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Generator Recommendations for Power Loss

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  • Generator Recommendations for Power Loss

    Hi All,

    Well we are planning on buying a generator soon for our 220 gallon tank just incase we ever loose power.

    What brands do you recommend, have heard good things about the Hondas, we will be looking at gas powered because this is not our final house and plan on moving at some point - couple years maybe if not sooner.

    Also do you guys have them wired so they automatically turn on when power is lost or have it on hand and hook it up after you have already lost power? Is this possible to do with a gas powered generator?

    How much do you guys typically run the generator? Do you reduce down how much lighting you run when the power is out? We have 3x400 MH and 250 watts supplemental lighting. I know the temperature control, water movement and skimmer are most important but what about the lights? I imagine the supplemental can be cut out but do not want the livestock to become too stressed either.

    Just at a point now too much invested to take the risk of no power.

    Any suggestions/opinions are appreciated I am new to generators and wanted to get some ideas.

    Thanks! Scott
    Last edited by tanglovers; 02-21-2006, 09:54 AM.

  • #2
    I've had a Honda 3000 for about 5 years. We bought it for the Auto Swaps we do on weekends. They are somewhat pricey but we had to have a generator that was quite unlike some others on the market. It has a mode that keeps the RPMs low when the load is low and automatically goes up when the load increases (like when we use the microwave). We use it most times for about 8-10 hours at a time and gas usage is low. I had the valves adjusted about a year ago to reduce the fumes from burning oil, it wasn't bad but since we try to be kind to our swap neighbors it seemed a good thing to do.

    I've used it twice for the tanks when we lost power for a few hours but it's rare when we do have a problem. At my house since 1981 I think we've been without power for no more than 8 hours total and the longest I think was 6 hours when the west cost grid went down.

    I've had others in the past but the noise issues turned me to the Honda.

    “People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
    ...Charles F. Kettering


    • #3
      I bought a Coleman from Costco. It is definitely not quiet by any means.

      I bought a transfer panel. The transfer panel has 8 circuits )110v plus a 220 circuit. With the flip of a single switch these circuits are switched from the house panel to the generator. And the generator connects to the transfer panel via a standard 220v 30a extension cord.

      For my house the circuits I transferred over are tank heaters/circulation, Fish Only tank, Refridgerator, DSL modem/wireless, DirectTV/TV, and the phone system.

      I would definitely recommend looking at the Honda's. I know with my Coleman - which is powerful ( I have run a welder + all the tanks off of it) is unbearably loud. I don't think me or my neighbors would be able to sleep while running it.

      Dave B
      400g SPS Reef - 33g Surge - +30k gph Flow - Lots of DIY / 1100g Outdoor SPS System / 280g FO Watch my Reef Tank, LIVE!!!


      • #4
        When you guys power your tanks what do you typically power?

        I know temperature control and water movement are the two most important, protein skimmer as well. We are buying this for a just in case situation. Since we have been involved in this hobby (about 2 years now) we have never lost power for more then about 5-6 hours.

        I figure the tank would be fine without the supplemental actinics and other optional equipment (calcium reactor etc). Do you guys typically power your MH lighting when in a power loss? We are not in a rural area and like I said to date have not had any big concerns. We are looking to get something that we could use if needed to run the tank for a few days with no electricity. Would a tank be fine if the temperature and water movement where kept constant be alright with no lighting for this period of time (few days)?

        Just trying to decide how large of a generator we need.



        • #5
          What to Power

          Personally the only things that concern me are water movement and heat.

          I am not worried about the lights. Corals spend days in the dark getting shipped to the US without detriment.

          Running the skimmer during a power outage would not be a concern (for me). You should not be feeding heavily, and if your water is stable, you shouldn't have any excessive coral sliming.

          If you are concerned about short term 5-6 hours outages, then run whatever you like.

          But if you are preparing for a real outage - several days, then I would look at ways to increase fuel efficiency/consumption of the generator.

          Having some coral color loss, from not running the lights for 3-5 days, vs. being able to run for several days is a huge advantage.

          The other thing to look into is some of the new solar panels. The solar panels and a DC bilge pump, can move 600gph with no power consumption.

          Dave B
          400g SPS Reef - 33g Surge - +30k gph Flow - Lots of DIY / 1100g Outdoor SPS System / 280g FO Watch my Reef Tank, LIVE!!!


          • #6
            im interested in this also tagging along
            180G SPS Mainly
            10 Bulb T5 Starfire
            Calcium Reactor
            3 Tunze 6105's
            Profilux Controller
            ATB Return w/ wavysea
            ATB M External Skimmer