As long as it doesn't extend past a day it two you'll more than likely be fine. Get a battery poweredair pump to be on the safe side and do a water change every day if it's out for days. The biggest cause for concern is keeping oxygen levels safe.
I had a filter go out, what I did was take a 1/2g qt I had sitting around, put some tank water in it and throw the media in there while I went out to get a new one. I suppose if you're wanting to keep it rolling for a few days actually adding it to your tank wouldn't be a bad bet so you don't lose your bacteria colony.
My area gets short, but frequent blackouts, causing my HOB filters to lose prime occasionally.. What I ended up doing was setting up battery backed up surge protectors (the type used for computers) connected to all HOBs and heaters (canister filters should not lose prime; should the blackout be extended, my neighbour gives me a shout, and I drive back to the hamlet to set up a similar thing for my canisters)
While losing prime in an HOB isn't a major thing, it can be if it happens on the first day of your holiday, so it's pretty cheap peace of mind insurance.
Hope your power returns soon, rick
It's great that you have the battery powered air pump! The air pump should keep oxygen levels sufficient. As for preserving the bacteria colony on your Bio-Wheel, just keep the Bio-Wheel submerged in tank water and it will be fine. To the best of my knowledge, the Bio-Wheel spinning isn't what keeps the bacteria alive on that specific filter, but rather it helps create stronger strains of bacteria as the weaker strains are knocked-off. If the power outage lasts longer than a day, I would suggest doing small water changes. Good luck, power outages are never fun!
Power came back on! I always thought I would be prepared for a power outage but then when it happened I panicked and felt un prepared. I am going to buy some more batteries and air pumps for the future! I guess this was a good test so I'm prepared for day long power outages!
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I would avoid connecting the heaters to the backup power units because they draw so much power that they may run the batteries down very quickly.
I'd save that precious energy for an air pump and the filters that tend to lose prime.
Also, depending on what causes the power failures, when power returns, you can have a brownout or surge condition.
Ideally, you should unplug, or switch off the breakers serving, all motorized appliances in your home until after power is restored and has been on steady for a while. This can prevent some damage to your equipment.
Shutting off as much load as possible also makes it easier on the power company when they are restoring power. It also helps prevent or lessen any brownout that occurs as they are resuming the power. So it helps other people in your area, too.
Of course, there's nothing you can do (short of an automatic system) if you are not home when it happens.
We lost partial power at the water plant day before yesterday evening. A power line was down, and we lost one phase of the three phase.
A coworker shut down power to everything in the plant, but forgot about a separate small building with our settled water pumps. When the power company restored the connections, the area experienced a brownout condition for a while. This fried the coils (solenoids) on the large power relays (contactors) that feed power to the inputs of the inverters in the VFD cabinets.
The fried solenoids then drew too much current, which opened the fuses on the secondary windings of the control transformers in those VFD cabinets. This prevented us from being able to operate those pumps, even in bypass mode.
Since this was on a Saturday evening, there was no place to get the specific fuses we needed, let alone replacement coils for these motor starters, until Monday at the earliest.
We rewired one panel to take its fried relay (motor starter) out of the circuit and built a home made fuse using the case of the old fuse soldered to a fuse of the correct value, but the wrong physical size, and are now using that arrangement to allow us to run that one pump without its VFD.
This has prevented the town from losing water service.
But it's a reminder that when power is restored after an outage, there can be some transients and brownout conditions that may damage your equipment and appliances. So if you can, its best to disconnect as much as possible before power comes back on, then wait until things are stable, then reconnect things one at a time.
These VFD inverters are probably internally protected from phase failure. But that doesn't help the other gear in the panels. We'll be installing separate phase monitors to fully protect these panels now!
Something to protect your whole house that way would be a nice feature to have!
Of course we also lost partial power to our aquariums at the plant, too.