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Old 09-22-2014, 07:34 PM   #1
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Aquariums and Power Loss Solution

This is a little something I wanted to post regarding losing power with aquariums. I live in Maine, so not only do we have plenty of power outages, but we also have some cold temps. I have not hit winter with my tank yet, but I already considered the idea of 3 days without power and frigid temps.

Although we have wood stoves, that will not help the water in my tank. So, I decided to purchase an inverter and a battery so that I could run my tank with no power. I do have a generator, but most times we wont run it unless stuff in the freezer is about to go because it is a retched pain to deal with..

So I did some math and decided to share my project. Most power filters (up to 50 gallons) hardly run 50 watts, if that. I run two, so I am assuming a tops 100 watts. I also have a 200 watt heater, and two light bulbs that run around 15 watts a piece.So a rough estimate would say 330watts, which allows for a pretty small inverter.

So I found myself the Whistler 400watt inverter on Amazon for 25$. I also got my hands on a used but good larger interstate battery (for starts). In my first test run it ran for hours on end with the one battery (given the battery is not quite 100% capacity).

Anyone could go a step further and get a solar panel to charge the battery(s) being used. I wanted to share this because many people do not know about inverters. Now I know if I get some cold blizzardly black-outs, my fish will still be swimming in their oasis!
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing this! How creative
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:53 PM   #3
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Running everything constantly drained the battery from just above 12 volts to just below 11 volts over the duration of 5 hours. Although I could have ran it a little longer, I did not want to kill the battery. So my guess is a car battery in perfect condition could push a day.

This battery here was at 6 volts when I got it, so it is a little worn out. They also have the larger marine batteries that get 3 times the size of a car battery and push 24 volts. I would be willing to bet those would run 5-7 days, or more. In my case, at least for the moment, I have a hand full of batteries off hand just in case. : )
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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I was just wondering about using a computer UPS, but most of those are pretty small... this seems like a much better idea, especially for places like Maine where the power goes out for days at a time!
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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Most of those Computer savers have a powerful enough inverter, it is the battery that does not suffice. So in theory, if you had one of those, you could remove the inverter and hook it to a larger battery and it should work....
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:14 AM   #6
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Don't think you'd be saving any money, though, than just doing like what you've got.
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:15 AM   #7
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they sell small wind turbines for use on boats , you should have plenty of wind in Maine during the winter , more wind than sun any way
you could also heat a LARGE ROCK OR WATER ON TOP OF YOUR WOOD STOVE and heat the tank with that
I would also pick fish that can take cooler water temps like barbs or white clouds, texas chilids
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:25 AM   #8
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By the way, you just made me add a power inverter to my Amazon cart.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
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You know I did not even think about heating up rocks. I would bet that might work out pretty decently! I know once I tried cooling the tank with frozen rocks but it did not work so well...
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:56 PM   #10
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you could have a small glass tank on top of the stove at the same top height and run a low wattage pump from one tank to the other and run a siphoned hose between the tanks to keep the water level right.
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