Today I had the most dreaded scenario for any saltwater aquarium… the power went out! This isn’t the first time this has happened and like many aquarists, I just stick my head in the sand and think it doesn’t happen that often, it’ll be fine. I have literally no backup options for my saltwater aquarium equipment.
With no power, the saltwater aquarium was absolutely still, almost lifeless, the corals were closing up and the fish looking confused. Luckily I have a broken leg and didn’t need to leave home that day, so I had a small bucket and just stirred and turned water over every 15mins, which ensured there was sufficient temporary water movement within the saltwater aquarium. Long story short, the power came on after a total of three hours and everything was fine, but it got me thinking. What if this happens again? what if I’m not home? what kind of saltwater aquarium backup systems are out there?
✅ Best Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Performs above expectations! – The generator works fine…. BUT only after having to add a “High altitude” kit. Just a caution if you are going to operate the gen at an altitude of over 2,000 feet you will need one of two kit’s for proper running. Nothing on the web page about this. The information was in the manual, so the kit has to be ordered separately. The kit can quickly and there is an on line manual for how to install.
✅ Best APC UPS, 600VA UPS Battery Backup Power Supply
GREAT Product – This is a GREAT Battery Backup if that’s all you need. The ONLY purpose of a backup is to safely shutdown your computer if the Power Goes Out. This USB connected device will do that. Unfortunately that’s ALL it does. If you experience more power sags and brownout than outages. The longer battery life of Big Bro will let most people work right through minor blackouts. Its a very nice unit . If this is all you can afford – Get It!! Its a great device and will protect your SSD from blanking itself if the power suddenly goes out .
✅ Best Aquarium Backup Rechargeable and Portable Fish Tank Air Pump
Outstanding rechargeable air pump! – The pump is perfect for your needs. It works great; it’s quiet and it runs a long time on battery. You have the confidence of knowing that my fish are well served during an extended power outage. You’ve tested them and both pumps have run at least 10 hours on battery. They can take almost a day to recharge while in use, but that’s just fine. If both pumps continue to work the way they currently do, You’ll probably never use anything else.
✅ Best Multifunctional Rechargeable Energy Saving Power Quiet Oxygen Pump
Best rechargeable battery air pump you can buy – This rechargeable lithium battery air pump is perfect to have in case the power goes out. You can set it to normal or intermittent. Normal gives you 12-16 hours and intermittent gives you 20-22 hours. It’s easy to set up and can either stick to the side of your tank or sit on top of it. It works in a 100-140 gallon tank. Besides being great for power failures it’s also perfect to move fish or tanks. Everyone should have a couple, especially during hurricane season.
✅ Best fulhengy Battery Aquarium Air Pump Portable Power Outage Aerator Emergency Oxygen Diffuser
Nice little Rechargeable pump. – Bought as a back up for when the power goes out. Used it once for that purpose. It performed as it should. Pleased with this purchase.
Vortech Battery Backup
If you own a vortech pump like me, this could be the best backup solution for your saltwater aquarium. EcoTech marine offers a battery backup which can provide up to 30 hours of backup power for your vortech pump. The system comes with a trickle charger and will ensure you are ready for any situation.
A vortech pump on its own can maintain your saltwater aquarium in a power out. It provides plenty of flow and if positioned correctly it will break the surface of the water and aerate. This could effectively be used alongside other backup methods like a generator and will ensure you are not caught off guard. I personally am ordering one of these at the moment for my saltwater aquarium.
UPS backup systems are battery-powered and are positioned between the mains power and your saltwater aquarium equipment. UPS backup systems become active when the power goes out, which is a good option if you are on holiday. The problem with UPS systems is that they can drain relatively quickly. To overcome this it is recommended that you only connect saltwater aquarium equipment that is necessary for the livelihood of your fish and corals. Another benefit of UPS backups is that they also provide a constant level of power to your aquarium equipment and nullifies the effect of small power surges that can ruin your equipment. Once again, calculate your load using watts and work out which model will work best for your saltwater aquarium
By only connecting essential equipment to the UPS backup, you will gain considerably longer periods of backup power. Equipment such as your lights and heater draw the most power and in a power out scenario, not having them operating would not greatly harm your saltwater aquarium, unless it was for a relatively long period.
By far the best option for long-term power outages is inverter Generators. These run on fuel and therefore they have the ability to run for lengthy periods of time. There are several options available and you will need to work out roughly how many watts your saltwater aquarium equipment will draw when so you can select the correct generator
Essentially an inverter generator will allow you to run your entire saltwater aquarium for as long as you can provide fuel. If you would like to run all of your saltwater aquarium equipment then you will most likely require a 2000 watt inverter. The price difference between a 2000 watt and smaller models is not huge and its worth spending the extra money, you may have some spare load for your beer fridge!
There are plenty of other battery-operated devices such as aerators and pumps that could also be used, however, they should only be considered for small aquariums and as a temporary solution.