not least, moving water oxygenates and cools the water

These poor fish are being kept in a small bowl with a small filter. Because their water is low in oxygen, they will not survive a power outage

Goldfish no power

The smaller the body of water; the smaller the surface area; the greater the need for surface action

Without our pumps and filters, we would be very unsuccessful at keeping goldfish in tanks and aquariums. What happens if a pump slows or stops? This is a good reason for having more than one pump in your tank; having a back up in essential, but what if there is a power outage?

Be prepared for a pump or a filter to stop running, and be prepared for a power outage; it can and will eventually happen to you. Battery operated aerators and pumps, or power converters can be purchased; extra batteries kept on hand. Some of these can be plugged into the lighter of your vehicle to generate power, or connected to your vehicles battery

Oxygenating Water

When it does happen, and you find yourself with no battery operated equipment, or can’t obtain it; you’ll need to perform a water change of 20% to 40% depending on your stocking levels; for every day you don’t have power; using enough water treatment for the entire tank if your tank is not cycled or just the amount exchanged if your tank is cycled

Use your gravel vacuum with every water change, but don’t be over zealous in removing the waste; some of this waste may not be utilized, and the beneficial bacteria may starve without it. The key is removing the tank water from the bottom; this is where carbon dioxide accumulates

Perform small and frequent water changes throughout the day; instead of one large one

Goldfish are cold blooded; meaning their body temperatures are the same as their environment. Goldfish consume less oxygen in colder temperatures because they become dormant. This is a positive attribute during a winter power outage and a summer outage as well; as long as there is plenty of ice on hand

  • Feed normally in normal temperatures

Withholding food can upset your fish’s delicate digestive system, and starve the friendly bacteria. Feed less as temperatures drop. Feed only what the fish will eat in five minutes. In colder temperatures they will become slower; feeding less and less. Stop feeding when and if the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When goldfish become dormant, so do the beneficial bacteria

Power outage

If the outage lasts longer than 4 days, increase the amount of water being exchanged by 10% depending on your stocking levels and water temperature. Reduce amount being exchanged as the temperature is lowered. Increase the amount being exchanged in warmer temperatures. Once readings reach 55% it isn’t necessary to feed or exchange water

Toxins are more dangerous to goldfish in warmer water temperatures. Test daily for ammonia and nitrite in a cycled or cycle free tank. Continue testing for a few days after the outage

  • pH and KH levels

Decreased oxygen in the water leads to a drop in pH levels. Test both pH and KH daily. Use Oop Boost if KH is healthy but pH is low. Use Water Boost if KH is low

Oxygenate water manually by pushing a pitcher deep into the fish water; fill and pour back in; repeat as often as possible. If KH is at 120 ppm, continue working until pH is at 8. ppm

Keep water oxygenated by clearing the body of water from carbon dioxide, a gas created from waste. Using a clean and free of contaminants pitcher, push deep into water pulling from bottom; hold high over water, and pour, allowing it to hit hard. Perform more frequently with warmer water; as much as 10 minutes per hour, or as often as possible; less frequently in colder water

pH; Potential of Hydrogen

Symptoms of oxygen deprivation redness around gills; gasping at the surface; bulging eye or pop eye

Oxygen is absorbed into the water from the air. Make sure your aquarium is open and exposed to fresh air. Tanks or ponds with less surface area will be more at risk for lowered oxygen levels in the water. The less surface space, the more surface action is needed. Manually fan the top of the tank periodically to make sure the water is exposed to fresh air

Large tanks hold consistent temperatures and support oxygen for longer periods of time; smaller tanks may warm or freeze much faster and oxygen levels may drop

Power outage

In winter: allow the temperature of your tank water to fall gradually; 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit is preferable, but make certain that it does not fall below 40 degrees. Even though goldfish and beneficial bacteria alike hibernate in the winter; they cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. If the temperature drops too low; burn a few candles around the tank to keep the tank water from freezing. If you have warm water available, use it to exchange some tank water

Slow feeding at 64f; stop feeding at 54f

The aquarium in the photo below is set up more like a tropical fish house instead of a goldfish house. The lights are on and the top enclosed, leading to warm water that’s low in oxygen. In case of a power outage, these fish are in trouble

power outage

The fish in the photo below will fair much better in a power outage. The surface is exposed to fresh air, and the set up receives indirect lighting; the water cool

power outage

In summer: Place bags of ice around the tank, but do not float bags in the tank; which may cover the surface. Keep close watch on the temperature. Do not allow the water temperature to rise above 70 degrees; the colder the better; 55 to 60 degrees is preferable. Goldfish use less oxygen in colder water. Quiet water, with little surface area combined with warmer temperatures is a deadly combination

  • How long can goldfish survive in water without the pumps on?

If your water is in pristine condition at room temperature; your goldfish can survive for several hours without the pumps depending on your stocking levels. If you come home from work, and the power has been off for the better part of the day; more than likely your fish will be fine. If the weather is extremely hot they might be affected depending on the stocking levels; another reason to keep stocking levels low. The less time spent under these conditions the better of course. If your water is in poor condition; then so are your fish, and it is likely they would not fare well under these same circumstances

Lower or raise water temperatures gradually

Exchange 20% of your tank or pond water for each day of a power outage, breaking it up into 5% water changes. Use your gravel vacuum, not to clean the gravel, but to remove water from the bottom of the tank where Co2 hangs heavily. Treat your fish to the salt and garlic tonic combined, and continue testing for ammonia and nitrite for at least three or four days. It a spike hasn’t occurred by then it probably won’t. Be sure to work Supersaturated gases out of the water

To Catch a Goldfish

Oxygen Deprivation: Anoxia

Author: Brenda Rand

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