90 Gallon Mixed/LPS Tank (15 year Journey to ★Success★) [Every Accident/Disaster/Problem]

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by WallyB, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    It took me 15 years to put together this Tank Thread.

    This tank has many hair raising stories over it's lifetime. Many lessons learned.

    I have had many of the Reef Classic: Accidents/Events/ and Setbacks:

    -> Had a Massive Macro Algae Spore Explosion ( Algae went "Go sexual" and
    ->
    Discovered my ( Dosing Pumps both turned till both Full Gallons of A/B Emptied)
    -> Had overnight TANK wipeouts (Copper Contamination)
    -> Learned to Love (Apatisia)
    -> Had every fish die pretty quickly (Velvet Disease).
    -> Struggled with (Cynao)
    -> Almost got killed by Electrocution (Urchin's Fault)
    -> Fought (Hair Algae)
    -> Couldn't get a single to Zoa to Survive ( Zoa Garden attempt Failures )
    -> Discovered that (Colonia Hydroids) are my most hated pest ever.
    -> Got that Nasty (Ich) and lost the fight to save a special fish.
    -> Other things I overcame (Lighting , Circulation, Corals Getting too Large, etc)

    What I learned is "Mistakes, Accidents, and Setbacks" teach you to get better, if you don't give up.

    I haven't learned it all, and am no expert by any degree.

    About two years ago I stopped having big problems, from lessons learned past.

    And then one day.... I would say about 6+ months ago. THINGS CLICKED!!!

    The tank looked like BELOW



    [​IMG]


    This tank is in Our Kitchen (3 sided viewing).

    The tank continues to get better, and bit too soon to share a Current photo, since more Improvements are Work in Progress (Specifically some Pruning, Zoa and Richordia Gardens, Acan Growth, etc).

    Stay tuned as I share my Lessons learned from years Past.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

  2. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    The Beginning (Tank Stand/Canopy & First Fish)

    Before I get into the various events that happened over the years.....

    Let's start at the beginning, back in 2002.

    I'm not a carpenter, but do like DIY projects to keep myself busy.
    I learn skills along the way. I always have a plan in my mind, but hack things together over a period of time.

    I built this Stand and Matching Canopy. 2x4 Base-Frame inside. Outside Shell Made from Veneer Plywood, Stained Cherry Red.
    I had left over trim, so got an idea to use trim pieces for the Tank Glass Corners. A Enclosed Framed look, which I still enjoy to this day.

    All tank Equipment went into bottom Cabinet, in a rubber sealed compartment.

    That changed later, when I moved Sump to Basement, by drilling hole into Floor.

    [​IMG]

    Yup that was my first "Test Fish"

    Lighting & Plumbing in Canopy came next. Lighting was VHO back then.
    Hard to find a photo from 2002, but this shows my current T5/Kessil/LEDstrip Setup.

    I stumbled upon this idea, to hinge the Canopy for Easy Access.

    [​IMG]

    Hinged Panels worked well for Tank Maintenance and only a few times over the years I needed to remove the Canopy (which isn't that easy, with wires and plumbing built in)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  3. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    Short Step Back in Time [Dec 2016] (Just around the Tank Click Point)

    One more post to help setup the stages of this tank. Then I'll show some Disasters, Rebuilds, etc from many years ago.

    I mentioned in the Intro, that my Tank Clicked Recently.
    It clicked around Late 2016, and as a result of Tank Condition Improvements my Finger Leather just got too big for the tank.

    The First Photo at the top of this thread is a short while after the Leather was removed.
    Removing it really help opened up space/flow and get lighting down below.

    That changed things for my futile attempts at Zoa's. Pest possibility, and Lower Circulation was another factor, I think.


    [​IMG]

    And just to give you an idea how much that Leather grew, here is a photo One Year Earlier.

    [​IMG]

    Next post will be the first Disaster, and an peek at the First Sump Setup.

    (I am digging up photo's from past, and it's a lot to look thru to find best photos. Digital Camera's were not so good back then. Plus I also get better tanking pictures over time)
     
  4. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    Macro Algae Event

    Here we go....

