Is your Tank ready for a power outage? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Is your Tank ready for a power outage?

As the title suggests, can you/your-tank handle a couple of days of power outage?

What measures, if any, have you taken in case you are in a power outage?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 05:29 PM
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Absolutely ready, every night is a power outage for 2 of my three tanks

have three tanks

1 gallon reef tank 9 yrs old been through about 4 outages, one for 1.5 days

2 planted tanks that have no heating, circulation only lights and co2 and hundreds of shrimp. each night is a power outage, they could easily go a month in the dark and shy of a little plant stress nothing would occur

the co2 is off by default no power so that would be ok in an outage.

the planted tanks endure all seasonal temp changes ranging 68-79 annually.
the reef has a battery backup for the airpump that runs it, no powerheads are used. if that happened in the winter i can use a computer power supply backup to run the heater for a while. planning for sure failures is part of tank longevity, that and water change percentage.

the only thing I can't protect the systems from is flying nerf balls in the living room. we have a no throw policy heh

small old reef tank:

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 05:49 PM
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At this point and time, I have gone fairly loose on the protection. I do not value what I have at this point enough to make me want to maintain a generator full time. If not maintained and run as a routine, a generator may be useless when you need it most. I'm not in an area where power loss will be shorter term (less than two days) or the emergency will be large enough to make the tanks of little concern. If the house and neighborhood are blown away, I don't plan to worry about tanks?
For short term like a couple days, I'm prepped with a converter to run off the car when needed. I have larger tanks that will cool slowly. Water changes and emergency power will have to do at this time.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 06:40 PM
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Generator gets started every December.

Not immense, but more than enough to run the two air pumps and couple of canisters.
The house is heated by a wood stove downstairs and a pellet stove up stairs so the power demand there is only to run the pellet auger and fans. Even runs the fridge and makes coffee. Ran for a couple of days straight during Katrina and no losses on about 10G of gas.

We live pretty much in the heart of an oak forest, so it's a little surreal to step out of your house and hear a dozen or so running in the area at the same time.

Bought it when the power went down one January, years ago. The power came back as I was rolling into the driveway with it. It sat unused for the better part of 5 or 6 years. But it was a lifesaver for the three prolonged outages we've seen since it came home with me.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 10:22 PM
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It has to be considered in each area and what kind of hazard you a likely to run across. when in cold areas, I had generators and felt it was worth the trouble to keep fresh gas and run the routines. There it was important to keep the power on enough to run a few basic things like blowers on fireplaces or furnace. Keeping a frig from thawing is worthwhile , too, so my generator was set to rotate power among the things that were critical. At that time, the fish were more important than now.
Where I am now the power loss is not likely to happen when the weather is below freezing so I'm less concerned.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 11:02 PM
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My tank is not running yet but i have a apc backup to make sure that if there are any power outages and or surges that the equipment does not get fraped knowing that just in lihgts alone i have 500dollars it is well worth the 50dollars to invest in one. I also have a honda generator that can run my aquarium my fridge and my tv and lights(Honda Eu2000i) Can run on one gallon of gas forrever and is soso quiet cant even here it when it is sitting outside running=)
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 11:16 PM
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If its going to be a short outrage I have some battery powered air pumps. If its going to be for several days I'll take a generator from work. We have 4 generac GP's 17k running watts. If I'm really desperate we have 2 of these as well
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 11:22 PM
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We have a Generac Guardian, whole house unit. As long as our propane tank (500 gal) does not run out we are good to go. We live in a rural area, so it not uncommon, if we have an ice storm, to be out for several days. It very rare we get snow.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 03:00 AM
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I have mild support available for power outages. I have a small 3kw generator around. I also have a UPS around normally used for my computers, so I can put the tank on that and keep a small filter or airpump going while I do generator maintenance, etc.


That said, I live in an area where the power lines within the neighborhoods are buried, but the feeds to them are on poles. The power company has line maintenance center about 3 miles away. Power outages are possible, but rarely more than an hour unless something major (hurricane) comes along and knocks down a large number of power lines on a state-wide basis causing backlog for the power crews.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 04:03 AM
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I have a battery backup and a couple of battery air pumps.
Now, I know the power's been out overnight a few times. The fish seem okay with it.


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My current project, a 65 gallon aquarium stocked with vernal pool fauna.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 04:11 AM
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Absolutely not


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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 04:27 AM
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How big of a battery powered pump do I need for a 15 gal tall tank?

Just started working with planted tanks
8g tank starring Merlin the betta (planted)
15g tall tank containing tetras and corys (planted)
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 01:04 PM
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Definitely not prepared. Power was out for 6 days after Sandy. I did daily water changes on my 30 gal. with fish and 10 gal. shrimp tank. Lost a few shrimp but no fish. I was expecting a big spike or maybe even a recycle but it didn't happen. Dumb luck? Probably.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 01:21 PM
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Got a generator , big enough to run the furnace , fridge , and some lights/outlets , but not all at once . Saved my tail after Sandy , when we were out for 9 days . However , my fish are in the basement , which went dark and stayed that way . No air,lights,filters . Fed ' em once after about 4 days , mostly because I felt guilty . No losses . I travel some so I know from experience that my tanks can be safely ignored for a week or 2 with no problems .
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 12:51 AM
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I am with PlantedRich on this one. I am not all to concerned with outages on my tank that is up and running. I doubt if I will worry much when my others come aboard either. The frequency of outages that last more than 2 hrs is rare at 1-2 times a year. Now we do get brownouts more frequently depending on the time of year. It can be once every 2-3 month but still not an issue for me.

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