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

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

  1. Greg Gdowski

    Greg Gdowski Active Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

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    My crash happened in 2013. We had floors refinished on the other side of the house. I thought it was ok because of the distance... Tank functioned as a sponge and absorbed all of the formaldehyde in the air. Everything in the tank died a slow death despite my efforts to save it. The only thing that managed to grow was Kenya Tree --- something I had been trying to kill anyway.
     
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  2. Stephers

    Stephers Active Member

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    I had my 75 gallon mixed reef crash in 2012 mostly due to ignorance. I was finishing up college and was having an algae problem I was ignoring. Turns out it was a dino problem. Unfortunately, seems to have been a toxic kind. Woke up one morning to a massive tank of death. Tank tested at greater than 8.0 ppm of ammonia. The four fish I had in there (2 clowns, leopard wrasse, blotched anthias) all survived somehow as well as a BTA and some mushrooms and kenya trees.... All snails, shrimp, clams, crabs, and thousands of dollars of corals dead. Oh man, I cried so hard.

    Kept the tank up but never added anything else and left it with my parents because I lived out of the country for several years. But now I'm happy to be back and I still have those same two clownfish.
     
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  3. erk

    erk Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I'll give the short version of my crash since you can find read about the details on my tank thread. It happened in mid 2018. I cracked a pH probe and had no idea. I noticed all my corals started to decline. 3 months after it started and trying to find the reason, I found the pH probe. It had a large black spot on the crack, like it had shorted out. Also had two small Hydor powerheads die at the same time. I lost all my SPS and almost all my LPS. Also lost several fish, including a blenny and sand goby.
     
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  4. Bob Escher

    Bob Escher Welcome to Saltwatef R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I’ve only had aquariums for six years have not had a full tank crash yet. Had six fish die one time from we think a heater failure
    So I’m knocking on wood
     
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  5. pdcatania

    pdcatania Member

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    I'm dealing with one right now. Came home from work 2 days ago and my tank was cloudy. Discovered that the heater had failed and that the tank temp was 92. Was at least like that all day and may have been a little longer. All of the fish survived.
    All of my hammers and frogspawns have lost their polyps. Only a fleshy head remains. A rock that was covered with GSP looks barren now. Candy Canes are shriveled looking.

    Any chance these will come back or should I remove the remains now to keep them from decaying in the tank?
     
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  6. CTNiner

    CTNiner New Member

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    I’ve had two tank crashes and still at it. The first was a 90 gallon acrylic reef tank in 1995. It was 3 years old at the time. While living in San Francisco we visited relatives in Maine over Thanksgiving. The night after Thanksgiving we received a call at 3 am. Fire Department. “Your house is on fire”. Apparent short in a lighting ballast. Melted the tank and 18 months before we were back in the house. The second was December. A 5 year old 120 gallon reef (glass this time) sprung a leak 1/3 up from the bottom. It was small but steady. By the time I found it I’d lost about 5 gallons. I used aluminum foil to rig a gutter to return water from the leak back to the sump. That kept the water level until my local store came and broke it down into holding tanks. One month later (at the insistence of the wife and kids) about 2/3 of the livestock and corals are adjusting to a new red sea reefer 350. I lost coral and fish but only the rare and expensive stuff . I must be a masochist...
     
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  7. Ezrunner23

    Ezrunner23 Member

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    I just finished reading everyone’s story and probably at the worst time, I’m out of town for the weekend! I’m definitely going to have nightmares tonight!
     
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  8. Ezrunner23

    Ezrunner23 Member

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    double post sorry
     
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  9. Salty Lemon

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

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    Geez...that had to make you feel helpless and ticked off. I can't wait to see your tank reboot! :)
     
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  10. Salty Lemon

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

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    Love the tank shots. I've recently come back to reefing and had to look up "dinoflaellates" and I just learned all about them. Thanks for sharing. I learned something today. :)
     
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  11. Salty Lemon

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

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    I was telling my husband about having a generator on hand. We live in AZ so we are free of hurricanes, but we do have occasional black outs or storms (we call them haboobs here). If I lived along hurricane alley I'd always have that worry in the back of my head.
     
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  12. Salty Lemon

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

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    That's a literal "crash". Wow!
     
