I was just told about this thread. I may take some of you up on your offers.
I have 10 tanks running, 4 with fish. They vary in size from 2.5g to 75g. All tanks have plants.
I have been without power since Ike hit, and it looks like I may not get power back on until next week. I'm able to get online now because I'm in a hotel room.
I have a house and an apartment, and fortunately, neither suffered structural damage. We lost a lot of tree limbs at the house, one tree split off a main section onto our fence and neighbor's house. The fence will need to be replaced. I think the neighbor's house only suffered gutter damage, thankfully.
My tanks are going from bad to worse. The 4 tanks with fish are:
- 2.5g has 25 young Borasas brigittae (Pedro, these are from you; I'm doing my best to keep them alive.)
- 5g with my RCS colony, 7 mature Borasas and 2 pygmy corys (1 cory died)
- 20Long with loaches, ottos, guppies, many amano shrimp, and nerite snails.
- 75g with 5 Pelvicachromis, 1 apisto (I think it's dead; can't find it now), 9 Torpedo Barbs (one confirmed dead), about 50 amano shrimp, nerite snails, guppies, and 30 cardinal tetras
I have a battery air pump on my 20L and 75g tanks. I do have water that appears to be good (it hasn't killed the fish yet) so that's saving me right now.
My main problem is that the power has been off long enough now that the plants, algae and good bacteria are all dying, converting into ammonia. I'm doing 80%-100% water changes daily, but I need to step that up. The water becomes cloudy and smelly in 24 hours so things are getting worse.
Others at TPT are suggesting I pull out all of my plants which I really don't want to do, but maybe I should. Doing so will certainly kill many of them so I'm not sure what's best in the long run. If I can keep up with the water changes to keep the ammonia down, maybe I can salvage more plants if I leave them where they are. I'm also concerned with how the removal of plants would affect the hiding places for the fish, with the Pelvicachromis being dwarf cichlids.
I've lost one pygmy cory, one (maybe more) torpedo barb and most likely my apisto.
My main concern is the nitrifying bacteria dying. I have two canisters on my 75g and one on my 20L which I think are toast (bacteria wise) by now. I have unplugged them so they won't come on in my absence because I think I'll have to clean them out to "new" condition and start all over without any good bacteria. Getting these tanks to cycle again with a heavy fish load will also be a problem which is another reason I really don't want to lose too many plants since they will help with the ammonia once the lights come on and they can begin growing again.
If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. For now, large water changes is what's keeping my fish alive, and it looks like I'll have to go from 1 large water change a day to at least 2. I might go for 3 smaller ones (50% each) to help avoid temperature changes and fish stress.
Right now, I can't even think of getting any clippings, but once my power is back on, I would very much appreciate help in restocking the plants I've lost. Between losing everything in our refrigerators and freezers (at both locations), having the trees repaired with the large branches hauled off, fixing our neighbor's house, and now paying for a hotel room, this is costing us. We still have it much better than many others, but having no power is really hurting my tanks.