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5 Best Portable Generators for Aquarium Use - Reliable Backup Power

5 Best Portable Generators for Aquarium Use - Reliable Backup Power

Whether you have a single 20-gallon tank for your goldfish or a huge reef tank setup, a power outage can spell disaster for your sea life.

From air pumps and lights to protein skimmers and heaters, all the major components must keep working to aid water movement and prevent catastrophe. Otherwise, your fish and other sea creatures could get sick or even start to die off in great numbers.

Fortunately, you can avoid that distressing scenario by simply being prepared for power outages, and that means getting the right portable generator for your aquarium.

To help you out, today we'll take a look at some of the top high quality generators you might want to check out.

We also wrote a guide on choosing a particular category of generators commonly referred to and marketed as Portable Power Stations which are battery powered with zero emissions of any kind and so completely safe and effective to use indoors - specifically for use in apartments - so check out that as some of those are great for aquariums too.

Popular Portable Generators for Aquarium Backup Power

When it comes to choosing the best portable generator for aquarium use, or looking at aquarium batter backup systems, there’s definitely not just one right answer.

Aquarium setups differ considerably, after all, making it wise to find a generator that will best support your electricity usage needs. But overall, you can definitely count on the four following portable units to serve as a fish tank battery backup during emergency power outages.

Firman W03083

The popular Firman W03083 inverter generator makes a great backup power unit for your aquarium. As part of the Whisper series you can be rely on it to be quiet but powerful.

Here are some key specifications:

  • 3,000/3,300 watts

  • 171cc engine with Firman Power Stream alternator

  • 120V AC, DC, 5V USB, and TT-30R outlets

  • Parallel operation capability

  • Push-button remote start from 168 feet away

  • 1.8-gallon gasoline tank with 9-hour runtime

  • Inverter design supports sensitive electronics

  • 58-decibel noise levels at ¼ load

  • 90-pound dry weight

  • Cast iron sleeve

This is one of the bestselling models in the latest Firman generators collection. It continually gets great feedback from customers.

WEN 56203i

  • 1,700/2,000 watts

  • Parallel capable

  • 1-gallon gas tank with 10.8-hour runtime

  • 2 120V AC outlets

  • Additional DC, 12V 8A, and 5V USB outlets

  • 39-pound dry weight

  • 51 decibels

The WEN 56203i serves as an ultra-quiet and convenient way to keep your aquarium equipment powered and your fish alive during an emergency power outage. This inverter generator uses a 79cc OHV 4-stroke engine to produce a running wattage of 1,700, although its peak can hit 2,000 watts. If you need more power, it’s parallel capable, too.

The gasoline engine boasts a runtime of over 10 hours on a single one-gallon tank of fuel. So, you can trust the system will stay running all through the night or while you’re busy with your daily obligations.

As it chugs along, this unit keeps noise levels low at just 51 decibels. When used on its own, the single unit gives you two 120V AC outlets plus an additional 3 DC outlets. If you need to charge any backup batteries or other devices, there’s a 12V 8A receptacle and two 5V USB ports.

Honda EU2200i

  • 1,800/2,200 watts

  • Parallel capable

  • Overload protection

  • 1-gallon gas tank with an 8-hour runtime

  • 2 120V AC outlets

  • 47.4-pound dry weight

  • 48 decibels

The Honda EU2200i offers reliable performance while serving as a battery backup for your small fish tank setup. At the heart of its build, you’ll find a 121cc GXR120 OHV 4-stroke motor. This engine consistently produces 1,800 watts while its peak wattage can reach 2,200. With its ability to run parallel, you can always get more power by hooking up a similar unit with Honda parallel cables.

The single-gallon fuel tank provides just eight hours of run time, making it easy to fill up just a few times a day. With its overload protection and automatic low oil shut-off, you don’t have to worry between check-ins. At just 48 decibels on a full load, it’s quiet, too, allowing it to blend into the background noise as it keeps your aquariums running right. Unlike similar high quality inverter generator models, this one has just two AC outlets. So, think carefully about your power needs before deciding if this is the right model for you.

Generac GP3000i

  • 2,300/3,000 watts

  • Parallel capable

  • 1-gallon gasoline tank with 5.8-hour runtime

  • 3 120V AC outlets

  • DC outlets, 5V USB ports, and L5-30R receptacle

  • 59-pound dry weight

  • 60 decibels

When you need a little bit more power to keep all your aquariums running at their best, the house Generac GP3000i is a solid choice. The 149cc OHV 4-stroke engine consistently produces 2,300 watts and peak wattage comes in at 3,000. More power is at your fingertips, too, with its ability to run parallel with a similar inverter unit.

To get going, all you have to do is fill up the one-gallon tank and use the pull-start mechanism. Then, set your generator to run as needed using the convenient PowerDial. With that, you’ll get about 5.8 hours of runtime, leaving you coming by to refuel about four times per day until the power outage ends. Three AC outlets make it easy to hook up all your aquarium devices at a moment’s notice. But you also have two DC outlets, two 5V USB ports, and an L5-30P receptacle as needed for your other devices. The extra power produced by this inverter unit allows you to run and charge multiple devices at once, too.

Champion Power Equipment 200971

  • 3,650/4,550 watts

  • Remote start

  • 4.7-gallon gasoline tank with 14-hour runtime

  • 4 120V AC outlets

  • Additional TT-30R receptacle

  • 118-pound dry weight

  • 68 decibels

If you have a huge fish tanks or simply don’t want to risk not having enough power, set your sights on the Champion Power Equipment 200971. The huge 224cc OHV 4-stroke motor puts out a running wattage of 3,650. When you need a little extra oomph on startup, this generator bumps up the power to a peak of 4,550 watts.

You can get powered up easily, too, thanks to its convenient remote start function. Once it’s up and running, the 4.7-gallon tank of gasoline will keep your backup power going for about 14 full hours. Noise levels stay at a reasonable 68 decibels, too, ensuring it just hums in the background instead of making a racket. The Intelligauge meter allows you to closely monitor the unit's operation and avoid risking your beloved sea creatures and costly aquarium setup. With four 120V AC outlets at your disposal, you can hook up all your equipment with ease. Plus, with its TT-30R receptacle, you can also take this generator on the go if you’re ever in the mood for camping.   

Tips for Safely Using a Portable Generator for Aquarium Backup Power

No matter which of the portable backup power systems you choose to save your fish, it’s important to keep safety in mind always by:

Find the Right Wattage for Your Setup

Before buying a generator, be sure to accurately measure the wattage of your entire fish tank setup. To do that, measure and add up the total watts used by your overhead light, heater, return pump, skimmer, and other equipment. Then, look for units with an output capacity above the figure found in your calculations.

Never Run a Generator Inside the House

Always put your portable generator outside the house and run the cords to your aquarium. Gas generators are not safe to operate inside – not even in your garage – due to their carbon monoxide output. In fact, keep the unit far from your crawl space, windows, doors, and other openings into the house as well.

Create a Drip Loop on All Power Cords

Even the best-kept aquarium has a risk of springing a leak, so it’s important to create a drip loop on all your power cords. While you’ve undoubtedly done that for your permanent setup, don’t forget to recreate the drip loop while using backup power, too.

Protect Your Aquarium with a Portable Generator During Power Outages

Remember to fully research the best portable generators for aquariums well before a power failure occurs. Because once the power goes out at your location, everyone will head out to buy them up, potentially leaving you unable to save your fish and other sea creatures. Fortunately, this guide makes it easy to find your very own generator. So, review your wattage needs, and then zero in on the backup power system that makes the most sense for your aquarium.

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