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Old 04-15-2004, 03:46 AM   #1
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Help! AquaClear leaking

Is anyone out there? I need help! My aquaclear is leaking so I had to disconnect it. Of course it's 12:45 am so I can't go out and get another. Will all the fish die overnight?! What can I do? I'm not about to do a water change every 2-hours all night long as my Fishlopeadia suggests!
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:29 AM   #2
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Your fish should be fine. How did things work? Did you get another filter yet? If this happens again, there shouldn't be any immediate danger to your fish. Just make sure that you have some sort of water movement going on. Either a powerhead or an air stone.
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:41 AM   #3
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Where is it leaking from? I presume it is leaking from the O-ring seal that holds the motor on? You can try just re-lubing/replacing the seal. If something is cracked, that will not work.

Email the manufacturer and let them know you have a problem, they might send out a replacement
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:44 AM   #4
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Is it overflowing? Too much media combined with too much of a hanging alngle combined with a full tank = overflowing aquaclear.

If that is the case just remove some media.

AT 12:45 AM you can go out to walmart and get a whisper HOB. hehe
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapcrackler
AT 12:45 AM you can go out to walmart and get a whisper HOB. hehe
gack! I'd rather have a leaking AC than anything with "whisper" in the brand name
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:52 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I did leave the various bubblers running all night (we have lots of these in the tank---my son likes bubbles!). I left the filter in my bathroom sink overnight and made sure to fill the housing with aquarium water. And go figure---it didn't leak! So are the bacteria ok? What should I do with the filter media while I take the filter back to the store? Should I float it in the tank? And what about the blue, star-shaped thingies I bought 3-4 weeks ago that are seeded with bacteria? Can these be placed in the tank itself (my son wants to decorate with them anyway!) or do they need to stay in the filter housing?
Unfortunately I had one fish death---one of the dwarf gouramis -- I haven't time to carefully count the neon tetras but one of them may be missing too. I hope there won't be more---the remaining fish don't appear to be stressed (to my untrained eye). I just did a 40% water change and when Petco opens at 9:00 I'll take the filter back and see if they can determine what's wrong with it. I haven't done anything to it since installing it 7.5 weeks ago. During a water change once I had to add more water to it cuz it somehow lost about half its water during the water change--- but that's it. So I don't know why it's leaking. It's a slow leak and appeared to be coming from the upper right hand corner---I think. . . . So once I get this figure out and fixed, should I replace the gourami? Are they best in pairs? The one that died was the less-dominant one---I sometimes saw the other nipping at it and chasing it a bit. . . .
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Old 04-15-2004, 12:01 PM   #7
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If you have to replace it, get a penguin.
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:26 PM   #8
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UPDATE: I went to PetSmart to return the AquaClear. They were out of AquaClear 300's so they gave me a Penguin Biowheel 170 instead. They said it was superior to the AquaClear anyway and assured me that I could use my retained media in it. However, once I opened the box I saw that it uses completely different media--- a slide-in cartridge! So I called two lfs and was told categorically by both that the AquaClear is actually far superior! How confusing! However, I put more faith in the LFS stores than in PetSmart. Of course they're each a 30 minute drive from me rather than 10 minutes for PetSmart <sigh>. At least one of them is having a sale right now on AquaClears. The lfs guy also told me I should get some kind of special carbon for the filter rather than what it comes with. So I guess I'll go for that too. I'll have to act on this before reading your replies, but do you all agree with this assessment on the filter situation? I sure hope I don't lose any more fish. In addition to the dead gourami and MIA neon-tetra, I also have one zebra danio that's MIA. I just don't know what's becoming of these fish. Now that I've taken out the filter media I see that they're not in there. How weird! amz
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:48 PM   #9
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Yeah! I agree Aqua Clear is far better.
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Old 04-15-2004, 06:33 PM   #10
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Aaaack! I'm SO confused! It seems everywhere I turn I get conflicting info on how frequently to do partial water changes and how large these changes should be. One book author recommends frequent, large changes (twice a week, up to 50% of the water) and the lfs guy at the shop today said to do a 10% change every 2 weeks!!! He says most of the bacteria is in the water. <big sigh> At any rate, I bought an AquaClear 300 for my 29 gallon tank and I bought some zeolyte charcoal for it (supposed to be far superior to the charcoal it comes with), plus I bought some liquid bacteria, and some liquid gravel vac. I don't know what came over me---it cost a fortune!! Anyway, the lfs guy said to use the new sponge and new charcoal and get rid of the old. I WILL be keeping the blue foam star-shaped things and I assume they have bacteria on them. But I was nervous about not using the old sponge and charcoal. So I put the old sponge on top of the new charcoal in the filter basket and I have the old charcoal sitting on a bubbler in the bottom of the tank. Am I doing the right thing?! I'm wondering if I've been had by the lfs guy who saw $$ signs when I walked in. He said he's been keeping fish for 20 years and seemed to know what he was talking about. But then he said I should change both the sponge and the charcoal at the same time, regularly. And that's counter to what I've read. Again, I'm so confused! Help!! amz
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:07 PM   #11
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I may confuse you further, but this is what I would do--take back the liquid gravel vac! You can't add to the water and expect something to disappear. The ONLY way to remove waste is by vacuuming the gravel. Most everyone on this board will tell you a 25% change once a week is fine.
Yes, bacteria are in the water, and on the fish and the substrate and in the filter. 50% water changes are extreme from the fish's point of view (temps, pH...). Only do a 50% change if you NEED to get rid of ammonia or nitrites. You should be able to see the bacteria growing on your filter--brownish-red.
As for charcoal--it is there to remove chemicals. If you don't put chemicals into the water (i.e. meds), the charcoal is not needed. The charcoal wears out within a few weeks anyway and you need to buy more. There were two threads (one in General Discussion and one in Getting Started) about how often to change the filter. Most people rinse their filters in old tank water to knock off the large clumpy icky stuff. This will allow your bacteria to stay on and be fine.
FYI--I have no charcoal in any of my 6 tanks. The only time I would add it is if I wanted to remove meds (but I rarely treat whole tanks and use a QT tank).
I understand the confusion that comes with this hobby, but I'm not here to sell you anything and I can say that my fish are "happy," healthy and spawning!!! 8O
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:46 AM   #12
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How could you posibly prefer Aquaclear over pinguin? I can't even fathom...
The only box filter superior to a pinguin is an emporer in my opinion.
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Old 04-17-2004, 02:32 PM   #13
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Thanks for the reply. I didn't see it until today because I only just now figured out that one needs to click on next or page 2 to see more replies! No wonder I'm having trouble here if I can't even figure out how to navigate a message board!

