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Old 03-09-2006, 06:37 AM   #1
JG
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near disaster...

My twelve year old daughter had early release from school yesterday. She came home to find one of my rio powerheads smoking and sparking in my 90 gal. Thank goodness she has a good head on her shoulders. She at first thought it was a heater and unplugged that, but when the smoke and sparks were continuing to issue from the tank, she called her grandmother for help.

Needless to say, the chemicals from the burning and melting of the plastic toxified the water. My yellow tang was dead by the time I arrived home as was one chromis. I have never seen corals "snot" so much as they tried to recover. I still await to see what other casualties occur.
I changed 100% of the water firguring that it was certain that everybody would die if I left the toxic water in the tank, so I might as well risk the the loss to shock during the water change

So far so good... I've seen my bicolor blenny , coral beauty, and decorated goby this morning. I'm hoping my sixline pulled through.

The top of the rio is completely melted and carbonized. I shudder to think how close we came to having the house burn down.

Joanne
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:18 AM   #2
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Those rios have that reputation. I am glad to hear that your disaster was not worse.
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:18 AM   #3
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So sorry Joanne. That's horrible. Indeed thank goodness it wasn't worse.
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Old 03-09-2006, 11:57 AM   #4
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Do you use a ground probe in that tank and run carbon ? I have had every powerhead known to the hobby to short and burn up and I have yet lost a fish Just had a Maxi 1200 to short out where the cord goes into the top It was 3 months in use. Some touchy LPS and SPS have RTN'ed after yes but no fish.. Bottom line is if it holds water it will leak and if it runs on elect it will short out in used under water.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:38 PM   #5
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These devices are UL listed and should nto do that. IT occurs on occasion but it is not something to assume will always happen.
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:22 PM   #6
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Well - no more loses... I can't believe it. All the fish are happy and accounted for and the corals are polyped out. It was a bit of a late night . though.

The fast water change was a gamble, but it paid off. The water was scummy with residue from the cooked plastic and had that wonderful burnt plastic odor. It was as close to a 100% water change as I could get. I found this really cool water pump that attached to an electric drill. Screwed on two washing machine hoses and got a 45 gallon trash can for mixing large batches of water and I was in business.

On the positive side - I was finally able to catch the blasted 4-stripe damsel that had thus far eluded every trap I have set. He couldn't hide as well when the tank was almost empty. He went to school with me today and is now living in my classroom tank. The kids were excited to see him today- they have been waiting for him for several months, but I knew that the only way I was going to get him was by tearing the tank down.

I am still so proud of my daughter that she was able to be calm - cool - and collected. This weekend both girls are going to get a lesson on how to cut power to the house by using the circuit breaker.

Joanne
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Old 03-11-2006, 01:16 PM   #7
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Heh, I need one of those pumps! Where'd you get it?
You should be proud of yourself, as well. Your daughter learned it from some where, after all. Every parent who runs aquariums should teach their kids what to do "just in case." Now, that having been said, powerheads aren't automatically little time bombs. Rios have a bad rep for burning up, because they're built cheap. However, I've had the same two Rio's for four years, I clean them regular, and they work. I took them off the tank anyways and now use a Mag Drive for my return, because I wanted more flow. But I have also had the same powerheads for 5 years and no signs of trouble.
Good luck and congratulate yourself AND your daughter for a level head!
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Old 03-11-2006, 04:59 PM   #8
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[quote="zuzecawi"]Heh, I need one of those pumps! Where'd you get it


Home Depot ... hanging on a shelf near the sump pumps. $6.95 - sure beats $129 for a sump pump

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