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Old 03-28-2020, 12:44 PM   #1
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Heater Exploded - Emergency

Hi all. I’m new to this forum, and will get to introductions. But right now I have an emergency.
14gln freshwater tank, 1 Betta, 2 African Dwarf frogs, 1 Pleco & 1 Golden snail and various plants.
Heater exploded, crap all over water. Got the critters out in an emergency tank (big kettle) with new filter but no heater. Everyone seems ok for now. What should I do at this point, besides get a new heater and clean everything up?!
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Old 03-29-2020, 04:40 PM   #2
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Unplug, remove heater which you probably already did.

Try and get out any pieces and gently rinse the rocks /sand with declorinated water until it seem to be clean.

You can let it soak in dechlorinated water while you clean out the tank itself.

Put things back in. If you have concern there is contamination in the rocks you can throw them out of course and start over with new.

If you can not get new right away, you can leave it bare bottom.

Put everything back.

Those fish should be okay while you get a new heater, was it glass?

How are the fish and ADF?
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:38 PM   #3
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Thanks Autumnsky,
It was a rough time getting things back together, fortunately Petco was open so I could get a new heater and more gravel. Our Petco has a pretty well informed fish/amphibian guy and he happened to be working.
Unfortunately Windex the Pleco didnít even make it back into the tank. Donít know if it was the gunck from the heater (which stunk horribly) or he sucked up glass when it broke. He had black slime all over him and smelled like the heater crap. Trident, our Betta, is hanging in there so far, not eating, but swimming stronger than last night. Keeps gulping at the air so Iím wondering if he may have gotten it in his gils? They do take O2 from air and water, right?
Plain & Peanut M&M (ADFís) seem fine so far. They were pretty active last night, and Werther (Golden Snail) seems to be ok, too. Just keeping an eye on everyone and prayers for Trident, heís my buddy (Skittles the cat likes him too!)
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:25 PM   #4
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Well, mostly okay, huh? Sorry to hear about the Pleco.

Yes, Trident can do air from above the waterline and through the gills.

Maybe if you have an extra air stone put it in the water. Just make sure if there was any injury to his gills or labyrinth organ, he can get as much O2 in whichever way he prefers.

That is a scary situation! It is lucky they all weren't electrocuted to death. Maybe what happened to the Pleco.

Also good you had someone at the lfs who could get you some solid advice.

I would also just keep up with 2 pwc's per week instead of one. Maybe even an extra one this week since they were under a lot of stress.

Clean water (always dechlorinated) is key to help them keep their immunity up to fight off illness.
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Old 03-30-2020, 05:48 PM   #5
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My sympathies, that's a nightmare for any fishkeeper. What brand heater was this, if I may ask, and do you know why it exploded?
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:33 PM   #6
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Gulping in bettas can be a sign of stress too. I second the extra water changes!
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:12 PM   #7
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Thanks to all. Will def do extra water change, with the tank being a new reset, was planning to. I also moved the Betta hammocks closer to the top of the tank so Trident wouldnít have to go so far for air. Heís still a little sluggish, but seems to be doing even better today.
I have a long air stone which goes across the back of the tank. Iíll turn it up some, but it seems to freak out the ADFís. Trident (Betta) likes to get in the bubbles and shoot to the top. Had a fancy Goldie that would play in bubbles too (Mr. Bubbles was the size of your hand!)
Iím not sure what brand the heater was, it was an older one. I was using it as a backup since my main one went out the day before.
I did want to ask about adding aquarium salt along with the water conditioner. Iíve used salt before for stress and injuries, but wasnít sure about using it this time. I usually put a bit in when I do a half water change. Iíve had various fish (mainly goldies and betta) off and on for about 20 years, but never had this situation. Any suggestions on the salt?
Thanks again all.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:19 PM   #8
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Water conditioner and salt do not interact.
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