Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Andyandsue 12-27-2007 11:27 PM

SO MAD at Marineland and PetSmart!!
I had a post a while ago about my tank possibly cracking. Well, it is DEFINITELY cracking! The cracks have spread and are feathering. I emailed Marineland and they are happy to replace my tank, all I have to do is send them a copy of my receipt, and they will send me a new tank (obviously this is a known problem or they would not have been so accommodating I'm sure). I ordered my tank from PetSmart about a year ago, so I went on line to get a copy of my order to send to Marineland. PetSmart doesn't have copies anymore of any order placed prior to August 2007, because they did an "upgrade" (yeah, I work in IT, that is no "upgrade").

Since PetSmart is telling me they simply can't help me (they DROPPED the ball on that one for sure) Marineland said to SEND my tank back! When I asked them what I should do with my 12 gallon tank FULL OF LIVE FISH, their reply was, and I quote:

"Most folks use a large 5 gallon bucket, and an air pump. Fish do not require filtration, only air or small water changes frequently. Except for very delicate saltwater fish, they generally do well in buckets. I have nursed many sick fish back in this manner. Hope this tip helps."

WHAT???? NO that doesn't help. How can I keep 17 creatures, that I keep in a 12 gallon tank, alive in a 5 gallon bucket, with no filtration, until they send me a new tank? What about my bio wheel and my gravel?

AAHH!!! I think this is the sign to get a new, larger GLASS tank. The same thing is now happening to our 3 gallon, all these small cracks that started out looking like like scratches.

Any suggestions or comments? If I decide to get a larger tank, how can I go about doing this correctly, so I don't have to cycle all over again. What can I do with that biowheel full of bacteria?

BlueCichlid 12-27-2007 11:50 PM

I'll take a crack at this one...

First of all i'd like to say sorry to hear about the tank cracking.

If you upgrade to a larger size i am pretty sure you'll have to cycle again. how ever it should not take as long. you already have bacteria built up. from what i understand the bacteria gather in the gravel, filter and bio wheel or other bio media in the filter unit. so if you use the gravel from your tank you have now (i know you'll need more) you'll have some bacteria already. also you could sqeeze the water out of the filter and add the water from it to your new tank. same with the bio wheel materia. Maybe someone else would suggest you simply splace them in your new tank.

I hope this helps you out

Holly 12-28-2007 09:06 AM

I would pick up a bigger tank and possibly ask for your money back from Marineland. Due to the inconvenience, you no longer feel confortable purchasing another tank from them or Petsmart. If they don't go for that I would get the new tank from them but use it as a hospital tank or maybe just set something small in it in case you have to do this again.

As long as you keep your biowheel and gravel wet, your bacteria should be fine. Don't let it dry out or everything will die and you'll be starting all over again. Either way with a bigger tank you'll have to cycle again but maybe keeping everything from the old tank will move it along a bit. Make sure you use Cycle or Biospira so the ammonia and nitrite goes down so you can get your fish back in there since I don't buy the bucket theory! Good luck

Little-Fizz 12-28-2007 09:10 AM

... Wow... I would be SO MAD. Sorry to hear about your tank!!! If you have a warranty on it petsmart should keep it on file.. I don't think they are allowed to get rid of that stuff? Is there anyway at all you could keep your filter on and running until the new tank comes? Do you have another tank? A friend with a tank even? If you can somehow manage to keep your filter on and running that would help greatly when you get your new tank... How big of a tank are you thinking about getting?

willow 12-28-2007 09:39 AM

you poor thing,awfull news.
i know this may not help however,is there any possibility
of you buying a water butt and putting the fish,filter and heater in there.
i have got a large water butt that i keep for when i strip my big tank down,
and everything goes in there.

Andyandsue 12-29-2007 06:13 PM

I'm still not sure what to do honestly. I sent one last email to PetSmart but of course received NO reply. I vow to never go there again. Not sure what to do about Marineland. Obviously there is a problem with the acrylic tanks, so I am going to investigate a glass tank with stand. Not sure how big, but I'm going as big as I can for the space that I have, which might hold a 50 gallon. Excited about that for sure.

I so know from experience that keeping a biowheel wet will not do the trick as far as keeping the bacteria cycle going. It needs to be "fed" with ammonia/wastes not just wet.

