PowerTips - Aquarium Power Protection
Aquariums are a beautiful and entertaining hobby for a number of enthusiasts, and the exotic fish and other marine life that they support provide hours of amusement for people across the globe. From simple goldfish bowls, all the way up to built-in saltwater marine environments, aquariums all share some of the same needs, namely filtration and aeration, as well as heating and light.
The more exotic or non-indigenous a marine species is to your local climate; the more careful testing and adjustments are required to maintain health. An aquarium is an ecosystem, and like any other ecosystem, life is a balance of competing forces in equilibrium. A drop-in heat, light, filtration or aeration can quickly disrupt this delicate balance, and cause harm to your prized fish. Because all these aquarium systems run on house current, a blackout can put your pets at risk. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a simple and effective way to provide life support during a blackout, or even just a tripped circuit breaker. At RefurbUPS.com, we have provided thousands of fish enthusiasts with top quality UPS solutions to fit their aquarium needs. In our experience working with aquaphiles, there are a few important things to consider when selecting a UPS system for your tank.
First off, the motors that run your filter and air pump work properly only on a true sine wave power supply, and some lower end UPS systems output only what is called a modified sine wave, or step wave, which can cause a/c motors to overwork and burn out. Because of this, we only recommend APC Smart-UPS Systems, which feature power conditioning and true sine wave output.
The second thing to consider is the total wattage consumed by your systems, which will depend largely on the size of your tank, and the temperature of the water. Tropical fish require a tropical water temperature to stay healthy, so in the winter in the northeast, a tropical tank will consume up to 3 times the amount of electricity that a room temperature aquarium would use, because of the heating element.
The final thing to bear in mind is your desired run time; if you just need to cover brief power outages or sags, a smaller unit will suffice, but for hours of run-time, you will need a much larger unit. A typical 70-gallon aquarium with a filter, air pump, and heating element will consume an average of about 100 watts. A larger 500-gallon tank uses closer to 350 watts.
For a 70-gallon tank, a UPS such as the APC Smart-UPS 1500 will provide between 50 and 70 minutes of run-time, but only 25 minutes of run-time for a 500-gallon tank. If you require additional run-time, you may want to consider the APC Smart-UPS XL Series, which feature add-on battery packs for increased run-time, like the APC Smart-UPS 2200 XL 3U bundled with an SUA48RMXLBP3U external battery pack, to give you almost 9 hours of run time for a 70 gallon tank, or about 3.5 hours for a 500 gallon tank.
Whichever solution you choose, you can rest assured that with a UPS your pets will be able to safely ride out periods of power loss without any ill effects, not to mention protecting your expensive and important aquarium equipment from all kinds of power related events.