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Question:

What is making my tank electrocute me?

I have just recently started getting electric shocks at random times when working with my tank. The first time it happened i was wearing a rubber glove (which i thought would block electricity in the first place) i put my hand in the sump and it tore through the glove and shocked my whole arm. The next day i was using the net in the tank itself and got a big shock, then the same thing happend to my brother, my girlfriend and my friend all at different random times. It feels like one of those trick handshake or trick lighters that people have but it hurts way more. Basically the shock runs through my arm and into my chest, leaving my arm numb.I have a 72 gallon bowfront saltwater set up with live rock, about 15 fish, the whole deal. I have the coralife 260 watt compact fluorescent light hood with moon lights attatched with plastic legs on top of the aquarium over the glass canopy. I have an 850 gph pump in the sump, a 300 watt heater in the pump and a protein skimmer in the sump.

Answer:

Yikes! Your problem is actually not that uncommon, but certainly unpleasant none the less. It's definitely attributed to faulty electrical equipment. Any equipment that's submerged under water could be the culprit, so I would narrow it down to the pump, heater, or skimmer. You can test for stray voltage using a voltage tester or volt meter set to read AC voltage (VAC) by putting one lead on a known ground and the other in the tank water. To further isolate the problem, plug in each piece of electrical equipment one at a time while testing for voltage. Once you've determined which equipment is faulty, simply replace it. In the mean time, you may also want to install an Ultra-Ground Titanium Probe in your sump. Please note that I am not an electrician, just a fellow hobbyist, so if you are uncomfortable performing any of the above steps, I would strongly encourage you to have a certified electrician look at your problem. Stray voltage not only harms you, but it may harm the fish too. It has been attributed to fish health problems like lateral line disease, fin erosion, and gill deterioration. In the mean time, be sure to turn off all electrical equipment before working inside the tank. Regards
Dec 7, 2017
this is not good. Something in your tank is grounded. Unplug your lights and your heater and try the tank. I would suggest using an ampmeter or something that checks electrical current over your body. Usually glass heaters go bad and ground. This is bad for corals and is suggested to be one of the causes of HLLE Sometimes exceissive salt creep can build up and cause lighting to ground out. VERY occasionally it is a pump that grounds out. Unplug each thing until you find the cause. ALSO you should probably plug everything into plug bars and wall plugs that have a GFCI so if it is a bad shock - it will pop the circuit before killing you or your fish.
Dec 7, 2017
it amazes me the fish are'nt dead first.unplug everything,and inspect it closely.my guess the heater is the culprit,throw them away after 1 year,even submersiblesstart to show moisture in the tube,powerhead motors are incased in epoxy,that does'nt mean some thing could'nt be wrong with it [cord coming loose,hairline crack,ect.keep all original packaging and receipts,send suspect materials back.is water running down a cord?use drip loop,and ground circuit fault interrupters,not hard to install,directions come with it or buy a cord,with one from fostersmith,ect.i've kept saltwater for 15 years,had 2 problems in that time a heater plugged it in it went powand not drying the hands.good luck!also the heater may only shock when it calls for heat.if it's not heating it doe'snt shock.hang the fixture,don't use the legs.
Dec 7, 2017
yes, i agree with the first answer.untill they arrive, unplug everything at the wall (don't just switch them off). if you haven't already (and they're still alive) remove everything from the tank. not much else i can tell you, since i do not own a marine aquarium. hope everything turns out well! ]
Dec 7, 2017
You might want to contact a certified electrician by phone. This could be very unsafe.
Dec 7, 2017

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