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  13. Salty Lemon

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

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    Seinfeld.gif
     
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  14. BestMomEver

    BestMomEver Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    I’ve had two. In spring of last year I lost 8 fish to velvet.

    In 2006, I had a 300 gallon mixed reef. We had bought an urchin but over the next few weeks he pushed over or broke a bunch of SPS colonies so I pulled him out and tossed him in the refugium. A bit later, the temps outside began to rise (we lived in south Louisiana) so I unplugged the heater but left it in the sump. One day I noticed a basketball size monti cap starting to bleach and in the space of 72 hours lost 300 gallons of coral, inverts and fish. Everything. Turns out the urchin had made his way into the sump from the refugium and climbed up on the heater cord where he ate through the plastic coating. From there, the copper in the cord leached into the tank and killed everything.

    I ended up scrapping the tank and actually gave an entire 300 gallon setup to whoever got to my house first with enough people to haul it out. I was so upset, I couldn’t even stand to look at it any longer. I was out of the hobby from then until about 18 months ago.
     
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  15. oldfishman

    oldfishman Active Member

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    In the early 80's I had a 50 gal fish only tank that was located in the rec room in the basement. After I went to work one day my daughter dumped a whole super large can of fish food into the tank. When I got home the tank was soup and the fish were belly up.
     
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  16. Ardeus

    Ardeus Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    In 2005 I was living on Madeira Island and I was contacted by the townhall because they wanted a creative way to commemorate the 5 years of an art contest.

    I came up with the idea of setting up a 2 meter african cichlid tank with a holographic system behind it showing holograms of the past contest winners and virtual fish. I tried to explain the concept for over an hour, they didn't understand it, but they decided to go ahead just the same.

    I didn't have a fish tank at the time and this was an excuse to get one (I was going to keep the 2 meter tank for mysef after the exhibition.

    The problem was that I had to order the tank, equipment and fish from mainland and it all arrived just a few days before the event. So no time to cycle and in went 23 adult cichlids.

    The tank was setup in a museum. I still remember the fish scattering in all directions when I turned the holographic system on.

    To keep ammonia and nitrites from spiking I was doing daily waterchanges of 50-60%. This meant that everyday after the museum closed, I would go in and carry around 500 liters of water to and from the bathroom over a long path with stairs up and down.

    This went on for over 3 weeks until I could finally bring the tank to my office.

    It was around 5am when I finished setting up the tank. I stayed for some more time watching the tank and went home to sleep. I was living in the same building (office on then 1st floor, apartment on the 4th).

    At around 10am I woke up in panic. I immediately got up and began dressing. A colleague bursts into my bedroom (I had keys in the office) and shouted "The tank exploded!". I said "I know" and we ran down.

    There was enough water on the ground for the fish to keep breathing.

    There were 20+ computers on the floor and when the water rushed out everybody picked up the computers.

    We picked up the fish and put them in styro boxes. Only one died that day, because it was behind a piece of furniture.

    Don't ask me to explain how I knew what happened, I just woke up in panic and knew exactly what had happened. The situation was so horrible that it didn't even ocurred to me to ask myself how I knew.

    I like to think that I built a strong connection with the fish through those weeks of carrying water at night at the musem.
     
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  17. Oliver d

    Oliver d Active Member

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    My tank was wiped out last year when the guy next door decided to fumigate his garden against roaches without warning us.Went to work in the morning with a beautiful reef tank in the lounge came back to everything dead ,fish and coral.The only thing that survived were a few Zoas.The tank stood empty for 6 weeks and was restarted.
     
  18. Salty Lemon

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

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    Holy cow! A salt tank and Discus when you were a teenager? I'm impressed. Both stories are heartbreaking. Glad you see you are still in the hobby after all of that.
     
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  19. Salty Lemon

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

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    I get the whole "financial constraints" thing. I have a family too. Braces, lacrosse gear, etc -- all adds up. But it is still fun. It seems many of these crashes made people give up the hobby for awhile. Big losses. I've never had velvet -- it sounds like a monster.
     
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  20. Salty Lemon

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

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    I hope the fire comes back soon too. But I understand why it is stifled a bit.
     
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