FarmerTy's 215-gallon SPS Tank

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FarmerTy

FarmerTy

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Got a fun story for you guys... only sharing now since I stopped waking up in night terrors about the whole ordeal.

So Friday, I spent some time installing a ceiling mounted rack for storage in my fish room. Later that day after I finish, I walk by and see a cloudy tank.
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Afterwards, I scramble into the fish room to see the floor soaking wet and my ATO pump cavitating after dumping 50 gallons of fully saturated kalk ATO water into my tank.
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The alk is reading 12 dKh and the pH is 10.5!

I snag the 2-year old, ran straight to Lowe’s and picked up muriatic acid. Kalk should mostly precipitate out but the bigger danger to livestock is the ridiculously high pH.

I scramble to look up dosing instructions but seeing my naso tang on his side on the floor laboring to breathe, I went for it and just started pouring the muriatic acid in my sump and carefully monitoring pH on my apex as it real time updates. ***Disclaimer... do not just dump muriatic acid in your tanks on my story... please do your research first!!!***

Ph finally drops to an acceptable level... next to tackle is my alk now has precipitated out and dropped it to 4.5 dKh. I slowly start adding 2-part all solution being as careful as I can to not increase the pH too much with it. Finally bring the alk to an acceptable 7dKh whereas normally it’s at 8 dKh.

What next? How about a salinity drop of 1.027 to 1.023? Yay! I mix in super saline mixes of saltwater into my sump and was able to bring it back up to 1.026.

Again, this is not a recommendation to do any of this if you encounter the same problem. I felt it was best for my tank to quickly put the parameters back to prior levels then to slowly bring them back to those levels. Fortunately, everything worked out wonderfully and besides precipitation everywhere and coral slime everywhere, everything made it out perfectly and only lost 2 Frags which were not happy at the moment anyways. The slimer lost color but otherwise... and more oddly, everything else in the tank looked like nothing had occurred.

The whole time I blamed potentially the work I did installing the ceiling rack as the issue... potentially drywall dust made it to the skimmer and made it blow up, and my lack of engineering controls to prevent the ATO from continually refilling the tank prompted it to dump the whole container of kalk into my tank as the skimmer overflowed.

Either way, quick actions probably saved my tank. I restarted everything like normal and called it a day... granted a long day... but a day.

Fast forward to the next morning... same thing! My skimmer blew up and my freshly filled 50 gallon container of fully saturated kalk topoff water went right back into the tank. Rinse and repeat what I did the previous day... minus this time, I overshot the muriatic acid addition being a bit cocky with its use since I just did it yesterday, and the resulting lower pH of 7.4 and higher carbon dioxide level had my fish on their sides and breathing at the top of the water. Nothing makes your heart skip a beat seeing a $1200 bandit angelfish and $1200 black tang floating at the top of the tank! I start dumping in tons of 2-part all solution to bring up the pH and turn on the skimmer and add bubblers to the system. I open the garage door for fresh air to come into the room. Luckily, pH came back up quickly to normal ranges and all my fish returned to normal and started to give me the stink eye for putting them through all that. Add to it, my Apex 2016 head unit is not functioning anymore. I hook up the classic head unit I have as backup and start reprogramming everything. I couldn’t use it with the newer EB832 power bar so I had to use an old power bar and reprogram everything on that. All my wires were nicely organized so didn’t give me much room to add the old power bar so I just laid it on the ground instead of elevating it. Again, most of my corals didn’t lose color but a couple did this go around since they were subjected to 2 kalk overdoses in two days.

Fast forward to the next morning... my ATO hose somehow during all the craziness was submerged lower than usual and blocked the siphon break. I wake up the next morning to a fried classic EB8 strip, another 50 gallons of topoff water in my tank and another long day of correcting my tank. The tank looks a bit more beat up after the 3rd incident but luckily no more deaths and just a little loss of color on some acros.

So there you have it... 2 kalk overdoses of 50 gallons a piece, and 1 topoff overdose of 50 gallons... all within 3 days. 150 gallons of water on the floor in my fish room... luckily it just drains out the garage floor... my one saving grace.

