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Near disaster story!

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Was on a week long cruise last week. We got back at 2:30am and it could have been a very late night/early morning disaster.


Here is my recommendation to everyone: get at least one water sensor alarm. This is the one I got from my local hardware store but you can get it on Amazon or elsewhere.




I do full water changes and filter cleanings on each of my tanks prior to leaving for vacation. Fish don't get fed for that week but at least they have clean water. I have 2 SunSun 302 canister filters (on 2 different tanks) which I have been very happy to up until this point. Well, I flipped the switch off on one before the water change and noticed that it started leaking from the top immediately afterwards. Odd I thought, but fortunate that I noticed it.


I finished changing the water and reset and re-lubed the seals and crossed my fingers. Nope. Leaked. So I took the whole top apart and checked it out. Nothing exciting going on in there that I could tell. Put it back together no problem. Nope. Leaked. Lastly, I cleaned and lubed the quick connects. By that time I was out of towels so I set the filter in an oil pan (I use these for my water lilies). In the oil pan I put the water sensor. It screeches like a bat outta heck when there is a leak. Anyway, it worked for about an hour before it started leaking again.


So, I took out that filter from that tank (putting the bio media into the tank) and set up a sponge filter. That tank has another robust filter going so I wasn't too worried. Annoyed, but not worried.


But... I was worrying about the same brand of filter in the other tank. I was leaving for a week and didn't was dead fish or a water mess when I came back. But what are the odds of 2 filters failing in he same way at the same time? Well, in my case, a fortunate 100%. About 4-5 hours after I had changed the water and cleaned the filter on tank #2 we heard another God awful screeching. Thinking it could be a back flow siphon from disconnected airline tubing from tank #1, I checked that first but it was fine. Ran to tank #2 and there was the leak. The same leak from the top of the canister. Only a couple of ounces of water in the stand but enough to trigger the alarm. It was 10pm that night but better then than what I would have had to deal with a week later.


Fortunately I had enough parts for one last (albeit makeshift) sponge filter to put in that tank, also on top of the old bio media. Totally uncycled sponge but good enough and all I could do. This tank only had the SunSun filter at the time because a connector for the second filter I had on the tank previously broke several weeks before and I could not get a replacement. I'd been procrastinating on a replacement filter.


Came home. Floor was dry. Fish are alive. Water is free of ammonia and nitrite. Phew!


I guess I am really going to get working on the sump I want for my main 75g (tank #1) and will have to reconsider the filtration on my 55g (tank #2). I am really bummed about the SunSuns. They seem to be leaking into the top mounted pump housing where there is no water proof seal. I am going to take them apart and tinker but it's hard to trust them after this. A shame because I really like them for their design and flow rates. Oh well. Maybe I will try another brand.


So my message- get water sensors for your tanks. $12 is a good insurance wager. Place them where you think water would most likely accumulate first. The alarms would not have helped me if the filter leaked while I was away, but if I didn't have one to alarm me when it did on the second tank I would not have realized there was a problem until my tank had be drained onto my floor and my fish had been dead for a week. It also makes me appreciate sponge filters even more. I have several running on other tanks but like the canisters for the tanks in my living space for their quietness, looks and ease of maintenance.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



Edited by Butterfly

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