Why Every Reefer Should Have A Generator.

RRaquariums

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So last Tuesday we had a massive wind storm that blew over trees knocked down power lines and put 180 thousand+ people out of power here in my area. The power didn't come on for me again until Friday night. It's winter here so nights are getting down to 20 degrees which is well below freezing and of course my tank heaters have had to work over time but the house temp helps keep my reef at a nice 79 degrees. Well power went out and with the temp so low outside the house cooled down fast. Luckily I have an RV with a generator on it and was able to hook up my tank and my house heat and so kept everything alive. Sadly many of my friends weren't so lucky and lost their fish and corals to tank temps dropping to 59 degrees and lower. I went and got some coral today from a friend and helped him net out his dead fish which if you've ever had 5-10 year old fish die its tragic and scaring as losing a dog or cat. Anyways the moral of this story is if you live in a winter state or country save yourself a lot of money and heartache and get yourself a generator that is capable of running your tank. It's not often we encounter situations like power outages and such but when it does happen better safe then sorry.
 

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This isn't true just for reefers.  So true.
 

ShinySideUp

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I bought a 4500W generator last year on a post-apocalyptic whim. Haven't had to use it to save my fish yet but it is very powerful and can run a kettle, a fridge, freezer and everything that is in my fish tank plus a bit of extra power for the neighbour. Of course there is alwyas the snag of cycling 60 litres of unleaded petrol (gasoline) so it doesn't go off after a few months.
 
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Yeah they are worth the money put into them. They might not get a lot of use but when they are needed it's a life savor to have them literally lol.
 

Ch4rlie

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Always good to have something like this as a backup, unfortunately for most of us, well for me anyway, a generator is not really feasible as I live in a flat and storage for one of these is nigh on impossible!
 
But I am aware there are a few things one can do to help keep their tanks at a reasonable level, battery operated air pumps, wrapping tanks in towels or insulation of sorts can help maintain temps at a steady level.
 
Lights are not neccessary for fish (plants can be easily replaced so not worried about plants)
And as long as the filter holds water, the bacteria in that will be perfectly fine for a while.
 
That sort of thing will help short term but a generator would be my first choice of backup if totally honest.
 
BTW - This is from a FW perspective, so a SW set up may need a few more essential things to keep things ticking over nicely for stocking, especially coral afaik.
 

Brilly91

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Don't i know this to well! Lost all my corals and fish not long ago. :(
 
Will be investing in a generator at some point.
 

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Unfortunately not every aquarist can have a generator legally. Like Charlie, I also live in a complex, but gasoline/petrol-powered generators are straight up banned in my area since they are a tremendous health risk in improperly ventilated areas (which is most apartments and condominiums). Fortunately, it's always seemed to be the case in areas I've lived in that complexes also tend to be higher priority when power cuts happen. I keep hoping that I will one day see a massive battery pack or something capable of doing the same job as a regular generator that I could use within my unit, but so far I haven't seen anything that would work for a reasonably sized tank. For pico tanks I guess the sort of battery packs they make for computers might work as an alternative - I've been wondering about trying that for my two tiny desk tanks.
 

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SAFETY-CONNECTOR-DIAGRAM.png
Possible?
 

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Donya

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I have a feeling that setup is for really small power interruptions - minutes rather than days. The pumps and lights really aren't the problem. You can leave the tank dark for a few days and use a battery powered air pump with an air stone and last days on a pack of D batteries without a big problem when the power's out. I've been through that situation with a 55gal reef with no significant fallout from it, but it was in the summer, so heaters weren't critical. For the winter, it's the heaters that are the kicker for battery-based solutions because of how high the wattage has to be on a large tank. I just plugged some values into a battery life calculator (this one: http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-sizing-a-battery-to-a-load.html) fora 300W, 12V heater and it came out to just a few hours of power supply with something like the black & decker pictured. I'm not sure how well the solar thing would work - certainly wouldn't be an option in a building like where I am. For small tanks though with low wattage things like 12-25W heaters and 7W lights it seems like it would be really easy to use a battery pack like that - maybe just stick a power strip into it and run everything since it would be so low wattage.
 
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Yeah for a smaller tank a small generator or battery pack is the way to go they don't use much. On my 210 gallon tank the heaters are the big energy users and keeping the water flowing for them to be affective since they are in the sump.
 

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