Power outage


Jack Dempsey
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 21, 2006
Eastpointe MI
Power went out for 4 or 5 hours today everything seems fine I am crossing my fingers that pouring water over my filter media kept my Bio filter alive :cry: The temp stayed fine at least I was here to pour water into the tank to keep oxygen in the water :thumbsup:


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Mar 14, 2006
i just get a straw and blow bubbles......



Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jul 29, 2006
Power went out for 4 or 5 hours today everything seems fine I am crossing my fingers that pouring water over my filter media kept my Bio filter alive :cry: The temp stayed fine at least I was here to pour water into the tank to keep oxygen in the water :thumbsup:

I just went through a 23 hour blackout back on the 17th here in St. Louis, MO (nearly half a million people without power). I was lucky though - there are people who still do not have power restored, and some here in the nearby cities who were without it for a week.

2 things for you to give some thought to:

1. Get an APC BackUPS 350 for your Biowheels. I have 2 Emperor 400's on my 90g, and I got 3 hours of battery backup from my APC that literally saved my fish. I had 2 others in my house for various other equipment that got used to. I was able to provide my tank with a total of 8 hours battery backup as a result. Never would have thought that I was going to need it, but it turned out to be a good test of my UPS equipment, and literally paid for themselves since buying them this year with what happened. After I ran out completely of battery power - I stayed up all night long. 3 reasons - I thought I had to pour water over my Biowheels to keep from losing the bacteria on them if they dried out. Second I live on the 3rd floor of my apartment building (top floor) and I keep my tank right around 66-68 degrees. Luckily this blackout happened at nearly 8pm at night and the heat of the day had passed, but I immediately started to change out water for ice to keep the tank as close to 70 as possible. This paid huge dividends when the next days heat came. My tank never crossed 74 degrees (even when I had to pass out to go to sleep), but lastly - I had to keep pouring water into the tank to keep it aeriated.

What I could have done (I found out from my LFS) was to simply take my Biowheels and toss them into the tank. I got battery operated air pumps the very next morning (14 hours into the blackout) to provide air to the tank (and I have since left them on with the Biowheels working as normal for that much more oxygen). And of course - I raided everyplace I could during the night of 5lb bags of ice (which I graciously gave to others when my power was restored 23 hours later).

So long as you just toss your biowheels into your tank when you lose power you should be ok, but I would definitely recommend a UPS to any aquarium owner. Trust me - I hope to never have another blackout like the one I experienced ever again, but if I do - I know now that I have at least 8 hours of battery time available to my equipment. Get some battery powered air pump with those little carbon heads on them too, and just store them away in case it happens to you again.

Sorry for the long post, but I feel your pain.


MFK Member
Jul 19, 2006
Missouri, USA
Great job to both of you who made it through the power outages.
I was told a 3-4hour outage won't harm the bacteria to much, but I'd recommend a water change during/after it to remove some of the waste.

About backup power:

Alot of filters have induction type motors, and unless your UPS dosn't put out a true sine wave, they wont work. My rena XP3, didn't work on a UPS, but my Emporer 400 did.

I'd recommend buying a generator, one that puts out a pure sine wave if you have the $. battery operated air stones are cheaper route, but with a generator you can run electric blankets or a fridge too.


Thies generators I know put out a pure sinewave, that is of more quality than what some people get from their outlets.

I'm setting money aside right now for one, my fish cost more than one of the EU2000i''s. Plus my kids would probably like some heat during the winter (damn kids).

Another route is getting a converter and a dry cell car battery (wet cells let off toxic gasses.) Make sure the converter puts out a pure sinewave also.

Carl D

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jan 2, 2006
Doncaster, UK.
After just a couple of hours filters are still ok and not compromised.



Casper... the not so friendly ghost
MFK Member
Jul 12, 2005
Totowa, NJ
Power outages in NNJ aren't very common. Those that do occur are rarely a few hours long. I just hook up a battery powered air pump and don't worry too much about it.


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jul 5, 2006
Here in Ne. out in the sticks we have had several outages from 30 min. to 5 hours . Happy to report no problems. But in the past in Colorado we went through a major snow storm. Could not get to my tanks for 2 days lost a 24 in. silver 3 12 in. tiger oscars. Another time lost 3 10 inch black pacus. I am not a real fan of power outages