I have had a pretty terrible week so far. I spent yesterday in the hospital for a minor outpatient procedure. After explaining my severe needle-phobia to my anesthesiologist, he still managed to fail to properly insert the IV not once, but twice.
Very early this morning I awoke with alarm as my husband shook me awake saying, "Honey, you need to get up, the aquarium is overflowing." How could this happen? I admit it is totally my fault. I have the necessary check valves and clamps, brand new, in a bag under my aquarium stand. I've just been procrastinating about installing them.
As you can see from the extremely cluttered photo at the left, the return pump has no hose clamp. It is just dangling precariously from the end of the hose. Don't ever do that. It's bad. It's hard to see in this photo because it's obscured by the hose in front, but also take note of the extremely long outlet elbow. It reaches below the water level to about a third of the way down on the main aquarium. Don't do that, either, especially if you don't have a check valve on your outlet hose.
Even if you're not a physicist, you can probably tell from the photo and the description what happened very early this morning to my aquarium. The hose disconnected from the return pump, causing water from the 55 gallon main tank to siphon down into the 37 gallon sump on the floor. If there had been a hose clamp, the hose wouldn't have disconnected from the return pump. If the outlet elbow wasn't so long, it would've stopped siphoning once the water level sunk below it. If I had installed the check valve, it wouldn't have siphoned at all. I knew all of that was possible, which is why I have those hose clamps and check valves under my stand. But you can't change someone's true nature. I'm still a procrastinator, and guess what I'm doing rignt now instead of installing them...
The silver lining? the 20 gallons of water on my floor didn't do any lasting damage. It stopped inches from my computer tower and cell phone.