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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is an acceptable amount of voltage / current in a fish tank? I know the quick a simple answer is 0 but with pumps submerged it is not realistic.

Has anybody done any measurements on their tanks and what is your reading?
 

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I DID ONE ON MINE THE OTHER DAY AND IT CAME SOMETHING LIKE 13v, AND AS I UN-PLUGGED EACH THING (HEATER PUMP SKIMMER ECT.) IT WENT DOWN LIKE TWO VOLTS EACH!!! I THOUGHT THIS WAS WEIRD, BUT THEN I TALKED TO SOME ONE ABOUT IT AND THEY SAID IT WAS NORMAL?? IM NOT SURE , BUT IM GOING TO GET ONE OF THOSE GROUNDING PROBES THAT SEND ANY EXTRA VOLTAGE OUT OF THE TANK AND TO GROUND!
 

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Those grounding probes should not be used all the time. When you put it in your tank you are causing current to flow. Just like a bird sitting on a wire he is not electricuted unless he comes in contact with a ground. I keep one on my tank and drop it in when I put my hands in or am working around it incase I drop a light or something. I know some fish and corals are sensitive but you put the water at a different potential then the fish when you ground the water, IMO that is far worse.
 

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A few years ago I had a ground probe in my sump thinking all water is connected by means of pump water returning. WRONG One day while working on the tank I had one hand in the tank water and stuck one hand in the sump water making me the path to the ground probe. I got zapped good, of course I had to do it again, and got zapped again.-devil I took a voltage meter and put one probe in the tank and one in the sump, 56 volts. Tracked it down to a titanium heater in the tank. I have since installed GFI's and added a ground probe to the tank also. Salt water is a very good conductor. Sorry Didn't mean to hijack your thread
 

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I had a Purple Tang that had faint markings of HLLE. When I placed the probe in the tank, the HLLE went away in about 1-2weeks.

I've never heard anyone say anything bad about a grounding probe. So what exactly are the negatives associated with grounding probes?
 

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i changed the outlet in my bathroom over to a gfi without turning the circuit off.
do you think this was a good idea?
no?
well thats the same answer you should have when asking yourself " should i be without a grounding probe", or GFI.
safety first.
 

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Guys this is important stuff! Are you safer with a Grounging Probe, yes is your fish and corals, maybe but probably not. If you have a HLL problem and it was cured by a grounding Probe you still have a very leathal problem. GFI are a must. Grounding probes are bad. Like I said I only use mine when I am in the tank. Since I am outside of the tank I want the water at the same potential as me. The fish want the same thing except they are in the tank. You are putting them at a different potential. Voltage and current are two different things. Maybe this will help:

"Most people do not understand the problem however. Lots of web space has been devoted to the measurement of voltage in aquariums... most of which is of no value. Voltage is not the problem, current is. Voltages can exist without there being any current. For example, birds sitting on a power line may be in direct contact with 10,000 volts, but they are not electrocuted. Why? Because no current is flowing through their bodies. Voltage is the "potential" or force that drives electrons through a conductor. The actual flow of electrons is the "current". It is current that kills. Were one of the birds sitting on the power line to simultaneously touch one of the other wires on the transmission pole, a current path would be created (through the bird) and it would be electrocuted (and probably incinerated as well). So what are you doing when you add a grounding probe to your aquarium? You are providing a current path that might not already exist. Any fish between the source and the grounding probe will experience a current flowing through their bodies... not good!"

In short:
"In conclusion, the addition of a "grounding probe" will guarantee an electrical current flow in your aquarium and may induce erratic behavior or disease in your fish. If you have defective aquarium appliances that are creating a current path in your aquarium by using the salt water as a conductive medium, then the solution is to repair the appliances or replace them... not divert a portion of the current into a "grounding probe"."

http://avdil.gtri.gatech.edu/RCM/RCM/Aquarium/GroundingProbes.html
 

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I agree slapshot, a GFI is a absolute must as a first line of defense against getting shocked or worse. I put ground probes in as a backup safety device. I am intrigued by your argument though and would like to learn more about stray voltage and fish before I remove mine. This is the first time I have heard negatives on ground probes
 

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reefpoor, this is a first for me also. I see the logic behind it now...short of. What if your fish keeps getting HLLE from the little bit of voltage that may be in the tank? Won't there always be some stray voltage?
 

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The misnomer is stray "voltage". The real problem is stray current. All tanks will have voltage that is not the problem. When a piece of equipment fails and provides a path to ground not you have stray current. That is the problem. I was a lineman. When we work on a line we would bond to the line. That way we were at the same potential and therefore could work free as long as we did not come into contact with a ground. The bird on the wire example. You are draining the voltage out of your tank with the probe but you are also inducing a current in your tank.

Like I said drop it in when you are working around your tank. That makes you safe. If you drop a light or touch a ground you wont get shocked after you are done pull it out. A GFI IS A MUST AND NO TANK SHOULD BE RUN WITHOUT IT, PERIOD.
 

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Baboon48 said:
reefpoor, this is a first for me also. I see the logic behind it now...short of. What if your fish keeps getting HLLE from the little bit of voltage that may be in the tank? Won't there always be some stray voltage?
Again, current not voltage is the problem. You have a piece of equipment that is going bad or is bad. The probe is only masking the problem. Read the artical I posted above. If you want to get technical there is a link in the artical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Slapshot - So to put this issue to rest any amount of voltage measure in your tank is not the issue it is when you can measure some amount of current to be worried about correct?:confused:
 

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Cowboymark said:
I have yet to have any type of shock while working on my tank. But, I am on pain meds for a bad back and my pain sensors are screwed up.
Then consider yourself lucky!

You would probably have a hard time talking if you were on enough pain meds to offset the sensation of a shock from your tank (based on my countless experiences).
 

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That is correct. Voltage is not the problem current is. Now there may be animals that dont like voltage, like people living under transmission lines, it is unclear if it is a problem but for sure current is bad.
 
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