How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

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tigermoon89
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How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by tigermoon89 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:32 pm

Quite a few areas have been experiencing bad storms that have been knocking out the power. I thought it would be helpful to create a caresheet with tips on how to keep the tank warm during an outage.

1) Cover tank with thick blankets. Emergency blankets work well for holding in heat and are around $2.00 at Walmart.

2) Fill a thick bottle (shampoo bottles work but clean them out well) with hot water. The bottle will stay warm for about 3 hours. The larger the bottle the longer the water will stay warm. You can wrap a damp clothe around the bottle to help boost humidity. Insulate tank with a thick blanket to help trap in heat. Remember to keep an eye on humidity levels.

3) Place the tank in your car and keep the heat on for a bit. The heat won't need to be on the whole time the crabs are in there, just check periodically and turn it back on once you start to see the temperature of the tank decreasing.

4) If you have a smaller tank you can fill the bathtub with warm water- it doesn't need to be filled to the size of the tank, just enough to keep the bottom warm. The humidity will increase quite a bit. You will want to keep an eye on it and vent the tank lid.

5) If you have Eco Earth or another brand of coconut fiber, you can mix with with warm water and it will help keep the tank warm for a couple of hours or more.

I hope this helps and if anyone has any other ideas, feel free to add them to this thread :)
Crystal
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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by IBlab crab » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:53 pm

This is a great thread tigermoon89! Every winter I worry about power outages. One year we had a ice storm,4in. of ice in driveway and road and no power for 2 days. I put them in a old KK and slept with them under my blankets hoping my body heat would help. Then during the day I kept them close to the fireplace. I like the bathtub idea,do you think a large KK would work in the tub?

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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by tigermoon89 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:02 am

That should work well! The humidity rises considerably so the vents in the lid will help with keeping it lower.
Crystal
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alliciat
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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by alliciat » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:40 pm

I'd think having some emergency hand warmer packs on hand would help as well. I plan to get some to have in my "emergency kit for hermits". It also has things like freeze dried foods, salt packet's for making their salt water. Emergency blanket. Combined with emergency blanket and another over that, the hand warmers will help keep them warm. We have snow/ice storms as well, and can lose power easily. Also T-storms tend to knock out the power. Dechlorinated water is the one thing I can't keep in that, but hope to get a spare water dechlorinator/treatment, to add to it.

Anyways, I like the other ideas on here. I'd never have thought of the tub, to help keep humidity up! Warm bottles of water, another great one, if hot water heater is working. We've been through two floods, where hot water, power, and heat were knocked out. It never hurts to be prepared.

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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by Rocky » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:01 pm

I use the little hand warmers all the time, but I put them in plastic bags first. I put them in ice cream containers with lots of EE for long car rides 8) they work awesome and I bet they'd help a small tank too.
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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by alliciat » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:58 am

I went to Walmart to get some more handwarmers, and survival blanket (those thin shiny ones there reflect heat back onto you), as part of the prep for Blizzard Nemo, and was pleased to find Body warmers, which are the same as hand warmers, but slightly larger and last 18 hrs rather than 10 hrs. I plan to gradually build up a supply that will last for 3-5 days, and just keep them in the 'crab emergency bag'. They were 3 for $1.97. Very reasonable.

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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by joemaniaci » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:32 pm

Why not use a Uninterruptible Power Supply for computers? A decent one might be able to give you at least an hour or two for minor outages.

This one might just be able to power a 100W light for two hours.

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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by dawnpaw » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:31 am

A few winters ago in New England we had a pretty bad ice storm. Our power was out for days and of course my first concern was my animals, in particular the hermit crabs! We have hot water/radiator heating running along the baseboards of some walls in every room, and I I have a 10 gallon tank that i threw some extra sand and hideys into and slid it up against the radiator in my room. Luckily none of my crabs were buried, so I was able to get them all into the 10g. I moved their food and water and voila, a temporary tank with all the comforts of home (a bit cramped, but i wasn't about to pull the 29 gallon off its stand because I knew i'd never get it back up there again). The best part is that we have a generator hooked up to the heating in our house, so once in a while we could start it up to keep our house and the crabs at a reasonable temperature. I believe I had blankets over the top as well. It worked like a charm for me, and it actually kept the temperature up easier than the heat lamp I had been using for the main tank.

