Power Outage! :(
by, 04-25-2012 at 12:15 AM (560 Views)
For the last few weeks I've been looking after a pair of reef aquariums for a friend of mine. One of which is my old 55 gal setup that will be moved back to my home soon. The other is his 40 breeder set up. Well, when i stopped by there tonight things were awefully dark and quiet.
I quick investigation reveled that the 55 had no power at all, and only 1/2 the lights and 1 power head were running on the 40. I quickly located the electrical panel and tried to reset the expected tripped breaker. It immediatly tripped again. So, a fault somewhere. I unplugged everything on both tanks and reset the breaker. Then one by one plugged things back in till I found the culprit. One of the algae scubber lights on the 40 was shorted and tripping the breaker.
With the power back on I started to asses the damage. From the position on the timers the power had been out for nearly 24 hours. Both tanks were down to 68 degrees. The yellow tang in the 55 was dead, and the wrass in the 40 was MIA, but hopefully just hiding in the sand bed. All the other fish looked OK. The corals all looked like their normal night time modes. The clam in the 40 was fully retraced, but not having any experience with clams I don't know if that's normal without lights. With the cold water I'm expecting some coral losses in the coming week.
I was happy to note that my 55 was swarming with pods and baby brittle stars. I was worried that I hadn't been able to spot any with the lights on. This tank used to be litteraly crawling with them day and night. I was far less happy to see that the sand bed and several large areas of rock were covered with some kind of stringy black slime. It looks like some kind of bacterial mat to me. I'm crossing my fingers that it'll disappear as fast as it appeared now that the light and circulation are back. Ther 40 gal looks much better, i'm suspecting due to the power head that keep running.
When I left after an hour, the temp was up to 70 in both tank, and the fish were looking normal, and most of the corals were expanding to normal day time appearance again. I'm planning to do water changes tomorrow, and keeping my fingers crossed.
The more of this story? Use multiple GFI outlets for equipment and make sure you don't have all your equipment on one circuit. If the outlet the shorted equipment was plugged into had been a GFI this would likely had tripped before the circuit breaker and most of the critical equipment would have kept running.