I am exhausted... but truly thankful I only made it out with 2 dead frags, only a slight loss of color, no livestock deaths though they are truly ticked at me and probably planning to get me back in the near future... paying for repairs for an Apex head unit, and buying a new power bar.

Phew, that was a lot! Tired just from reliving it by telling you guys! Happy reefing... don’t be dumb like me... program your failsafes folks. Enjoy your weekend.

I told my wife I decorated my green slimer for Halloween!


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FarmerTy

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Forgot to mention... the final culprit... a biopellet reactor that clogged and then exploded... then did it again. I pulled it out and proceeded to run it over with my car... the number of times I’m too embarrassed to say. Okay, maybe I didn’t do that but dreaming about it did give me joy.
 
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FarmerTy

FarmerTy

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Wow! What a tough ride! Glad all is ok and hope there are no residual effects.
I'm hoping not but you know acros... they'll tell you two weeks later sometimes.
sorry to hear all the issues, but things tend to always happen so. One thing, then another, and possibly one more for good measure.
I was joking with Bubba that bad things come in 3s... then it went up to 4 counting coming back from vacation to an angry tank and I was a bit concerned what else would happen!
 

joseserrano

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I'm hoping not but you know acros... they'll tell you two weeks later sometimes.

I was joking with Bubba that bad things come in 3s... then it went up to 4 counting coming back from vacation to an angry tank and I was a bit concerned what else would happen!
I'm sure you don't need this advice, but this may be good for others to hear. It is probably a good time to give all the other equipment running an inspection. No matter what brand or cost your equipment is/was, it will fail eventually. Everything, including the tank will one day need to be replaced.
 

Maximus

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Dang dude, I feel for you (It took me some time to summon up the courage to say that). No more whammies!
 

Malifry97

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Thanks guys for the compliments! It's much appreciated and I also like the fact that I don't have to name some corals... that there are plenty of acroholics on this club to just spot out an Oregon Tort. [emoji3]

I do frag locally but have never tried my hand at shipping. Once the busy season slows down with work and if there's enough interest, maybe I'll shoot out some frag packs and give a good discount for my first recipients to be my guinea pigs.
ill be a guinea pig lol
 
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FarmerTy

FarmerTy

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I'm sure you don't need this advice, but this may be good for others to hear. It is probably a good time to give all the other equipment running an inspection. No matter what brand or cost your equipment is/was, it will fail eventually. Everything, including the tank will one day need to be replaced.
Fully agreed! I like to check most equipment quarterly and give them a good cleaning to make sure things are still functional. As my operation increases in number of tanks and equipment, I find myself needing to create a QA/QC checklist to make sure I stay on task.
Dang dude, I feel for you (It took me some time to summon up the courage to say that). No more whammies!
Say what? The great Maximus finally found some empathy for his buddy in Texas? What a glorious day! :D
ill be a guinea pig lol
That quote was from 4 years ago!!! :oops: Let's just say I'm pretty proficient at shipping these days! :D
 
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FarmerTy

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Dood! Stop forking up your tank! I think I need to call the CPS (Coral Protection Services) and have all your coral removed from your care and placed in a foster home (my tank)!

Feel for you though....that’s sounds like a painful experience.
I'm an abusive acro keeper! I just consider it acclimating them to stressors to help build stronger and more resistent corals. Yeah... that's it!
 

YHSublime

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Holy moley! That's wild, another reason I try to keep things as simple as possible (that and I'm really lazy!)

I'm hoping not but you know acros... they'll tell you two weeks later sometimes.
This is my biggest concern for you! Either way, sounds like you've built up some super resilient acros!
 
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FarmerTy

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Holy moley! That's wild, another reason I try to keep things as simple as possible (that and I'm really lazy!)



This is my biggest concern for you! Either way, sounds like you've built up some super resilient acros!
Some like my oregon tort I've been beating up for 6-7 years now. I'm hoping their super-resilient by now! Used to my shenanigans...
 

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Just finished reading through the entire thread. You have had some ups and downs, but I love your attitude through it all. Thanks for sharing your whole journey with us and not just the parts where everything is good.

Hoping for no delayed reactions to the recent turmoil your tank has gone through. Glad you were able to think quickly enough to get parameters back in line in a timely manner to minimize the damage.
 
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