55 Gallon Tank New To Hobby: Like a tank over electrical panel...

  • #1
Hi All,

I am very new to this hobby, but my son wanted an animal ... and he seemed to be really into fishes... so I have decided to get him an aquarium for his 8year BD...

Well I am a bit nerdy and obsessive so without any fish I started researching and researching and researching... so I ended up with 55 Gallon Aquarium stand etc... and over 1000$ poorer

We already had our first water incident during initial filling- 5 gal of water decide to exit the aquarium via water pump hose, thankfully it all collected inside the stand, We (Kids an me) were able to remedy the situation within 30 mins. so nothing major happened ( I hope the integrity of the stand is still ok)

The tank is undergoing a fishless cycling process and still in Stage One.

One thing just hit me... The aquarium is located on the first floor in the corner of the house right over our electrical panel (which is located one floor below in the basement).

This, seems to me, is a recipe for disaster... Unfortunately it is a perfect spot as far as stability and aesthetics are concerned, but I am a bit worried?

So I think I would like to ask more experienced fishkeepers. Do you guys think I should move it? (I think I know what the answer is and it involves work

Thank You and all the best


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  • #2
As they say it's not if but when. I would move it. Much cheaper in the possible long run.
  • #3
I guess it really depends on what your insurance deductible is and how badly you want a new house. Lol. The danger is sparking leading to fire. Which may or may not happen with water pouring from the floor above. Water takes path of least resistance so it could route to somewhere other than straight down.
However, if it were my house and that were the best place for it... I would create some sort of pan with a drain to put underneath it. Kind of like what you would put under your hot water heater or AC to drain it outside if it happens.
  • #4
Welcome to FishLore!

Well the first thing I want to say is that if your 8 year old son wants to keep fish...he is really cool! He's like a little JDHef. How cool is that!?

If you are worried about it, you could probably look into providing some kind of water protection over the top of the electrical box. You may need to talk with an electrician to see if he/she has any ideas on what could be done. In fact, you could ask the electrician if you should be worried at all.

Best of luck!
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  • #5
Thank you for all the replies ... and great ideas ... I think I will move it ... better to be safe than sorry ... I like my house - it is much older than I am and I respect elderly .
  • #6
After it is inhabited the "job" is even worse.
so move it now !!!! Get it out of your head.

And.don't blame your 8 year old for this addiction hahahaha.
  • #7
Welcome and great job much better than an iPad.

Just a note to warn you - my 5 year old son started like that 3 years ago. I too got a 200L tank skipped the stand but still got little change from $1000.

Here he is as an 8 year old with me $20k out of pocket but I couldn't be happier with his passion and progress.

He now has over 20 tanks with sharks, octopus, coral, mudskippers, freshwater, brackish and marine the only salvation for me was his love of temperate marine that allows him to catch many of the things he keeps and allows me to spend time fishing with him rather than working to buy his new fish.


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  • #8
Unless you are going to run salt, the chances of water starting an electric fire are slim. It's when water saturates and wicks into the wires themselves that it can cause corrosion, eventually eating the conductor, then cause high resistance of the conductor itself, in the wall or outlets commonly, and then make heat where heat should not be. You have a better chance at starting a fire by not having a drip loop and losing a cup of water per week into your outlet, than any one time 55 gallon flood going down a floor and watering your breaker panel. Another big factor there is that after the water makes it down there you are likely to have an inspection done. The water won't sit for months in the cabling and cause issues if it's inspected and replaced. The real killer is that outlet by the bathroom sink. Wet hands and hair dryers all the time. The next is behind the coffee pot, always humid and splashed. Then the out door outlets, the one my race trailer is plugged into smoked itself a couple years ago, water had cursed the connectors in the spring clips until the trailers heater no longer had higher resistance than the outlet, then the outlet became the 1500 watt parallel load. The outlet can only burn itself up with the amount of load the appliance can feed back.

Put the tank where you want it, it's part of your life, you should like it for it. Pay attention, install an audible flood alarm or two and you'll be fine. I love keeping fish with my kids, we put the tanks tank where we could get the most not out of it, don't let the panel scare you into hiding it elsewhere.
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  • #9
I talked to a few fireman in the area, they do not think it is a fire hazard issue, now just have to get buy in from an electrician
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  • #10
So electrician suggested to move it... so not sure what I am going to do. Logically in the event of catastrophic failure the breaker should trip... and Yes I do have a moisture sensor under the aquarium...

So yeah still undecided if I should move it or not...

As far as moving it somewhere where it is not going to be seen and admired - this is not a concern. The other proposed locations are within the same room however they will have other implications

1. Being close to Speaker, and to the right of a projector screen - I am assuming this can create an 4acoustic distortion, and cause reflections from projector screen.
2. Do a switch with Piano -> this unfortunately will move piano right next to the Radiator meaning I would have to figure out a way to disable that particular radiator... in a serial plumbing system
  • #11
Did you talk to the electrician about moving the circut breaker box. A true fishkeeper wouldn't even baulk at the price!
  • #12
My two cents:

My house is old. There used to be a charcoal chute that led outside, and when I first bought it that little window started leaking like crazy. Right. Above. My circuit breaker. Lots of water, flooding into my basement, hitting the box. I remedied the situation of course, but more than 10 years later, and having an electrician friend check everything, nothing bad has happened.

I would imagine that by the time that water started to get through your floor, you would have noticed it in time to make a difference in the situation. I really don't think it would cause you any issue, but an electrician is going to tell you the safest thing to do, which is to not chance it.

It's up to you how much danger you think you can tolerate, but I think your chances of anything bad happenign are very, very slim here. If it were me? I'd stick it there, put a towel in the base of the stand and if I ever notice that towel is damp for any reason that isn't because of me spilling, I'd worry then. You're more likely to see a slow leak you can act on than a catastrophic failure of the glass.
  • #13
I have tanks built in 1990 that don't leak and silicon is much more advanced now.
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  • #14
To close the thread - tank continues it's existence over the electrical panel ... thank you for all your advice

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