So a storm is heading your way? Think you might lose power?
Here are some things you can do to prep your tank:
1 - For a day or two before the storm, don't feed your fish.
While this may sound odd, fish don't have to eat every day. They can actually go 4-5 days without eating. By skipping a couple days of feeding you can lower the amount of ammonia they are releasing into your tank.
2 - Get a battery/solar powered solution.
Battery powered air pumps are readily available at most fish stores, bait & tackle shops, and even some big retail stores that have fishing sections (think Wal-Mart, Bass Pro). Even in a larger tank, a couple small air stones can create some current and provide some much needed aeration. A 110v battery supply (like a UPS you can find at Best Buy, Staples, Office Max, etc) can power low wattage power heads for extended periods of time, just don't forget to charge them ahead of time.
3 - Have some water on hand.
Common sense right? But we are not talking about drinking water here. Have some premixed saltwater and RODI water on hand so you are ready to conquer any tank emergencies.
These are 3 very simple items that can help you be prepared for that inclement weather heading your way.
So let's now talk about what to do AFTER recovering from an extended outage.
1 - Do a water change.
As stated earlier, when our filtration is not running as it normally would, tanks can develop high ammonia (NH3) and low pH. Performing a 20-30% water change can help return these to values closer to normal operation helping our tank get back to normal quickly.
2 - Return to a normal lighting schedule.
In some instances it may be tempting to run aquarium lights longer than normal to try to make up for the period of time they were without. This is not necessary and may end up doing more harm than good.
3 - Replace media such as Carbon and GFO.
When stagnant, Carbon and GFO reactors can build up higher levels of anaerobic bacteria which can be harmful to an aquarium. By changing out our reactor media prior to running the reactors we can minimize damage caused by this bacteria as well as give our tanks a boost as they get running again.
Here are some articles to hopefully make you feel even more confident that you can handle whatever nature sends your, and your tank's, way.