Load Shedding in SA and its impact on the Hobby, your disasters and success to beat load shedding!

Discussion in 'General Fish Discussions' started by David Kusner, Nov 15, 2021.

  1. David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    Hi TASA,

    I thought it would be interesting and perhaps educational at the same time, to run a sort of informal pole to get everyone's views on what they feel about load shedding and its impact on the hobby. At the same time share your experience with dealing with load shedding and measures you have taken to make sure your fishies are safe during load shedding.

    Some of the educational stuff would be like, how do you keep your water aerated during extended periods of load shedding? How do you keep your BB alive in your sump/filter/canister?

    What have been your disasters as a direct result of load shedding? Also what have been your success? How have you beaten load shedding to keep your hobby going with as little stress as possible during times of outages?

    I did see this discussed way back in 2015 but though it would also be beneficial to everyone to start up the discussion again, especially for newer members who joined after 2015.

    Also after almost 12 years now I am sure we can all agree that things are not going to get better in terms of load shedding and as the old saying goes, "Things are only going to get worse before they get better", so loading shedding is here to stay!
     
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  3. GaryG

    GaryG Fishohollic

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    Loadshedding is certainly here to stay, but I think that the first thing to remember is that a well maintained aquarium that is not overstocked is key and a 2 hour power outage wont affect a stable tank too much.. I have personally setup an auto waterchange system on all my aquariums, what happens is there is a steady trickle of new water entering the aquarium (elevated as to cause surface disturbance) and an overflow in the sump, meaning the water constantly travels through the aquarium and then the sump and exits into the garden, it is a tricky thing to setup but once done well worth the effort. the only pain is that in winter you have to heat the water ( I float a bottle with hot water in the tank as the water entering the tank is really cold) in summer this is not an issue. as for the tanks with sponge filters not an issue as the new water enters on top of the sponge aerating and moving water over / through the sponge, I'm no expert but not so long ago we had a 38 hour power outage and between my 11 aquariums I didn't have a single fish or shrimp death. I have to add I use borehole water and if the power is out the water is still gravity fed to the house so luckily I don't have to worry about conditioning my water..as long as the water tank is full
    One thing that I would like to do is get a UPS for my air pump again that is defs a great help
     
  4. OP
    David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    Thanks for the feedback @GaryG my setup is almost identical to yours, with the exception, that I added an inverter last year to run the 2 air pumps I use and I did away with the hundreds of USB air pumps that I had. The USB air pumps did work well at the time and was also only intended to be a stop gap till I had the inverter installed. Problem with a fish room and USB air pumps is that you end up with wires and battery banks all over the place including charges to charge them all, just becomes a huge hornets nest of wires.o_O So although it worked perfect and in fact in 2019/2020 when we went away for 2 weeks in DEC and their was a fortune of load shedding, every tank was 100% perfect after 2 weeks of me been away and I had no losses at all.
     
  5. CharlZA

    CharlZA Conductor of the poop train

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    Unfortunately, Loadshedding is here to stay Eskom is too busy playing the blame game and pointing fingers instead of fixing the power shortages. I run each of my 3 filters on their own 2000VA UPS giving me about 8+ hours of run time on each UPS. So far it worked great. But when we hit stage 4 the batteries could not fully charge between load shedding events so they were running dangerously low.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. HugBug

    HugBug

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    I'm nowhere near as high tech as you guys.
    I run one double sponge filter in my tank, as well as one internal filter (it's a 250L tank). Given that both filters are permanently in the water, power outages don't really affect the BB very much. The airstone and the bubbles from the sponge filter do stop during power outages, but I haven't noticed any harmful effects as a result. There are a reasonable number of plants in the tank as well and I like to think those also help when the electric components are not operational. So far we haven't had any power outages that lasted longer than 2h45 at the very most, but even with three 2h15 outages a day, I didn't have any fish losses and my water conditions remain stable.

    My light did blow though which is annoying. It was a cheap chinese light. I guess I can't say 100% it was due to power outages, but that is my guess.

    Outside my pond is currently running purely on plant power. The pump died about a month or two ago and I havn'et have a chance to replace it yet. The plants are growing at an insane rate as a result. I test the water regularly (pretty much weekly, if not more), and it's aboslutely perfect. The only thing I'm not sure about there is the oxygen content of the water as there's now no movement. But so far no fish losses at all there either.

