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Well, looks like this time we're gonna get hit. :x

Do any of you have any hurricane preparedness aquarium tips? Battery powered pumps?
 

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Art,

It depends on the system.

It also depends upon the strength of the hurricane.

If the eye of a category3, 4, or 5 hurricane is heading towards our area, then it may be best to actually take all the fauna and samples of the flora and hide them in a safe location. During Hurricane Andrew, the double doors of my house were almost peeled away by the strength of the wind. The first thing that would have went if that would have happened would be the 55g sitting in the middle of the living room. Luckily, we barricaded the door with a big piece of plywood at the last minute.

Use battery powered pumps to help with aeration for the fish. For the plants, store in ziploc bags, keep them cool, and in indirect sunlight.

I noticed that animals have a very strong sense of what's going on during a strong storm. I believe they can feel and recognize the drop in barometric pressure.

If a weaker storm is heading towards the area (say, Irene...you know which storm I am talking about south Floridians), power may go out for a few hours or up to a day. In those instances, it should be _okay to leave the tank untouched. Turn off the CO2 and all equipment until power resumes.

During tropical systems, flooding often ensues. If the flooding begins to move into your house, take all the stuff in the aquarium cabinetry to higher ground. Unplug all electrical equipment. Hope the water doesn't rise up and over the aquarium...

Hope this helps,

Carlos
 

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Art_Giacosa said:
Well, looks like this time we're gonna get hit. :x

Do any of you have any hurricane preparedness aquarium tips? Battery powered pumps?
Yes, all you need are a U-Haul and a Change-of-Address form.
on a more serious note, i hope that everything will be all right.
 

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Well I'm certainly not in the path of any hurricanes, even though a tornado came close a few years ago, but still there is one item I place on all my filters, and that's a regular UPS used for computers. I don't attempt to run heaters or lights off it, just the filter to keep the bacteria alive. A small $30 unit from CompUSA runs my Eheim 2217 for about 24 hours, smaller pumps even longer. If I know a blackout will last more than 24 hours I use a timer on the filter to run it 30 min on / 30 min off to get some extra hours out of it. Since installing it two years ago nothing major has happened, it always seems we protect ourselves a little too late or after we have a bad experience.

If I knew a hurricane was going to hit though, I'd probably also cover the tank with thick blankets to avoid any small debris from breaking the glass, I guess you can only do so much though.

Hope that everyone in the path of this one will be OK and that you have taken the right measures to protect yourself and your families.

Giancarlo Podio
 

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Gee, this is another time that I'm glad I live in the frozen tundra.... :wink:

Our thoughts are with all of you in the path, and hoping you come through it unscathed.

We bought a whole house generator quite a few years ago and it's one of the best buys we've ever made. I realize that's probably not on your getting prepared list of things to do, but boy are they nice for those prolonged outages. No more fretting about the fish, the stuff in the fridge, no heat, water, etc.......

Best of luck.
 

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The concerns are temerature, oxygen and filtration.

Forget about temperature, it is still warm in Florida and you can't do anything about the heat. Forget blankets, but you might want to drop in on Walmart and get some netting (fabric dept, stuff like for ballet or costumes) enough to top each tank generously, so you can remove hoods and drape the tank, securing with a tie or large elastic -- opens tank to oxygen but keeps in fish.

You can add H2O2, but it is dangerous and I don't think you can use it very much without possibly harming fish. Better to scoop tank water and pour it back in to add oxygen, or swish a dry net through the water every hour or so (I read that in an article about the big power outage in NY about how the pet stores coped.) Before bed, add a bit, maybe a capful per 20 gallons of H2O2 (normal drug store strength) to help them through the night. I might save the battery units for night time, take the airstone off the end to reduce pressure and prolong battery life, or for tanks that look bad during the day.

For filtration, I'd stock up on Prime, or Amquell as a second choice since Prime also handles nitrite and store a ton of water for water changes, maybe 20% a day or more if you can swing it, realizing that you need water for the family also.

I've read that canisters need to opened and the media removed to shallow water to keep bacteria aerated. HOB filters get a lot of air, but remember to clean the pads before allowing the unit to start back up, all that crud will blow into the tank otherwise, I'd unplug all filters and power to the tank so you are not surprised in the middle of the night. Or maybe keep an airpump with check valve plugged in, just in case the power does come on in the night.

