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Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Is there anything more stressful in this hobby, other than tank breakage, than a power outage? Every year this time I consider taking my tank down because of PUD. Any time we get a little wind my power goes out, and the most frustrating part is I'm in "unincorporated" Lynnwood so we're a low priority for things like Fire/Police protection and the PUD. They will literally wait until all of the nearest "incorporated" homes are back online before heading into my neighborhood. It's sort of irritating, we get to deal with bad service on top of bad service.

Anyway, I didn't want to post a complaint. Has anyone else had their power go out yet this year? How do you all deal with it?

I decided to actually protect my investments this year. I purchased a UPS system that is large enough to handle my lights and pumps/heater during an outtage. It will keep up enough power to run things for 30 minutes, which takes care of most quick-outtages. It keeps my lights from going on and off mainly, which had ruined a couple of MH bulbs in the past.

I also aquired six 75AH batteries and two 500W inverters. While the power might have been out my apartment was still able to bask in the glow of the tank. I'm pleased with the setup, it's all manual to get going (I physically must unplug things) but it kept my pumps and heat running all night last night, as well as one MH bulb for 4 hours (until I went to bed) and the batteries weren't even barely discharged this morning. I think I could survive a good two day outtage now, and I won't annoy the neighbors with a generator.
 

esmith

AQUAMANIAC
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
451
Location
Shoreline, WA
Power Outage

I lost power last night too, although it was only for a minute or so. I did actually loose power about 3 weeks ago on a Sunday for about 30 minutes; let me tell you about a panic. :shock: The tank temp dropped about 3 degrees in less than 10 minutes, so I tried wrapping it with blankets to keep the warmth in; luckily the power came back on before it dipped below 73 and everything was alright.

What temp can be fatal to the tank inhabitants?

I have since been researching the most efficient method to protect my tank from total loss of power and it looks like the method you are using with the deep cycle marince batteries and an inverter is only way to get more than 30 minutes worth of backup. I would like to get enough juice to run a couple power heads and my heater, I think this would be enough to sustain life in the tank.

Do you know how to calculate how long a tank could run on just 1 battery if you only ran the heater (150 watt), and some pumps (maybe 35watts worth)? It seems that you could do without the lights as long as you kept the tank temp and some water current.

Eliyah
 

esmith

AQUAMANIAC
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
451
Location
Shoreline, WA
Power Outage

I didn't loose anthing, and it doesn't sounds as though Desolas did either.
Next time I want to be prepared though, just in case it lasts hours or a days. :(
 

Wolfesbane

Seahorse Wrangler
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
337
Location
Auburn, WA
I lost power for around 2 hours about a month and a half ago. Luckily the weather at the time was still relatively warm so I didn't have to worry too much about temperature on the reef, but I did panic a bit over the temp in 10 fry tank and oxygen exchange in both tanks. I wrapped the 10 gallon in a couple towels and blankets and used the trusty turkey baster for surface agitation on both tanks every 5-10 minutes. Lucikly nothing was lost, but I don't think things would have gone as well if the outage lasted any longer.

~ Steve
 

ReefShack

sps junkie
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Messages
45
Location
Snohomish, WA
I lost power at about six o'clock last night. So, I ran out and bought a 400W power inverter and a car battery as soon as it happened. This ran an air pump to keep the tank oxegenated. I figured the lights at that point were a luxury. I suppose I could have also run the heater, though the temp remained fairly stable dropping just a few degrees. I was also a little worried about how long things would run off the battery. This seemed to work until the power came back on at midnight. I knew it was only a matter of time before an outage like this would occur and had been thinking about what I might do when it happened. Now I just worry about the power outages when I'm not home...
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
I did not lose anything, the only thing lost was my light's timer setting. I came home today to find the lights weren't on because the timers were way off. But that's minor compaired to what could have been.

Do you know how to calculate how long a tank could run on just 1 battery if you only ran the heater (150 watt), and some pumps (maybe 35watts worth)? It seems that you could do without the lights as long as you kept the tank temp and some water current.
I do, but I'm not able to put it all together at the moment. Most inverters run at a specific amperage per hour, once you know that number you can make an estimate against the amp hour rating of the battery used. It's all pretty simple math.

An inverter and deep cycle battery is the most cost effective way of doing things IMO. The only issue is it is a manual system, so you've got to be there to turn it on, but that's not an issue for me since I'm home every evening anyway. My whole setup was around $400, $120 for inverters and the rest on batteries (at cost)

My temp doesn't drop much when the power is out anyway which is kind of nice, I mainly just need to worry about keeping the water moving and the lights lit should the power be out multiple days.
 

MtnDewMan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
2,290
Location
Mukilteo, WA
I lost power for about 4 hours last night. All is well though, but what a night.

I have a computer style backup battery my return pump is connected to. That lasted about 45 minutes. Then for hose longer than 45 minute power outages (I have never lost power here for more than 15 minutes prior to last night), I have a 300W inverter and a long extension cord. I plugged the return pump in there (Iwaki MD30RLT) and it didn't restart. It wouldn't turn over. Must have been dirty (actually I took it apart and is all clean now). I was bold and plugged in my Ampmaster into the inverter. I blew a fuse in my car. I had no replacements so had to go get a fuse from the gas station. I fixed that and then proceeded to replace my Iwaki with a spare pump. Finally got it plugged in and all was well for the next 1 1/2 hours before the power came back on.

I do not like nights like that.
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
I do not like nights like that.
Either do I. I did not sleep hardly at all, I kept waking up to check if the power was out. Of course, when it did come on about every light in the apartment was on so it was quite the shock at 4am when everything suddenly got bright.

This hobby is so nice until the reality comes crashing down of how much you've really got invested in the little glass box.
 

Katchupoy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,188
Location
Kent 98031
I dont have power outages lately but I am running an APC UPS designed for computers. It has 170 watt power output. Not enough for heater but enough for two 300 gph powerheads. Luckily it is running on 12 volts so I added an old car battery with 50amps on it. I tried it once, just to know how long will it run the powerheads... I stopped testing it after 48 hours.
 
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