Water alarms are one of the best investments you can ever make for your aquarium. Tanks leak. It happens. Most of the time there’s no good reason for it. They can be pretty new, sit on a great stand, be level and well-supported, and still leak. When that happens, a water alarm can make the difference between a big headache and a bigger headache, lost livestock, and thousands of dollars in damage. One little $12 accessory can be easily overlooked when we get so caught up with filtration, substrate, lighting, cycling, food, livestock compatibility, etc. But this little accessory can save you more than the cost of your entire setup plus all the livestock. Short of a piece of equipment catching on fire, nothing poses more risk of damage and loss than a water leak.
It saved me a lot of money when we had a leak in an apartment. We had a 75 and a 20-gallon and sure enough, at 2 am one night the alarm starts going off. It sounds like a smoke alarm, so it definitely gets your attention. I went into the dining room where the tanks were and could tell it was the water alarm, but I didn’t see any water. Both tanks were full and there wasn’t any water on the floor. I looked around and finally saw a tiny little puddle that was just barely reaching between the stands and collecting right under the alarm. The 20-gallon had leaked from the bottom seal. If I hadn’t had the water alarm, I would have slept through the entire ordeal and the entire tank would have drained without me knowing. I would have lost all the livestock and had who knows how much water damage to our apartment and the apartment below. The water alarm was so effective I was aware of the problem with only about a quart of water leaked out so far. It couldn’t have detected the leak any sooner.
I’ve had other leaks in the past and the damage would have been much less if I had been using water alarms back then. I’ve had over $1,000 in damage caused by a single 10-gallon draining empty from a leak, so I won’t have a tank today without a water alarm.
Below are a couple of great options that I have used without issues. One is a basic water alarm and the other has Wi-Fi for remote alerts via text and email.