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Old 05-05-2009, 06:37 PM   #1
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Truly explosive heater

Searched the forum, but didn't see anything quite like what happened to me, so I finally registered to share my disaster.

I bought a 50W Petco heater about a month ago, to heat a 2.5g experimental/holding tank. Figured it was cheap ($17), could maintain a chosen temp, and there was little chance of overstressing the heater. Ran pretty solid for a month, kept temps between 78-79 all the time. A few days ago it decided to be a little less reliable, didn't heat quite as well, slowly lowering the temperature it could maintain by about a degree per day, but still well above room temperature. I kept it plugged in since it was still semi-functional and as long as it wasn't always on, no chance of a fish fry or explosion.
Well, yesterday afternoon, I decided I was going to go invoke the petco warranty since it wasn't working anymore. Verified that the temperature of the tank was indeed crap - down to 72 degrees with the dial turned all the way up, then started looking for my receipt.
As soon as I turned around, BAM! Sounded like a gunshot in my bedroom. I looked around to find the cause of the sound, then immediately noticed water glass and gravel all over the floor. I looked up to see that my tank had shattered! The entire back of the tank had blown out! My fish managed to get stuck either on the gravel or on top of the bookshelf, so I threw them into my 10g (which is now probably lightly overstocked), and started an hour and a half long process of cleaning up shards of glass, gravel, and heater bits from my wooden floor and carpet. Luckily petco refunded the heater under warranty, took back the other one I had on my 10g out of pity, and so I used the money to get a 50w visitherm stealth.

Attached pictures of the tank for your viewing pleasure. You can see the Red Sea Nano/Azoo Palm filter still sitting on the side. The explosion managed to crack the intake as well, but some superglue mostly took care of it.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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wow O_O

they don't make things like they used to. lol
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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Id be barking for a new tank, id call their coporate offices if I were you. Speaking from an ex-employee viewpoint. we replaced many tanks for customers due to company branded products being faulty or in your case explosive.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteDevil View Post
Id be barking for a new tank, id call their coporate offices if I were you. Speaking from an ex-employee viewpoint. we replaced many tanks for customers due to company branded products being faulty or in your case explosive.
It was just a 2.5g tank that probably didn't cost me more than 7 or 8 bucks. Not worth the hassle or loss of good faith at the store. I got back the cost of the heater, so no harm no foul except for 5 lbs of gravel I had to chuck b/c it was full of glass and heater bits. It might just be petco, but they have smarter fish people than other shops in the area, and don't mind miscounting fish for me every so often
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:23 PM   #5
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thats true, its the individuals, dedicated to their job and their hobby. prerequisite for where I am employeed.
You wont lose good faith, believe me on that, however you are a dollar sign not a person when you walk in, that goes for any retailer out there.

I am not faithful to one store , I have many I go to. I have a few friends at different ones so I make sure I patronize all to let them know I am still alive and stuff.

My 40g corner shattered once, petco gave me a full credit for the tank and gravel and fish loss. I still go there but I dont go to the one by me cause most of em are lets say less then steller in common knowledge let alone tank knowledge. Petco I do have to say does employ by department not by store.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #6
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Sadly, I think the Betta went into shock from the tankplosion. He was a little jittery going back to the big tank, but seemed otherwise fine. I woke up this morning to find him hiding inside a crock pot with the top half of his caudal fin torn off and covered with a brown/white fuzz at the base of the torn tail. I thought his tail looked fine when I transferred him to the 10g, so I dunno what happened. Maybe the other fish nipped at him. Anyhow, figured out it was some sort of fungus that's going to be a pain to recover from, especially since my iso tank blew up. Bleh.
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