Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium

6 Steps to Help Prevent Aquarium Leaks

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  1. Avatar Bill says:

    One thing you forgot is to make sure you have a check valve installed on your return line.

  2. Avatar Paul Baldassano says:

    Under my tank I built a slight barrier that will pool any leaking water there. I used aluminum angles that are used to hold up the edges of suspended ceiling tiles. In that area I built a leak detector that shuts off the pumps that feed the skimmer in the event of a leak. (I don’t have a sump but if I did, it would shut that pump off also)
    I just ran a wire from the neutral terminal of the GFCI that the pumps are plugged into along with a ground wire from the GFCI and taped them to the floor. If they get wet, they kill the GFCI shutting off the pumps. Is it legal to do it this way? I doubt it. But the neutral and ground carries no current so it won’t shock you. But I didn’t say it. (Master electrician 40 years) I also have this under my domestic hot water heater. If the thing leaks, the home made leak detector shuts off the power to an electric valve shutting off the water to the heater so my basement doesn’t flood.

    1. Avatar Jeff says:

      The nuetral can carry current and will shock you if you are grounded as the nuetral carries the inbalance of the load and wants to find the easiest way to ground.

  3. Very good tips, thanks for sharing.
    In my opinion the test fill is the most important.

  4. Avatar Matt Bowers (Muttley000) says:

    On step three I would add that the flatness of the surface is very important. If when setting the empty tank on the stand there is an air space anywhere between the tank and the stand, something is wrong. Some use a thin layer of foam to help smooth out small irregularities where the tank meets the stand. Also if a stand is set on carpet check regularly that the level didn’t change. Carpet doesn’t always compress from the weight evenly. Often along the wall there is other material under the carpet, and over time the tank will lean ever so slightly away from the wall. I always have a look during water changes. The top frame gives a good point of reference as the water level goes down.

    On item 4 I have used pieces of egg crate light diffuser under the rock work. Glass doesn’t do well when pressure is concentrated in a small point, so the egg crate helps spread out the weight, particularly before filling the tank. If a burrowing animal decides to remove sand around the base of a rock it helps keep the rock from shifting. It also keeps from scratching the bottom up when moving around larger pieces of rock.

    1. Avatar Jeff Kurtz says:

      These are some really good points, Matt! Thanks for sharing them!

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