I heard cracking on and off and didn't know where it was coming from, I thought it may have been from the filter as I'd just stuffed it with media (it clunks together sometimes and makes odd noises) but I saw a puddle by the bottom of the tank and alarm bells went off. I thought at first that it may have been overflow from the filter but it was the front of the tank, not the back. I checked all down the back for water as well as on the surface my table was sat on, no water at the back, it was all at the front coming out of the bottom seal and there was a pretty puddle there to greet me when I finally looked beneath my nose.
As it is the bottom seal that's failed I'm not comfortable at all with resealing it, partly because I can't reach it and also because the weight of the entire tank will be on the bottom and I just don't think my sealing job would cause it to hold.
I took photos of the tank after we'd drained it to a point where it didn't risk smashing the glass and pouring out onto my bed so I could at least show you what I'd done. There was a lot of anarcharis and a few other plants (twisted vallis, "star fern" or something and rotala) up the back. The back right corner was going to house an Amazon sword and you can see some of the floating plants sticking to stuff. The tank looked better filled but I unfortunately never got a chance to take a photo, I was too tired and was actually resting when this drama unfolded.
While the big tank is busted it has also taken away the concerns I had about Kaze living in something of that size. I've tried to look at this in a positive light and so last night we (me and mum) poured our energy together to get Echo's old tank drained, cleaned and scaped using as many old plants as I could. I don't know if it's finished yet as I have a fair few plants left over but as I'm in a lot more pain than I thought I would be today I doubt I can do any more at this point in time.
Yes, I'm disappointed with the big tank -- big time but I also felt that Kaze needed a lovely home asap; his old tank was almost devoid of plants and as I needed to dump Echo's snail ridden substrate into something so I could start bait-trapping I utilized Kaze's old 21 litre for that purpose. I sat the betta in a jug hooked over the edge of his old tank so he'd stay warm while we hauled butt to get the other one sorted.
My dad very kindly sawed off a large piece of the big chunk of wood and mum helped me to tie my non-substrate plants to it. I took a load of stem plants -- a mixture of anacharis and rotala (also threw the twisted vallis in there) and stuffed them in the back of the tank, planting them to the best of my ability with the space I had available. I also replanted my crypts (I hope they don't melt!) and a few other stem plants. I have a lovely piece of driftwood that has java moss, java ferns and anubias on it that created a tunnel in the larger tank so I positioned this (with some effort, I might add) in a way in which I could replicate this.
As we started filling, the driftwood piece began to float so we took it in turns holding the wood down in just the right place (by applying minor pressure) while getting water in, mum then held the wood down for me while I planted. Once done we sat a plate on top of the wood and realized that it wasn't enough, so we sat a measuring jug on top of the plate (guess we didn't hit that "sweet spot" pressure wise) and started acclimitizing Kaze. Once I got him in I removed some floating pieces of media (... they look like pellets and Kaze was oh so fascinated) and fed the little love bug, I then covered as much of the top of the tank in cling film (saran wrap... is it called elsewhere?) with the exception of a gap for air as we couldn't get the tank lid on.
I took a photo last night to show you and while last night I had just had enough (I was tired, hungry and GRUMPY!) I've seen how active Kaze is this morning and he really seems to like his home, it's growing on me too. The photo isn't the best as it was dark and you can't see the full colours of all the plants but meh, I'll get some better ones later.
The moment I got up this morning I went to feed Kaze (as I usually do) and he seemed much more eager to eat and generally relaxed, he sat with a pellet in his mouth for a moment and looked at me like "chill out, woman! I've got it, I've got it"... heh. I took a quick video of the tank and his swimmy-ness to show you, too.
Now... you'll notice I focus on something that has a wiggly butt... that is one of the damselfly nymphs that was in Echo's tank. I have no idea how it got into Kaze's tank but I'm not complaining. I tried to get a close up of it but all you can see is a white line. I'm actually hoping that this critter will be a good indication of Kaze's aggression as it's as big as a red cherry shrimp and very noticeable. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
It goes a bit dark in places but I'd opened my curtains so the light levels are in flux.
So that's that for now... I'm going to make some chicken and vegetable soup and watch TV for a couple of hours then see if I can muster up the strength to finish everything. Despite the smaller size of the tank (27 litres, so half of the big one) I still want to get ferts. Hopefully I can get to the fish store later in the week.