Re: power outage fix

I live in a remote part of the adirondack mountains in new york state.  Last
winter there were 7 power outages ranging from 12-60 hours in duration.  At
the time i didn't have any plants (but now do) however i did have lots of
fish.  After the first couple of outages i lost some of my favorite fish so
i resorted to a pretty radical solution.  I bought a DC to AC power
converter used mostly by motorhome people from JC Whitney(auto supply
catalog 312-431-6129).  

I bought 2 BIG car bateries and hooked them up to a product called Battery
Tender which I already had to keep the battery on my motorcycle charged
during the winter.  the battery tender costs about $55 from Dennis Kirk a
motorcycle mail order place 800-328-9280.  More expensive than a regular
batery charger but it has the ability to test the battery and automatically
shut off when the battery is fully charged so you don't overcharge and get
acid all over the place.  

Through the winter I rotated the charger between the car bateries and the
motorcyle so all were kept fully charged.  from that point on whenever the
power went out I just hooked the car bateries to the converter and ran my
small filter(whisper2) my heater turned down to 72 degrees F and airpump on
my 55 gallon tank.  This system worked for the longest outage I had which
was 2 1/2 days without electricity.  

The power inverters cost between  $50 and $200 depending on how many watts
you need to convert.  Total cost from scratch for a 55 gallon tank would
probably cost between $200 and $250.  This is not cheap(and I'm a real
tightwad) but it's better than  losing all your fish and plants if you live
in a remote area where power outages are frequent and long.  Hope this helps.  

BTW its a hell of a lot cheaper than a generator!  Also having the spare car
bateries can come in handy on a cold morning.  Twice last year I used one of
my fish batteries to get my truck running on particularly cold mornings.  I
really should move south.  cold weather really sucks :-)