making an investment in battery powered air pumps...

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We live in a townhouse built in the 70s. The complex is surrounded by 100 ft of woods (the horrified residents of the neighborhood required that in order to approve the townhouses to be built LOL) and then the neighborhood is very old. It's wonderful, but lots of trees and not a ton of buried power lines. The ones in my complex are buried, but the road and roads around here are not.

Where we lived before, we almost never had power outages and even in the rare time it did, it was only for about 30 minutes max.

However, that changed where we are now. We get them much more often. I won't say frequent- they're not, but they happen enough for us to consider a whole house generator.

It's expensive. We found one at Costco that I almost bought, but we held off. I would rather have it. It would run on natural gas. I don't think I would get it just for the tanks (I only have 2 right now and, if I survive my wife's attempts to kill me, I think I'll add 2 more :oops: :D). It's really frustrating when it's out for a few hours, though.
 
It all depends on the weather. Before we had the generator I had a few battery pumps and that was it. They had actually delivered the generator, but it was not yet installed. It was early spring and chilly and the power went out.

I was rotating my battery powered air pumps from tank to tank . I think I had 3 or 4, so I would run them for about 10-15 minutes on a tank and move it. I would also go to any tank lacking a pump and swish the surface with my hand to promote some gas exchange as well. Every time I moved the pumps.

The problem was that the house temp. was dropping and my zebra pleco breeding tank was starting to cool. So I came up with this solution. I went into the kitchen and grabbed a 2 quart pot. I filled it with water from the zebra tabk and took it outside to the gas grill. I heated to almost boiling. I then poured the hot water back into the tank. I did so slowly and all around the surface of the tank. I then stirred the water with my hand. I repeated this process several times.

I was wondering what I was going to do if the power did not return and my other tanks, which are not kept as warm as the plecos, started to need heating. I never found out because the power returned a few hours later. I have no idea how I would have manged had it been freezing outside as opposed to the high 40s/low 50s F. I had the zebras at 84+.

The other thing I would do for a shorter power outage, but which was running for more than an hour or two, was to move the bio-media from my hang on filters into the tanks.

But in the end, the challenge is always the one of temperature control when there is no power. In my fish space for breeding plecos I have an AC unit. it runs in winter because the room is small and the heat of the tanks will heat the room. I normally have the AC set at 78 or 79F and the AC runs even in winter.

Where I live we can hit under 20F in winter and I have seen it approach 0. In the summer we get temps in the 90s and we have topped 100 now and then. So, not only for the fish but for we humans in the house, heating and AC is needed. Our system uses centrally forced air to heat and cool the main house. The guest building has 3 smaller AC units through walls nf forced air heating. It is all powered by electricity.

There are backup battery systems out there one might use for shorter term, targeted electric supply that can be less expensive than what we have. I have a unit which I can use to jump start a care, pump up tires and other things needing air. It has USB chraging and some lighting plus a socket providing electricity. I could likely keep filters on a couple of tanks running and maybe power a bit of heat if the demand is not great. I think I paid about $125. It holds a battery and I plug it into the wall to charge it up after use or when it drains from lack of use.
 
Do you believe in magic? I don't, but coincidence is great.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend when out of the blue, he told be about installing two generators, one for his house and one for his fish business. He lives in a wooded area and has had some trouble this winter with freezing rain. Then he asked if I wanted to buy the portable one he'd used, not often, for a very low price. I have to measure if it would fit in the car (it's a distance, but worth it) but if it can, I have a solution. I could run the fridge, freezer and pellet stove off that, and maybe have enough juice for my central air pump.and the dehumidifier to heat the fishroom.

My experience of long blackouts in winter is a fishroom needs six hours of heat a day, spaced out. Here's hoping it would fit.
 
so the pumps I've been buying use 2 D cells per pump... & I've been make an investment in these lithium Ion D cell batteries... I haven't specifically looked for Lithium Ion standard batteries before... but looks like they are available from AAA to D's that I've looked for, think I saw 9 Volt as well ( they may also be available in 6 volt lantern ), these have micro USB ports, & just plug into a standard USB plug...


