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I could have been killed to death!

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I had a bit of a bad day today.


I was running a bit late for work when Cathy told me there was a problem with my sal"Ooops, word censored!"er aquarium. It runs on a siphon which overflows into a smaller tank below where most of the equipment is housed and the water is then pumped back. The siphon occasionally fails, which means the pump makes a horrible noise, but no real harm is done.


Anyway Cathy turned the pump off and told me what was going on.


I restarted the siphon which I usually do whilst the pump is running (laziness) but this time did it before restarting the pump. This involves getting your hands wet and a gob full of seawater unless you are very careful.


When I restarted the pump I noticed a smell of ozone/chlorine coming from the lower sump tank. On further investigation I realised that the heater had broken in two and as a result the lower tank was 'LIVE' 240v hence the chlorine being released from the sal"Ooops, word censored!"er.




A few 'what ifs' then flashed through my mind. :shock:


If Cathy hadn't unplugged the return pump, the main display tank would have been electrically connected to the sump tank by virtue of the water flowing into it. And I would have received an electric shock up one arm across my chest (where I like to keep some of my most important organs) and down the other arm probably with fatal consequences.


I can't believe I had got so complacent and stupid not to disconnect everything whilst working on the tank. A simple measure that would ensure I would not have been in any danger.


An RCD fitted on the plug would also have been a good idea, but I wrongly assumed the relatively new consumer would tripped if there was a problem, it didn't.


Incase you where wondering, the inhabitants of the aquarium all survived, I only have a couple of corals and some hermit crabs in there at the moment and they show no ill effects.


My avatar seems a little ironic now :shock:



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Am glad you are OK.


It is so easy to get complacent isn't it.


My Dad lost a finger years ago through repairing an electric strimmer whilst it was still plugged in. :roll:


Cathy will have had a bit of a shock too.


I hope you are well insured. Just kidding.....On the other hand....



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I broke a kettle recently by it sitting in a pool of water and shorting. I wondered what the bangs and flashes were. :oops::oops:

There were once huge flames coming out of the shower too when something shorted :shock: OH had the sense to turn off at the mains. Luckily I hadn't got into the shower yet.


That is scary, :shock: and your avatar :lol:

I'm amazed the fish survived. They're not electric eels then... :wink:

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Good to hear you and the fish are fine... I used to get complacent when cleaning our fish tank... as you say just laziness... then after a while as my kids got older I decided it was better to do it the right way and switch the whole thing off during maintenance, cause it was silly of me to say to them 'don't put your hands in the water while it's switched on', then clean it without switching off!! Having read your post I'm glad I went back to doing it the proper way, it's just not worth the risk...

And as someone else pointed, there are better ways to go than being killed by a pet fish!!!

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Hi Kev - is your tank called a mini reef? My parents had one of those, I used to be fascinated with all the anemones, corals, clown fish, sea cucumbers & feather duster thingys in it. Lovely to watch. We had Hermit crabs too, but they ate all the bright coloured fish! :shock: We had these funny snake looking fish, I liked them as they always seemed to have smiley faces! I think they buried themselves in the sand from what I remember. WE used to have special rock in there too & very often something like a teeny crab would crawl out, without us knowing that there was even one in there. I liked the little starfish & fancy coloured shrimps you could get too, the shrimps seemed like little dancers - so delicate.

It was an expensive hobby, but a real feature to my parents room & a real talking point!



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Hi Kev,


You shouldn't have electric eels in your tank!!!!!! :lol:


Anyway, my twin brother has a really brill marine tank, he's not the kind of person to even think about switching off the electic so I think I'll tell him about your story. He's had a few stings off certain fish before but thats all so far!


Take care, Dyan (RubyMurray) :dance:

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There haven't been any fish in my tank for about a year!!


I only keep it running to look after the live rock, the one Coral and the hermits prior to getting my 6ft set up. Now quite urgent!!


I tried to do it cheap, and it cost me a fortune! I have learned a lot though,


This time I will do it properly, with the required safety devices. :shock:




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Killed to death was one of my mothers classics.

It's like been killed only slightly more serious :D


She also used to call bad headaches 'a heart attack of the brain'


She referred to the religious door to door salesmen as 'Joseph's Witches' not to cause offence she just couldn't remember what they were called!


It' hardly suprising that i've got a head full of cartoons is it? :wink:



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