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Old 09-26-2011, 01:56 PM   #1
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OH NO!!!! Tank is LEAKING during cycle. HELP ME !!!!

I have hit nitrites/trates, things were moving along.

AND NOW. My tank is LEAKING!!!!!!! (Me, when I saw it => . Then my reaction => Followed by => ....)

Oh good God what a fishless DISASTER.

A tiny leak, it showed up today. It is coming from the bottom, it seems, so I am going to have to empty out the whole frigging thing to repair it !!!!

The leak is not huge, just a tiny droplet for now. Can any of my hard work cycling be salvaged, or am I going to have to start all over??????

I think I have to pitch the substrate because it is in two layers : substrate + sand. I imagine that I will lose a lot of bacteria doing that...

I assume that I should keep my filter running until I empty the thing out. But then, if I repair the leak I'll have to leave the tank to dry (glue) a bit. What kind of window do I have before I lose the bacteria in my filter while the tank is drying?

What do I do with the other stuff (rocks, plants) in order to conserve my bacteria while I wait?

Comments? Ideas? I'll take anything here....

Waaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Please help me...
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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Could you buy a 10 gallon to put your substrate and decorations and filter in? I mean it'd be like seeding a new tank... they will at least live that way. Fix your big tank, then put everything back into it and keep up the cycle... you'll of course lose some of the work but not all of it as you would have salvaged your substrate and decorations and filter bacteria.

I'm new here... but that's what I would do in this situation. 10 gallon tanks can be had dirt cheap.

All the bacteria from the tank walls will have died due to drying out, but you saved the rest... I bet you could get re-cycled in a matter of a few days to a week with all the seeding material you saved.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #3
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get a bucket or big plastic tub and fill it up with water from your tank. then put all your filter material and whatever else you can fit into the bucket to keep it wet. next, can you actually see where there is a leak and what's causing it? is it a crack in the glass or is it coming through the silicone?
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
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Just keep the filter media wet and put the substrate in a bucket. Unfortunately the dirt/sand is going to mix, but that's inevitable. The biggest concern is the filter media though, you can put new substrate down.

It will be fine for a few days while the tank is being repaired.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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The VAST majority of your beneficial bacteria is in the filter media. As long as you keep it wet and aerated it won't hurt your cycle much if any at all. I'd just throw all the filters in a bucket of dechlorinated water with an air stone. It will be fine for several days without food (ammonia). Worst case scenario is it sets you back a few days from the small amounts of bacteria on the walls, deco, substrate, etc... if they dry out.

Sorry about your tank . I know it's a pain in the butt.

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Old 09-26-2011, 02:42 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone, these are some great ideas. Really helps me organize.

Based on your ideas, how is this for a plan? :

1) I probably won't be able to get to a store for silicone for a day or two, so I will leave the tank / filter / cycle, ammonia, the works going until then. Hopefully, nothing will explode in the meantime.

2) Trip to the store for silicone + new substrate + maybe a ten gallon (or less?) tank. Hey, btw -- how small could my hospital tank be? My regular tank is 17 gallons and I plan on only 2 or 3 small fish in it. Could I do a hospital tank of like 5 gallons?

3) Fix myself a nice cocktail

4) Tear down the tank, emptying substrate, rocks, plants into new small tank, along with filter. Keep cycling in there, ammonia and all, filter + heater running

5) Fix leak, let tank dry. Put NEW substrate in the tank, put rocks, plants and filter back.

Whaddya think??????
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