    Before I clutter up this Post here is some reading material that explains Macro Care and the explanation for what happened to my Macro Algae Tank.
    https://www.reefcleaners.org/macroalgae-care

    To tie in the previous post...
    After I setup the Tank and lighting, it was filled with Water
    [​IMG]
    and this was the first fish, and first bit of Live Rock.
    [​IMG]
    I had bigger plans for filtration, but started with an under cabinet setup (using old equipment)
    An Ehiem canister filter, Overflow into a Acrylic Sump with Bio Balls and a Classic Berlin Skimmer.

    [​IMG]
    That got things started for the Tank Cycle/Aging.

    The long term Plan was a SUMP ROOM in the basement which kind of evolved like this....

    First I used an old tank to setup kind of a Refuge/Filtration tank.

    Upstairs Kitchen floor was drilled and hose went to the basement.
    [​IMG]

    The plan was an Basement Office, with a In Wall Tank.
    The In Wall tank would be in the Sump Room Behind the Office wall.

    First Came the Framing for the Sump Room.

    [​IMG]
    And after Drywall, turned office into this.
    [​IMG]

    The Under Cabinet Sump Equipment was reused,
    for my First Sump that ran Both the Upstairs Kitchen Tank and the Basement Office Tank. (Single System for both)
    [​IMG]

    The Kitchen Tank Evolved and I learned much about the Reef Hobby.
    I used to be proud of this setup, the two key achievements was the Toadstool Leather and the Clam (both grown from babies)
    [​IMG]

    And so did the Basement Office Tank which was more for viewing, with a couple of fish and rocks
    [​IMG]
    I got some MACRO Algae (tiny bit) and it grew to give a nice green look, also food for Tang and other fish I tried over time.

    What I discovered it the Macro thrived on the Kitchen Tank Nutrients.
    It was a win/win since Kitchen Tank was Algae Free, and Macro Garden few in Office Tank.

    And boy or boy, did the Macro Grow.
    [​IMG]

    Sometimes the tips of the Macro would go transparent, and it would die off.
    I would simply trim it and tidy up the garden.

    And then it happened.
    One day, I came home to find my Kitchen tank looking like this.
    [​IMG]

    If you read the Article link at the top of this post, it explains things.
    Basically the Macro grew to a critical Mass point, and couldn't sustain itself with the limited nutrients I had in the system,
    as went a-sexual, or release it's spores like kind of a simultaneous combustion.

    Yes I freaked, and after consultation and research I simply ran Carbon and it cleared up.
    There was not damage, no fish died, I simply had a Basement tank full of clear, dead Macro, that I removed totally.

    I started with a new Setup for the Basement Office Tank.

    [​IMG]

    Hope you found this interesting and educational.

    Next EVENT is a bit more drastic, and doesn't have a good ending.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  5. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    Sorry for falling behind on updating this thread.
    Things have gotten busy with Life outside of the Fish tank world.
    Will get back ASAP.
     
    mdbannister and Tahoe61 like this.
  6. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    20,051
    Likes Received:
    9,966
    Location:
    Ontario, California
    Looking forward to the continuation!
     
  7. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    Might as well post an simple update (To keep this thread going).......

    .....so here is the next disaster (Hard to put things in Chronological order, but this happened about 15 years ago, on around 4+th year after build start)

    but....Before everyone thinks I do things all wrong, let jump to 2014, years after the basement sump room got started.

    I kept adding, changing an improving things, but it was hack/fix/adjust, etc (Sure it worked!!!)
    [​IMG]

    It got to the point that I didn't feel safe for my self and kids, etc.

    So using stuff lying around (old Paint, nails) with a couple of sheet of plywood and (clearance sale Home Depot Arclic Deck Posts),.....
    Spend 6 weeks to turn the DUAL SUMP room into this.


    [​IMG]

    This gives a good idea of Before and After.
    [​IMG]

    It's way more advanced than above, with a recent Automation Project (but I'll leave that for the VERY End)

    NOW THE DISASTER (Biggest EVER)
     
  8. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    HERE we go....... (( THE BIG CRASH )))

    So I won't name the Manufactured, since they treated me well, but let's say it good to buy Brand Names just in case something like this happens.

    That original tank continued (my learning and discovery) in this fascinating hobby, of endless knowledge.

