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call for help


Blackacid
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Hi all - I am need of some serious help. Seems my problems have just gotten worse. During my sump fiasco I think I nudged some bulk heads too hard or something. I have two of them that are clearly leaking.

 

I honestly don't know what to do. One is the overflow... I could probably drain that and fix it fairly easy. The other is a return for my closed-loop that I'm not using. I'd be all for just "plugging" it and forgetting, but I'm not sure how to do that with 75g of water, fish, rock, and sand in the tank...

 

My first thought is to setup an emergency tank and move my live stock to that. I just don't have anything large enough to really hold it all, or the pumps. I'd just stick a bunch of stuff in totes if I could.

 

I'm really at wits end here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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The overflow bulkhead is not leaking. I'm wondering if maybe the other one got yanked out of position just enough to cause the leak.

 

Any ideas how I can fix that without draining the tank? That is not something I want to do, or have the time to do right now. Nevermind that I don't have the resources. :(

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Does it look like the bulkhead seal is leaking, or is it the plumbing going into it?

 

Threaded bulkheads? Or slip? Or Both?

 

If the retaining nut on the bulkhead is loose give it a gentle 1/8 turn and see if that stops it.

 

If its leaking from plumbing going into the bulkhead, and you have threaded bulkheads, you can loosen the bulkhead nut, and turn the bulkhead on the fitting to tighten it. (Lots of water loss when filled though)

 

In an emergency, I used holdfast epoxy once to plug a hole, and it worked great, but removing that bulkhead would now require removing the whole back piece of glass.

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It's coming from around the nut of the bulkhead, so I'm guessing it is the seal. It's a massive leak or anything and I think I'll be fine for a day or two, but I really need to figure something out.

 

Could it have slipped out of position or something? Maybe if I loosen it and tried to realign, re-tighen? Hehe, or does that have disastrous consequences for the floor and a severely wet me?

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Is the bulkhead accessible from the inside, or is it behind a whole bunch of rock? If you can get to it, feel around it and see if you can feel the seal all the way around the bulkhead, and its even, not ripped, or folded on itself.

 

Unless the wrong sized bulkhead was used, they dont usually slip around too much, I would try gently tightening it a bit.

 

Also check to make sure the retaining nut has no cracks, ive seen them snap before and look secure, but all the pressure is on one side, allowing the other side to leak. This can also happen if the plumbing is putting strain on the bulkhead from hanging, or being twisted.

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The leak is pretty slow, but it's still there. I've not tried to tighten it up anymore yet. For a fix I've placed a bucket under that bulk head. Since Wednesday it's only collected maybe 2 cups of water.

 

If I can't correct... Would silicone work, ya think?

 

The sump... I'm using a 14g rubbermaid tote right now. I've got a 15g glass tank I've considered turning into a sump, but I'd really like it to be bigger if at all possible. I might double line a larger rubbermaid and stick in there and see how that pans out.

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You're not going to be able to stop the leak with silicone. It won't stick and cure to anything that is wet. I think your best bet is to try tightening it a bit... just be sure not to overdo it and crack the tank.

 

As for the sump, if you need an inexpensive alternative, I had considered making a plywood sump. There are many sources online to explain how to make plywood tanks and use epoxy to seal them. I had also considered using a really thick pond liner made by Firestone, however I'm not sure how you would do baffles that way.

 

Good luck.

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