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DO NOT use rubbing alcohol to get mildew out of carpets

2 years 6 months ago #36354 by Midknight
-- Man, Don, sorry to hear about the catastrophe. We've all made mistakes, in the hobby and in other aspects of our life. I sympathize with your frustrations. Just this morning I woke to a breeder box full of dead fish. I had a box with 20-30 stappersi fry and a few albino pulcher fry. They were at the stage where I was about to move them to a larger tank. Last night I noticed the airline was struggling to bring fresh water into the box, so I adjusted it and went about my evening activities. This morning, all but six fish were long gone. The water intake failed and they suffocated in the little box. I was royally ticked. I should have taken care of it last night. One slip and they paid the price.
-- If you can manage to, let it go. I hope I can take my own advice.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

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2 years 6 months ago #36353 by decapod
Only one dead fish yesterday, so maybe this catastrophe has finally burned itself out.

I'm sure that alcohol vapor getting absorbed into the water was the cause of this whole mess, but the crabs didn't die until two days after the incident, and the beginning of the big fish die-off was on the third day. Water changes would have been useless at that point because the alcohol would have already dissipated by itself- although I did water changes anyway.

The delayed onset of symptoms points to gradual organ failure rather than acute toxicity- by the time I realized that there was a problem, it was already too late to do anything about it.

The carpet still reeks of mildew.. It had previously gotten wet once or twice from natural 'spring rains' type basement flooding, plus a couple more times from typical fishroom mistakes. So it's pre-seeded with enough spores to get funky in a hurry. It was worse this time because I didn't realize that the tank was leaking until a day or two after I'd gone around topping up the tanks. I strongly suspect that it was the 75 gallon, but I'm still not sure.

Probably serves me right for having carpet in a fish room. I should rip it all out and be done with it. This is why we can't have nice things..

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2 years 6 months ago #36352 by scubadiver
Don,
First I am glad that you and everyone are safe, it could have been much worse.

That being said it must have really sucked to have lost those crabs and other fish.

i know you were super excited about breeding those crabs and that was pretty amazing that you got them to breed.

Hopefully you can grow up the babies and breed them.

I find that if I spill any water on the carpet a large fan running over night dries it up pretty quickly.

PS we all have made some mistakes that turned into casualties it's the sucky part of the hobby that and bagging up fish really suck.

Cheers,
Jason

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2 years 6 months ago #36351 by decapod
I wanted to bring some audio gear into my 'fish room' and make tracks in an unusual setting, so I filled my fish tanks a little higher than I have in quite awhile to reduce the splashing noise of overflow filters and whatnot. And make it easier to hear the tracks instead of the filter waterfalls..

Apparently, one of the big tanks has a leak within an inch of the top. Not even sure which tank. So it leaked a couple gallons onto the carpet, and made the room totally uninhabitable when the mildew stench kicked in a few days later and I figured out what had happened.

I keep hearing that pouring rubbing alcohol onto a mildewed rug will fix it. Idiotic. It's 9% water, so the alcohol will kill the mildew and evaporate quickly. Leaving the 9% water to reignite the mildew. But somebody regurgitated this dumbass idea to me one more time, so I actually tried it.

The first 3/4 bottle of rubbing alcohol didn't go on well or evenly, so I tried adding more. Maybe a liter and a half total. Didn't seem like it was doing anything, and I couldn't even smell any alcohol over the mildew stench. And then, all of a sudden, the whole carpet became a wick. Perfect recipe for fuel-air explosives. It was 34 degrees outside at the time. So I shut off the furnace, opened all the doors and windows, and let the heat rising from the basement take some of the vapor with it. I thought we were all going to die. The sparks within the motors of all the fans I was running to clear the fog are more of an ignition source than anything needs. I'm surprised I didn't kill us all. The vapors were so dense that I got a headache and my eyes were stinging. I was expecting a huge fireball to roll out of the room at any minute.

But I purged the thick air without any fireworks. Thought I'd dodged a bullet. It's usually a good sign when a fuel-air bomb doesn't go off in your basement. Everything looked great for a day and a half.

But then all my adult crabs died. Absolutely catastrophic. AFAIK, I'm the only person to have ever bred these crabs in captivity. And now my breeders are gone- luckily, their offspring were in another room..

Then 30ish fish died the next day. Young, old, big, small. A wide swath.

And many more fish died the day after.

It's still happening.

Every time I go down there, I find more dead fish.

Many, many years of breeding projects, interesting plans, and cool critters gone. One dumbass mistake and a couple of days of fail.

I don't even know what to do with myself. I feel like I should be screaming, but I'm not. I'm just sitting here quietly while my blood boils in useless self-recriminating anger..

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