The importance of the Uninterruptible Power Supply

by | Jun 14, 2017 | Equipment | 0 comments

Uninterruptible Power Supply

The Uninterruptible Power Supply is an important and necessary piece of equipment for our aquarium.

An aquarium could be set up perfectly, but emergencies still happen, and as you know, home aquariums are connected to and dependent on a constant supply of electricity. When it is lacking, the existence of the aquarium itself is in danger.

The only tool that can keep the aquarium alive until the electric power comes back is the UPS, the Uninterruptible Power Supply.

Technically the UPS is a simple battery, recharged by an inverter and installed between the equipment keeping the aquarium running and the domestic electric line.


How do we choose it? Are all batteries equal? How long will it last?

Uninterruptible Power Supply

Uninterruptible Power Supplies in comparison: APC and Zeus

The choice of the correct Uninterruptible Power Supply

The first thing to do is to choose a UPS that supplies electric charge with the shape of a sinusoidal wave. That’s the only important requisite, but unfortunately, it excludes all the cheap models.

The electricity dispensed and used in electrical engineering has a sinusoidal-shaped wave because that course directly derives from the behavior of the alternators and from the laws of the electromagnetic induction“.

Cheap UPS originates waves with steps. This is a real problem, because it can lead to the damaging of the pumps. And in addition to this, it would create even more problems to our aquarium due to the usual setting of the UPS upon the return pump (and we’ll see why).

Here you can see the perfect sinusoidal wave (measured by an oscilloscope) of the most famous UPS for aquariums: the Zeus by OceanLife.

The purpose of the UPS is to keep the aquarium alive for the longest time possible. That’s why it has to be set upon the return pump in a marine aquarium. That’s the same for a freshwater aquarium with the return pump, or otherwise upon the external filter, or the pump of the filter.

It’s not necessary that the heater, the refrigerator, the skimmer, or the lighting be connected, not because they’re not important utilities, but because the essential purpose is to keep the aquarium alive for the longest time allowed by the battery we possess. It wouldn’t make sense to keep it at its maximum for a short time.

The return pump is enough to keep the aquarium oxygenated, and that’s what we need.

Uninterruptible Power Supply


Possible choices on the market

Unfortunately, the Zeus by OceanLife, (here’s our review that I suggest you to read for general culture) doesn’t exist anymore, as you can read in this article. So we have to choose something still available on the market.

As we have already said there are just few option and all moderately expensive. My choice today would be the Smart UPS 750 by APC. The price is about 250 euro on Amazon, and  you can directly buy it from this link. Obviously there are more expensive and bigger models, it depends on the time you want to obtain.

I’ve just ordered it, so I can test it and write a deep review. I will measure the time with various return pumps, so you can have some parameters to make a better choice.

[Translated By Agnese Poggi]

  • danireef

    Danilo Ronchi, aka DaniReef lives in Italy where he is hydraulic engineer, but starting from his love for reef aquarium and photography, he began to write about marine aquariums from 2006 and now he's published his first book "Marine Aquarium". From 2007 Danilo writes on his blog where publishes articles, pictures, product reviews, aquariums coverage, reportage and history of his tank. Now he's happy to be part of


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