Welcome to Day 9 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge. Today’s task is to Add a Grounding Probe to your system.
I’m a bit of a grounding probe evangelist. That may be the first and only time the phrase was used in the English language, but I am obsessed with grounding probes, because I learned about them the hard way (like so many things in this hobby).
My story (and the reason for today’s challenge)
A few years ago, I was breeding fish in my basement. There was a rack of aquariums (kind of like the fish store) where I had different fish pairing up and getting ready to spawn. The tanks were plumbed together, with a central sump, heater and return pump.
Unbeknownst to me (I always wanted to use that word. Check that off my bucket list), the return pump (a brand name pump generally known for reliability) was malfunctioning and leaking an electrical current into the water.
I was ‘cooking’ my poor fish…for I don’t know how long. I was remarkably stupid at the time and ignored the tell tale signs. For one, I noticed a pair of black ocellaris clownfish were developing HLLE disease.
Oh, and I skipped over the most obvious sign. Ever time I fed the fish (and dipped my fingers in the water) or otherwise touched the water. I got a big shock.
Keep in mind, your saltwater tank is a bucket of electricity-conducting saltwater and a bunch of electric gizmos. Don’t get electrocuted. Build a better saltwater aquarium today by buying and installing a grounding probe.
They are inexpensive and very easy to install.