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Re: Colorado's Blizzard

Hi Ellen,

I don't know if this is of any use to you seeing the main problem is heat
loss however I had tested some UPS units and found they were great at
keeping a filter running for many hours to avoid losing any bacterial
colonies. Keeping a heater running for any length of time would require a
larger more expensive unit. This was the original post:


I hope all your tanks make it fine through the blackout. BTW I received a
lot of plants recently and although they were very cold when I opened the
box the damage was minimal to existing leaves and they have all recovered
nicely within a week so I would think that the temperature drop you
experienced shouldn't harm the plants too much.

Good luck

Giancarlo Podio

----- Original Message -----

  a.. To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
  b.. Subject: Colorado's Blizzard
  c.. From: "Ellen O'Connell" <oconnel4 at ix_netcom.com>
  d.. Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 13:22:03 -0700
  e.. In-reply-to: <200303201417.h2KEH9oX014106 at otter_actwin.com>


Actually, it wasn't.  Although the news are all calling it a blizzard, I
don't think the wind velocity ever reached the 35 mph required for a real
blizzard, at least in the metro area and southeast where I am, but it was a
humdinger of a snowstorm.  I have drifts well over my head, one that has to
go for me to get my horse out of the barn, and so far I haven't progressed
past looking at it and laughing.

However, the aquariums were a worry.  My power went out 9:30 Tuesday night
and didn't come back on till about 9 Wednesday night.  I have a kerosene
heater that kept the house at 60 degrees through it all, but what to do
about aquariums?  I simply wrapped the 28-gallon upstairs and prayed.  As
of now all the fish seem okay, but it's the tank with a dozen cardinal
tetras, and I hope they don't start giving up the ghost in the next days
because of the stress.  That tank got as low as 68 degrees, and I added
warm water at that point.  It never went lower.  I have 2 small tanks in
the kitchen - closer to that single heat source, but less mass that would
cool faster.  I ended up putting two small oil lamps next to the glass when
I realized how much heat they put out.  Surrounded them with the heaviest
canned goods I could find in case the cats went over there (no kids or I'd
never take the chance).  Without the lamps the temp in those tanks fell to
70 quickly, so I never experimented past that point.  With the lamps they
stayed at 73 degrees.  Two tanks with no fish went to the low 60's so I'll
find out how bad that was for the plants in the coming days.

I didn't worry much about toxins because of the plants, temperature seemed
to be the big problem.  Now that it's all over I still can't think of how
to be better prepared to handle this kind of situation for the
aquariums.  Does anyone know of battery devices, etc.?  Are there efficient
and non-harmful ways to add warm water?  I worried that to add water warm
enough to help there was a danger of burning anything that was in the
stream as I poured it in.

Ellen O'Connell
Parker, CO
mailto:oconnel4 at ix_netcom.com