Cheap but effective battery backup for your aquarium: Do you have one?

BRS

Do you have a battery backup plan in place?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 161 37.6%
  • NO

    Votes: 245 57.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 22 5.1%

  • Total voters
    428

mauisue

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For those of you using an Apex and a UPS backup battery, be sure to follow the instructions in my tutorial on Apex Power Monitoring to allow the Apex to detect when the power is out. It can be programmed to automatically turn off high-powered devices like heaters, lights, and pumps to preserve the battery life for water movement. It can also send you an alarm notification about the power failure if your Internet router is also plugged into UPS battery power.

See:
Yes my fish store tech just programmed my Apex to detect power outage and turn off hi draw devices so my battery UPS can last longer. I had to by a device that plugs into Apex CPU and wall out directly
 

Jongreen5622

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It's gonna happen. You will lose power at some point. MOST of us will never experience a catastrophic power outage where we lose our whole reef tank but preparing and mitigating can sure give you peace of mind and offer assurance IF it did happen. But do we have to have a super expensive home generator in place or can we protect our tank inhabitants with simple battery backups? Let's talk about it today!

YES a generator is best but let's talk batteries!

1. What is a cheap but effective battery backup solution for your aquarium?

2. Do you have a battery backup plan in place and if so tell us what?


image via @dactylo
DSC02156.JPG
Ive been contemplating buying a generator. But this looks much better and quieter too. Definitely on my to do list
 

ClownWrangler

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If you want to be prepared for something like what happened in Texas, batteries alone wont cut it. Just do the math on the power for heat alone and with 4 to 5 times the energy consumption when the house goes near freezing. If you live in a cold climate, you should be prepared with pre-cut foam board insulation to encase your tank. This will extend battery power considerably and may save your fish. Also run immersible lights. All of the heat generated by the lights will go into the water that way. Your 100 watt light will become a 100 watt heater.

For a frame of reference, Your typical car battery is about 70 amp hours of capacity, which is about 840 watt hours of energy at 12 volts. If it is a deep cycle battery, which it would need to be, it will power a 100 watt heater for 8 hours. This would not save your tank in an outage like Texas saw. Not even close.

The thermodynamic relationship for heat transfer is fairly linear and proportional to temperature difference, not actual temperature. If it takes an average of 100 watts to keep your tank at 80F in a 70F room, then it will take 500 watts to keep it at 80 in a 30F room, so that battery I mentioned would only last an hour and a half at best. That is unless you insulate your tank well. So even with a generator, you may run into problems with your heaters keeping up. Just something to consider.
 

mmw64

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Seems like a lot of reefers overlook the battery powered air pump. They dont put out as much flow, but enough to save your tank. They're also only $15 each, pretty much free compared to the cheapest battery backup solutions. I've got penn plax b11's over a decade old still working perfectly.
Who are they made by?
 

zoa what

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Here's my plan:

My car and my car's battery running outside (so there's no exhaust fumes ;Dead)

20210104_095557.jpg



PLUS

Jumper cables running from car to power a Power Inverter

20210104_095451.jpg



PLUS

A heavy duty Power Inverter. Mines a 2500WATT. Inexpensive at Harbor Freight

20210104_095250.jpg



PLUS

Extension cords running from Power Inverter to my tank and plug in only essential items, heater, pumps for water movement

20210104_095654.jpg



The beauty of this setup is a car holds a LOT of gas and can sit and idle for days as you power the Inverter to keep your tank running

My setup costs roughly $150 -vs- generators usually costing a minimum of $500+

********VERSUS********

a gas powered generator you haven't started in 18mos. have fun with blisters on your right palm

jeremy davies lawnmower GIF
 
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ClownWrangler

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Here's my plan:

My car and my car's battery running outside (so there's no exhaust fumes ;Dead)

20210104_095557.jpg



PLUS

Jumper cables running from car to power a Power Inverter

20210104_095451.jpg



PLUS

A heavy duty Power Inverter. Mines a 2500WATT. Inexpensive at Harbor Freight

20210104_095250.jpg



PLUS

Extension cords running from Power Inverter to my tank and plug in only essential items, heater, pumps for water movement

20210104_095654.jpg



The beauty of this setup is a car holds a LOT of gas and can sit and idle for days as you power the Inverter to keep your tank running

My setup costs roughly $150 -vs- generators usually costing a minimum of $500+

Well you live in Ohio, so that would work great. I live in Tacoma, WA, so my car would drive itself away within a few hours. Lol. I did do this when my basement flooded during a power outage though.
 