    I think it's also important to remember that out in nature there are no pumps or filters or airstones in ponds etc. And whilst some are constantly moving rivers, which keeps the water clean and aerated, other water bodies are semi-stagnant ponds, and fish still live and thrive in them. Whilst I'm certainly NOT suggesting we keep fish in stagnant tanks with no fresh water and no filtration, I do think at times we have a tendency to overcomplicate fishkeeping somewhat (I am of course speaking as a broad generalization - I know there are certain species of fish that do require very specific water parameters and extra amounts of cleanliness).
     
  7. OP
    David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    Also a good plan, except as you mentioned with excessive load shedding the weakness is in the lead acid battery that takes so long to recharge. Hopefully lithium battery technology will get cheaper as the demand grows and this will resolve that problem.

    Sent from my SM-N986B using Tapatalk
     
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  8. OP
    David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    You are correct about the nature part, only difference is that on nature their is a much larger volume of water than what most hobbyists would typically have in any one aquarium. The larger the body of water, the more stable it should be and the exact same thing applies to fish tanks.

    Sent from my SM-N986B using Tapatalk
     
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  9. CharlZA

    CharlZA Conductor of the poop train

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    My tank is far from being anywhere near high tech and my power solution is also rather low-tech. But it still works out cheaper when you consider how much a proper inverter systems costs. Which is a massive expenditure for me.
     
  10. Carmen

    Carmen

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    I got a small generator just to run my tanks, and i now run an airstone during the night when the lights are out for a midnight power outage/wee hours of the morning. my neighbours would not appreciate me turning my generator on at 3am :lol:
     
  11. PeterTKZN

    PeterTKZN

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    This is quite a good thread guys. My experience recently has been that my small tanks(betta tanks) (2x 30lt tanks) get very cold very quickly unlike my bigger tanks that depending on the weather only drop by maybe half a degree to maybe 1 degree if it’s cold. I lost a black orchid betta recently due to LoadShedding I am sure it was temp and not oxygen as the rasboras and corys that were with him are still perfectly fine. Tank is also planted . When I found him I checked his tank temp and it had dropped to 19 degrees from 26.5 this was over a period of 2hrs. Admittedly it was a very cold night . However when I tested the rest of the big tanks they had only dropped by 1-1.5 max. So far he has been the only loss. I did have one other betta catch ick and again his tank had dropped to 20deg. He survived thanks to paragard. Also all my tanks are cycled . I just wonder if anyone else with smaller tanks has seen this problem ?
     
  12. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Our power is out since 7am, they’re working on the power cables in our street. Scheduled for until 4pm which is when our load shedding starts. So expect power back on around 6h30 :(
    Luckily it’s a warm day and I haven’t fed them at all today.
     
  13. OP
    David Kusner

    David Kusner

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    Sudden quick temperature drops are a problem especially when it drops by almost 6 degrees in just 2 hours, if that doesn't kill a sensitive fish, ick will most certainly be the next problem.

    And yes the larger the body of water the slower it will cool down.

    Sent from my SM-N986B using Tapatalk
     
  14. Claudiaparish

    Claudiaparish

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    Load shedding in South Africa can seriously impact hobbies like fishkeeping, but there are ways to manage it. One helpful tip is to use battery-powered air pumps to keep the water aerated during power outages, ensuring your fish stay healthy. Additionally, regular monitoring of Johannesburg load shedding alerts can help you prepare in advance. Some hobbyists have faced disasters, such as losing fish due to lack of oxygen, but successes often come from being well-prepared, like having backup power sources or alternative filtration methods. Sharing these tips and experiences can help everyone better cope with load shedding.
     
  15. Fredster

    Fredster

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    Just saw this forum pop up.

    I’ve had literally zero issues with loadshedding. I’ve also made no attempts to compensate for it.

    My 180l planted tank took it in its stride. I used mechanical timers to keep lights and CO2 in check. Temp never dropped below 22 even after 4 hour slots.

    My 20l tank saw temps drop to 20 periodically. But this isn’t far from what can happen in nature for many of the fish we keep (remember, fish don’t swim around with thermometers to pick out their environments and will periodically encounter colder currents in nature as they move through water bodies).

    All that said, the house and rooms where the fish are kept are all well insulated and relatively warm (very rarely below 18C) during the depths of winter.

    Discus and marines would be another story altogether- given high temps and oxygenation requirements respectively.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2024
    LukeJHB likes this.

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