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View Full Version : 150 gallons of saltwater on my basement floor


tktodd
08/23/2011, 03:29 PM
Well I woke up Monday morning to a flood in my basement. About 3/4 of the water had already leaked out of my 150 gallon tank from the bottom somewhere. My GFCI's had tripped and all electricity was off since I was standing in lots of water. I freaked and couldn't think properly. I was like where do i start........oh yeah, the fish are still alive and sinking slowly to the bottom. I grabbed a spare 20 gallon tank I had and grabbed some buckets to put under the huge leak. I was able to fill up my 20 gallon in just enough time to scoop all of my fish out of the 150. Shortly after, all the dripping and trickling had stopped. The 150 was EMPTY. Now it was time for clean up. I managed to get everything cleaned up very well. My 5 year old hippo tang, 4 year old yellow tang, 4 year old niger trigger and three others had to downsize there living space to a 55 gallon apartment. The fish are doing well since I transferred tons of live rock and 20 gallons of water from the old tank. Just thought I would share my experience.

evsalty
08/23/2011, 03:35 PM
Sorry to read this. Did you figure out what happened to the tank? Did it crack or did a bulkhead leak? Hopefully a successful rebuild is in your future.

Reefermandan
08/23/2011, 03:37 PM
Wow...sorry to hear about that. I have a 150 in my living room and just can't imagine...that is one heck of a lot of water!

Enjoy
08/23/2011, 03:39 PM
Sorry to hear about this! It's never fun cleaning up a leaking tank. But, at least you had supplies on hand and didn't completely freak out. The fish are safe, and the rebuild begins :D

Just think of it as a chance to fix all of the little problems/short-cuts you "Would-a, should-a, could-a" in the original build.

Good Luck with everything!

philosophile
08/23/2011, 03:43 PM
How long had the tank been set up?

This is my worst fear since my tank is in the living room.... Carpeted. Something like that could quite literally destroy my house.

tktodd
08/23/2011, 03:44 PM
Sorry to read this. Did you figure out what happened to the tank? Did it crack or did a bulkhead leak? Hopefully a successful rebuild is in your future.

I have been so tired that I haven't even dug all of the sand out to find out where the problem was. It was a all glass tank, so no holes were drilled. I'm guessing the bottom seal somewhere. will give you a update when i dig the sand out.

tktodd
08/23/2011, 03:51 PM
How long had the tank been set up?

This is my worst fear since my tank is in the living room.... Carpeted. Something like that could quite literally destroy my house.

The tank has been up for about three years in my basement. I bought the tank used. It was only about 8 years old. Never had no leaks or any problems until that morning.

thelizardkin
08/23/2011, 03:56 PM
It could of Ben worse it could of been upstairs

dzfish17
08/23/2011, 03:58 PM
Man that sucks... everybodys worst fear.

jscarlata
08/23/2011, 04:01 PM
Wow, sorry to hear it. I had a tank break on me this year in July about 2 weeks after I had lumbar fusion surgery! Gladly my tank was much smaller and also being in the basement my floor drain took the brunt of it...I freaked for a little bit then came to my senses and was able to save all my fish and coral to a ten gallon tank...two months later I've got a new 90 running and I redid part of my basement workshop where the tank is. Sadly. About Two weeks prior to getting the 90 filled all my fish succumbed to something, ich or a fungus...oh well. I was able to remove all the non-reefsafe critters, ahem Sally lightfoot! Lol
Good luck on the rebuild. Don't forget about the snails you have in your sandbed, my lord do they stink when they die!

tktodd
08/25/2011, 10:29 AM
Well, I uploaded a few pics of the basement after cleanup and some pics of the empty 150 and the fish in there new home. I dug the sand out of the corner where the leak was coming from and didn't see any cracks, so I guess the seal is damaged somewhere.

fishysteve
08/25/2011, 10:40 AM
Sorry about your tank. Any plans on a new one?

TRENT_G
08/25/2011, 10:43 AM
Nice Basement.;) sorry to hear about the flood. Must have sucked to wake up to that. :furious:

sanchoy
08/25/2011, 11:42 AM
I also fear this as well.. A large tank reefer should always have a wet-vac nearby just in case this sort of thing happens..

Drakis
08/25/2011, 11:47 AM
Be glad you do not have carpet. I flooded my basement early this year and had to removed all of the carpet and padding. It was nasty.

