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Old 01-17-2012, 04:21 AM   #1
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The last 72 hours: A tale of panic, frustration and success...

So, this is my first post, so if I am breaking any rules here please let me know... I just needed a place to vent to people who would understand my woes..

A little history on me... About 10 years ago I had an 80 gallon FOWLR predator tank set up that I ran for about 3 years with no major complications. I decided after the events that were taking place around the world at the time to join the army and do my part. So, I sold my tank and setup to a friend and moved out.

Off and on throughout the years I have gotten the saltwater itch again. Finally a few months ago my wife decided to give in and let me set up a new tank for christmas. Oh, by the way, we now live in germany, which is awesome, and we love it out here, but despite much of the aquarists' equipment being made out here, they are not at all big on saltwater aquariums out here, freshwater is huge, I just can't get into fresh. So, I find a 240L (about a 65 gallon) tank, stand and canopy used for a good price. So, I jump on it.

Weary of setting up a used tank, I clean it out, fill it with water gradually over a week or so and let it sit for a few weeks to check for leaks. After a few weeks of no leaks I decide to go for it. I bought all the pumps, heaters, protein skimmer, filter, and about 70 lbs of live rock to go in. I let in cycle for about a month, and eventually add some fish and inverts. The nearest shop the deals with saltwater is about an hour away and is way overpriced based on their monopoly on the market. For example my snowflake eel, about the most generic eel around, cost my 49 euro, almost $75.

So, I have it fully stocked, everything is going great. About a month later, this last Sunday, I am outside and my wife bursts though the door yells, your tank is leaking and takes off.. I go quickly inside only to see my tank quickly draining on to the hardwood floor of our rental house. The bottom seem burst and was gushing out. We grabbed every bucket we could find to catch as much as we can. I grab my large rubbermaid container user for mixing my saltwater and syphon as much as I can into it. I take out my live rock and my fish and inverts and put them into the container as well. Eventually about a half hour later the tank is completely drained. I drag the rubbermaid into a near by bathroom and set up the filter, lights and pumps to try to keep the fish alive. Oh and by the way, three days prior I had surgery to replace my ACL and repair my meniscus in my knee, so I am doing all of this hobbling in a full leg brace, occasionally screaming out in agony.

As I said, we live in germany, and here EVERYTHING is close on sunday. So, the fish are in for an over night stay in the bathroom. We woke up the next morning, and my 2 year old daughter went in the bathroom to look at the fish, seconds later I hear screaming, rushing in there I realize my eel had pushed through my makeshift lid and was on the ground. I quickly scoop him up and place him in the water, he lives. We go to a local pet shop and pick up another tank and stand because our previous tank was a custom trapezoid shape so the stand wouldn't work.

We get home set up the stand, start putting the 25 kg of crushed coral back in, along with what water we could save in there. Fill up with new saltwater, put live rock in, install filter, pumps, heaters, etc. We let it settle for a few hours, test the water, levels are slightly higher than I prefer, but without any other options, I add the fish and inverts back in.

Everyone has survived through the night, so I am happy. Today, I plan on doing another 50% water change and continue to monitor with testing. Hopefully everything will calm down and get back to normal.

Sorry this has been rather long winded, like I said, I needed to vent, "normal" people just would understand. Thanks for listening...


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Old 01-17-2012, 04:35 AM   #2
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Wow I feel bad for you. Glad it ended up ok, and best of luck with the new tank. Also do you know how the leak started?

Dont be Wasteful is what I was always told, Got a dead fish? Get the Frying Pan Baby!
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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Wow!! That is both unlucky and lucky! Glad to hear it all worked out in the end.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:08 AM   #4
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Jesse- No idea honestly... I hadn't changed anything, nothing fell into the glass on the inside or hit it from the outside. I had inspected the silicone on the tank prior to setup, and there was a good thick seal of black silicone inside, looked all good. It started in the corner on the bottom seem and just went downhill from there.

Mumma- thanks, I hope my luck improves... Not a very good intro to my saltwater for my wife, this is the first tank I have had with her. Thankfully she is very understanding and patient.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:11 AM   #5
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This is a pic of the old tank, I will post some of the new one soon.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:20 AM   #6
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Wow, how traumatic. Good luck with the new setup.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:35 AM   #7
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Wow,...I could fell the pain and the trauma every minute as you told it..... Hope everything works itself out...good luck.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:54 PM   #8
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Okay, so did my water change and my water is testing out within acceptable ranges... But I have beekeeping an eye on my fish throughout the day, and all seem to be doing well, except the eel. He seems very lethargic, and his skin appears to be almost shedding... I know this is not normal, does anyone have any advice on what I can do for him? Again, he is a snowflake eel, about 14-16 inches long. I don't know how long he was out of the tank and if anything could be done... but if anyone has any advice I would sure appreciate it. Thanks
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SeaWasser View Post
if anyone has any advice I would sure appreciate it. Thanks
I have advice..... ice that knee and take lots of percocet.....

Just trying to add a little levity to an obviously stressful situation. You seemed to handle everything thrown at you with style, I'll give you that.

Best wishes for peaceful fishkeeping from here on.
75: blood parrots, featherfin cat, emperor tetras, turquoise rainbowfish, BN plecos, japanese trapdoor; 46: WCMM, gold inca snails, ghost, bamboo & amano shrimp, kuhli loaches, rummynose & ember tetras, endlers, platies, flame gourami, guppies; 16: pygmy, peppered, loxozonus corys, otos, assassins, RCS ... ~ Research PRIOR to purchase.... ~
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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Maybe dose the tank with rally

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