Hair-raising, Horrendous, Horrifying Tales -- Tank Crashes

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Salty Lemon, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    How did your tank crash? We want the story. I'll start with mine....

    The year was 1998 and I was one of the millions of women with "The Rachel" haircut. I had two reef tanks -- one was a 75 gal at home, and the other was a 29 gal tank that I kept in my office at work. One Monday morning I walked into work and the smell of dead fish filled my nose. I hurried over to my aquarium and everything was dead. The power-strip that had all of my aquarium hardware attached to it had been unplugged. The cleaning staff came in on Friday nights, and my only thought was that they unplugged it to use the vaccuum cleaner. I spent most of the day cleaning out the tank. After that, I kept only freshwater in the tank with the power-strip duct taped to the wall.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    Sarah24!, ccombs, sfin52 and 8 others like this.

  2. Reefing Madness

    Reefing Madness Carbon Doser Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18,934
    Likes Received:
    4,987
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Curryb15

    Curryb15 Well-Known Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    578
    Location:
    Middle island, Long Island NY
    I have been lucky enough not a experience a full blown tank crash. But wanted to write this is a great thread! Sharing stories like this is not only interesting but also a learning experience and hopefully will be able to prevent a few tanks in the future from crashing
     
    ccombs, ot7, KrisReef and 4 others like this.
  4. jda

    jda Valuable Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    6,171
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Roommate in college was cleaning, had a bucket with pine-sol on the top of my tank for a few seconds and he elbowed it and knocked it in. Not everything died, but I lost a bunch.
     
    ccombs, ot7, KrisReef and 5 others like this.
  5. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Oh that stinks -- but the lemony fresh kind. :(
     
    Sarah24!, ccombs, sfin52 and 6 others like this.
  6. Shufflepig

    Shufflepig Active Member R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Mine occurred 20 years ago with a fish only tank. Tank was doing great with a blue faced angel, a copperband butterfly, 2 clownfish, a lunar wrasse and a newly added rock beauty. The rock beauty was doing well but I had read that they love eating live sponge so I had the LFS order a live sponge for me. I put the sponge in the tank and my wife and I went out for dinner. Came home and every fish was dead or almost dead. Turned out the sponge released a toxin when threatened by the fish. A total disaster out of trying to do some good. Was so upset that I got out of the hobby till 10 months ago. Up and running again.
     
    Hemmdog, ccombs, sfin52 and 10 others like this.
  7. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    I didn't know that about sponges -- I've never had one. I learned something today. Thanks!
     
    ccombs, sfin52, psychobilly07 and 5 others like this.
  8. Shufflepig

    Shufflepig Active Member R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I believe it’s only certain sponges. Don’t want to accuse all sponge species.
     
    sfin52, ot7, KrisReef and 3 others like this.
  9. PookieGV

    PookieGV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    239
    Location:
    Garnet Valley, PA
    Went away for the weekend. Hired the neighbor boy to walk and feed the dog, with instructions not to touch the aquarium. Came home to find an entire large jar of pellets on the sand bed. He had obviously fed the fish, dropped the food in, and ran away. Everything was dead when we got home. To make matters worse, i was leaving the next day for a business trip and i could not leave my wife to deal with the death swamp. I tore everything down and threw most of the equipment away.

    That was 2013, good news is that i have a brand new waterbox 130 waiting to be set up. :)
     
    ccombs, sfin52, ot7 and 8 others like this.
  10. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Yikes! How awful. Do you have a build thread? I'd love to see the new tank!
     
    ccombs, sfin52, KrisReef and 3 others like this.
  11. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Oh that I knew -- but I wasn't aware that some sponges can release toxins. I'll have to keep close attention to what I'm buying if I'm going to put it in my tank. Actually, that can apply to everything. :)
     
    Hemmdog, ccombs, sfin52 and 3 others like this.
  12. Gregg @ ADP

    Gregg @ ADP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2018
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    1,937
    Location:
    Chicago
    Had this tank going for over a decade for an attorney client:

    [​IMG]

    He moved his office into a new building. Moved the tank, everything went smoothly, and the tank didn’t skip a beat.