I was thinking about floating the wheel, but it's pretty gunked up. I might try to rinse off the gunk without cleaning it and see if I can float it. Or maybe float it in a piece of stocking. I am definitely going to get another biowheel though. It's been awesome. I am also a HUGE fan of BioSpira, I cycled all my tanks with it, never had a fatality.

caferacermike 12-30-2007 07:30 AM

You know these are the reasons most "hobbyists" refuse to shop at Petsmart or Petco, not to mention why I always stress that it is so important to buy quality gear. There really is no quality at either location. The glass tanks are no better from those places. This is why frequenting a favorite LFS is so much better. You may pay a little more but they will generally do whatever they can to accommodate you and your dollars. All of my local shops know me by name, hang out with me after hours, hold fish they think I will want, and cut deals the more I spend. I've seen them "warranty" 5 yo tanks by writing up fake sales slips to bring it back into warranty. They understand that if your tank crashes and nobody cares, you and your dollars are about to leave the hobby for good. Your money is far to important to a small time vendor than to Petsmart.

Oldman47 12-30-2007 09:10 AM

You can keep the biowheel alive if you keep it with a source of ammonia for it to feed on and keep it wet. That is what it does while mounted on the filter. If you are upgrading to a glass tank, mount the old filter on the new tank and you will have a small functioning filter on a large tank. It will keep your fish from excessive stress while the new larger filter for the larger tank gets established and can take over. I don't know how you would go about mounting the filter if you have one of the 'works in the hood' tanks. Maybe you could mount it across the new tank so the plumbing in the filter would connect to the water in the tank. Otherwise, the suggestions about using filter squeezings to start establishing the new filter will at least shorten the time to establish a nitrogen cycle.

herefishy 12-30-2007 10:17 AM

I need to clear up some misinformation here. First of all, denitrifying bacteria will recover from a lack of water. Like many bacteria, they will form a "cyst" around themselves to survive. Are you going to have a die off? To some degree, some of the benificial bacteria will die off. This is best exemplified by the fact that when one uses "used" gravel to seed a new aquarium.

As far as PetSmart, They are required by law, in most states, to maintain sals records for anywhere from 1-3 years. The laws in your state determine that. If you paid by credit card or debit card, these institutions may be able to help provide proof of transaction. I dislike "chain pet outlets for the simple fact that the only thing that they worry about is the bottom line, how much money is in the till. Quality, knowledge, and customer service are after thoughts. Things they preach but fail to practice.

I find it hard to believe that Marineland is dragging their feet on this. They are a first class company. I have had dealings with them before and have always recieved first class treatment and quick, satisfactory solutions to any problem. If e-mails don't work, call and get a voice on the other end.

Andyandsue 01-03-2008 10:39 AM

I actually did call Marineland, and I also considered them a high quality company (all the LFS in my area sell Marineland) until now. I called my credit card company and all they can provide is the statement which shows the PetSmart purchase, not an actual record of what was purchased. PetSmart totally dropped the ball, I've both emailed them and called them to no avail. Marineland is happy to replace the tank for me, which is great but I have to provide a dated sales receipt from the store purchased. Since I have no way of obtaining the sales receipt they want the actual tank back before they will send me one. I tried to get them to send me the tank with a credit card and have them credit my account when they receive mine in return, but they won't do that. I also tried to have them give me some sort of credit so I can buy a Marineland Eclipse hood (for sure with a glass tank) but they won't do that either.

All of the options I discussed with them were thought of by me, and they won't bend on it. Their solution was to overnight them my tank (at my expense!) for them to do anything for me, and put my 17 fish in a bucket with no filter, just an air stone (never did get a reply from them about the biowheel).

I am fuming at PetSmart (I will have to check into the law with a lawyer friend) and am not happy with Marineland. I agree 100% that had I purchased this at a LFS instead of a chain, the results would have been different. I would have paid more than $30 more for the tank, which still might have been the better deal if I looked at this like an "insurance" purchase. They would give me deal on a glass tank I'm sure.

I have never heard of a bacteria on a biowheel living through a dry-out. It was me experience when I had that happen (it was dry for 2 weeks) I had to re-cycle completely. It went quick because as soon as I saw the ammonia I put gravel and a decoration from one of my other tanks, but that biowheel did nothing. Maybe I am wrong, or you had a different experience.

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