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Backup Choices - Biocube 14 Gallon and Heater


jaybrewer

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We have a 14 gallon biocube and heater - I want to backup the pump and heater in case of power outages - which we have in boston all the time.

 

Here are some options I've found that are ready to buy...

 

Xantrex

 

Duracel

 

Larger Xantrex

 

The 400 watt will turn on and off in a power outage - more desirable...

 

Any thoughts or ideas? What are others using?

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(btw, your second Xantrex link is the same as the Duracell link...)

 

I think the key here would be figuring out if the BC pump and heater require true sine-wave AC power or can cope with the modified sine-wave AC that (I believe - see here: Xantrex FAQ) these units provide. Odds are that they do (see the "fish power" (second) section here: http://www.dansdata.com/danletters174.htm), but it's probably worth looking into considering the expense involved. That said, the run-time on the 400 W Xantrex looks really good compared to most of the UPS units that I have looked at (mainly APC) and if it lives up to their claims it looks like a pretty solid unit. The duracell one looks like it is also made by Xantrex - oddly enough - and while it supplies higher peak wattage, it looks like it has a little shorter run-time than the 400. From the Xantrex site, a 40W load will last 9 hours on the Xantrex 400, but only 7 hours on the Duracell. (Run-time Sources: Duracell Xantrex) So unless the Duracell's added bells and whistles (clock-radio and auto jump-start) are things you'd actually use, my opinion is that the Xantrex 400 is likely the superior unit.

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Thanks for this. I think I'm going to get the Xantrex for piece of mind. We get power outages in the 2-3 hour range routinely and I think this would make my tank and me feel safer.

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Have a backup pump just in case. A lot of AC motors like power heads and pumps don't live long term on a modified sinewave output. The heater won't care. Keep a battery operated air pump handy too. This is what I use in the case of power outages.

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Have a backup pump just in case. A lot of AC motors like power heads and pumps don't live long term on a modified sinewave output. The heater won't care. Keep a battery operated air pump handy too. This is what I use in the case of power outages.

 

Funny - I just spent 14 bucks for battery backup pump thinking with the heater and that - it's a better match. I just don't want to see a dead tank because I couldn't spend the extra bit to ensure it's going to be okay.

 

So my setup - battery backup pump - and heater on the xantrex.

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Thanks for this. I think I'm going to get the Xantrex for piece of mind. We get power outages in the 2-3 hour range routinely and I think this would make my tank and me feel safer.

 

Glad to help - sounds good! I just noticed your sig, I didn't realize you were the Single Serve Coffee guy. Small world - I bought an AeroPress last year pretty much solely based on your review of it. Definitely one of the best coffee-related purchases I've ever made. Thanks!

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Glad to help - sounds good! I just noticed your sig, I didn't realize you were the Single Serve Coffee guy. Small world - I bought an AeroPress last year pretty much solely based on your review of it. Definitely one of the best coffee-related purchases I've ever made. Thanks!

 

Yeah - it's solid - reminds me - I should run another story on it soon. We use it for micro-brews here all the time.

 

I'm off today to research two places for coral purchases - pretty excited to get some color in our tank.

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Yeah - it's solid - reminds me - I should run another story on it soon. We use it for micro-brews here all the time.

 

I'm off today to research two places for coral purchases - pretty excited to get some color in our tank.

 

Just wanted to followup on this - I got the Xantrex 400 w to backup the heater and the battery backup that runs on D's for the pump. I may in the future put both on the 400 w backup - but since I'm more worried about the cold - given we're in boston - I'll take the noise on the battery backup for the pump and give the heater the longer run.

 

The Xantrex unit is also pretty cool looking - and has LED readouts on the top. It's pretty slim - heavy and fits perfectly about a foot in the back well away from the aquarium but hidden. So - I'm happy with the look and how we could place it.

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As a side note, you may want to give the Xantrex a dry run to see how long it really powers your equipment. I went thru a 4 day power outage due to hurricane Ike not too long ago and found that my 1500VA APC backup units were pretty worthless. I also had a deep cycle marine battery & inverter which lasted several times longer than both APC units combined. Check this DIY article out: http://www.diylive.net/index.php/2008/03/2...ery-backup-ups/

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As a side note, you may want to give the Xantrex a dry run to see how long it really powers your equipment. I went thru a 4 day power outage due to hurricane Ike not too long ago and found that my 1500VA APC backup units were pretty worthless. I also had a deep cycle marine battery & inverter which lasted several times longer than both APC units combined. Check this DIY article out: http://www.diylive.net/index.php/2008/03/2...ery-backup-ups/

 

I'm going to do a dry run after the holiday. Good advice - I think if I get a larger tank I may get the larger backup - just hoping this is enough - a multiday run might be difficult with the heat out as our furnace won't work without electricity - that's another entire problem.

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I'm going to do a dry run after the holiday. Good advice - I think if I get a larger tank I may get the larger backup - just hoping this is enough - a multiday run might be difficult with the heat out as our furnace won't work without electricity - that's another entire problem.

 

Also - if this is a total loss and doesn't work well - I figured backing up the modem and router will make it perfect - tivo too.

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