This only works if you have baseboard radiator heating and a way to power it (in which case you might as well plug the normal heating system into the generator power I guess. I just wasn't able to do that because the generator only powers select outlets downstairs so as not to cause any overloads, and the crabs are upstairs.) Looking back that might have been a rather useless story, but hopefully it might give someone an idea or something :lol:
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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by Seachelle » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:06 pm

Last year we had a horrible ice storm (this was before I started crabbing) and we had no power for at least a week because the roads were so bad that rescue and power crews just could not make it to fix the snapped in two power poles and such. It was so cold that I had to sleep in two jackets with around ten fleece blankets.

My question is: If this happens again would it be safe to cover the top of the 29 and 10 gallons with a fleece blanket, will that keep them warm? We have a heater for the living room which is where we stayed all together for that horrible freezing week. Would it be best to move them in there with the heater?

I have 13 hermies and I am unable to move the 29 gallon by myself but I can move the 10 gallon, but all of them in a ten gallon... Could I make that work somehow if I have several places for them to hide and climb?

ALSO! A question I have been wondering (its crazy) Do hermit crabs produce heat?
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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by wodesorel » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:12 am

No, hermits do not produce their own heat - they are cold-blooded and rely on the weather around them to keep them warm enough to survive. Anything below 65 degrees for more than a half a day is dangerous, anything below 55 is almost a guaranteed death sentence. If they freeze they will not recover.

We lost our furnace thee winters ago, when it was 13 degrees out, and it was out for four days while they replaced it, redid all the vent work, and replaced all of our gas lines. (If you so much as think you smell gas, call the gas company. Seriously. It saved not only our lives but the lives of our pets to have done so.) We still had power so we could run heaters, but the house never got above about 55. To compensate, I put the largest heat bulb in the fixtures that I could use safely, moved all the tanks including a 10 gallon molting iso that was full of 50+ pounds of wet sand into the living room where there were space heaters, and then swaddled the tanks in blankets. Honestly, the blankets worked a little too well and the tanks got too hot. When I peeked in a few hours later the temps were pushing 100 and I had to swap out the bulbs for something smaller so they wouldn't overheat.

So yes, in an emergency in the middle of winter get all the crabs into the warmest room any way you can. Get them as close as you safely can to the heat source and try to keep their enclosure above 65 at the very least. If you have a way of using a heat source inside their enclosure - either because you still have power or because you bought hand warmers in bulk - wrap that tank up in blankets so that heat is locked in. (Safely, of course. Lamps can catch blankets on fire!)

However, blankets are not going to do anything unless there's heat to lock in. Just covering a tank when it gets cold out will not have any effect unless there's a working heat source nearby that is warming the tank.


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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by Seachelle » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:31 pm

Thank you!

(What about the wild hermies at the beach, how do they manage in the cold?)
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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by Yuka » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:59 pm

As far as I know, considering theyre from tropical climates, i don't think it'd drop that low

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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by CallaLily » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:35 pm

Yes, it'd be warm/hot year round where they are found in the wild. PPs in the Florida Keys may occasionally run into cooler weather but I think it's rare. Someone with more knowledge please chime in. :)

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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by wodesorel » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:28 pm

They are only as far north as Florida. When there is freak winter weather there (like right now actually) they freeze. It is why they never expand any farther north.

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Re: How to keep the tank warm during a power outage

Post by Shawn » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:00 pm

joemaniaci wrote:Why not use a Uninterruptible Power Supply for computers? A decent one might be able to give you at least an hour or two for minor outages.

This one might just be able to power a 100W light for two hours.
That thing should be able to power a 40w UTH for hours and hours. Great idea. Never thought of a UPS for the crabs.

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