Well, coincidentally I just finished reading in my reference book that carbon shouldn't be necessary in a filter on an ongoing basis and you've just confirmed that. So, if it weren't for the fact that I already opened and used a few tablespoons of the large container of Aqua De-Tox charcoal I bought I would return it. It claims to remove "disease-causing viral microbes" which it further claims are a "constant threat to the health and well-being of every fish in your aquarium." It also claims to have "specially developed resins that continually eliminate ammonia without using harmful chemicals." And finally, it claims to remove "harmful toxins and heavy metals." These "heavy metals are present in most water supplies" and can "stress fish to the point of death." So I suppose it's a miracle that the fish in your tank are alive at all, let alone "happy, healthy, and spawning"!

SO, since I do have this huge container of this stuff, I may as well use it. It says to replace it every 4-6 weeks. While I understand that it's not necessary, it won't be harmful will it?

As for the Liquid Gravel-Vac. It's not supposed to take the place of vacuuming the gravel. It's supposed to break up the gunk that builds up in the gravel so it can be more easily and effectively vacuumed. The salesperson said that since I haven't yet vacuumed the gravel (the tank is nearly 8 weeks old) that a lot of gunk has built up. He said when it builds up like that then you get large chunks that will not be suctioned out---they'll just float around as you vacuum no matter how much you try to get them out. Having never vacuumed, I had no way of knowing whether or not this is true. The salesperson said to use this stuff three days in a row, then again on Friday, and then I think he said to wait a few days before finally vacuuming--- to give it time to work. . . .
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