Part 8: Where it hit the fan...
Removing all the paper and plastic and wow, it was intact, a few small pieces needed to be replanted but amazeballs!
Grabbed the filter/etc to plumb into the cabinet. I had precut and attached the heater/CO2 diffuser, lily pipes, reactor, etc... Staged it all - I just needed to place them and attach the hoses - Easy, right!
Not so fast.
Eheim inputs cracked and leaked - Thank G*d all right in front of me - If it had happened a few hours later - disaster.
I scrambled to get a spare part, but no luck and I was beyond the "go or no-go"
stage, so I rented a Zip car online, hightailed it to a LFS to check out a Fluval 406 or Rena xp4. I chose the Fluval and it seems like a pretty well built, very quiet filter.
Moved all the primed media to the new filter and she started quickly and magic...
Set up the lights (with the help a level and my roommate) and BAM
it looks like a tank with water, rocks, pants, and soil... You'd think I won the lottery....
I lost 2 neons and an oto in the bucket - poor guys were stressed
I made sure everything was running, adjusted the temp to match the bucket temp.
I quickly bagged up the new fish and placed them in tupperwear, acclimated and added them.
New Tank Below: