It’s the holiday weekend, and while most of you are enjoying your holiday weekend have you thought about a backup plan for your saltwater aquarium? I mean for example that if you go on vacation who is going to watch it? What if they electricity goes out? Is someone going to take care of your saltwater aquarium while your gone?
One of the easiest ways to take care of your aquarium is to buy an aquarium controller. These basically run your aquarium via a computer chip usually. You can pick one of these up for under $300 and it a small price to pay for peace of mind. Still they can’t do everything, what if your electricity goes out?
Whenever you leave for vacation, its a good idea that someone watch your saltwater aquarium. If you have a house that needs to be house sat already then see if you can get that same person to look after the tank. Most people know little about a saltwater tank. I have some friends who think that they can take care of my tank just like they would a freshwater tank. This is simply not the case. You need to teach whoever is taking care of your tank what to do when the electricity goes out.
One of the easiest things to do is to buy a UPS or Universal Power Supply. This unit should supply your aquarium for up to 2 hours of run time. With that though you should probably not plug in any high intensity lighting such as Metal Halide or T5 units as they tend to suck wattage. You would only want to plug in a main pump for circulation. This will be okay for a few hours, but what happens after your UPS battery supply has been drained? Get a generator.
Generators are a very wise investment. Think about it for a second. For example, I have close to $5,000 worth of corals rock and fish. I don’t mind paying then $899 for a generator when it could save all that. True having a generator is a part of a great backup plan, but what if you are not home? This is where it is very important to train your friend or whomever you have taking care of your aquarium to know how to get the generator connected to the main support lines of the aquarium. Most generators last several hours on one full tank of fuel. However, having additional fuel close by will benefit you in case the electricity does not turn on as soon as you think it will.
In conclusion a great backup plan consists of:
1. A friend of close family member that knows how to take care of the tank while you are away. Train them. Train them good.
2. A UPS battery backup that will take over for 1-2 hours for those short power outages.
3. A Generator that can supply power to the aquarium for many days with additional fuel close by.
If you stick to this plan, your tank will flourish in times of distress.