Robert62779
08/25/2011, 01:49 PM
Well I woke up Monday morning to a flood in my basement. About 3/4 of the water had already leaked out of my 150 gallon tank from the bottom somewhere. My GFCI's had tripped and all electricity was off since I was standing in lots of water. I freaked and couldn't think properly. I was like where do i start........oh yeah, the fish are still alive and sinking slowly to the bottom. I grabbed a spare 20 gallon tank I had and grabbed some buckets to put under the huge leak. I was able to fill up my 20 gallon in just enough time to scoop all of my fish out of the 150. Shortly after, all the dripping and trickling had stopped. The 150 was EMPTY. Now it was time for clean up. I managed to get everything cleaned up very well. My 5 year old hippo tang, 4 year old yellow tang, 4 year old niger trigger and three others had to downsize there living space to a 55 gallon apartment. The fish are doing well since I transferred tons of live rock and 20 gallons of water from the old tank. Just thought I would share my experience.
that sucks.... I always have that in the back of my mind... what a mess and what you gotta do..

Robert62779
08/25/2011, 01:49 PM
Im lucky i have my basement sump right next to the tank...

tktodd
08/25/2011, 02:46 PM
Sorry about your tank. Any plans on a new one?

Thanks!! Not sure what i'm going to do yet. May look into fixing this one if it is repairable. But this definatley wont stop me from continuing this hobby.


Be glad you do not have carpet. I flooded my basement early this year and had to removed all of the carpet and padding. It was nasty.

Your right!! That's one good thing about my basement, it is pretty much water proof. All electric including my entertainment area is up off the floor. The floor itself is water resistant and my furniture all have legs except for one piece. If it was upstairs in my home:crazy1:


I also fear this as well.. A large tank reefer should always have a wet-vac nearby just in case this sort of thing happens..

A wet-vac is a must for sure. Although I pushed most of the water into the sump hole I have in the back corner. That hole saved me so much time and headaches.

Tracey2
08/25/2011, 03:00 PM
Sorry to hear about your crash. My 150g emptied quickly when a heater blew the side right out of it, not fun.

tktodd
08/25/2011, 03:14 PM
Sorry to hear about your crash. My 150g emptied quickly when a heater blew the side right out of it, not fun.

Wow!! Was you home when it happened? Did you loose everything? Sorry about your tank :eek1:

tktodd
08/25/2011, 03:28 PM
Here is a link to a video of my tank before the leak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQvmuw44TDk&feature=channel_video_title

boatguy
08/25/2011, 04:08 PM
I had the same thing happen to me about 10 or so years ago. My wife and I came home after a late night of fun and stepped through our front door into a puddle. All 110 gallons was in my family room. Corals were high and dry and only one fish was still wiggling. That incident took me away from the hobby for about 10 years. I am happy to be back but it is always in the back of my mind. I wish you the best in getting your tank back up and running.

Tracey2
08/25/2011, 04:36 PM
Yes I was home when it happened, scared the xxxx out of me. I jumped for months after at any little sound near the tank. Here's a pic of the side of the tank after the explosion.

http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv305/Missy4now/IMG_1694.jpg

I was lucky that it was a newly set up refugium with no livestock yet, it had just completed its cycle. I guess we are both lucky that there was no carpet but still such a huge mess to clean up. Some of these guys on here with 1000g or more, can you image if one of them let go.

Nice tank you had, I'm sure we have had our share of trouble now so should be good to go from here on in, at least thats what I keep telling my family.

aandfsoccr04
08/25/2011, 05:06 PM
yeah that is my biggest fear with 120 gallons on one side of the room and a 125 gallon the other side of the room which is only about 8'8' or so. I wish you the best in the rebuild and am sure it will be better than it was before so you can redo it with all your ideas that you have gotten since your first setup. Good luck

redreef85
08/25/2011, 05:21 PM
Glad to hear you are staying in the hobby!

tktodd
08/25/2011, 05:32 PM
I had the same thing happen to me about 10 or so years ago. My wife and I came home after a late night of fun and stepped through our front door into a puddle. All 110 gallons was in my family room. Corals were high and dry and only one fish was still wiggling. That incident took me away from the hobby for about 10 years. I am happy to be back but it is always in the back of my mind. I wish you the best in getting your tank back up and running.

Man that would suck in your main floor living space.


So guys, what do you think. If the tank was just leaking through the seals, would you repair it or what? Personally I don't trust my own work enough to do that. Should I have a pro reseal it or go for a new tank?

lordofthereef
08/25/2011, 05:57 PM
Please tell me the Dreamcast wasn't harmed!

tktodd
08/25/2011, 08:26 PM
Please tell me the Dreamcast wasn't harmed!

