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Old 07-14-2003, 10:33 PM   #1
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Can you use a computer UPS in a aquarium???

OK, this is probably going to be a stupid question, but i`m going to ask it anyways. For computers they sell the battery backups that give you extra time in the event of a power outage to back up your files. Anyways has anyone used one of these on the aquarium, or is there a similar set up available? I`m new, but i read a lot about die off during power outages, what do u think? The most powerful one bestbuy sells is belkin 700va ups (uninterupted power supply) its supposed to supply twenty minutes of power, but i would think it would be longer for a aquarium, if you used it for just heating and filtering.
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:49 PM   #2
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Yes but its gotta be a big one.

Computers have a 300W PS in them normally but under normal use its not pulling that many watts thru the outlet. An aquarium heater on the other hand unless your talkinga bout a small tank is gonna pull 150W-200W+ of power all the time that its on.

Any power outage that lasts for long enough to cause die off would be way to long for a battery UPS to keep up and running. UPS's are good for 10-15min of runtime usually on a computer with a small monitor. Aquariums with their lights, powerheads and heaters pull alot more power than a pc.

There is a thread in the DIY section i think about using a marine battery and a power inverter to get a decent amount of run time on some pumps. There is also some talk about gas powered generators.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:38 PM   #3
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I agree 100% ... UPSs are good for flickers and whatnot, but any serious outages lasting more than a few minutes a stand-by ups (the marine battery idea), or a small gas generator are the best bets.

another thing is a low-cost UPS produces a 'rounded' square wave instead of a true sine ... this will cause trouble for anything magnetic, which could be anything from operating slightly hotter, noiseier or having a noticeable flicker or dimness (in the case of lights).
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:42 PM   #4
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I use an APC UPS designed for servers. I keep the heater, sump pump and skimmer pump on it. In the event of a power failure, i get about 30 - 45 min of run time. To have true falt tolerence, you will need an emergency power generator. However, becasue i live in an apartment, this is the best i can do. So you make do with what you got.
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:56 PM   #5
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Seems to me that keeping the pumps alone on the UPS would be the best bet. If the lights turn off, no big deal. There are cloudy days in their natural environment. Powerheads, it's okay for the current to die off for a while. The filter, however... that's bad to lose. Couple hours with no water going through the filter, and there's a real problem brewing... or so I would think. And a filter can't take TOO much power to run.
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Old 07-16-2003, 01:39 PM   #6
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I think i`m going to get one. I live on Eglin, and we tend to have a lot of small power outages, so my concern is haveing the water drain back into a sump and overflow onto the floor.
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