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Emergency tank tear down questions


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I stupidly knocked over my ATO hose and it pumped about 4 gallons of water onto the carpet underneath my 65g tank. Spent hours at midnight last night trying to find a leak before I realized my mistake. At least there isn't a leak?

Today I'm tearing down the tank. Moving corals, fish, and inverts to a 10g I had recently set up about a month ago so its cycled (that was just a fluke), even though it'll be tight space in there. Moving rock with coral attached to it to a rubbermaid bin. Then we can move the tank to let everything dry and pull back the carpet to see the extent of the damage. I have extra heaters and an air pump to keep the rock/coral alive in the rubbermaid bin.

My biggest question though is the sand. I first anticipated the tank with sand and a few inches of water sitting for several days or more (however long it takes to dry the carpet), but then realized that would mean a big die off of the sand bed. It'll also just be very disturbed from removing the rock. So what should I do?

1. Once I move the tank, put enough water in it to put in a heater to keep the sand alive?

2. Ditch the sand and buy new live sand or move the freshly cycled sand from my 10g?

3. Other ideas?

I have 20lbs of freshly cycled live sand in the 10g. I believe I had 60lbs of live sand in the 65g, which is just over a year old. I've been battling dinos, cyano, vermetid snails, and aiptasia. Over the year I've pulled out some sand in the process of getting out dinos, so maybe it's more like 50lbs of sand now. Ugh. A part of me just wants to give up and find someone to take everything away. Ack!

Thanks in advance for ideas and sympathy.

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7 minutes ago, scubaethan said:

I stupidly knocked over my ATO hose and it pumped about 4 gallons of water onto the carpet underneath my 65g tank. Spent hours at midnight last night trying to find a leak before I realized my mistake. At least there isn't a leak?

Today I'm tearing down the tank. Moving corals, fish, and inverts to a 10g I had recently set up about a month ago so its cycled (that was just a fluke), even though it'll be tight space in there. Moving rock with coral attached to it to a rubbermaid bin. Then we can move the tank to let everything dry and pull back the carpet to see the extent of the damage. I have extra heaters and an air pump to keep the rock/coral alive in the rubbermaid bin.

My biggest question though is the sand. I first anticipated the tank with sand and a few inches of water sitting for several days or more (however long it takes to dry the carpet), but then realized that would mean a big die off of the sand bed. It'll also just be very disturbed from removing the rock. So what should I do?

1. Once I move the tank, put enough water in it to put in a heater to keep the sand alive?

2. Ditch the sand and buy new live sand or move the freshly cycled sand from my 10g?

3. Other ideas?

I have 20lbs of freshly cycled live sand in the 10g. I believe I had 60lbs of live sand in the 65g, which is just over a year old. I've been battling dinos, cyano, vermetid snails, and aiptasia. Over the year I've pulled out some sand in the process of getting out dinos, so maybe it's more like 50lbs of sand now. Ugh. A part of me just wants to give up and find someone to take everything away. Ack!

Thanks in advance for ideas and sympathy.

I would just keep a pump in the tank to keep it circulating.  It doesn't need heat. But im sure anything beneath your rocks and top layer of substrate may make a appearance again. I have a shop fan from when I was a mechanic and when I have overflows leaving that on where the spill happened usually dries it out. Also auto shop absorbent pads can help(autozone/oriellys) im in Vancouver wa. If you want to borrow it for a few days.

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Rent a floor fan (the kind that blows crazy amounts of air right at the floor) at Home Depot. It'll dry out the carpet and pad in no time. Keep the sand wet - no need for heat. The bacteria should survive. 

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Thanks you two. I have everything moved out of the tank successfully, but the sand and it's too heavy for my two roommates and I to lift. So I think the sand needs to come out. I'm thinking maybe throwing out the sand and replacing it with new might actually be beneficial with the pests I've struggled with, namely dinos. Not sure.

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The sand likely has a well developed bacteria bed, so you might consider keeping it alive.

What you could do instead is thoroughly rinse it with the tank's water (If you still have it).  Stir it all up and then dump the dirty water.  This could help get rid of all the built up detritus that could be the underlying issue.

Either way, you may have a nutrient spike when you put everything back together, so be ready for water changes.

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