Good one! The old classic wasn't harmed.

naterd1976
08/25/2011, 08:34 PM
Personally, I would go with a new tank...peace of mind is priceless in my opinion.

AcMonster
08/25/2011, 09:15 PM
Sorry to hear about this. I will live in constant fear of this having set up a 190 in a newly finished (and carpeted) basement. Best of luck on the rebuild / new tank!

unkel j
08/25/2011, 10:01 PM
I bought a cheap tank at a yard sale (45g corner tank). The front piece of
glass was scratched up real bad. I paid a glass shop to put a new piece in,
then I gave it to a friend who set it up freshwater. About 8 months later the front silicone blew out flooding his living room (carpet). Infuriated I went back to the glass shop and guess what, out of buisiness! We redid the tank ourselves and it's been holding for almost two years now. I would never trust
anyone to fix or rebuild a tank, especially if it's a large one. JMO

Flippers4pups
08/25/2011, 10:25 PM
Do you think it might have something to do with the basement floor maybe being un-level? I've seen here on RC many a tank loose a seal because it wasn't supported/leveled properly. New tank, Piece of mind. JMTCW.

Tim gixxerman
08/25/2011, 11:25 PM
Ill come get the old one from you! LOL.

xtm
08/25/2011, 11:48 PM
I would definitely get a new tank.

Sorry to hear about the mess though! :(

tktodd
08/26/2011, 06:47 AM
Do you think it might have something to do with the basement floor maybe being un-level? I've seen here on RC many a tank loose a seal because it wasn't supported/leveled properly. New tank, Piece of mind. JMTCW.

The tank looked pretty level. I never put a level to it before i set it up almost three years ago. The water was pretty even all the way around the top of the tank. I guess anything is possible though.


Do you guys think that a new acrylic tank would be the way to go? Are the acrylic tanks stronger than all glass? I was thinking of going with a rimless acrylic with rounded front corners. For some reason I feel like the worst thing that could happen has happened, and everything has worked out pretty good. So now I feel like I have no fear of a tank doing that again because I have experienced it. Does that make since?

RA
08/26/2011, 07:21 AM
The tank looked pretty level. I never put a level to it before i set it up almost three years ago. The water was pretty even all the way around the top of the tank. I guess anything is possible though.


I looked at the pictures that you posted and looking at the 3rd photo it looks like your tank wasn't level. I'd definitely put a 4' level on your new tank and make sure it's perfectly level. I'm sorry that this happened to you cause I know that has too really suck.

tktodd
08/26/2011, 07:47 AM
I looked at the pictures that you posted and looking at the 3rd photo it looks like your tank wasn't level. I'd definitely put a 4' level on your new tank and make sure it's perfectly level. I'm sorry that this happened to you cause I know that has too really suck.

Thanks for the comment! The 3rd photo is the 55 gallon that the fish are currently in. The 150 gallon is empty in the first pic. Yeah, will definitely be leveling the new tank.

tktodd
08/26/2011, 09:10 AM
I was curious if the tank was level or not, so i put a level on the left side, right side and middle. It was dead on center (level) in every position. So I guess we can rule that out!

sanchoy
08/26/2011, 09:52 AM
Yeah, keep your head up Todd. And stay in the game.

the + side of this is, you get to upgrade to a new tank.. Think positive...
If i thought negative, I would of quit after my first tank a long time ago.. :)

solitude127
08/26/2011, 12:33 PM
Glad you decided to stick with the hobby. GL with your new adventure.

flyhigh123
08/26/2011, 01:41 PM
a earthquake loosened the silicone joints on mine and caused a leak a few years back.... maybe same with you?

tktodd
08/26/2011, 07:43 PM
a earthquake loosened the silicone joints on mine and caused a leak a few years back.... maybe same with you?

Well, we had our first real earthquake this week here on the east coast. I would have blamed it on the earthquake, but the tank broke on Monday and the earthquake hit on Tuesday.

Gonzalex
08/26/2011, 08:25 PM
Well if the glass is all intact, panes will always make a nice coffee table top cleaned up. Badass basement by the way. No basements in TX. Im jealous

doctorgori
08/26/2011, 09:32 PM
yeah I had a 100G explode on me for no apparent reason...
I feel your pain; 20-50-100 gallons don't sound like much unless you've actually seen 100+ gallons on the floor....esp on carpet...

...thats why all my tanks are in the basement anymore...
best regards and good luck