Power outage contingency plan

Lyss

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So, I’ve lived in NYC for something like 16 years now and have never experienced a power outage that wasn’t planned maintenance or hurricane sandy. That said, this city has two major citywide blackouts in its past, a superstorm Sandy that we can’t rule out happening again at some point, and a flash flood problem when we get more rain in a short amount of time than infrastructure can handle (which has already happened this year). Just assuming a power outage won’t happen is not a good plan when you have aquariums.

I’m looking for advice on a plan for keeping one 20g saltwater tank and one 10g freshwater tank alive during a power outage. The rub is, of course, I’m in a small space in an apartment building in a major city — a generator is not an option. I’ve considered one of those huge power bricks but don’t have a car to recharge one in the event of an actual emergency, so I’d spend a lot of $ for something I’d only be able to use for a few hours and then couldn’t recharge.

RN I’ve got a couple battery powered bubblers and an oxydator — figured I could drain the back sump on both tanks and place any bio media in the display while running bubblers. But what am I not thinking of? Esp for the SW tank, do battery powered wavemakers exist?

As for temp control, I could manage cooling strategies in summer months, but in winter heating would be an issue. What are ways to keep the water warm during an outage?
 
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P-Dub

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So, I’ve lived in NYC for something like 16 years now and have never experienced a power outage that wasn’t planned maintenance or hurricane sandy. That said, this city has two major citywide blackouts in its past, a superstorm Sandy that we can’t rule out happening again at some point, and a flash flood problem when we get more rain in a short amount of time than infrastructure can handle (which has already happened this year). Just assuming a power outage won’t happen is not a good plan when you have aquariums.

I’m looking for advice on a plan for keeping one 20g saltwater tank and one 10g freshwater tank alive during a power outage. The rub is, of course, I’m in a small space in an apartment building in a major city — a generator is not an option. I’ve considered one of those huge power bricks but don’t have a car to recharge one in the event of an actual emergency, so I’d spend a lot of $ for something I’d only be able to use for a few hours and then couldn’t recharge.

RN I’ve got a couple battery powered bubblers and an oxydator — figured I could drain the back sump on both tanks and place any bio media in the display while running bubblers. But what am I not thinking of? Esp for the SW tank, do battery powered wavemakers exist?

As for temp control, I could manage cooling strategies in summer months, but in winter heating would be an issue. What are ways to keep the water warm during an outage?
There are a plethora of ways to deal with power outages, just input "Power Outage" and hit search.

There are battery backup-powered options, like the Ecotech Marine line and IceCap with the addition of their battery backups. It boils down to the length of the outage that will determine your backup power needs. during the summer this should not be an issue with the size tanks you have and UPS used for the computer is a viable option. Running a heater will be more problematic though as those are power-hungry pieces of equipment, even the smaller ones. Perhaps multiple UPS's would work for you. But really, Search power outages and have fun reading and learning tons of options and realizing ingenious methods.

Regarding UPS options and investigations, BRS has been thankfully thorough plus other great things you can find and do on YT, but only after staying at a Holiday Inn... ;)
 
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Lyss

Lyss

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There are a plethora of ways to deal with power outages, just input "Power Outage" and hit search.

There are battery backup-powered options, like the Ecotech Marine line and IceCap with the addition of their battery backups. It boils down to the length of the outage that will determine your backup power needs. during the summer this should not be an issue with the size tanks you have and UPS used for the computer is a viable option. Running a heater will be more problematic though as those are power-hungry pieces of equipment, even the smaller ones. Perhaps multiple UPS's would work for you. But really, Search power outages and have fun reading and learning tons of options and realizing ingenious methods.

Regarding UPS options and investigations, BRS has been thankfully thorough plus other great things you can find and do on YT, but only after staying at a Holiday Inn... ;)
Thanks! Will have a look through. My feeling is that if it happens, it’s going to be an emergency like Sandy, where it may be days or even a week w/o. I had to evacuate for Sandy, which I did w/2cats in tow, so I’m not even sure what I would’ve done if I’d had tanks back then.
 

P-Dub

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Thanks! Will have a look through. My feeling is that if it happens, it’s going to be an emergency like Sandy, where it may be days or even a week w/o. I had to evacuate for Sandy, which I did w/2cats in tow, so I’m not even sure what I would’ve done if I’d had tanks back then.
Yup, long term you don't have many viable options for you specifically. Worst-case, if you have to evacuate, a couple larger Rubbermaid tubs and some powerheads & heaters you can plug in when you get wherever you are evacuating to. 10 and 20 gallons is not too much to make it work, not easily or conveniently but work nevertheless. Cats, fish, and coral in tow...
 
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Insulation. Wrap the tank up, even over the top. The heat you keep in is heat you don't have to make.
Heat and some flow is all you need for life support. If you feed do very little and only every 3rd or forth day.

Do you have hot water if the power goes out? Hot water in zip lock bags.

Take it with you? 5 gallons = 40 pounds 10 = 80 20 = 160
That quickly becomes impossible for 1 person on the run from a disaster.
 

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during last winter freeze in Texas where we were without power and heat for 4 days, i lost some fish. I only had freshwater fish at that time, but these fish were tropical and needed water around 86. Anyways, I had to fill up stock pots with tank water and boil it. then pour the boiling water back into the tank. The only thing that worked in the house was my stove. We had no running water. It was tiresome. But what else can you do? I couldn't bare to see my fish slowly die.
 
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Lyss

Lyss

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during last winter freeze in Texas where we were without power and heat for 4 days, i lost some fish. I only had freshwater fish at that time, but these fish were tropical and needed water around 86. Anyways, I had to fill up stock pots with tank water and boil it. then pour the boiling water back into the tank. The only thing that worked in the house was my stove. We had no running water. It was tiresome. But what else can you do? I couldn't bare to see my fish slowly die.
I bet my stove would most likely work, since it's gas. I hadn't thought of boiling tank water -- that's a good idea. Not sure how that would work out for salt water but could def do that for my FW tank.
 

melonheadorion

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I bet my stove would most likely work, since it's gas. I hadn't thought of boiling tank water -- that's a good idea. Not sure how that would work out for salt water but could def do that for my FW tank.
you could boil water, put it in a container, and put that container in the sump/aquarium. since its not regulated, you will have to be dilligent to make sure it doesnt over heat the tank, and would require you to sit there and monitor it all day, every day, until power comes back. would work in extreme emergency
 
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Sleepingtiger

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you could boil water, put it in a container, and put that container in the sump/aquarium. since its not regulated, you will have to be dilligent to make sure it doesnt over heat the tank, and would require you to sit there and monitor it all day, every day, until power comes back. would work in extreme emergency
Many people did that during the freeze and it wasn't very effective. My house was around 30. All the faucets in my house froze even though I left them dripping. Hot bottle water wasn't very effective.

My situation was very extreme. So in most cases what I did would be overkill.
 

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P-Dub

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Take it with you? 5 gallons = 40 pounds 10 = 80 20 = 160
That quickly becomes impossible for 1 person on the run from a disaster.
Well, naturally you don't take all of the water. :rolleyes:You just need enough to keep what you need alive for the duration... Like I said, not easy or convenient but definitely doable for her sized systems.
 
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