Anyhow, as you do water changes, put that old water on the filters to feed them, the ammonia will be locked up but still available to the bacteria so keep them fed.

Also under filtration, don't feed the fish, maybe even for a day or so before it hits, to reduce the load on the tank.

Planted tanks may be under stress after a few days, maybe 3 or more, and so if the plants don't get any light, you may want to remove some so they don't decay and add to pollution in the tank. But, if the tank gets sun, open the drapes and let it in, planted tanks are usually just fine.

If the power is off for long, beware of the first water change. The water dept may "cleanse" the lines with nasty chemicals in the first day or so. You might be able to call now to see what they normally do after flooding, because after the storm hits they will be up to their ears in crocodiles.

Good luck, and remember to keep your priorities straight, they are just fish. Do what you need to do to keep yourself and your family safe. And remember to have a plan for dogs and cats in case you have to go to a shelter.

My home got hit by hurricane Betsy when I was a kid and us kids got sent to Grandma's for 3 weeks while my folks picked up the pieces. The houses there were "fishing camp style", on tall stilts with living quarters upstairs, and we lost everything below the 7' mark downstairs, even boxes tied to the rafters and the freezer and Grandma's china.

PS, as you prepare, be sure to move the computer so that if the house takes on water it won't get wet. In New Orleans we sometimes would make balls out of aluminum foil to try to save the couch and other finished furniture from water seepage, wet carpeting will draw water from the doors toward the furniture, even having it 1/4 inch off the rug helps.
 

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Holy ****! you guys in Florida better get out of there. (Excuse the language) This is gonna be a big one. I would worry about your tanks taking flight! :shock:
 

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If the eye hits a bit north of West Palm Beach (present best guess), you will be spared the worst of the winds, which will be in the immediate vicinity of the eye, and especially to the north of the eye. In Miami, the wind will come from the northwest and then the west and might not even reach hurricane strength. Nonetheless, the power might be out. It depends on where it is being generated. It looks now, unless Frances makes an unexpected turn to the south, that Miami will be spared the worst. Orlando might get it again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone.

Finishing putting up plywood on the windows and doors.

I've already suffered a loss. In the middle of all the preparation, my 58 gallon decided to spring a leak in the back seam where the wall meets the bottom. It looked like a gyser and I was absolutely powerless to stop it. 50+ gallons on the floor and a waterless tank.

When it rains it pours!

Stay safe all of you in Florida!
 

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Augh!
:cry:
So sorry to hear that. That's enough excitement without a hurricane.
You be safe, too. My sister lives in Melbourne. I think she must have evacuated, as I can't raise her on the phone.
 

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Reporting LIVE from Miami:

It's nice and sunny outside today. Winds are coming out of the north at around 10-15mph. We already have a small squall come in earlier, and I measured a gust of 36mph before it finally subsided. Nothing too exciting.

FYI, there is a Melbourne in Florida right on the east central coast. :)

The Melbourne in Australia does not get hurricanes --too cold. However, hurricanes in northern/tropical Australia do get hurricanes (they call them cyclones). The Christmas Day Hurricane in Darwin was one of the worst.

Carlos
 

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In fact, the practice of naming hurricanes started in Australia. Originally, Australian meteorologists named them after political figures they didn't like. Later that practice was dropped in favor of a list of politically neutral names.
 

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Sorry, not intended to mislead. I was referring to Melbourne, FL, as Carlos already advised.

Australia started the process of naming hurricanes? I would have never guessed that. I remember when it was decided naming them with only female names was no longer PC.

Himmicanes. Bah. :wink:
 

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My sister called me Saturday from NC to let me know she was OK. She has a menagerie of pets and the only thing that didn't go with her in the car was her SW tank. She said, "Power's out in Melbourne already so I know I've lost the tank", which she's had for 19 consecutive years. It's a shame about that, but I was glad everyone was OK.
 

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Well, just got my power back last night after having been out for 50 hours. Immediately did water change on all tanks, water was a little cloudy on all. Except for the crypts, which look a little 'tired' (boy, I hope they don't melt!) rest of plants and fish look fine.
 
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