Do you turn your power to your tank off during a water change, or not?

do you power off during a water change or not

  • yes i power off

    Votes: 88 63.3%
  • no i don't power off

    Votes: 50 36.0%
  • never thought about it

    Votes: 5 3.6%

  • Total voters


so in my old 29g, I never turned off the power to my heater, filter, lights or air pump during the change, this was mostly because the water level never got low enough to hurt anything, but now in my 75g, when I wc the water gets a lot lower than my equip. so I power everything off except for one light that has a separate power supply. so does anyone else do this to


I only turn it off my stuff if it's not covered with water. Those heaters get mighty hot, and it's not good for your pump if it doesn't have enough water flow.

I had a heater crack once when the water got too low, so I turn everything off.


I turn everything off. Always. It's never worth the risk of electric shock!


Only the heaters, that's all.


I turn off the power strip. The lights are on a different power source - very helpful.


When I set my tanks up in more permanent fashion I am going to put all of the equip besides lights on a switch.

Now I have mostly sponge filters and I put the heaters as low and horizontal as possible so I don't have to pull any plugs while doing wc. The tanks with hobs I just change less water in, around 25-40, however much is at the top of the intake strainer.


It's nice to flip a switch on the power strip. You should get a few jeta


All of mine are on DJ Power Strips. No unplugging ever. Just a flick of a switch. Won't go back. But even so, my sponges and lights always stay on. Heaters are really the only thing that NEEDS to be turned off.



I've been trying to find a 6-8 outlet powerboard with individual built-in timers for a while. Although I suppose I only really need it for my lights, otherwise I can turn off the rest of the equipment via a switch on the powerboards.

I usually turn off the heaters and filters (excluding sponges) and leave my airpumps going.


I turn my heater and filter off, the water coming out of the filter makes too much noise when the water level got too low and scares my fish. My heater has a faint crack mark on it, I think because I used to leave it on when I changes the water so def turn it off!

Kathy Potts

I have busted a couple of heaters simply because I FORGOT to unplug or flip the switch off. I do large water changes so everything except the lights and sponge filters get the off mode. Since I tend to be hazard prone, I probably should unplug the light too. Dropped a couple of them in a tank while they were still burning. Was very fortunate I didn't get shocked nor did it ruin the lights.

BTW, those power strips are fantastic.


Good morning,

I do not power off. My heaters are always submerged and never exposed to air. In my small tanks the heaters are placed horizontally 2 inches up from the bottom.

In my 265g the water level doesn't get low enough to expose them even being placed vertically. The cords aren't long enough for me to place them horizontally.

I only have to turn off my wet/dry filter when doing a water change. The other 4 filters remain running all the time except for when I have to maintenance on them.



I keep the lights on and, if I have a bubbler, I keep that on, as well.


I do, I have 3 tanks on one big 10 plug extension, so I switch that off with just the one plug (just easier that way!) and switch it on when those tanks are donw. For the rest of them, I power off at the wall or extension switch.


Just the powerhead and heater. I leave the lights on so I don't suck up any fish, and I can see what i'm doing.


I don't power off eather unless I need to rinse the filters out then I unplug. I found unplugging the filters and not rinsing them out they dump gunk back into the tank when restarting them. Heater and lights I leave on during w/c. I will move the heater down lower if need be. It works for me.


Yes...I have all my equipment going to a power strip, and one light going to the wall. I just turn off the power strip and go to town.

On one of my 55's, the previous owner installed a power strip onto the stand itself, pretty crafty.


I do not turn off the power to my canister filters, unless I am cleaning it. I do, however, unplug the HOB filters on my smaller tanks.

So, my answer is both YES and NO.


Nope, I don't turn off power any more.
I used to, until it happened that I forgot to turn back on, twice!!
Luckily I noticed when I was finished with the two tanks and was watching them, but I'm not about to make it third time un-lucky!


same here, but I still forget to turn on the external filter and skimmer after feeding the coral !


I turn off hob filters and heaters..... a few of my tanks have a power strip, some do not. on the 10 gallon and 20 gallon I have forgotten to plug the heater back in....for several days! doh! luckily nothing horrible happened to anyone. every tank should get the strip!


The only thing I turn off now is the canister filter, because the water level will drop below the intake when I change water. I can't let the air enter the canister. Unless I change more than 75% of the water, the heater will remain under water.


I only turn off what is going to end up above water level, powerhead, internal filters, heaters, canister intake etc.

Mind you I have taken to turning off the heater before putting my hands in the tank after seeing a girl at my lfs fly across the room due to a faulty heater. She was very lucky not to have been seriously hurt.


heater always goes off
filter and air go off on 50% WC but not 25%
lights stay on for cleaning, off for topping up


I power off the filter and heater when water changing. especially the heater as once it comes out of the water it decides to turn on and then melt the rubber suckers holding it to the tank wall!!
Thankfully I keep a spare so I salvaged the clips off that one.
Air pump stays on 24/7 as it seems to keep angels calm when cleaning, otherwise they have a hissy fit and bolt around the tank


I turn the power off to everything, I have a powerhead and air pump near the surface along with a heater. It's all plugged into a powerbar so I just flick the switch. I use room lights to see what I'm working with inside the tank.


