Power outage strategies - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Power outage strategies

With Summer storm season coming, I thought I'd ask how many have covered lengthy power outages.

We recently had a 4-hour outage here. No harm done to my 84g tank. Not sure the nano I'm about to start would fare.

I travel a lot, so I was wondering if anyone has come up with an "auto" solution for power outages. I have seen some battery powere air pumps, but I may not be home to use that manually.

Any ideas out there?

Thanks,
AB


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 03:15 PM
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My solution was not cheap- a permanent whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch. This allows my aquariums to continue running, as well as my private well pump, furnace, appliances, etc. I own my home, so this was my solution after a couple lengthy power outages in the last few years. It uses propane for the fuel source.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeda View Post
My solution was not cheap- a permanent whole house generator with an automatic transfer switch. This allows my aquariums to continue running, as well as my private well pump, furnace, appliances, etc. I own my home, so this was my solution after a couple lengthy power outages in the last few years. It uses propane for the fuel source.
I would love to do this for my house, but like you said it isn't cheap. Also, have fast does your system use up the propane?

What I have come up with, though not automated, is a generator and if I am gone, my neighbor can unplug one cord downstairs and start the generator and it will run the tanks.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 03:43 PM
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Foster and Smith have an air pump that runs on a/c but switches over to battery if the power goes out. It has 2 ports, so I use that to run an air stone and a sponge filter in my main tank. Other than that I don't really have any backup plans for when I'm not home.

The other thing I have is a small CPU battery backup in my bedroom. It's not connected to any kind of equipment but it gives off a god awful loud beep so if the power goes out while I'm asleep it'll wake me up so I can at least be aware of the outage.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 04:03 PM
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Our first power outage was in the winter of 2004. So we bought a gasoline powered portable generator to supply the fish tanks, furnace & a couple lights. But couldn't supply the 220V for the water well and it was a pain to fill the gas tank every couple hours in freezing weather.

My home fuel source is propane, so I have a 250 gallon tank. I can't give you an accurate fuel use during our power outages but our generator is a 12RES (12K) unit by Kohler and it cost us $7785 in April 2005. At 75% Load, it uses 87 CFH and there is approx. 36.39 CuFt in 1 Gallon of Propane.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 05:22 PM
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You can use a computer UPS to run the nano. I cannot imagine that a nano draws that much power and I would only run the necessities through the UPS. You could have just the air pump running on the UPS and it would last for hours and hours. This option is cheaper than a fullblown generator setup BUT if you have frequent long power outages it might be nice to start the whole house back up. My $0.02.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 05:23 AM
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If we are talking about outages of a few hours or maybe a day, nothing will happen to your tanks unless we are dealing with fry tanks, extremely sensitive fish, or grossly overstocked tanks.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 05:41 AM
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if your looking for a auto then a backup gen would be your best bet (propane or nat gas). if you will be home a little honda2000 gen will run most of your house while runing silently and effiecently(15hrs per gallon)depending on load, you can also get these to connect to your breaker box for ez hook up its called a transfer switch. if you camp there great for popups or just to have as a backup energy source. we had a few tornados and the power was out for about a week. think of all the food you would waste let alone the p.i.t.a. to cook, charge phones(unless u have a rotary ) and this was just after my friend just had a newborn. you only relize how much we rely on something when it's gone.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 12:18 PM
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Back in 2005 we had a 2 day outage in February due to a snow storm. I happened to be on vacation and our house sitter took my dogs and went to her house. At the time I had a 72g planted discus tank and a 120g reef tank. I got home on day 2 and literally the power flickered back on within the hour. My tanks were cold but survived w/out any losses. Not sure if I was lucky or what. We looked into a whole house generator, but we don't lose power that often to justify the cost.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Typically are only out for a few hours here if even that long. But once in a while a transfomer in that area goes and power my be lost for most of a day. Hasn't happened to us, but will some day.

Thanks for the info.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 10:30 PM
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In my garage I have a car battery that I top off once in a while with a trickle charger. It is connected to a converter, and a cable that goes into the tank stand. In case of a power outage, I connect the filters to the cable, flip on the inverter, and the tanks are good for a couple of hours.

Nothing heavy duty, but we usually don't have long power outages.


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