When it comes to aquarium equipment, it’s hard to demand instant gratification and not be disappointed. Certain items have a break-in period that can last days or even weeks in length, while others never live up to expectations and are doomed to fail on many levels. We’re happy to report, however, that neither of these is the case for the Vertex Aquaristik Titanium Ground Pole, which we recently got to spend a lot of time with. We were experiencing a great deal of stray voltage in one our systems, and the ground pole took care of them instantly. Not a few days down the road, not after a week of breaking in, but instantly. And for that reason alone, we are happy to sing its praises.
For those of you who have been in the aquarium hobby for any real length of time, you are probably quite familiar with stray voltage. It comes from all types of equipment, both submerged and external, and can wreak havoc on all sorts of marine organisms. While it may be easy to pinpoint which equipment is throwing off the voltage, usually by process of elimination, it’s not always easy to just remove that item from operation. Return pumps, protein skimmers, and heaters are all required elements of a functioning aquarium, and replacing these items isn’t exactly cost effective. Thankfully, titanium ground poles (also called ground probes) are inexpensive and very effective.
Grounding poles attract the stray voltage like a lightning rod. Because of this, they are mandatory for any tank where stray voltage is present. Heck, we’d recommend having one even if you don’t currently have an issue, as issues may arise as equipment ages.
The Vertex titanium ground pole comes well equipped at just $15. It sports a three pronged plug, suction cup, and a low-profile design that allows it to be hidden anywhere in the aquarium. As we stated above, as soon as we plugged the probe into the wall socket, all of the stray voltage that we were experiencing went away instantly.
Admittedly, it’s not always easy to detect stray voltage in the home aquarium. More often than not, it is detected when a hobbyist places his or her hand into the tank and feels a shocking or tingling sensation in their fingers or hands, particular in any open sores. In my case, I had a slight sore on my thumb from removing a hangnail. Every time I placed my hand into the tank, I got shocked, and pretty badly on more than enough occasions. Thankfully, after using the Vertex grounding pole, the shocking sensation has gone away