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One really bad night

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For family friendliness certain potty words have been replaced with fish names

So about a year ago I bought a 90g from a coworker, by far my largest tank, only having a 30g up to this point. I made a 3D background which took a very long time and got it installed. Then my dad made me a stand for it and I painted it and had to wait several weeks for the fumes to stop smelling before my wife would let me bring it in the house, since we have a premie newborn. About a week ago I decided to buy some fish for the tank knowing it would be up soon. I got a Whiptail Cat, a school of Colombian Tetra, an HRP, and a bristlenose that was less than 1/2” long, which all went in the 30 with the other fish that would be moving to the 90g (I’d love to have MTS but my wife very firmly has One Tank Syndrome) Well yesterday on the good ol’ 4th of July it was finally time to bring it inside and get it set up.

My neighbor helped me carry it inside and then I started filling it with 100lbs of sand and the hardscape. It looks great sitting their empty but I want water, today. I do not take the time to wash the 100lbs of sand, after all I set up an emergency tank in the shed with the same sand and the water was clear after a day and the Ram inside didn’t seem to be bothered at all by the sandy water. Now I know you are supposed to wash the sand but that would have taken a long time and you see I have been patient long enough. I hook up the new python and fill that bad boy with water and yes it clouded up. Now I know what your thinking, the water is cloudynow, but surely it will be fine after the tank gets cycled. Well like I said I have been patient enough. I get out the Fluval Fx4 I also got with the tank and started setting that up, and plop the 30g sponge filter inside, boom it’s cycled and the fish are going in, today. Doesn’t matter that you can’t even see them most of the time in that cloudy tank, they are going in.

I drain the tank water down to about 6” and start netting fish. I get everyone out except that tiny bristle nose, who I haven’t even seen in the whole process and my 5 khuli loaches. I drain the tank down to an inch and I am trying to spot the fish over the gravel substrate. After about 30 min of trying to catch these little jokers, who keep burying themselves in the gravel, I decide to start scooping out the gravel. Well this tank was going to be planted and therefore I never gravel vac’d it so that all that nice fish poop would feed my plants. Now all that fish poop surged into the 1” of water and turned it jet black. Well that can’t be good for the fish. I try to syphon out that last bit of water so I can just pick them out, but for the life of me I can’t get the syphon going with only that bit of water left so I decide to just pour the tank into a net. Out goes the water and my 3 Khulis are on the new tank. Wait 3? I had 5. I realize that 2 are buried under the gravel avalanche. I start scooping out gravel and find the first one, who looks to be in pretty good shape and get him in the new tank. I go back for the last one and I scoop out the remaining gravel and don’t find the khuli until I get through the last of the gravel, he does not look good. I put him in the new tank and see he has an injury to his belly and is swimming weird and resting upside down. I don’t expect him to make it long and I’m pretty upset because I know it’s my fault for being impatient. And that tiny bristlenose, I never saw him, not when the water was at 6”, not 1”, not after I poured out the water, and not after going through each bit of gravel by hand. I don’t know if he hitched a ride to the new tank on driftwood, or if he got netted with the others and I didn’t see it, but he isn’t in the old tank, and I’m not confident he is in the new tank either, mind you I did see him earlier that day before it all started so he was still alive and inside the 30g.

My losses aside I have my new tank set up and I am all done. I watch the cloudy tank for a little bit and then go to bed. My newborn wakes up at 1 to eat and while my wife is feeding she asks for something from the kitchen. I go out with just my phone flash light and peek at the tank as I walk by, oh look the dojo loach is doing something, let my get a closer look. Splash. “Oh No!* there is water on the floor, my carpeted floor mind you. I turn on the room light, “Oh heck! there is a lot of water on the floor. I go get my wife whatever it was she had asked for and bring it to her and calmly say “it flooded”. “What do you mean it flooded?” My wife lovingly responds. “The filter is leaking and their is water on the floor, I’m going to go start cleaning it up.” I grab all of our towels and throw them on the floor and start walking all over it, the towels have soaked through and hadn’t made a dent in the 20 some gallons soaking through my living room floor. The towels are also stained a very unattractive brown, not just any towels though, the white, custom embroidered towels my wife got as a wedding present. Those get thrown in the washer on full steam before she can see them. She comes out of the room after finishing with the baby and says “You’re fish are dead”. “Now honey I’m upset too but it’s not the fishes fault, you can’t take it out on them”. “No you idiot look” all of my danios and tetras are belly up. The bottom dwellers who spend all day sifting through sand look fine, but apparently the midlevel swimmers couldn’t handle the sandy water and died. I through out some more hecks and as I scoop out my fish that I killed and through them outside to the fire ants.

My wife asks why it leaked and I think it because after running the filter for a few hours I unplugged it to keep the Sandy water out of the impellers and somehow that made it leak, maybe your not supposed to just unplug them. So I turn the filter back on as my wife gets the carpet cleaner wetvac that I didn’t know we still were borrowing from her parents. She gets back and says the filter is leaking again. I look in the cabinet and sure as heck the outflow on the canister is leaking steadily. I unplug it again but it is still steadily leaking.
At this point it’s about 2:30 am and my fine processing skills just aren’t all the way their. I yank off the inflow and out flow while it is still under pressure and water starts shooting out the canister like old faithful. “BACKDOOR BACKDOOR BACKDOOR” I yell to my wife like Arnold telling her to get to the choppa, followed by a heck darn! I get the canister outside and return to see the inflow tube had started a vacuum and was also pouring water onto my floor. That gets yanked out and now we are both just standing in a puddle in the living room. “Is there anything else?” My wife asks. “I might have ruined the good towels” I responded. She says goodnight in a tone that sounds more like “You’re dead to me” and goes to bed. I spend the next 3 hours wet vacing the floor and drinking beer. I take the old sponge filter back out of the canister hook it up to an air pump and go to bed. Then my older child wakes up crying in her crib to get out. Oh look it’s morning.

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