[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Blackout effect on fish

Perhaps I am the only one who has had this problem but I had an unplanned
blackout in my tank (the MH ballast got fried by storms even with a surge
protector).  During the 5 day blackout, I noticed all the fish gasping at
the surface and several cardinals had died. This made no sense because while
the tank is warm (84 degrees) which holds less oxygen, the CO2 is on a
controller so it stayed right at 6.5-6.6 like always.  A net for some
cardinals and a powerhead corrected the problem fairly quickly.  (TIP:
Always place the powerhead significantly lower than you plan to have it
before plugging it in and if not, DON'T position it directly over your head
as you plug it in! Those things can move a large amount of water, especially
when it is dumping out on your head.)

Anyway, the next time I did an unplanned blackout (horrible storms which is
how the ballast got nailed previously) I unplugged everything  except the
Eheim, this included the CO2.  The power was out most of the afternoon and
all night.  The next morning I had the same problem again with gasping/dead
cardinals.  Powerhead straightened it out again.  Perhaps with the higher
temps, I can't maintain sufficient oxygen in the dark?  The lights are off
12 hours at night and this is never a problem in the morning, just on those
occasions where it stays off longer than 12 hours.

Now, when I turn the lights off for any reason (other than when the timer
kicks them off at night) I plug in a powerhead, no more problem.

I guess my suggestion is not to turn the lights out and go away for several
days unless you provide for extra oxygenation in case there is a problem.
Perhaps start the blackout the day before you leave so you can monitor any

I have used autofeeders, skipped feeding and had people come in and feed (I
used little foil packs for each day).   My preference is skipping.  If
something goes wrong and the fish stop eating, the neighbor doesn't know any
better and keeps dumping food in. (guess how I know that?) If you are really
concerned though, have the friend come in a couple of times but not every

I have never tried writing the day on live food but I can honestly say that
is some kind of visual ha, ha :)

YMMV, IMHO and all the disclaimers inserted here.