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Old 10-19-2012, 12:21 AM   #1 
pittipuppylove
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Tank divider problems

Arg... I just checked on my fish before going to bed, and found my HM somehow got into the half of the tank for my HMDTPK. They're each in their own section now, and the HM looks fine, but the plakat looks a bit worse for the wear. It's probably nothing life-threatening, but his color's washed out, is showing stress stripes, and his fins are a bit tattered, but I couldn't see any open wounds or anything. Is there anything I can be doing for either of them, particularly the plakat? He seemed to be looking a little better even in the couple minutes I was observing him after I got the HM out, and has regained most of his color by now - should I just keep an eye on them and keep the water nice and clean(er than normal)?

I honestly have no idea how the HM got through the divider. The thing is firmly in place, I went over it top to bottom after I separated them and found nothing. The only thing I can think of is that the HM somehow got over it, which is crazy as the divider gets pretty much to the hood except for a couple inches where there's maybe 1/2" clearance from the divider to the hood. Should I modify the divider in any way? It's a homemade one I put together with craft mesh and report covers, held in place by pressure (no silicone).

I feel like such a bad mom that this happened!
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:48 AM   #2 
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Keep on eye on it and a lot more decorations.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:40 AM   #3 
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...And they just did it again this morning, but this time they both switched sides. Thankfully they couldn't have been there for more than a couple minutes while I was away from the tank. The HM is now floating in a critter keeper I put in the tank until this gets sorted out. As per the request of an anonymous member, here's a few pictures of the divided tank (sorry for the weird sideways pictures, Photobucket is not retaining the edits I make):

Whole tank:


The plakat's side:


The HM's side, which normally has a pot in it as well, but that's with him in the kritter keeper at the moment:


It's a pretty new tank as is, so the plants haven't really grown in; I'm also dealing with a breakout of cyanobacteria that isn't really helping the plants.

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Old 10-19-2012, 11:29 AM   #4 
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That looks like a pretty secure divider.....nice and straight and even, pressing snugly on both ends(from what I can see at least). It doesn't look like your guy could be squeezing though a loose end or digging under....hes got to be jumping over. Sometimes, they manage to find and wiggle though(or over, in this case) the TINIEST of openings.....little buggers. xP

I have an idea that might help.....perhaps lower the water level a couple/a few more inches and release your HM. Do it while you're at home to monitor them, and wait and see if he gets over to the other side. If you have the water level low enough that there is no way he could jump, then you can confirm/eliminate the possibility of him getting over that tiny little gap.

Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #5 
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Sounds like a plan to me. The divider does have a bit of bow to it, which I read helps keep pressure on the sides. However, I'm wondering if it may have a bit too much bow and the report cover spines are tilted enough that maybe they could push through. They definitely aren't getting under it, though - the mesh goes through the gravel to the bottom of the tank.

The problem may be that I live in a dorm and have to go home for the weekend - I'll see if I can catch them in the act before I leave this afternoon, but otherwise I may have to take the HM home with me and then try finding the problem when I get back on Monday. I just don't want him to have to float in there all weekend with no water changes.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:44 PM   #6 
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I did noticed that little bow in the pictures....it didn't look like too much to me, but of course I can't see the divider in person. xD Its very possible that he may be getting though that way.....is the report spine bent at all against the glass? Or does the flat end lay pretty snuggly?
What I like to do with my dividers is get in there and work my finger nail under the report spines to see how tightly they feel, you could try that as well.

Hope you can figure out the problem before you leave!
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #7 
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Thanks! I went over the divider again, and I think what may have been the problem is that it was mainly anchored at the bottom of the tank. So at the top of the tank, the only thing keeping it from moving was pressure from the water and the craft mesh; couple that with the fact that part of the mesh was pushed away from the side by the lip of the tank, and I think the little turd figured out how to push it over. So I cut a couple tiny squares away from the lip to make that fit better and used some cotton string and tape to lash the top of the mesh to the outside of the tank on both sides.


(Knock on wood) I think that between lowering the water level and modifying the divider, the problem is fixed. The two of them had a bit of a flairing match across the divider right after I reintroduced the HM and he looked like he was either trying to jump over or push through it and nothng happened, so I take that as a good sign. I've been watching them for a good half hour to fourty-five minutes now and so far they're still in their respective sides. lol Now lets just hope it stays that way!

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #8 
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Awesome!! Glad you were able to(hopefully)find and fix the issue! :)
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:59 PM   #9 
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Hope it works that is why I did not divide my 10 gallon.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:28 PM   #10 
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if that doesn't work you could try double-dividing it, with a 2 inch or so buffer between the didivers. that's what we did with out divided tank, it also makes it harder for them to see each other and get into flaring matches :)
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