BTW... I had to look up the capacity, & if I understand correctly, they'll last as long as an Alkaline battery, & recharge about 100 times
 
Those D-cell powered bumps saved our butts when we lost power for 85 hours last year (Texas just does not have the infrastructure for freezing rain events). We had actually bought them for when we changed out the 45 gallon breeder for the 65 gallon, and just held on to them. During the long power outage, we found an old packing blanket, which is sort of insulated, in the garage, so we wrapped the tank tightly with that and an old quilt. We just didn't look into the tank, other than to change out pump batteries about every 24 hours. When the power came back, the tank temp was in the upper 60s, but we only lost a few cherry barbs. I'd love to get a generator, but that's just too much $, so I'll keep the battery pumps and make sure I buy fresh batteries every year. Those rechargeable batteries @Magnum Man posted above are intriguing.
 
You can use a car with a power inverter to run electrical appliances during a power failure. You can buy a power inverter from most auto shops and they plug into a car's cigarette lighter socket. You then plug an electrical appliance into the power inverter, start the car and you have power. You don't even have to have the car running but if you have a long power failure, it's a good idea to start the car up and let it idle for a bit so the car's battery doesn't go flat.

You can bypass the car all together if you get a deep cycle battery for a car. Attach a positive and negative lead to the battery and attach them to a cigarette lighter. Plug the power inverter into the ciggy lighter and turn the power inverter on. You can use a normal car battery instead of a deep cycle battery but the deep cycle ones hold power better for longer.
 
Hello Magnum. I can't imagine the type of cold you must deal with, but your tanks should be fine for a even up to a few days. Large, weekly water changes will maintain a good level of oxygen in the water. Even more than a few days, if the tank water is cooler. Just the process of water spilling into the tank during a weekly water change will mix enough oxygen to sustain your fish for several days. If you're concerned, then you could up your water changes to half or more every five days. Now, if your power goes out for longer than a few days, you could have a problem, because you wouldn't have any way to adjust the temperature of your tap water. It would be considerably colder in the wintertime.

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that brings up another issue... I'm currently using straight RO water on "most" of my tanks I'm just completing a small hard water line taken before the whole house softener, to blend into shrimp & live bearer tanks... but that would be very hard water... during a power outage, our well doesn't run, so water changes would be challenging... I do pretty much keep a full barrel of RO water, that warms to room temperature, but even that requires a pump to move it from the drum to the tanks... one thing I've noticed, with all the plants, & using straight RO water, is that my water tests fine, for between 2 & 3 weeks ( the longest I've inadvertently gone between changes )...

so... during a power outage my water will probably be good for quite a while... granted maybe not for 2-3 weeks still testing perfect, with the pumps & filters not running... but at some point, I fire up the generator to run the well pump, & or heat & air conditioning, & refrigerators & freezers
 
that brings up another issue... I'm currently using straight RO water on "most" of my tanks I'm just completing a small hard water line taken before the whole house softener, to blend into shrimp & live bearer tanks... but that would be very hard water... during a power outage, our well doesn't run, so water changes would be challenging... I do pretty much keep a full barrel of RO water, that warms to room temperature, but even that requires a pump to move it from the drum to the tanks... one thing I've noticed, with all the plants, & using straight RO water, is that my water tests fine, for between 2 & 3 weeks ( the longest I've inadvertently gone between changes )...

so... during a power outage my water will probably be good for quite a while... granted maybe not for 2-3 weeks still testing perfect, with the pumps & filters not running... but at some point, I fire up the generator to run the well pump, & or heat & air conditioning, & refrigerators & freezers
Glad that you are using lithium-ion batteries instead of Ni-Cad. Lithium-ion are the only rechargeable that put out a true 1.5 volts while Ni-Cad only put out 1.2 volts. Lithium-ion also maintain a constant output until almost dead while Ni-Cad fall off through the whole cycle.

As to having to pump water it would be a pretty long outage for that to be a concern but there are pumps sold that run off of an electric drill. Happen to have a battery powered drill? While I would NOT buy the following due to a high levewl of negative reviews it will serve as an example of such a pump.

Happen to have a car wash in your area? If so you could probably get a plastic 55 gallon drum from them very cheap. Such drums are how they receive their chemicals. Of course you would need to thoroughly clean them out but that is not a big issue as all the chemicals are water soluble. (LOL! Believe it or not I worked sales for a car wash in Florida as a 'day job' along with my computer business and made $20.00-$21.00 USD per hour at the wash) If you have room such a drum would make good storage for RO water. You DID state that you have a barrel for RO water but not the size. ;)
 

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