    One month later, it was Memorial Day weekend, and it was unseasonably hot...highs in the mid-upper 90s. The building (for some reason) turned the A/C off. The office that the tank went into was a corner office that was all essentially floor to ceiling windows, so the tank sat there and cooked for 3 days. Even with a chiller, tank temps got well over 100 degrees.

    Needless to say, it was a pretty complete wipeout. The purple tang managed to survive (no shock there), but everything else wiped out. Pretty sad.
     
    Rich Gross, Hemmdog, ccombs and 11 others like this.
  13. saf1

    saf1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2,966
    Likes Received:
    3,984
    Mid 2000 - early 2001 I lost my 100 gallon mixed reef while on vacation. California, Enron, rolling brown-outs / power losses took a toll on our AC while on vacation. Upon entering the house after being away for a little over a week the acrid smell of sulfur and saltwater hit us like a two ton heavy thing. Total loss in all livestock and equipment. Circuit breaker on the AC tripped during one of the rolling-brown outs which lead to a very hot house. Pumps, lights, everything kept running and eventually top off evaporated faster than what I had planned for. Sump ran dry. Pump failed. Tank over heated due to weather in and outside of the house, etc. Just kept cascading with failures.

    Most, if not all, our family was on the same vacation (reunion) so didn't have anyone trustworthy to check. Good news is I borded our dogs and parrot. Bad news is no one to check house or tank. Everyone unpacked while I grabbed a garbage can and emptied the tank, fish, corals, etc. I left the rocks and sand. Made emergency water from tap water, tossed in a spare power head, and let it run for about a month unattended outside of topping off the display with water. Oddly enough I started to see a few zoa's come back along with a lot of the sandbeds worms. Replaced failed equipment and tossed in a couple clown fish and that was it for about 6 months. Gave everything away shortly after but the rocks. Moved what I could to a 29 gallon bio cube and the rest stashed in a box. Still using that rock today.
     
    Hemmdog, ccombs, sfin52 and 7 others like this.
  14. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    7,165
    Likes Received:
    16,058
    Location:
    north east Fl
    Been along time . I caught a very cool Robin fish on a tiny hook with the barb flattened. put it in a bucket with bubbler & brought it home . Plopped it in the tank. within a week every fish I had. got fuzz all over the entire body & died. I had no clue what to do & had to just sit there & watch it happen. That was hard !
     
  15. PookieGV

    PookieGV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    239
    Location:
    Garnet Valley, PA
    Not yet, everything is still in the crate. One of these days...
     
    sfin52, KrisReef, Bob Escher and 2 others like this.
  16. NefTunzReef

    NefTunzReef Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2017
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    197
    Had a 150 gallon FOWLR tank with several puffers along with other fish twenty years ago. Wife and I went on a short weekend trip only to come back to a tank with the putrid smell of dead floating fish. One of my puffers was stuck in a corner flow pump and probably released his deadly toxin as his body decomposed, effectively wiping out the entire tank. Spent the next few days breaking down the tank and took at least a 10 year hiatus from the hobby.
     
    sfin52, KrisReef, SDK and 3 others like this.
  17. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Oh it was gorgeous. I live in AZ and I have yet to buy a chiller. I'm told I should. I need to add that to my "need to buy" list. Temps can get into the 120s here in the summer.
     
    Hemmdog, sfin52, KrisReef and 2 others like this.
  18. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    That is terrible! I can't imagine home from vacation to that.
     
    ccombs, sfin52, cracker and 2 others like this.
  19. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Yep...a crash like that can make a person walk away for awhile. Glad you came back to it. :)
     
  20. Salty Lemon

    Salty Lemon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Secret Santa AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    10,197
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Oh that sucks. I hate fish diseases.
     
    ccombs, sfin52 and KrisReef like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted