Just some friendly advice.  While doing a water change on the Lightning Maroon’s tank on Thursday, I noticed the flow from the Nanocube’s return pump seemed a little “slow”.  I figured something was clogged up in the pump so I pulled it out to clean it.
Turns out, the impeller shaft must have become structurally weak, maybe cracked a bit, and become exposed to the saltwater.  It had begun to rust, and in fact, had rusted straight through on its lower end.  How the pump was even still running was a mystery to me.   When smelling it, well, let me say that it SMELLED like metal.  Strongly.
Of course, this was the original Italian Pump that the cubes came with…not like replacement parts are easily accessible here in northern Minnesota.  The fact that it was probably around midnight didn’t help either, given that other than the local Petco, my local fish shops close at 6 or 6:30 PM (I’m still baffled by that…used to Chicago where everything was open until 8 or 9 PM).
Thankfully, I’ve taken my own advise for years now and I always keep a spare pump (a Maxijet) and a spare heater (a Stealth) on hand for these tanks.  It only took a minute to replace the old Italian Pump with a brand new MaxiJet.  A big bag of carbon went into just to help hopefully pull out some of the “metals” if there was any contamination in the water, but I’m thinking I may have really “broken things” when I took it out for cleaning.  Still, I’ll be doing more water changes and frequent carbon changes to ensure that things are OK for the Lightning Maroon.
The $25 investment I made to have a brand new piece of equipment just lying around was obviously well worth it.  Now I just need to go get a replacement as I’m once again, without a backup!  The nice part is that since I have 3 of these Nanocubes on hand, I only need to have one replacement pump on hand to cover me for 3 tanks…the odds of 2 going out at the same time are unlikely.  The $50 it cost me initially for some “piece of mind” on the heater and water pump backups prevented me from having to post a very different “status update” on this project.
Nothing else to report right now…all Maroons in the house are healthy and doing well, but none are breeding.  I’m continuing to “pump” the big Labrador Maroon full of food to hopefully encourage a spawn.  We are still very much in the “waiting game” aspects of this project.