World's stupidest and most ridiculous tank leak!

Discussion in 'Other Reef Talk' started by Vincerama2, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Yesterday at 6:00 AM, my wife got up to go for a run, and she immediately woke me up with "Your tank is leaking!" (not THE tank or OUR tank, but YOUR tank).

    So I leaped out of bed and sure enough about 20 gallons of water was busily (further) damaging my hardwood floor, then I found the cause of the leak and it was completely stupid.

    Background: To reduce nitrates, I bought a biopellet reactor. It constantly leaks pellets into the tank, which get stuck in the pumps and stuff, but is required to actually outlet into the skimmer section so bacteria poo can be skimmed out.

    Background2: To combat escaping pellets, I bought a "3 micron mesh sock". I stuck the output hose of the pellet reactor into the sock, which I put in the skimmer section of my sump. The sock is sort of stiff, and the holes are very small (I would venture to say they were 3 microns!)

    The Stupid: So apparently, what happened was ... as the sock got clogged, it started to straighten up, similar to if you filled a rubber dishwashing glove with water from a hose pushed into it, or one of those wacky flailing arm inflatable attention getting dolls at car dealerships. So ... what I found in the morning was that the stupid sock had inflated itself such that it was completely clogged and filled and had extended itself out past the edge of the skimmer, and over flowing water was gushing out the mouth and into the stand and onto the floor!

    It basically reached out to spill water on my floor!!

    So anyway, I hate that sock and the biopellet reactor is just p'ing me off.

    rygh likes this.
  2. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    The reactor didn't have a mesh on the inside to prevent pellets from escaping?

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  3. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    Not good
  4. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    Doh. Can't you put a sponge or something inside the reactor itself?

    I find that dosing carbon is much less troublesome. I'm dosing NO3PO4X right now only at 1ml per day. Along with small fuge and my nitrate is barely 0.1ppm.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  5. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    It did, and it clogged constantly, so I removed it. A byproduct of the pellets is this sort of flimy slimy bacteria poo, which in theory is skimmed out.

    I think instead I will feed the output into a bigger net mesh or simply a cup with small holes so if it overflows, it just overflows into the sump instead of extending itself out to mess up my house.

  6. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I was trying to dose carbon but thought this would be a better way. And in theory it keeps the bacteria poo concentrated, but as you can see, it has it's own problems.

    I may swap back to vinegar once my pellets run out. ... or escape.

  7. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Maybe lower the flow some? Sounds like you have too high a flow into the reactor.

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  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Oh so simple...

    There are so many stories of biopellet problems.
    Although yours is certainly the first I have ever heard of that type. :)
    Coral reefer likes this.
  9. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I'd figure escaped pelletes would just melt away over time.

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  10. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    20 gal is a lot of water. Where did it go? :)
    Having sponge is ideal because it will inform you to clean and replenish, rather than escape biopellets
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    *facepalm*, those are there for a reason. ANd like the other Vincent said, lower flow if it kept getting clogged. IIRC pellets are meant to tumble at the bottom not get pushed all the way to the top.

    That said, 3 micron sock? good god why? Those pellets might be small but they're not that small, 3 microns would clog very regularly. You want those 300 micron mesh ones, and yeah you still need to clean them out regularly.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  12. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Eh, I dunno why 3 microns.

    The flow in the reactor is very low, just enough to tumbe, but the pellets seem to reach a certain size, catch a bubble or something and get sucked up and out.
    The screen was clogged basically every day and the reactor is not simple to clean. That's why I figured and EXTERNAL mesh is better. Maybe I'll just have it flow ONTO a sponge-like thing so I can catch balls and easily clean it outside of the filter. Or maybe a regular filter sock. THat 3 micron thing was ridiculous, not sure what I thought 3 microns was. or 300 or whatever it was. Even a sports sock would have been better!

    Where did the 20 gallons go? A lost got trapped under the stand and slowly leaked out, the rest spent it's time splitting the hardwood floor at the seams and leaking down the air vent into the furnace. All I know is that it took about 20 gallons of new salt water to re-fill the tank. Mostly the water was gone from the sump though. The rest of the water just puddled up and waited for my wife to find it. Many towels were sacrificed that day.

    Wifebane should be renamed Vincebane.

  13. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    You need a leak detector that would shut your pumps.

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    Vincerama2 likes this.
  14. sjbro

    sjbro Supporting Member

    FYI, for my pellets reactor I had a custom acrylic disc that fits smugly inside the reactor. I had it cut out at TapPlastics, then drilled with many small holes and placed inside the reactor above the pellets. It is in use for years. In the past when I was dealing with hair algae and it was growing even inside the reactor it got clogged a few times. Since I got rid of the algae a few years back, it hasn't clogged at all. I'm cleaning it once a year when I add new pellets. When it got clogged it only caused a reduced flow in the reactor, no risk of spills.
  15. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    The sad thing is that I bought a water detector/alarm for my basement then another for the tank. The one I bought for the tank is still in a packge somewhere.
  16. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I think I need to "modify" my reactor for ease of cleaning. I bought a wide nozzle for the input pipe (imagine a flower watering can) which makes the pipe really hard to push into the pellets when reassembling the unit, and the pipe is attached to the lid. I htink if I remove the nozzle (it's just friction fit), then at least it will be easier to remove and replace the lid with pellets in it.

    It's an "Avast" peller reactor. I regret not buying a TALL reactor where the pellets have more space to jump around and have more height between pellets and top of the reactor.

  17. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Apex one would of shut pumps down and save you headache

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  18. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    ouch! maybe get leak monitor?

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