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Disaster Averted


Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
So Steve-O and I were sitting in the office yesterday, working diligently as usual...

(Steve: Kat, I'm bored.
Kat: Shh, don't bother me, I'm chatting on TONMO.
Steve: But I'm bored.
Kat: Well, I'm hungry.
Steve: Let's get out of here.)

... when I gradually became aware of a noise about evey 30 seconds, that sounded like someone tapping a snail against the glass in one of our invertebrate tanks. I went over to investigate the ones behind me (a rectangular glass one, ~60L, and a tall hexagonal acrylic one, ~200L) but couldn't figure out what was going on. So Steve came over to have a look, and we realized a puddle was forming slowly around the base of our 1.5m tall soon-to-be octo tank, which we were given by an aquarium that didn't need it at the time.
Then we realized that the tapping sound was the acrylic seam that runs up the back of the tank slowly bowing outwards and GIVING WAY. 'Oh my,' we observed. 'Goodness gracious.' (Or something similarly expressive). With visions of 200L of suddenly liberated seawater infiltrating the office, elevator shaft and four floors below, we began calmly siphoning water from the tank into buckets. Steve heightened the moment by starting the siphon on the bottom of the tank, obtaining a chewy mouthful of invertebrate by-product in the process.
Half an hour later, catastrophe was safely averted (as long as the buckets hold) and we are now on the search for a new octo tank. Shudder to think what would have happened if the seam had burst, say, over a weekend...

So, anyone else want to share similar experiences?


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Nov 20, 2002
WOW!!! :shock: You just explained every aquarium keepers nightmare!!!! Really lucky you were there!

Hmmm.... Is there a life expectancy for tanks??? I know my 44 gal was a hand-me-down from my brother about 6-7 years ago and this tank traveled from Colorado to Pa. He had it probably 10 years before I got it.




Staff member
Nov 20, 2002
How very fortunate that you were there to avert the disaster!

I had a similar experience some years ago when I had a 30 gallon freshwater aquarium. One evening I saw my dog sitting on the floor in front of the aquarium, pointing at it. I'd never seen him do this before, so I investigated, and found the seam was splitting on a lower edge and the aquarium was just beginning to leak - there was already a wet spot on the carpet. We had another tank around and by hurrying, we were able to transfer everything with no loss. So once again, disaster was avoided - but if it hadn't been for my dog, I might have not noticed this until much later.



TONMO Supporter
Nov 14, 2002
Some of you will know that since October last year I have been building and setting up an importation wholesaler's new premises. He now has 600 or so aquariums (try cycling all of them at once!!!) and there have been some accidents...

After i had built almost all of the 600 tanks, many of his staff seem bent on taking them to bits again! I think I have already fixed about 20 or so of them from bumps and knocks to being hit on the base with a hammer!!!

Some of the tanks are in toughened glass so they are very tough (obviously :smile: ) but see when they go, its like a car window; into a million pieces)

Not for the faint hearted
Nov 27, 2002
Well... It's not tank-related, though I certainly do find this tale alarming! :shock: But, in the dog-related theme, our old girl warned us once of a brewing electrical fire. She began barking and snapping agitatedly at a space heater, and after repeated attempts to calm her we finally spotted the faint wisps of smoke from the frayed cord's scorching of the carpet. She certainly was a hero that day.


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