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Dumbest thing you've done with your aquarium....


morphy1701
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I know the rule is put your air pump above your tank, but I've never done that. It is below the electrical socket, however. Was doing a water exchange so turned everything off, including the air pump. I took a bit longer than usual (got interrupted) there was enough time for the water to slowly leak back down the air hose in the pump. Needless to say, I soon had a puddle of water leaking out of my air pump. BTW, an air pump isn't strong enough to push all that water back up the tube. Neither is a human blowing into the tube as hard a he can. Fortunately I had a backup air pump so I cleared the hose, hooked up the new one, and threw away the old one cause it finally croaked soon after. And, luckily, wifey wasn't home so she is none the wiser of the giant puddle of aquarium water I had on the floor!

Seriously, though, lesson learned. Keep the air pump running since you're not draining the rank entirely. Or pinch off the hose or disconnect it. Ideally the pump should literally be above your tank so water can't somehow run down into it and possibly cause an electrical fire.

 

Second dumbest was moving to a different apartment in my college days. Was carrying my 10 gallon down the stairs with fish still in it an turned into the stair rail and broke the side. Fortunately I tilted it quick enough to keep fish and enough water in the tank and dumped the whole thing in a cooler to keep them alive. Bought new aquarium the next day and moved all the gravel and remaining water to the new tank so I didn't have try and do a whole new cycle. And somehow the fish all survived despite all the stress. Worst water change ever!

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Back when i got back in to the hobby after a 20 something year break. I successfully cycled my tank, and started slowly introducing fish to my tank. Why it didnt dawn on me at the time, but when i replaced my first filter cartridge, the directions said rinse the carbon dust off. Thats exactly what i did. I ran it under my chlorinated tap water to remove the dust per instructions, and stuck the wet chlorinated filter cartridge right in my filter. My poor fish rode an ammonia wave, followed by a nitrite wave, followed by me performing extra water changes while my nitrogen cycle restarted itself. I knew better at the time, i just didnt think. Most fish survived, my poor pygmy hatchet fish didnt. 😥

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Picked up 3 bottles of Ich-X, didn't realize one of them was a pond solution Ich-X stocked in the wrong place at the LFS.

Went through the first 2 bottles, dosed with the third bottle at normal dose.

Fish started freaking out an hour later so I did a 50% water change. About 2 hours after that several fish had died so I did another 50% water change and things started to calm down.

It wasn't until the next day that I realized that it was the Pond Solutions Ich-x and I had essentially given my fish double the safe dosage.

Edited by MattyIce
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My most recent dumb thing, ask the non-nerm boyfriend to fill me a bucket of water while I was cleaning a tank. He kindly brought it to me and I had it half emptied into the tank when I suddenly thought to ask "hey, you put prime in this, right?"

Cue frantic race thru the house, jumping over the cat to grab a bottle of prime left handily by the sink while he looks on in confusion. 🙄

No casualties thankfully.

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One time, after filling my 55 gallon with a hose from the tap in my bathroom sink, I unscrewed the hose from the tap before taking the other end out of the aquarium water. All my new beautiful clean water starts pouring back into the sink, and because my hose is just barely long enough I’m totally stuck holding it there. I call over my husband who’s on the phone with his parents and try to frantically gesture to get him to pull the other end out of the aquarium. He has no idea what I’m saying. Finally he decides to bring me the other end of the hose. Which works, but was more effort than he needed to go through.

No disaster, but I definitely felt stupid!

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The second dumbest thing I've done is not realizing that I am trying to grow plants in tanks stocked with omnivores.

The dumbest thing so far, was last summer when I threw a towel over one end of the aquarium to block reflections on the fishcam. When I noticed water dripping into the basement workroom, I ran upstairs to find a corner of the towel had fallen into the tank, and was now siphoning water out of the tank onto the floor.

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I was cycling my new planted tank about a month ago and had purchased a new glass canopy for the top.  The glass had some sticker gum on it so I was going to use a little Goo Gone to clean it off.  We had two different bottles, large and small.  The large one has a sort of spout on it so you can control the flow, the small one is just an open top once you unscrew the cap.  Forgetting this, I grabbed the small one thinking to squeeze a few drops onto the canopy and out came about half the bottle.  It doused all over the canopy and worked its way into the tank that had been cycling for almost 2 weeks.  I was SO MAD.

Ended up dumping all the water, emptying/washing the tank, replacing the substrate, and replacing the filter cartridge.  Needless to say, I had to start the cycling over too.  >.<  What an idiot.

Edited by Martin
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I always pull the drain plug completely out of the sink when hooking up the Python, but didn’t one time and wasn’t paying attention. Yep, flooded the entire bathroom, which eventually seeped into the hallway as well. Every single drawer of the cabinet was filled to the brim with tank water. 😂 

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A scared straight story for putting too much "theory" over too little practice I still think about today.

As a new hobbyist I tried to do waay too much with one 10gal tank. It was supposed to be a Walstad tank, growing high light plants, heavily stocked. And when I got some bloat I read I needed epsom salt. I added epsom salt to the tank every day for months during over-frequent water changes (no QT tank of course). It was not successful at all and almost discouraged me from continuing the hobby, but of course was entirely my own fault...

 

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