By: Kevin | June 27, 2011
Drama. I hate it, yet it has plagued my fishin’ experience more regularly than ever. Though this wasn’t as bad as the time I walked down to the basement to see 75 [of my monster 150] gallons of water on the ground, or losing my beautiful South American Discus (RIP). Let me speak at you.
I sat down on a work night to watch some Netflix with my better half. All was normal, Kibby’s kickin’ it E-Z style in her CVS Pharmacy bed, fish doin’ their thing with belly’s of brine shrimp, beautiful breeze coming in through the sliding door. As one, of many, Lost episodes starts streaming over the PS3 I hear a “CRACK”, then the sound of water gushing to the ground. I jump up and run over to the tank to find my overflow plumbing had broken off and water was dumping onto my living room carpet. My better half ran to get some towels while I stopped the ‘bleed’. All said and done, there was a gallon or two of saltwater on the living room carpet.
Nearly 24 hours prior, almost to the minute, I had taken this piece of plumbing apart to clean and then tighten it because a slow leak had developed. That did the trick, or so I thought. Apparently I tightened it too much and unfortunately it was almost 9 P.M. so I couldn’t run out and get replacement plumbing. If you have been following this blog, you know I couldn’t let my hard work, and money, go to waste. I called my friend Troy from The Greater Iowa Reef Society to see how he would handle the situation. I was advised, then recalled reading an article, that it is important to keep the water aerated. My sump, which houses my skimmer, was out of commission that normally aerates my water (in other words keeps it oxygenated). Lucky for me I had an extra air pump from my discus tank (RIP) which I used to keep it oxygenated. Of course I kept my power heads going to maintain water current and had to move my heater to the display to keep the temp at a solid 78 degrees Fahrenheit. These easy actions stabilized my tank until I could get new parts in the morning.
Then it was time to fix this sucker! I went to see my friends at Ace Hardware to pick up some replacement parts; I ended up getting a tub drain fitting that had rubber washers to lock into place. A key part about this was that the drain fitting is metal, NOT PLASTIC. The last plumbing was plastic with rubber fitting and I saw how that ended. I got everything back in place, FINALLY.
As much as I love having my tank in a living area the biggest drawback is the noise. The water overflowing down into the sump is almost obnoxious. Being the 21st century I figured someone out there has a similar problem. I did some google’n and consulted some friends. I was directed to a homemade device called a Hofer Gurgle Buster, some people call it a bubble buster. I thought about putting together a tutorial but of course someone has already done that. So, instead of wasting my time, just check the awesome work jrobertson did on how to construct your very own Hofer Gurgle Buster.
The entire PVC piping for this device cost me around $4. A small price to pay for such a HUGE improvement. It does a killer job and now I don’t have to max out my TV’s volume as a compromise for the tank. I highly suggest this to anyone who has an overflow box on their tank. I couldn’t live without it now!!
Now, this post is entitled ‘Drama’ and unfortunately it isn’t over. If my blog takes over the airwaves it could be the next big reality show… Snookie meets Operah? At this point I have my overflow box repaired, new Hofer Gurgle Buster installed, life is good right? Yeah well it was for a couple days. I came home for lunch on a lovely Friday afternoon last week to find my friend Clyde, my smaller clown fish, missing. Sometimes the fish will be hiding quit cleverly in the rocks. I decided to give them a little brine shrimp to entice him out for a bite. I began to look over my system to make sure everything was in check, sump had enough water in it, no leaks to be found on overflow. Then BOOM, an orange speck caught my eye. It was Mr. Clyde himself stuck in my Hofer Gurgle Buster!!! I pulled it out and discovered he was still alive inside. I put him in the tank and he attempted to swim however was all over the place and I knew his time was limited. I scooped him up in my net and hung it on the side of the tank thinking maybe he would pull through. When I returned from work, I was sad yet not surprised to see him dead.