Tuesday, September 2

Fish Poop. In the Living Room.

In case you haven't noticed, I really haven't been hurting for topics to write about lately. In fact, I have a whole long list of things to write in my head. There's the post about the first gymnastics class, another gruesome tale from the Fishtank of Horrors, a couple more staycation photo posts and stories, and a few random tales of Toddlerdom. What I'm saying is that I'm really not hurting for blog fodder these days, so why exactly was there a puddle in my living room today?

Allow me to start at the beginning. As is required of all first days back from vacation, today at work was chaotic, to say the least. Around 1:00 I decided I was going to go loopy if I didn't step out for a minute, so I figured that I would run home, grab a Bagelful (highly recommended, btw), and make a quick run to the bank. All was going according to plan--I had a warm toasted Bagelful in one hand, the check that needed deposited in the other, and I was cutting through the living room to go back out to my car, thinking cheery thoughts about how nice it is to be able to run home from the office in less than ten minutes.

Then there was that damn puddle. Right in the living room.

I looked at the puddle. I looked at the dogs. I looked at the puddle again. It didn't look like the kind of puddle that I could blame on the dogs. Nor the cats. It looked sort of . . . splashy. So I looked up. There were droplets of water hanging from the ceiling. I tossed by Bagelful to the Bulldog and darted up the stairs, silently hoping that I had left a faucet running or something equally simple to fix.

It was not to be. There was no water in the bathroom.

There was a LOT of water in Alexis' room.

Water that belonged in the Saltwater Fishtank of Horrors.

I yanked the plug on the filter for the aptly named Tank of Horrors, hoping that the motor had not already burned out from the lack of water cycling through. The tank was down to perhaps 1/3 capacity. I assumed that a hose had come loose, spraying water around (it has happened once before, but was caught immediately). I quickly began grabbing towels to clean up the mess. Alexis' room has laminate flooring from Ikea and it is far from being water resistant so I scrubbed and mopped and wiped, hoping to dry it all out enough to keep from having to replace the floor.

Once I finally had the worst of the lake cleaned up, I surveyed the damage. Alexis' sheep-covered wool rug from Pottery Barn was drenched, but probably salvageable. Her bed was splattered, but not anything that new sheets wouldn't fix. Two books that had been on the floor were ruined. Cry with me on that one, y'all, because of all the books to have get ruined? They were her two favorites--Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny, Too. Some clean clothes that I probably should have tucked into the closet weeks ago were damp, but not horribly so. The floor seemed remarkably unbothered by all the moisture. The dresser that housed the Tank of Horrors was filled with water, but seemed to be holding up.

What wasn't holding up was the Tank. It wasn't a loose hose. Instead, there was a crack running all the way from the top to the bottom of one of the front corners. And Yippee Yahoo Yay! It was still leaking.

Half a roll of tape and several towels later, I had to go back to work and hope for the best until somehow a new tank fell out of the sky.

Those things aren't cheap, yo. Neither are the fish. The biggest worry, however, was the coral. There's a lot of valuable coral in the Tank of Horrors, and I'm really freakin' attached to it. I have approached coral like I do gardening and have only bought less than perfect or very small pieces at a great price then hoped that they would grow nice and big and healthy. So far, it has worked. Several corals that I paid $10 for have tripled in size and would now sell for well over $50. So you see, there is no abandoning this project at this point.

I made a bunch of phone calls and was able to confirm that the tank is still under warranty. Except, I bought it online, so a replacement would have to be shipped and only after I provide a copy of my original invoice, photos, Social Security Numbers, and probably a blood sample from my first-born son. So I called Mr. Husband and told him to go buy a damn new tank and that we'll leave the warranty battles for AFTER all the critters are safe and sound.

We spent the entire evening moving everything to the new, not cracked, tank. I have no idea who will or will not survive the transport; setting up a new tank and stocking it with fish and coral the same day is not exactly a bright idea. But, it was that or continue letting Lake of Horrors spread throughout the house.

I have absolutely no idea what made a tank that has been set up since February, has never been moved, and was perfectly stable crack. Nobody was home when it happened, the door to the room was closed, and nothing has been changed up there in quite a long time. I can only guess that it finally cracked under all the pressure of needing to leave up to its name--The Saltwater Tank of Horrors.

PLEASE let the new tank not follow in the footsteps of the other . . . I really don't need the blog material.


  1. Oh, that sucks. Thank goodness you chose that time to go home, and didn't end up finding the entire contents of the tank everywhere at the end of the day.

