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Old 10-17-2010, 01:33 AM   #1
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Question Advice Please!

So, recently I moved to a small town here in BC and we knew that in storms the town lost power often, but now we're hearing that in winter theres a huge possibility we'll lose power for 12 hours or more, which is a big problem now that winters coming. Temperatures are dropping, and wind and snow is on the way. Naturally, I have a heater in my Betta and Neon Tetra tank which is 14 gallons, but when the power goes out in -30 as its apparently known to do here, how will my fish tank stay at a decent temperature? What can I do to help heat the tank, and just keep it at a decent temperature range in general? I dont want my fish to freeze! I had no idea that things would get that bad here :/ Any ideas? Anyone have experience with this? Sorry to make a long post, but I'm a bit nervous It'll be hard enough keeping us warm in these power outages without worrying about my poor fish!
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:52 AM   #2
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What about a light that uses battery power and put that right up near the tank and maybe the heat from the light may heat it
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:54 AM   #3
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That would work, but only for the daytime :/ And plus I dont have many batteries, so the batteries may be needed for other things at that time like for our flashlights and whatnot. Good idea though
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:28 AM   #4
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A small tank like that will lose heat pretty quickly.

You can wrap the tank in blankets or some other form of insulation, but I would honestly look into a generator if the possibility of 12 hours without power in -30 weather really exists.
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:33 AM   #5
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I agree with the generator, but those are kind of spendy.
I was just talking about this the other day, because we are supposed to have a bad winter also. My mom in law and I had the idea to get those hot/cold bags they sell at grocery stores for about $4, cut them up and wrap them around the tanks when the power goes out. I already have battery powered air stones for my fish that I bought for our move. Do you have a wood stove? Or maybe able to get a cheap camping stove that uses propane? If so, then you can always boil water to keep putting in there. Those are the ideas we came up with, and I will be using them for sure! Good luck.
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:22 PM   #6
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What good ideas! Yeah, the generator is too much for us right now. The hot/cold bags are a good idea! We'll have to get some then, because we only have icepacks... We actually only have a pellet stove, but we're gonna look into getting a wood stove since it seems to be that the power going out is a common occurance in storms. Luckily my neons arent dependant on an airstone (I dont even have one), because this is a small town and any pet store is two hours away. I think I'll wrap the tank in blankets, try to get those heating pads, and put some warm water in the tank every now and then.
Thanks so much you guys! I was really worried ^^'
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:44 PM   #7
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Along the same lines as a generator, what about an uninterruptable power supply that you would use on a computer? You plug it into the wall and then plug only the things you absolutely need in and you should be able to get a decent amount of life out of even a cheap one of those. They sell them at Best Buy, but I bet you could find one much cheaper if you waited for deals on Newegg or TigerDirect.

I don't know how long one would last exactly in a power outage, but it might be able to get you most of the way through one if not all of the way for the shorter ones.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:30 PM   #8
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All good ideas. You said you have a pellet stove? Can you move the tank in there?
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:39 PM   #9
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Yeah, we have a pellet stove, but its useless if we lose power unfortunately. But the remaining heat from it would keep them warm for a little while, I would just have to put the betta in my critter keeper thing and my neons in some form of container also, since i wouldnt be able to move my whole tank down there. That would work for a while, thanks for the idea!
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:19 PM   #10
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solar power?
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:21 PM   #11
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Along the same lines as a generator, what about an uninterruptable power supply that you would use on a computer? You plug it into the wall and then plug only the things you absolutely need in and you should be able to get a decent amount of life out of even a cheap one of those. They sell them at Best Buy, but I bet you could find one much cheaper if you waited for deals on Newegg or TigerDirect.

I don't know how long one would last exactly in a power outage, but it might be able to get you most of the way through one if not all of the way for the shorter ones.
Most UPS's only last around 5 minutes. They give you enough time to save your work/close applications and shutdown the computer.

I don't think there is a cheap solution to this issue. You can find a generator for under $200 that will run for about 8-9 hours.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:59 PM   #12
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The only issue with "most" UPS's is they are designed to last 5 minutes. You can buy much larger UPS's but they are expensive. I'm going to try hooking an old UPS to a couple deep cycle batteries so it will last a decent time. I've heard of someone doing this so hopefully I can find a DIY guide. My small BC town doesn't get that cold though so I think that should be enough.

The UPS I use for my computer will run my computer for 15-20 mins, and my comp is a bit of a power hog.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:23 PM   #13
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I have a gas not electic stove so I can boil water. Is your stove gas or electric?
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:09 AM   #14
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The only issue with "most" UPS's is they are designed to last 5 minutes. You can buy much larger UPS's but they are expensive. I'm going to try hooking an old UPS to a couple deep cycle batteries so it will last a decent time. I've heard of someone doing this so hopefully I can find a DIY guide. My small BC town doesn't get that cold though so I think that should be enough.

The UPS I use for my computer will run my computer for 15-20 mins, and my comp is a bit of a power hog.
Since I have never used a UPS before, I wasn't sure exactly how long they would hold a charge. I have seen people replacing the batteries in them with car batteries though. Could possibly be worth looking up if you have extras laying around.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:30 PM   #15
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A generator is out of the question, they're over $1,000 here, and my pellet stove runs on electricity. Because the UPS thing sounds reeeaalllyyy complicated, i'm just gonna have to use heat pads and try to drip hot water in. We have a mini-barbeque we could use in emergencies, but i dont know how much that'd help since we cant use it inside, and when the power goes out its super stormy. So blankets and heat pads it is then! Solar power is expensive too xD Although its used for my garage outdoor light. It was here when we moved in. Thanks for the suggestions though guys
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:50 PM   #16
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I would avoid dripping or pouring in hot water. Instead, heat up the water and put it in an aquarium-safe container and put the container in the tank. Added heated or boiled water will introduce low-oxygen content water.

Same concept as cooling an overheated SW tank - float bags of ice or frozen 2L pop bottle. Except reversed. Of course.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:51 PM   #17
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Have you tried ordering online?

Amazon.com: All Power America APG3014 2,000 Watt 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Generator: Patio, Lawn & Garden: Reviews, Prices & more

oops, that one is only US shipping. There's gotta be some this cheap available for shipment to CA though.
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:02 PM   #18
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i just had an odd idea lol. Kinda got it from my water change experiance. I use the clear tube for bubble wands and stuff and do my water changes with that. What if you have one putting warm water in and one taking water out on the opposite side? The water being put in slowly like that may be fine, just not hot hot water lol. Room temp of course.
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