Originally Posted by thincat
Changing your Outlet plug to a GFCI Plug is a better safety feature then a grounding Rod. The problem with the extention cord GFCI units is that they don't reset themselfs, so it the unit tripped it would have to be reset manually to get power back to your pumps and other equip. for your tank.
Also with just a grounding rod you may be masking a bigger problem.
Grounding probes will NOT protect you from shock - that's not what they're meant to do. They're meant to drain off minor stray voltage and protect fish. A GFCI outlet is the only way to protect yourself and in my opinion is one of the few things in this hobby that should be a "must have."
I'm a little confused about the statement regarding GFCI units that don't reset themselves... you don't want them to reset themselves! If the unit trips, and my hand is in the tank, I in no way want that thing to reset itself because it just saved me from going up in a puff of smoke!
In my experience, turning off your powerheads/pumps isn't a bad thing if you're going to do tank maintenance, or even feed. It's actually a good habit to get in to when you feed because that way you're not blowing food all around the tank. By keeping the currents to a minimum, it allows the "cloud" of food to be eaten mostly by the fish, and not blown into inaccessable areas just to decompose and pollute your water. My fish don't seem the least bit concerned when the pumps/powerheads go off, and I haven't ever had issues with premature failure of those things.