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I followed all the rules for leaving for a week. I did a few large water changes leading up to us leaving then did a 50% the day before we left. I left detailed instructions for my sister and my nephew on how to feed/care for my fish. Everything is automatic except feeding and that seems hard to mess up - only issue could be over feeding so i made sure they understood its better to skip a feeding than to over feed - they have had fish before so they knew what to do..

We left on a thursday afternoon because we had to be in Michigan before 4pm friday to apply for a marriage license. The whole week was planned already and hinged on us getting this license. There was alot of last minute stuff that had to be done it was pretty frantic around here making sure everything was done.

As we stopped to top off the gas tank and get ice everything seemed to be going well. I took off a couple extra days from work to rest up and felt refreshed enough to drive for the next 20 hours to get us there in time. As we passed Tulsa, then St Louis everything seemed to be going well.. The kids were staying busy and not driving us too crazy, we were an excited couple ready to take the next step in our lives and become one in the eyes of god.

It was somewhere between St Louis and Chicago that i started to worry. We stopped for gas before chicago to beat the high prices in that area when our van started running hot. Because of the excitement of being on vacation and our up comming wedding i convinced myself it was not an issue and was probably just because we had been driving for over 8 hours now.. Getting back on the highway the engine cooled off and ran at its normal temp which further convinced me everything was fine... little did i know things were about to get really ugly..

In southwestern Michigan (Exit #1) we stopped at a rest area to let the kids get out and stretch for a little while. Before we were even stopped the van was over heating and the engine management system was kicking into protect mode.. This was enough to raise an eye brow but now we were 900 miles from home and 150 miles from our destination. The van seemed to run cool at highway speeds so after letting it cool off we continued on to our destination hoping we had enough gas to get there so we wouldnt have to stop again.. well we didnt and over heated it again to stop for gas. Then once again arriving at our destination.

Keep in mind i am a mechanic and have spent the last 4 years researching this exact motor so i did take all the precautions and steps needed to protect the motor and get us where we needed to go.

After applying for our marriage license I went back to see what was going on with the van. The anti-freeze was low so i filled it, started it and let it warm up. Everything seemed fine as it was running at the proper temp just like it was suposed to. Then I drove it and it over heated again, letting me know something was very wrong.

These motors have a history or blowing out intake gaskets so that seemed like the obvious culprit. I know it probably needed them replaced but never did it because in a Chevy Venture there is not much room to work on it.. I knew this was not going to be fun.

We were 1050 miles from home, which meant my tools were also 1050 miles away so the next issue was finding the tools I needed to fix it, as i already knew how much i charged to do this job and i wasn't about to spent $700 to have some $70 gaskets replaced. I called all my good friends in Flint and rounded up the tools I needed and even some help to get it done. (Thanks John & Ed!!)

The job took 3 days! It was NOT the intake gaskets but actually the head gaskets that needed fixed. We worked on it non-stop until tuesday and basically rebuilt the motor. The wedding was on Wednesday so we had a very fast approaching deadline to get it done! Tuesday we finally started it and it ran perfect, cool, and very smooth..

Phew! That was over now for the wedding.. We thought we had everything dealt with so it should go smooth.. Wednesday we picked up our rental car, which was an awesome red 08 Grand Prix! My future wifey went onto the church where I met her at the alter a few hours later.

Turns out we did have everything planned out and the wedding and honey moon went AWESOME! It was a beautiful ceremony and our little get-away was just way too cool! (google "Bavarian Inn" to see more)

Friday morning I woke up, took a shower, got dressed, and picked up my cell phone to see if i had missed any calls... I had, my sister called 4 times late the night before.. I knew then what had happened and it was real bad.

I called her and she answered, "Bri - I have really bad news." I knew what had happened and replied, "My fish are dead." I was right.

She explained that she came over thursday and the a/c was not working. It was over 100 degrees outside that day and with the house all closed up it was so hot she had a hard time breathing in the house. All my fish had died. ALL of them! AAAAHHHHHH!!! NOOOOOO!

So now here I am, totally bummed that my fish perished but estatic about being newly weds. She is a wonderful woman and we dated/lived together for almost 6 years - not even 1 big fight. We are just perfect together..

I have a small fry tank and everything in that tank made it fine so I am thinking I will clean out my show tank, let it run for a week or so to make sure the bio-filter in still intact then throw the fry in there. They should grow real fast in there and be able to get lost in all the rock work. Once they grow up some i'll either add more Mbuna or trade them for some south americans (can you say discus?).. For now i am just really sad about my tank and doubt it will ever be what it once was again..

RIP... my awesome fishes!
 

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That is really a bummer….Sorry for your loss….

I know this doesn’t help much, but I know a local breeder not to far from you…

He usually has some awesome Mbuna….You can PM me if you are interested….

Hope everything works out…
 

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Sorry about the loss.
I have the AC on a mechanical timer ($5 for 2 from Ikea), which has a switch between always-on and timed-on. Whenever the weather gets hot, I power on the AC and then switch the timer to timed-on in the morning. It’s like this, come back from work switch it to always-on for the night, and switch back to timed-on before go to bed. If weather gets nice, just power off the AC, quite convenient.
I typically programmed the timer for 2 to 3 1-hour sessions during the day, with all window blinds down. There was a few days over 100f this month, my tank temp toped out at 86.
Note that the AC must have “auto restart from power failureâ€
 

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Wow! I'd hate to have a week like that. You had to rebuild your motor, lost your fish and your freedom. Talk about a bad week! :eek: :lol:

Seriously, sorry for your loss and congrats on the marriage. I gave up my freedom to my wife 24 years ago and never regreted it once. Good luck to the both of you. :thumb:
 

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Dude,

So sorry to hear about the loss of all your fish. Its terrible loosing fish you love and not even being there to say goodbye. I lost one of my favorite fish while I was on vacation also, its terrible. Don't let this discourage you from the hobby! I just finished my 120g Yellow Lab / Salousi setup and I am loving it. The past three nights my girl and I have not watched TV, we've sat and watched the tank!

Think of it this way, you received three new beginnings this week. Your engine is now in better shape and you should have 10k+ miles before even a small problem. You married the woman of your dreams and are finally starting on a journey as husband and wife, and you now have an empty tank literally sitting there full of infinite possibilities.

The Glass IS half full.
 

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not a good story for the fish at least...

out of curiosity and if any good can come from this...what was the temp of the water in the tank when they were found dead....presumably less than the ambient 100??

i ask because i run 24/7 at a range of 84 to 86 without any problems but i really need to know what the real limit is rather than the perceived one....which is way lower.

any info would be very usefull.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
zazz said:
not a good story for the fish at least...

out of curiosity and if any good can come from this...what was the temp of the water in the tank when they were found dead....presumably less than the ambient 100??

i ask because i run 24/7 at a range of 84 to 86 without any problems but i really need to know what the real limit is rather than the perceived one....which is way lower.

any info would be very usefull.

thanks
When I still lived in Michigan my A/C quit on me and my tank got to 96 before i noticed any problems. Thankfully I was home and was able to cool it off and only lost 1 or 2 fish.

I would think keeping your tank at 84-86 is dangerous. I kept my show tank at 82, my try tank at 72. The show tank perished the fry tank did fine..

Did the 10 degree difference save my fry?
 

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thanks for that brian ..very usefull.

i have accepted the fact that i am living in the danger zone and i could probably kiss goodbye to any fry which for me is ok but i am just trying to find that point where i stop everything and run to the fridge for ice cubes or my dealer for a very pricey and probably loud cooler..... so im guessing 90. ??

with the weather these days nobody knows what temperature nature is going to throw at us !
 
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