Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Power... Something's Fishy

A few weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night completely drenched in sweat. At first I couldn't figure out what was going on, but then I suddenly realized that the oscillating fan in our bedroom was not on. (As is typical here, we don't have A/C). I got up to turn it back on, thinking that Krista had for some crazy reason turned it off. To my surprise it was already switched on, it just wasn't working. So, I went out into hallway to turn the hall light on. I flipped the switch and nothing happened. I looked around the house, but it was pitch black and couldn't find a flash light or a candle.

I decided to wake Krista up and, of course, she knew exactly where to find a light source. We light a candle and then opened the breaker box to see which breaker had been tripped. It turned out to be the master breaker for the whole house. I flipped it back on and the lights came on for a second then immediately went off again as the breaker tripped once more. I tried this a couple times getting the same result, then decided to take a look around the house.

My Office is in the basement, so I went down there to check things out while Krista looked around upstairs. As I entered my office I immediately headed across the room to my desk where my computer and all the other important electronic devices are plugged in. As I paused there to look around, I heard a curious, drip... drip... drip... coming from the direction of my aquarium on the other side of the room. That is obviously never a good sign.

I went and got Krista and told her that I thought I had found the problem. We unplugged everything connected to the aquarium and then flipped the breaker again. This time it didn't trip.

When we got down to my office and flipped the light switch on we immediately saw that the aquarium was only about seventy-five percent full. As I examined it, I determined that the bottom pane must have gotten cracked because the sides looked ok. The breaker had tripped because water was dripping off the aquarium stand into the power strip.

We put the fish in a bucket, then spent the next thirty minutes trying to clean up the mess so we could get the aquarium outside. My office is the only room in our house that is carpeted so we had to pull up the corner to let the carpet dry out. This was definitely not something that we wanted to be doing at 3:30 in the morning.

I assume that water had gotten underneath the tank the last time I cleaned it out (which I had to do very hastily, because Nathan had taken the liberty of feeding my fish ALL of the food and we had plans that didn't allow me to take my time, but that is another story). The water had apparently seeped into the screw holes and caused the top of the stand (which is made from pressboard) to swell. The swelling put pressure on the aquarium around the screw holes and the weight of the water split the bottom pane.

Thankfully, we didn't lose any fish in the whole ordeal and were able to replace the aquarium for a fairly reasonable price. All in all it is an experience that I could have done without, though. But, it makes a good story and maybe one day we will be able to laugh about it. Not today though. ;-)


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