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Old 06-09-2008, 02:27 PM
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Emergency Emergency Measures to use NOW for Power Outages

This thread is for emergency measures on what you can do NOW if you go home to no power to your reef tank.
Ideally, I'd like to keep the extra chatter down to a minimum as some may only end up reading this off the battery power left in their laptops...

First... here are some links to other previous power outage threads. Most have very good info in them but are kind of long reading. Many of the suggestions are for things you'd need to go out & purchase or order online.
The second link is an article written by our own Randy (Prattreef)

Some suggestions for MANUALLY keeping your reef alive because for some reason you weren't able to preplan:
Your top issues are:
1- aerating the water to keep your fish alive
2- providing circulation

If you have zero power available you want to isolate your DT from your sump (hopefully it didn't overflow on you) as you'll need to concentrate your efforts where you have most of your money invested.

Grab a small CLEAN pail and scoop some water into it and then pour it back into your tank from a distance of preferrably 1 foot or more. This will get oxygen back into the water and create some circulation. You will need to do this repeatedly depending on the size of your tank and you will need to keep this up on & off for the duration of the power outage.

You can also use your clean hand to 'swoosh' the water around in your tank to break the surface for added 'circulation' but it is not as effective as the bucket method.

These will also help cool off the water but only minimally..kinda like blowing on hot soup...

If you still have power and are starting to get the idea that your tank is going to be in trouble since you haven't taken any measures yet...

Things you can do TODAY:
You want to get your hands on a battery back up unit (Office computer stores, some hardware stores, home centers) You will have to charge it for it to be usable!

A Battery operated aerator like they use in bait buckets are indespensible!
2 D Batteries and you'll have about 6 hours worth of air, they come with a short piece of ailine tubing and an airstone on the end.
I keep them under all of my tanks year round and change the batteries 1 x per year. You should be able to get these at LFS, mass retailers (Kmart Walmart) bait shops and boating stores like West Marine. They usually run about 6.99 each, no excuse not to have them for winter & summer issues.

Frozen Rodi water - this is good for both today and long term. Freeze a few 2 litre bottles of rodi water (in case they develop a leak..) and keep them all summer. In case the power goes out or the A/C dies.
The few degrees they will lower your tank temp could mean the difference between life & death.

Power inverters & Deep Cycle Batteries - you hook the inverter to the deep cycle battery (this type holds more of a charge that your standard car battery) and then plug your power head into the inverter.

Generators - like the proverbial snow shovel durting a snow storm..good luck finding one If you get lucky and do find one then your local gas station probably can't pump gas anyway due to the blackout. You really need to preplan this one!

Please feel free to add any suggestions that you've come up with! While the attached links have some great info on them..I'd like to see some fast tips added to this thread.
The beginning is the most important part of the work -Plato

Last edited by KathyC; 09-05-2008 at 12:56 AM..
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for the info. I hope I never come across this nor anyone else.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:58 PM
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Hey great advice it's always good to plan ahead.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:05 PM
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a battery drill/screwgun and a clean paint stirrer or plastic kitchen spoon will also work in an emergency. So will a hand mixer.

During the blackout I mixed my reef every 20 minutes with a turkey baster. I didn't lose a thing in 12 hours of no power.

Originally Posted by Ming
I wasn't gifted with ****s.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:09 PM
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I just saw on the news that Con Ed is already having problems on East Side and Brooklyn. Good luck everyone.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:36 PM
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ask for any nearby MR members with power to help.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:39 PM
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Yorksville is expected to have problem. Stay alert. Con Ed even individually calling to use less power.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:43 PM
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Great Thread Kathy!!!!!!! ----

i have some questions....

These are my preperations so far:

I froze a lot of RO, i run an A/C over the tank, a chiller a fan and an ATO (and i just ordered battery powered aeration devices online).

Since i'm in an apartment and not able to safely run gas powered devices, i'm guessing i need a UPS.... where should i start looking? and how do i determine the right amount for my sized tank.

Also ---- wouldn't a Vortech with battery backup also be a nice option for a blackout?
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:05 AM
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An APC UPS Backup is what I use on my PC and my tank. First you need to go to their website and look at the different models. In order to find the usage you need to look at the following, the draw of the equipment plugged into the UPS and the wattage (battery size) of the UPS. I only suggest plugging a return pump or a HOB filter into it. This way you have water circulating and aerating which is pretty much all you need to keep the fish and corals happy. The corals can go a little while without light but your fish and inverts need oxygen to live.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrose View Post

Also ---- wouldn't a Vortech with battery backup also be a nice option for a blackout?
Yes this is an excellent insurance policy, wellworth the investment if you run a Vortech.
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