I do use a computer spike guard there are 7 sockets in it and I can turn off any device which is not needed do have individual switches for each with a fuse for safety and I prefer to switch of heater


lights and air pumps stay on...if the under side of the hoods need cleaned then the lights will get shut off when removed.


I turn everything off. Always. It's never worth the risk of electric shock!

+ 1

I have a power strip so I turn everything off including the light so I can clean the hood I remove all decor


I always turn everything off because I am paranoid, I do not want to get shocked lol.


I've broken a lot heaters over the years because of forgetting to shut them off. So now I have all my aquarium accessories on one switch to prevent that. Haven't done it since.


I keep all tank equipment on a surge protector. I just switch it off until I'm done.


I turn everything off apart from the lights as ive had a bad exsperiance before with a heater poping and losing fish it has to be an exsperince that I won't forget


Lights stay on everything else goes off


Canadian, wants to believe in the Hardware but. . . .

to prevent my hair stand up on end,
my heater burning out,
or a repeat of today the Filter, dumping all its crud into the tank

If had a GFI installed I,
might be less worried for my own safety

In fact I will do that tomorrow, I bought them but never installed them.


Nope. I use an aquarium controller and it's programmed to drain a gallon of water from my sump daily and pump in a gallon a fresh water. I change about 40% every month by changing a gallon daily. All my pumps stay on the entire time.


60% a month,

Well that is a great hands off approch
does this also allow for waste parcipates to be removed?
(iunstead of vacuming the substrate
Nope. I use an aquarium controller and it's programmed to drain a gallon of water from my sump daily and pump in a gallon a fresh water. I change about 40% every month by changing a gallon daily. All my pumps stay on the entire time.


I use to never power off until I read a post from here awhile back and it got me really thinking how dumb am I.


I only unplug one of my pumps b/c the level gets too low to keep it running.


Nope, I don't turn off power any more.
I used to, until it happened that I forgot to turn back on, twice!!
Luckily I noticed when I was finished with the two tanks and was watching them, but I'm not about to make it third time un-lucky!

haha- that is exactly my fear...

I do not unplug anything. I do turn the light off because its in the lid (which has to be removed)

I turn it off because i'm afraid of sloshing water on it or tripping over it and electricuting myself.


I always power down my filters and heaters. I have them on a separate power strip so one click and they are off. It is hard on the filter impeller to be running if it is not picking up water plus the heater can easily over heat if it is out of the water and it can bust when the new water is added. It can also be a shock hazard if you happen to spill water on something that shouldn’t have water added.

For those of you who don’t I would advise you start getting into a safe habit of turning it off. I would rather see you loose your fish because you forgot to turn it back on than us loosing you because something went wrong.


I've never thought about it. I just turn the whole power board off at the wall.


I learned something years ago, you know Murphy’s Law. This law states that if something can go wrong at the worst possible time it will. No I am not a pessimist but rather someone who tries to prevent the bad things from happening to me and my loved ones, fish included. My wife has commented more than once before that I am one of the safest people she knows with the worst luck of anyone she knows.

I don’t wish any harm to my fish ever but if I was given a choice between loosing a few fish and my grandchildren growing up without me getting to watch, I would choose to watch them grow up. It can be the simplest of things that we do that can prevent accidents from happening.

Turning off the power before putting your hands into a tank is one of them. Treating the water for chlorine prior to adding it verses after adding it is another. We can all forget things especially if we get side tracked before finishing a project so I recommend you come up with a way to remind yourself to turn the power back on verses taking a risk of being electrocuted.

I would also like to bring up something to think about if you’re planning on a remodeling.
The electrical codes for new homes being built requires that ground fault outlets be installed in bathrooms & kitchens or any other place there is a possibility that water could present a shock hazard. This code was not written because bad things never happen around water but because it does. I have slowly had a few of mine changed out during remodeling project but by no means have I gotten them all changed out around my aquariums.


I never really thought about it.


I change the water 2x weekly on my 135. 20% waterno gravel vac- Lights stay on everything else off (3 hob 2 airpumps and 2 heaters on a powerstrip) so that is a one button power off. When I do a gravel vac 40% water change everything is off (3 lights on hardwired light switch and the other power strip) The lights out on the gravel vac is simply so I can remove the lid.


Do you turn off your filter/heater during water changes? I always do, but I'm not sure that its necessary, mainly I just don't want my little guppies pushed around by the flow as the water level gets lower.


You should turn them off. For one thing if the heater isn't in water it will overheat as will the pump in a filter if ran to long without water. Turning the heater off is a must, it can and they do break if still plugged in out of water.


I don't turn off the heater unless it goes halfway out of the water if sitting vertically, or completely if horizontally.


I always unplug both. During a 50% WC, the water drops below the intake of the filter. Both are easily unplugged and plugged back in after so I’d rather be safe than sorry and not stress my equipment.

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