Stress before Success

Posted: March 14, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef, Refugium

After realizing, yesterday, that I needed to redo all my fuge plumbing, I had to hold off on plumbing until I got the remainder of the parts.

I picked them up on the way home from work today, and began assembling them. Unfortunately, the angle I need to get the new piping from the emergency overflow through was pretty tight.  This meant I needed to move the refugium until it was lined up correctly. So I began moving the tank to line it up. I kept bumping the pipe that was from my main tanks overflow.

Little did I know how barely watertight the bulkhead on my main tank was. As their was some pressure on this pipe, I heard something through the wall… wondering what it was, I walked around the picture. Water was pouring from the bulkhead on my main tank!  Panic set it.  I tried to stop the leaking, but (since the fuge tank was in the way, and I didn’t realize it) I was unable to turn the piping enough to stop the leak. Frantic I started looking for solutions. The hole is too tight to get my hand up there, and I can’t even get my hand down the overflow in the tank because of how tight it is. Eventually realizing that I needed to move the refugium to get the pressure of the plumbing.  There is no feeling the this hobby like the idea that you’ve completely screwed you tank. Especially when it’s due to a change that wasn’t entirely needed, and shouldn’t have effected the display tank in the slightest.

Where’s Life’s undo button?

This picture was from when the leak was mostly stopped. Though, it was fairly intensely dripping. At this point, the leak was still too much to be “acceptable”.  After a while of fiddling with the configuration of the pipes, I was able to get it down to roughly a drip every 10 to 20 seconds. This is how it was originally before, and stopped on it’s own. Let’s cross our figures it happens again.  Overall, I had a couple gallons of water on the floor of my stand.

Once I had the leak situation under control (though, my pounding heart persisted for most of the night), I realized that my initial plan of plumbing the emergency line straight through the wall wasn’t possible due to how the tank needed to be situated. This left me with a ton of water in my stand, an extra hole in the wall, and a dilemma on how to get the plumbing right on the emergency overflow.

Luckily, I was setup well enough to get the emergency overflow line to go across the wall and then through a hole next to the original overflow.  So (after another trip to the hardware store) I was finally able to get the plumbing completed.


Needless to say, I ended my night with a couple drinks and a visit to the bar. This project ended up taking WAY more than expected.  Let’s hope the (now tiny) leak from the display tank overflow stops on it’s own from salt creep, as it did before. So far, I see no leaks from the fuge now. So at least something went right!

Fuge Back Online


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