    Like many other, I had small problems (CYANO, Aptasia). I always hated Cyano, but the progress of my coral growth was hope.

    This was my TANK approx. 2005/6/7 (Same tank, same rocks as PHOTO at the START OF THIS THREAD)


    [​IMG]

    My greatest achievement what my PRIZEZD CLAM (in the Center). Growth from a tiny grapefruit size, to this football size.

    One morning, I woke up to this. It was perfectly fine the night before (when I did some regular maintenance), and check that all things were fine.


    [​IMG]

    I didn't know what was causing the corals to look so bad. The Clam appear to be stuggling. Choking.

    I consulted local fish store and water changes with adding Carbon was recommended.

    So I did exactly that. 20% water changes, and since I had a recent purchase of Large Bucket of Carbon, I put a few baggies of carbon into the SUMP in.

    THE NEXT DAY, tank look like this.

    [​IMG]


    Obvious not good.

    My poor prized clam was convulsing.

    [​IMG]

    So I removed him and put into a bucket with New Salt Water (hoping to save at least him)

    HE DIED! and Rotted.

    I kept doing water changes, and swapping Carbon (since I had a Gallon bucket) since things were rotting everywhere in tank and wanted to keep the smell down in kitchen.
    I stared removing some corals and threw them out.

    It was and endless downhill struggle.

    [​IMG]

    I had no clue why this was happening.........till one day (I figured it out)

    I figured things out (can't remember where. Either Internet or Local Fish Store), I saw a RECALL NOTICE.


    The notice said to stop using a Particular CARBON brand since it was contaminated with (COPPER)


    I contacted the Manufacterer and they explained to me their CARBON comes from Mining in Africa and during escavation they hit a Copper Vein.
    They test methods did not detect it, thus the contamination.
    Small amount would have limited detrimental effects on Corals, but Large amount on small system would be DISSASTEROUS.

    Once I knew that, I stopped using the Carbon and water changes brought back life SLOWLY to my tank.

    ** I ADDED CUPRISORB, and got non-contaminated CARBON as well **

    TOOK MANY MONTHS.

    [​IMG]

    The REALLY INTERESTING PART, is the FROGSPAWN and TRUMPET fully recovered (too bad I threw some out).
    Those original Frogspawn are many generations old and same ones in the picture at the beginning of this thread. Candy Canes too.

    The manufacturer did generously compensate for all my losses, but obviously for the stress or hardship I endured.

    There was always the question in the back of my mind that the Copper would be infused into the Live ROCK.
    Years later I did a Trition test and there was no toxic level of copper in the same system.

    The tank Photo at the beginning of this thread is proof that things are fine, even after a Copper contamination.
    But that over a decade later.

    Hope you enjoyed this post, and I still have other interesting lessons learn, but nothing will be as big as this.
     
  9. WallyB

    WallyB Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    GTA Toronto, CANADA
    SO let me summarize the Lesson(s) learned from Disaster above.

    1A) If it's a drastic/quick Crash and affects your invertebrates [Shrimps, snails, crabs, clams)....... (It's mostly likely COPPER)
    1B) Had I known, or had the knowledge I have now a Copper Test would have stopped my proplem (instead I worsened it, but who would have guess Carbon was bad)

    2) Water changes are usually the best remedy for copper, and CUPRISORB is an Excellent Product that will remove Copper

    3) Take plenty of pictures of your TANK so you have proof of condition before crash. Also Take pictures during and after.

    4) Get you corals/clams into clean fresh Salt water buckets asap (and deal with the tank separately) if you have the means

    5) DON'T THROW out ever coral that goes back, you never know if there is a tiny bit of life that will recover (Those Frogspawn look White Skeletal dead, but after CurpriSorb and some patience, tiny buds started coming out and they grew out)

    That's it.

    I have many more really good lessons learned to share that can help reefers, new and old (since I've done pretty well all things gone wrong, except a few I won't even name (my most feared pests, since I now have a SPS tank in the basement offce)

    It does help knowing someone is reading this thread, so encouragement keeps me going. (Thanks "mdbannister" for the boost). I kind of let this thread fall flat, till you posted your interest.
     
    Greaps likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...