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Old 01-24-2007, 08:41 PM   #1
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Anyone use a UPS to protect their tank?

After the last power outage, my Sand Sifting Starfish was not happy. Part of a leg fell off, but thankfully it's regenerating.

I was thinking about hooking up a UPS to my tank. The power supply in my computer is rated for 400 W. The heater in the tank runs 150 W but of course not all the time. I've seen a UPS which supposedly runs your computer for 30 minutes. If I connect a heater and a smaller powerhead, maybe I could keep the tank running for 2 hours?

Has anyone tried this? If so, any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:13 PM   #2
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My tanks are all protected by UPSs and it works VERY well.

If you're going to attach most filters and/or powerheads, though, you need to buy a UPS with a sine-wave output. For APC brand UPSs, this means you need their SmartUPS line. Their less expensive BackUPS and BackUPS Pro lines use a an approximated-sine-wave (or stepped-sine-wave) output which will cause problems with most electric motors, such as those in most filter and powerheads.

I have APC SmartUPS 700s on my tanks (one on my 20L and one on my 38) powering the filters and heaters. They can run the tanks for about 1-2 hours, if I remember correctly. The UPSs saved my tanks a year or so ago, so I think they're a VERY good investment!
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:59 AM   #3
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Here's a couple posts I wrote in regarding UPSs. Instead of rewriting everything, I'll just post the links!

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...780&highlight=

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...677&highlight=

Short story - I highly recommend a high capacity UPS. I've been really happy with my Xantrex PowerSource 400. In addition, be sure to think about the GFIC implications of a UPS. Having your UPS plugged into a GFI outlet negates the safety features of a GFI. You need a GFI switch between your UPS and the thing being powered.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:13 AM   #4
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Good information!! Thanks for sharing it!
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:35 AM   #5
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I only have my phs hooked up to my UPS. I believe a heater would suck up the juice, rather quickly (I have 2 300W heaters in my 125G). I belive water movement is more important that heat (keep in mind, larger tanks take longer to cool down, than smaller tanks).
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
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My price point for a UPS is under $150. So not the cheapest model, but I can't afford to spring for a fancy model either. That being said, do I need the approximated-sine-wave (or stepped-sine-wave) DarylF2 suggests? Those models seem to be out of my price range.

Moreover, if I use a cheaper UPS, will that harm my powerheads?
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:30 PM   #7
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I buy all of my UPSs refurbished from www.refurbups.com these days. They have a wide variety of SmartUPS models on this page. I like them because they sell new batteries with all of their refurbished UPSs.

Prices vary slightly, but right now they have a refurbished APC SmartUPS 1000 for $120. Their stock varies, tough, and they often have SmartUPS 700 models for well under $100! Shipping isn't cheap, but is reasonable since UPSs are VERY heavy! RefurbUPS.com has newer models with USB connections for communicating with a computer, too, but you don't need this for an aquarium and so can buy the older models without USB and save a fair bit.

I think that UPSs without sine-wave output can damage electric motors, but in any case they don't work well. I tried it years ago, and my powerhears made awful noises and didn't work when under the UPS's power. They weren't damaged, thankfully, but I only tried to power them via the UPS (a nice APC BackUPS Pro 1100 model) for a minute or two (as a test).
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leafyseadragon
My price point for a UPS is under $150. So not the cheapest model, but I can't afford to spring for a fancy model either. That being said, do I need the approximated-sine-wave (or stepped-sine-wave) DarylF2 suggests? Those models seem to be out of my price range.

Moreover, if I use a cheaper UPS, will that harm my powerheads?
The Xantrex I mentioned goes for about $150. The literature that comes with the Xantrex doesn't mention anything about sine wave output, so I'm guessing it doesn't have it - otherwise you'd think they'd advertise it. With that said though, I powered two heaters for about 7 hours off one, and a powerhead and Pengiun 100 Biowheel filter for 36 hours with no ill effects.
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