“We have fish and reptile pets; our power inverter gives us the peace of mind to know that their tanks will still function properly and keep them safe even if the power goes out.”
-Dale K., Libertyville, Illinois
Over the last five years, my wife and I have enjoyed having reptiles and fish as pets in our apartment. We live just outside of Chicago in a town called Libertyville, where, just like Chicago, we experience chilly winters and hot summers. The first time our power went out, we didn’t think much about our lizards and fish because the power came back on within 20 minutes. However, the next time it went out, we were running around trying to think of how to keep our lizards’ heat rocks running during a power outage. This was the middle of February and the apartment was losing heat quickly. We thought the fish would be fine because they were in large aquariums that would lose heat more slowly (typically the large amount of water will save aquariums in a power outage). We covered the lizard cages in towels and blankets. In our largest cage with our Bearded Dragon, we even put in a pair of those hand warmers you usually buy at the grocery store checkout line. I wrapped a pair of those in a dry washcloth and put it in the corner of the cage. However, I was concerned with how hot they got. Of course, I couldn’t Google to see if this was safe because we had no power, and therefore no Internet.
Thankfully, the power was only out a combined 3 hours, but it still had us really concerned about all of our pets. After cleaning up all the towels, blankets, flashlights, hand-warmers-wrapped-in-washcloths and more, we sat down together at the computer to look for a way to avoid this sense of panic and worry next time the power would go out. As part of our brainstorming, we configured a list of all the devices we needed to run while the power was out:
A Common List For Pet Owners Needing to Keep Devices Running During a Power Outage:
- Water Heater in Aquarium1 (300w)
- Water Heater in Aquarium 2 (300w)
- Heat Rock in Lizard Cage 1 (10w)
- Heat Rock in Lizard Cage 2 (15w)
- Infrared Heat Lamp in Lizard Cage 2 (50w)
- Water Pumps in both Aquariums (10w combined)
- Water Filters in both Aquariums (30w combined)
Total power needed to keep reptile and fish devices working during power outage (simultaneously): 715 watts
After doing some research we had narrowed down our options to the following:
- Have a backup generator on-hand (unrealistic, we lived in an apartment)
- Invest in backup, battery-powered heat rocks, pumps, filters, lights, everything (we couldn’t find positive reviews for enough products to make it reasonable to have two of everything in the house)
- Invest in a power inverter for our aquariums and tanks (this is the option we explored further)
Having narrowed down our options to what appeared to be the right choice—a power inverter—we now needed to purchase a power inverter for our reptile and fish tanks … something we knew nothing about.
To read about how we came to a decision that was right for us, click here to read Save Aquariums in a Power Outage: Keep Fish and Reptile Pets Safe with a Power Inverter (Part 2).