There's a fish tank on sale at the pet store and you're considering setting it up, but you also remember some of the horrible tales your friends or colleagues have told you. Cracks and breaks in the tank caused water damage. A leak from the tank resulted in an electrical short. There are probably a few more you can think of as well. Luckily, there are ways you can be a safe aquarium keeper so that you can keep your Berks County home safe. To do so, follow these steps:

Avoiding A Broken Aquarium

Although aquarium glass is very strong, it can break. You want a strong, sturdy stand to prevent that from happening. It is important to keep in mind that you should place your fish tank on a level surface; otherwise, too much pressure on the glass and seals will result in cracks and breaks, as well as leaking water. Aside from keeping the tank out of high traffic areas, you should also teach your children not to climb or hang on it. 

Whenever you move an aquarium, make sure it is as empty as possible. Moving an aquarium, even partially filled, can be risky. Additionally, sand, gravel, and decorations need to be removed. These still add weight to the tank and can thump around inside the tank, damaging the glass.

Be sure to check the glass and the seals if you've purchased a tank from someone. Make sure there are no cracks or breaks in the plastic on the top or bottom of the tank. Before bringing the used tank into the house, it should be filled up at least halfway to be tested, regardless of how the seals and glass look.

Avoiding Equipment Hazards

The aquarium itself isn't the only thing that can be dangerous. If not handled properly, glass of any kind, like the lid, a heater, or decorations, can also be hazardous. Turning on a heater before it is adequately covered in water can cause a lot of damage. Whenever you remove a lid, never lay it down on the floor where it can be stepped on or lean it against a spot where it can tip over. Care should be taken when cleaning decorations made of glass or other easily breakable materials.

Electrical Concerns

Electrical hazards can be a real threat. You, your family and your fishy friends can have major problems with frayed and old aquarium wires, broken aquarium lighting, or damaged heaters. Be sure that all of your equipment cords include a 'drip loop' to prevent water from entering outlets or power strips. 'Drip loops' are simple. Just let the cord hang below the outlet, and if any water got into the cable, it would simply drip out the bottom. Keep the power strip about a foot above ground so the cords drop below it.

When done right, and with knowledge of the basics, an aquarium is a beautiful and fun addition to your home.

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