Tank Disaster - Need Opinions ASAP

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Northstar24, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    So I came home from work to a horrible noise. The fish tank did not sound like it normally does. I killed the power and listened to the main system pump wind down. Sure enough, another damn snail somehow managed to make its way into the pump intake and get sucked in.

    I'm thinking fine - I've done this before - it takes about three hours to break the pump down, clean it out, and finagle it back into place. (The setup is NOT teardown friendly)

    The pump finishes winding down, and I see a little black thing get spit out from the pump intake into the line. I think its the snail shell, but its a piece of plastic. I'm guessing it was a big snail, and my impellor shaft is fried.

    Two questions, can these external pumps be saved (can I order a new impellor, or am I better off just getting a new pump)

    Second question, obviously I don't have a siphon or a return, so water is not getting filtered in my refugium. I'm guessing its going to be a day or two before I can get this sorted out - If i have my Koralia and my Vortech running, will that be sufficient water movement for that time? I just did a large waterchange on Sunday (about 25%)

    I'm frustrated as hell, because this has happened before, and I've been looking for a solution to snail proof the pump, but I haven't been able to get anything to work - and it looks like it just cost me the system pump
     
    Northstar24, Nov 15, 2011
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  2. Northstar24

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    Who's the manufacturer of the pump? I'm sure most of them can be fixed, I'd need to know what kind to look for the part or you could call the company and ask them.

    Your tank will be fine with just the powerheads for a couple of days. I would keep an eye on your DT and sump temps and make sure both tanks keep the temp stable. Also, I might even put a powerhead in the sump to keep things from sitting stagnant.
     
    BL1, Nov 15, 2011
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  3. Northstar24

    Smitty

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    Sorry to hear that, but yeah, you should be able to just order another part for the pump and the tank will be fine with the powerheads for awhile.
     
    Smitty, Nov 15, 2011
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  4. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Its a Blue Line 40H - came from Lifereef when I purchased the whole shebang from them (sump, skimmer, and two pumps - one for the skimmer and one for the main system)

    I'm going to try taking it apart before calling Lifereef
     
    Northstar24, Nov 15, 2011
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  5. Northstar24

    sen5241b

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    Impellers sometimes cost as much as a new pump but you will have to check the price.

    Plastic cage around the pump. Also dual outakes to the refugium! Its unlikely both will be blocked at the same time. If the return is done right you should not need dual for it
     
    sen5241b, Nov 15, 2011
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  6. Northstar24

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    Is the pump yellow? I can't find any replacement parts for them but, they're covered under a two year parts and labor warranty.
     
    BL1, Nov 15, 2011
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  7. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Well, its official, the pump is dead. One of the legs on the impeller screen is shot, and two of the fins sheared off the drive...

    I dont think this pump could be saved, and even if it could, probably just better off with a new one

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Northstar24, Nov 16, 2011
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  8. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    I'm not sure what you mean about a plastic cage around the pump. The setup I have can be seen here:
    Lifereef Filter Systems

    Its the first photo on the page. As you can see, the way the intake is positioned, the normal baffles they sell for the end of a hose won't fit, there isn't enough clearance between the bottom of the intake inlet and the bottom of the sump
     
    Northstar24, Nov 16, 2011
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  9. Northstar24

    AdeptMrSniffles I have a Blue Thumb

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    Dear god, that's from a snail?? Sorry to hear about your luck.
     
    AdeptMrSniffles, Nov 16, 2011
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  10. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    This is the 3rd time it picked up a snail. So its just a total collateral damage thing, the first two times weren't an issue, the third was the death of the pump

    I really need to figure something out to keep the damn snails out. This happened 3 times with me visually checking the sump before leaving in the morning and before bed at night to make sure there were no problem snails on the move
     
    Northstar24, Nov 16, 2011
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  11. Northstar24

    BL1 ............. Moderator

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    Does the sump have a bulkhead that leads to the pump?
     
    BL1, Nov 16, 2011
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  12. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Northstar24, Nov 16, 2011
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  13. Northstar24

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    Maybe use some mesh cover the intake so no more snails get sucked in. Just cut it big enough to wrap around the intake, and zip tie it in place.
     
    fastrd400, Nov 16, 2011
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  14. Northstar24

    Marines_Wife

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    Not to side track here but I am beginning to think snails are a bit suicidal.
     
    Marines_Wife, Nov 16, 2011
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  15. Northstar24

    chuck78 The Reefanatic

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    Man that bites....I'd just go & buy a pump that easier to repair. Get a "Mag 18 or 20" them call it a day. Your tank should be fine. When my return pump conked out on me, I used nothing but powerheads for 4 1/2 days.....just make sure @least 1 of them is pointing upwards to agitate the surface for good oxygen & carb exchange. Good Luck!!!
     
    chuck78, Nov 16, 2011
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  16. Northstar24

    SarahSmile :)

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    Northstar, you had me panicked! I saw that you started a thread called tank disaster and I thought the worst! So glad all your fish are ok. Guess we all gotta watch out for those diabolical snails!
     
    SarahSmile, Nov 16, 2011
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  17. Northstar24

    marcah

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    sorry to hear about the pump.. I have a large sponge that I put over the pipe coming out to the external, it was the old sponge that came off my old coralife 220 skimmer, picks up any debris leftover plus keeps critters like that out..:D
     
    marcah, Nov 16, 2011
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  18. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Temp is down from 78 when I came home last night to just over 72 now. I have two heaters next to each of the powerheads in the tank, but that doesn't seem to be stopping the temp drop. Apparently the return lines were creating more water movement than I thought. Everyone is still accounted for, and they don't appear to be stressed

    I've got a call out to Lifereef, where I purchased everything from. Have not heard back from them yet. I've got the serial number of the pump with me, I'll be calling Champion Lighting on my lunch break and see what comes of that.

    My LFS has a Mag Drive 2400 that he'll take off the shelf and lend to me until I can get a permanent solution in place. He did not suggest running it externally as a permanent solution. (The way my sump is set up, I need an external return pump)

    Thank you for all the replies - I'll keep everyone posted
     
    Northstar24, Nov 16, 2011
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  19. Northstar24

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Well, still cant get ahold of Lifereef, which has me mildly annoyed. I went ahead and called Champion Lighting with the serial number, and an unfriendly manner the person on the phone told me that both replacement parts and full pumps are on backorder for at least the next two and a half weeks, possibly longer. He also said that the only way my issue would have happened is if a snail was sucked up by the pump, and didn't believe that I didnt find a snail upon tearing down the pump.

    I reached out to the owner of my LFS (Best Fish in downtown Milwaukee, worth the trip if your anywhere near the area) and he called Champion Lighting as well and got the same answer. He had a Mag 24 on the shelf that he told me to take home to use as a backup, and when I get things straightened out I can just pack it up and bring it back - he didn't even charge me

    Messed around with the thing ALL night trying to weasel it in place (my sump needs a re-design) and got it running. My ears are still buzzing. The Blue Line made noise, but was silent compared to the Mag Drive. If I wasnt so paranoid about losing fish, I'd just pull this thing out - its so loud I can hardly stand to be in the house. Definitely not getting any sleep tonight
     
    Northstar24, Nov 17, 2011
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  20. Northstar24

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    Sorry to hear about all this, Matt... but I'm glad you haven't lost anything. My fingers are crossed for you. :)
     
    ErinCahir, Nov 17, 2011
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