I'd like to use this post to vent, and allow you to share your stories about some of the absolutely unexpected insane happenings of caring for your beloved fish.
Tonight started like any other cleaning. I took our my rocks, lowered the water, scrubbed the glass and combed the sand. I began taking out my 5 gallon buckets at a time. It all started when I got down to 50%.
My rainbow shark jumped two feet out of the tank, over the light, and in the back of the aquarium. I reached my hand in the narrow space as far as I could, but he was out of reach. I just hoped he flopped into my hand. After a few moments he just stopped, I jumped up and went into the middle of the stand where there is a 4" gap and contorted my arm to reach him. I finally got ahold of him, covered in hair and other dirt I put him in the bucket I had nearby and rinsed him off. I tore a big gash in my own arm as well. After he caught his breath I put him back in the tank. Both of his eyes were cloudy and his skin was tattered.
I began refilling the tank, and restacking the rocks. By now I am pretty good at stacking my rocks, but tonight they just would not work, they kept falling over, I'd put one rock on, and the rest would crumble. After spending about 30 minutes getting them set up just right I see a rock start to shake and the whole pile comes crashing down.
Upset and at my end I reach in to find my electric blue hap has gotten himself stuck in a rock cave way too small for his size. I do my best to help him out, holding down his pointy dorsal fin. He violently shook himself out, doing much damage to his sides and face. He laid on the bottom of the tank for a while catching his breath and holding his fins close. He is scrapped up to hell.
As if this wasn't enough, after I get all the water, caves, filters, etc. clean and in place my UV
filter decides to fall apart. The pieces won't fit together, the suction cups keep falling off, and I spend another 10 minutes sorting it all out.
In the excitement of it all I forget to run my UV
filter in a bucket to get all the left over gunk out, so when I turn it on it just shoots a huge wad of sludgy garbage.
I make some more adjustments to the rocks. Add some Melafix, stability and prime. And prepare to call it a night. Then I look at the time.
What normally would take me an hour or less has just taken over two and a half. I have two fish completely mauled. And my water looks like crap.
Good frickin night.