Aquarium overflowed while out of state! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Aquarium overflowed while out of state!

My 65 High aquarium overflowed while I was out of state over Christmas.
I am guessing it dumped 5 gallons of water onto the carpet.
The nice lady who feeds the fish daily caught it, and corrected the problem.
I steam cleaned the carpet, after returning home, two days later.
I ran a box fan aimed a little at the floor for 2 or 3 days, to dry it out.
Now the carpet smells like cat piss. It was really bad at first, now, not so much.
But that odor is there...
Any recommendations on how to kill that that lovely aroma, would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 07:00 AM
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I had great luck getting skunk smell out of my car upholstery using a combination of vinegar and baking soda. I spritzed the upholstery with the vinegar, then dusted it with baking soda. I let it sit for a few days then vacuumed it up. Made the smell go right away.

Borax and washing soda would probably do the trick too. My girl made home made laundry soap with that stuff and it has been able to remove dried blood stains from jeans that had been set it.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:50 AM
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I imagine starting with a carpet shampooer thingy might not be a bad idea.

After that, if it's just smell, maybe trampling in a liberal dosing of baking soda, letting it sit for a few hours/day, and then vacuuming it up might help.

Also might help to target specifically whatever is the source of the odor. I don't imagine it was the aquarium water, as that should be nearly clean in any decent established set-up. Was there already something on/in the carpet? under it? I'm out of ideas...
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 11:18 AM
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Try Nature's Miricale 1st. It's made for neutralizing Dog urine. It's a enzime based product you can buy at PetCo & PetSmart. They problem is not the carpet, it's the pad under it and the floor. That pad is a sponge holding water and now bacteria. The floor if it's underlayment will also be damaged to a degree.

After you use the NM, you can try Professional steam cleaning. The carpet machines you can rent might extract 75-80% the water. Leaving that 20-25% of the water encourages more bacterial & mold growth. Truck mounted Carpet cleaning units remove 90%+ of the water applied.

Odds are strong that you now have a mold issue that would require a cleaning protocol that is more expensive that what the carpet costs.

I ran a Commercial Cleaning Co. for 14 yrs. If this happened to me I would just remove the Carpet & replace it.

Last edited by DogFish; 01-04-2014 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Added an a
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 11:33 AM
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My advice would be to replace it. I had my tank do that and discovered the carpet was still wet a month later. Just replaced my whole floor with bamboo
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 01:30 PM
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I think Dogfish hits all the points. The subfloor under the carpet padding may or may not be a real problem. Depending on the age of the home, what's under the carpet padding may be anything from pine planking, a neglected hardwood floor, or just plywood. If the house isn't that old, the plywood is designed to stand up to some exposure to the elements. During the construction of newer homes, it's just about impossible to get the entire structure under roof before being rained on at some point. The real issue is just how fast you can dry it all up, and how much air circulation you can provide so the moisture doesn't stay trapped for a lot longer than you think. Even if you use a carpet steamer / cleaner, you still have to deal with the moisture the padding is holding between the stand and the subfloor. If the subfloor is is pine plank or wood strip, you have a real problem and even I would recommend ripping up the carpet. So even if you manage to deal with the smell and moisture around the tank, you'll still face some real issues directly under the stand frame, and within its' perimeter. I've seen some tanks that have been set over an area of tile that look awesome. Lastly, if you go to Reefcentral.com you'll find a wealth of threads where folks have waterproofed the inside of their stands and designed to retain water. Tank overflows on the SW side are just the nightmare that made me swear I'd never have a tank above the concrete slab of my basement.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 02:47 PM
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Having been a landlord for some time, this is a problem
I've seen.
I would suggest looking for a janitorial supply store.
not too many but they do carry the right stuff. It Would have been better to dry it right away but that window is likely closed so dealing with the smell may be the current deal.
There are products to deal with smells like from dogs but they come in lots of different brands. Try asking for "good bugs" after telling them the problem. They will likely lead you to the correct thing.
it is a bottle of bacteria which feed on ammonia much like we deal with in tanks. Follow directions from there.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 02:55 PM
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Put baking soda around it.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 03:19 PM
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Its the padding under the carpet creating the problem any time you have a water issue like that you need to pull the carpet and padding up after shampooing , also want to make sure your not growing mold on the subfloor

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 05:09 PM
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You can replace the piece of carpet that was damaged. Pull up a YouTube video or home improvement show. Replace the padding underneath too.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 08:39 PM
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I had a flood in my finished basement several years ago (not fish tank related but still messy/smelly) I used a carpet clearer for stains and pet odor I think it was Hover brand and a carpet cleaner, cleaned repeatedly for 2 days (probably went over the carpet 4-6 times). Then ran fans for circulation for a few days and it was all better... Anyways what I'm trying to say it look into a carpet cleaning detergent/shampoo that's for pet odors works perfectly.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
....I would suggest looking for a janitorial supply store.
not too many but they do carry the right stuff.

....
Very true, but you have to watch most of the professional strength products as they are NOT safe around Animals or Toddlers than may come in contact with them while they are on the floor working.

Some have a bad oder that lingers after use. I tried many different brands over the years professionally. Basically they are designed for use on bodily fluids, man or beast and to tackle the bacteria associated with them. I like Odercyde as I found it to have the least offensive residual smell. We often worked in Office buildings and had to take the employees into acct. with any cleaning product we used. Most all were recommended to have the area vented to a degree.

This is why I like Natures Miracle as it is intended for indoor use in a home.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for the tips, and advice. The smell is mostly gone now.
Removing the carpeting will be a big job.
This 11 foot by 11 foot room is residence for my 125, 65 High, 29, and 10 gallon tanks. My "L" shaped computer desk is in here also.
My wife wants me to just cut all the carpet out, I can get to, and then coat the floor with a durable paint.
I think, once the weather warms up, I need to just bite the bullet, pull everything out of here, and lay linoleum, or ceramic tile.

I need to try to idiot proof these aquariums. This is my friends new 75 gallon stand. The tank is sumped, so I put a plastic liner in the bottom. I didn't get a finished picture, but the white liner is glued down, then 4" side pieces were glued in and sealed with silicone.
That gives it a 15 gallon containment!
[IMG][/IMG]

I have been using this stuff to moisture proof the wood in aquarium canopies. I figure the white helps reflect the light too!
Here is her finished 75g canopy, with Finnex Ray II light installed.
[IMG][/IMG]

This little flooding disaster was caused by a snail, that crawled up on this float, and blocked the vent hole.
That caused it to drop, restricting the water returning to the sump.
The pump then pumped most of the water out of the sump, and into the tank, causing it to overflow!
I tie-wrapped some aluminum window screen, around this so it can't happen again.
I should probably just swap this over to a Durso drain.
[IMG][/IMG]

Tomorrow, I think I will look these tanks over thoroughly, and do a "What if? and worst case scenario" evaluation.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 06:35 AM
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Pour rice all over the floor! It works for cell phones


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
I had great luck getting skunk smell out of my car upholstery using a combination of vinegar and baking soda. I spritzed the upholstery with the vinegar, then dusted it with baking soda. I let it sit for a few days then vacuumed it up. Made the smell go right away.

Borax and washing soda would probably do the trick too. My girl made home made laundry soap with that stuff and it has been able to remove dried blood stains from jeans that had been set it.
Skunk smell and dried blood on jeans?! What HAVE you been up to?
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