Luvspinball

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It's gonna happen. You will lose power at some point. MOST of us will never experience a catastrophic power outage where we lose our whole reef tank but preparing and mitigating can sure give you peace of mind and offer assurance IF it did happen. But do we have to have a super expensive home generator in place or can we protect our tank inhabitants with simple battery backups? Let's talk about it today!

YES a generator is best but let's talk batteries!

1. What is a cheap but effective battery backup solution for your aquarium?

2. Do you have a battery backup plan in place and if so tell us what?


image via @dactylo
DSC02156.JPG
I have a whole home generator (Generac) which the "fish room" circuits are all a part of.
Only had it kick in once in the past 6 years. Power was only out 45 minutes or so, but the fish never even noticed.
All refrigerators & freezers and sump pumps on it as well.
Bob
 

Spieg

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a gas powered generator you haven't started in 18mos. have fun with blisters on your right palm

jeremy davies lawnmower GIF
Get one that runs on propane with electric start... easy peasy.
Run a 220 cable from generator to dryer power outlet and your whole house has juice. Disconnect switch from grid so neighbors don't steal your electrons.
 
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Low Tech Reefer

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I have 1500 watt sine wave UPS that can handle the load of the tank's pumps and lighting for about an hour for the little bumps and outages. If the outage is going to be longer, I have the house on a transfer switch attached to a 6000watt gas generator. It saved my tank two years ago when power went off and the outside temperature was near zero. That outage lasted for 20 hours. It ket the tank heaters, lights, pumps running, the house warm and the lights on.
 

DaddyFish

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After frying several (yes several !!!) Tripp-Lite battery backups because they really DON'T like saltwater, I gave up on small UPSs. I have one of these that I bought decades ago when they first came out and were uber-expensive. Wait, they still are!
:(

I know Harbor Freight sells their own brand of the same for less than $500.

1627957523639.png


FYI, my 215-gal tank draws 174 watts excluding heaters and lights. The maximum peak with both heaters ON and lights ON at midday power would be 1075 watts. Still very much within range of that generator. It's probably the most reliable internal combustion engine I've owned since my 1983 1.6L Toyota pickup.
 

Jax15

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I have a UPS from Amazon for an MP10. Good in a pinch, but honestly only lasts 30-40 minutes. Much more worth it to get a eco tech or icecap backup. I have a D cell air pump as a last ditch. California fire season… outages happen
 

Floppyfish

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I have a APC ups on my return pump that’ll last me long enough to get my generator up and running. Also have multiple D cell air pumps lying around, there’s a cheap one that promar makes and things take a beating and last a long time if need on 1 D cell. Looking to get a whole home gen. Would come in handy down here in So Fla.
 

Mical

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What….I thought the title was Cheap but effective battery backups. Tesla walls and home generators aren’t cheap!
My 2 tanks (120 & 65 gal and all the additional gear & RODI systems), a whole house back up generator cost less than a 1/4 of what I have invested. Plus it adds value to my property.
 

scolson

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Effective is kind of subjective and I'm not sure you can have cheap and effective but anything is better than nothing!

My goal for battery backup is 24 hour runtime with two flow pumps in the DT at 30% and 4 hours of total runtime of a 400W heater that kick in if the tank temp drops below 74F.

To get there I'm saving up for two 24 volt 100AH batteries, that can run many of the 24v items on my tank and a small inverter to power the heater. I'm relying on my controller to set the pump speed when the AC power drops and then power the inverter and a return pump on when the tank temp gets down to 74.
 
BRS

Do you quarantine new coral before adding it to your reef tank?

  • YES always

    Votes: 89 16.3%
  • Sometimes depending (tell us why)

    Votes: 62 11.4%
  • NO never

    Votes: 379 69.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 2.8%
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