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Advice? Tank Build! What do you use as backup power?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Derek34, May 9, 2018.

  1. Derek34 GIRS Member

    69
    Manchester, IA
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -0
    Hello everybody,

    Storm season is either here or fast approaching and it has me thinking... "I really need to have a plan in place if the power goes out". I was wondering what everybody else has in place. Pics would be great as well. From what I've read you really just need to have flow first and then heat/cool second. Apparently adding an aerator to the tank is not recommended because it adds a film to the water. Basically making your tank 1 big protein skimmer.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  2. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    632
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +116 / 1 / -0
    I bought a portable backup generator during Amazon Prime day a few years back. Haven't had any kind of a long-term power outage since I got it.. so I guess my plan has been working so far. I also have a UPS battery backup laying around that I keep intending to hook my Apex up to so certain lightweight functions could continue.
     
  3. AdamLawrence Well-Known ReefKeeper

    450
    Marion, IA
    Ratings:
    +141 / 0 / -0
    Prayers!!

    Sent from my SM-G955U via App
     
  4. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    La Porte City, IA
    Ratings:
    +968 / 6 / -0
    Harbor freight has a really small generator for around $100 I keep. Also battery back up air pump.
     
  5. sjones

    51
    Marshalltown, IA
    Ratings:
    +19 / 0 / -0
    I have my return pump on a big ups (1500va) it has run for 4.5 hrs with no issues. Also have a generator for long term outages.
     
  6. Derek34 GIRS Member

    69
    Manchester, IA
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -0
    Do you by chance have a model number or a link to the one you have?
     
  7. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    La Porte City, IA
    Ratings:
    +968 / 6 / -0
    900 Max Starting/700 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) 2 Cycle Gas Generator EPA/CARB

    Something like this, often you can get coupons for $10-$20 off.

    Remember in a power outage, don't worry about lights, your corals will be fine for days without light. If anything run your return pump first, heaters second. If you need you can alternate.

    If you have a gas stove, you can heat up tank water on the stove in a stainless steel pot. If not, heat up water, place it in a bag and then your tank.
     
  8. jeremy Acro Addict GIRS Member

    Davenport, IA
    Ratings:
    +819 / 4 / -0
    I have battery backups for power heads, a battery powered air pump, and if needed a portable generator.
     
  9. Derek34 GIRS Member

    69
    Manchester, IA
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -0
    Do any of you have your systems set up in such a way that your back up power kicks on in the event of a power loss?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  10. Easy E GIRS Member

    16
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0
    I believe you're referring to an automatic transfer switch. They are very expensive and are generally part of a "whole home" power backup system.
     
  11. Dave Experienced Reefkeeper Premium Member GIRS Member

    Des Moines Area
    Ratings:
    +380 / 1 / -0
    We have a generator that we had to use about once per year when
    we lived on the farm. In the past 5 years since we've moved we haven't needed it but I still start it every few months so it is ready to roll when pressed into service. The thing that worries me about this solution is that it only works when we are home. So, back up to the back up plan is to have my son (who lives 8 miles away) come over to take care of things if we are away when power goes out. We have considered a whole home generator hard wired for auto switch over but given we haven't lost power in 5 years we haven't had the catalyst to spend that kind of $$.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  12. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    632
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +116 / 1 / -0
    A more affordable way to do this would be to only have the most critical devices hooked up to a UPS type of a battery backup. Power would switch over to battery seamlessly when the power goes out. Gets slightly complicated determining exactly what gets put on backup once you introduce controllers like an Apex.
     
  13. Bud Loves Bacon Website Team Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,692 / 14 / -0
  14. Derek34 GIRS Member

    69
    Manchester, IA
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for the link @Bud@Bud.
     
  15. Derek34 GIRS Member

    69
    Manchester, IA
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -0
    Yeah I've looked into those a little and read up on them a bit. I'm concerned that they won't last long enough to cover the duration of a somewhat extended power outage. Has anybody here used one?
     
  16. Easy E GIRS Member

    16
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0
    I've used both a UPS and the DIY solution from Bud's post. The DIY is much cheaper and provides way more backup time than a typical UPS. High amp/hour UPS's are very expensive. You do need to know what you're doing when you wire up the DIY though. As mentioned in the R2R thread, you can easily blow stuff up. If you decide to go DIY and have any questions, feel free to hit me up.
     
  17. Waterrat41 Addicted Reefer GIRS Member

    196
    Des moines
    Ratings:
    +112 / 0 / -0
    I acquired a couple UPS units. Both of them were thrown away by the previous owner when they stopped working, cause of the malfunction on both was bad batteries most likely due to age. I opened them up, extended the battery cables out of the case and hooked them up to boat/RV batteries. This gives hours of automatic backup. I have used my first one since the early 90's and the only issue I have had is that it has always been in a less traveled corner of the basement and is easily forgotten. A couple times the battery has gotten 6-7 years old before I realized it and replaced it.
     

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