    I remember having this awesome, funky, eight sided tank when I was little. It was huge and in the living room. We went on vacation and came home to a very, very dry tank. And some very, very dead fishies.

  2. That sucks, and not to be an alrmist or anything, but what about under the laminate flooring? Do you think there might still be water there? Which would lead to mold, and all the pain in the butt that entails.

    I hope that you got it all though, and that the coral and fish survive the transition.

  3. So much for that little break from work and a bagelful huh.Good thing you went home when you did though.

    The circumstances surrounding the unfortunate event are kinda strange.Don't ya think?The mystery crack from the Tank of Horrors.

    Hope all your fish and coral survive.

  4. But the really important question.... did the bulldog properly appreciate the Bagelful you tossed her way?

  5. Reason # 436 that I don't have a fish tank. If water damage can happen, it happens to us!

    Good luck with getting a new tank and transferring the coral (at the very least!)

    Peace - D

  6. I think it's your fault - had you called it The Saltwater Tank of Happiness and Joy this NEVER would have happened!


  7. Hubby finally cleaned out the turtle tank on Monday. I think the turtle was going to look for a new home if he didn't.

  8. Hope the tank of horror survives! I'd hate to think of you starting that coral all over again!

  9. Fishtank of Horrors needs to be an ongoing documentary.

    Good luck with the warranty. Fight them tooth and nail and make them accept the blood of the firstborn girl in place of the boy. Otherwise you may have to get pregnant real soon.

  10. I hope your new tank works out. I love you Tank of Horrors stories.

  11. I took attendance this morning and four fish raised their fins--meaning they all survived! The Ghost Crab looks fine, as does all the coral. The only question is the shrimp. I may never know if that trio survived since they only come out at night. But yay for success!

  12. Oh no, not Knuffle Bunny! Great book!

    And these tanks....you must love punishment.

    Happy to hear most everyone is accounted for this am.

  13. At least the Christmas tree wasn't still in the room, or it might have been ruined too!

  14. Hurrah for success! I hope the floor survives.

  15. Oh Crap! Good thing you came home then. Glad it is working out so far. As for having way too many posts in your head, I am so right there with you.

  16. Yeah, that sucks. Can you imagine how bad it would have been if you hadn't come home in the middle of your workday?

  17. one of many many reasons why i hate fish.

    why, yes, we DO have four freshwater tanks and three betta fish. why do you ask?

  18. That seriously blows. And not happy bubble blowing either.

    If this new tank does survive and there are no horrors, what will we all do with out the B*tch stories and icky watery tape worm pictures?

  19. Anonymous1:40 PM

    What a mess! I hope that everyone survives the move and that nothing is damaged long term. And what luck that you happened to come home in the middle of the day!

  20. yowza.
    Glad you got it mostly taken care of.
    Good luck with that, make sure you use a clean needle for the blood sample, K :-).

    I love that you're a thrifty coral shopper, that's fabulous!

  21. Oh good gracious! Thank goodness, you decided to go home. There is no telling what would have happened had you not stopped by.

  22. oh MAN. That is definitely not the kind of blog fodder you want to have. At least you stopped at home and caught it before it got REALLY bad, yikes!

  23. Good thing you went home for that bagelful so you could rescue the fishies and coral! So sorry to hear about Knuffle Bunny though...oh and the mess of course.

  24. anglophilefootballfanatic.com4:17 PM

    Aggle Flaggle Klabble!! Wumby Flappy! *SNURP* I'm really sorry about the disaster of the waterfall. But, WHY did it have to be the Knuffle Bunnies!

  25. So . . . what have we got here? Fish Tank of Horrors II, The Sequel?

  26. Oy vey. You're lucky you went home when you did! And I'll pray that Alexis' floor doesn't buckle.

  27. Anonymous8:07 AM

    That's awesome. Just awesome.

    Not really.

    Glad you went home when you did. Even happier to read the transfer was a success.


  28. You were very brave putting that tank in BB's room. Maybe a little too brave. ;)

    We went down from a tank to a bowl this summer. It was enough of a shock that I can now happily say we are fish free!

  29. Ugh. Fish tank. Ugh.

  30. For the love of Jehovah. It's even more awful reading it in this blog post than it was on plurk.

    I am still in awe of your insatible desire for living fish and your willigness to do it again.

    That's hawt.

  31. Oh dear... I'm sorry.

  32. complete nightmare of a tale. Good thing your tank was really clean!