What percentage of reefers have experienced disasters?

BRS

What percentage of reefers have experienced or will experience a reefing disaster?

  • 0-10%

    Votes: 7 5.7%
  • 11-20%

    Votes: 5 4.1%
  • 21-30%

    Votes: 3 2.4%
  • 31-40%

    Votes: 6 4.9%
  • 41-50%

    Votes: 7 5.7%
  • 51-60%

    Votes: 17 13.8%
  • 61-70%

    Votes: 12 9.8%
  • 71-80%

    Votes: 13 10.6%
  • 81-90%

    Votes: 13 10.6%
  • 91-100%

    Votes: 40 32.5%

  • Total voters
    123

jfoahs04

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
569
Reaction score
947
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Boston
As a long time member of reefing forums (though relatively new to R2R), I see a ton of "Emergency!", "Help!", "All of my fish/coral is dying!", etc. threads and it's got me wondering what do you think is the percentage of reefers who have experienced disasters? When I say "disaster," I don't mean a single fish dying, or a coral that didn't make it, but rather major issues with their system - anything from huge equipment failures, to tank crashes, to diseases wiping out populations.

I miraculously dodged bullets in my first SW (FOWLR) tank - I was 17, no clue what I was doing, and I overstocked my cheap 20g with HOB filter with incompatible fish (and a snowflake eel) and kept them all alive for 2 years before giving them away and shutting the tank down because college was taking up too much time. I didn't lose a fish - not even the blue damsel I used to cycle the tank. I was 25 when I started my first reef and while I took precautions and had better equipment, I did have a velvet issue that killed all of my fish. I also lost several LPS colonies. It cost me a lot of money, a ton of stress, and had me second guessing myself at every turn. In hindsight, better QT protocols and better element management (testing/dosing, etc.) would have likely minimized the risks, but in my experience, there's certainly also an element of pure, dumb luck.

So, while full blown disasters are generally avoidable, do most people experience them anyway?
 

Chris Spaulding

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
482
Reaction score
546
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Colorado Springs
Over the decades 3 tank seams split 2 fresh one salt. A bought with velvet that wiped out all fish about 5 years ago. Oh a bear in the pond taking out all the Koi and trashing the liner with is claws does that count ?
I voted 50% but in actuality the other 50% will at some point have an emergency as well.
 

ColoredRock

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
Messages
605
Reaction score
753
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Murrieta, CA (North of San Diego)
- Feel asleep with the sink rodi filling up a 5 gallon ruining our kitchen. (15 years ago)

- Heater malfunction killing a witch of a maroon clown that I had had for over 8 years.. love hate relestionship, which at the end all be all made me tear down my 180.. this was pre controllor days and I traveled alot. Got home and was doing a tank tear apart and clean.

Im sure there are others.

We hopefully learn from our mistakes and others.
 

LiveFreeAndReef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
2,026
Reaction score
2,611
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New Hampshire
I believe that many more reefers will perceive a disaster instead of actually experiencing one, and they're more likely to be the cause of the disaster if they end up having one. A good amount of the "EMERGENCY" threads aren't actually an emergency, just a reefer observing something they haven't experienced before. "Help! My anemone did a thing, is it dying?" "Help, I have algae should I dump a whole bottle of Vibrant into my aquarium?" "Help! My clowns won't host the anemone that I've had for 2 days, do they have a parasitic infection?"
 
OP
jfoahs04

jfoahs04

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
569
Reaction score
947
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Boston
I believe that many more reefers will perceive a disaster instead of actually experiencing one, and they're more likely to be the cause of the disaster if they end up having one. A good amount of the "EMERGENCY" threads aren't actually an emergency, just a reefer observing something they haven't experienced before. "Help! My anemone did a thing, is it dying?" "Help, I have algae should I dump a whole bottle of Vibrant into my aquarium?" "Help! My clowns won't host the anemone that I've had for 2 days, do they have a parasitic infection?"
I definitely agree with the bold. The odds are never zero, but there's enough information out there to drastically reduce those odds. The problem is that many new reefers cut corners. I'm guilty of it and both of my disasters were almost certainly avoidable.
 

PandorasChalk

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
167
Reaction score
150
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Indy
When I was doing the initial fill of my 14 gallon cube, I turned the RODI water on and put the hose in the 5 gallon bucket. Walked away, started playing video games and forgot about it for about three hours.

Thankfully our kitchen floor is loose lay vinyl, because it was a huge mess! Wife was less than pleased.
 

dhnguyen

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
496
Reaction score
724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Kingston, Washington
I would say the percentage is a lot higher than half. Might be in the 70-80% range even.
No matter who you are (beginner or expert) at some point something is going to hit you that will be an emergency/disaster. Most often it's things that are out of your control.
 

o2manyfish

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
818
Reaction score
1,236
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Encino, CA
I have been keeping reef tanks for over 3 decades. And I have friends with decades of experience. And none of them are free from a disaster story. Heater Mal-function, Kalk Overdose, bad filtersocks, Freshwater topoff doesn't shut off, World's Most Famous Aquarium controller goes bonkers, power outage, cold spells, tank seams, pipe busts, rat's falling into tanks, house keeper using cleaning agents by tank, exterminator spraying outside window where tank is, dropped hammer into aquarium overflow (unknown to tank owner), rusting screws in pumps, rusting magnet holders, razor blades lost in aquariums, adding liverock once used in copper, AEFW, Monti Nudis, Black Spiders, Ich, Brook, Velvet, God Knows what stringy parasite and Fire. And fire is not that rare when you mix saltwater and electricity. Not all these are in my history book but a good deal of them are. For me as long as I can find a means of making sure 'that' disaster can't happen again then I am always up for fixing the issue and moving forward. But tank seams, crazy controllers - things beyond our control to avoid repeating - Those are butt kickers for me.

Dave B
 

Thetankdoctor

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
296
Reaction score
487
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Ohio
I have tried to think of everything and still I have had disasters....something will happen....even small disasters....sucks but it is almost a right of passage so to speak...
 

Blutspitze

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
1,164
Reaction score
4,690
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I think it does largely depend on the types of tanks (FOWLR means no temperamental coral, for example, probably no potential anemone ammonia bombs either), but my vote is in the 61-70 margin easily, and potentially more. Even reading forums, books, instruction manuals, and the issues that others have experienced doesn't mean people won't be able to avoid their own.
 

A;exr54

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2021
Messages
384
Reaction score
517
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Palm Coast
My one and only disaster was completely my fault and mostly because I was a poor kid when it happened. Almost 30 years ago when I was a young teenager I had an awesome reef going.
It was so healthy, I was trading frags and getting store credits for frags.
The tank was given to me, it was a 72g bow front.
It didn’t come with a stand. I put it on a stand that fit everything but 1/2” of the bow front. Couldn’t afford a new stand for it.
You can guess the rest. Flood, everything died. I stopped for a couple years until I could afford proper equipment.
 

ArizonaAquatics

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
165
Reaction score
220
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Whelp.. my sister was very sick in 2016 and she required surgery by a special brain/spinal surgeon in San Francisco. Since I’m from AZ, I drove 12+ hours there & back to support my family. While there, my friend who was watching my tank texted me saying he could not get into the house (from the garage opener code I gave him). I told him that was odd, but just told him to go home as I knew the fish/coral would be fine a few days without food. Well, to my absolute displeasure, when I arrived home about 48 hours later, just about every fish and coral in my tank was dead from a power outage (which explains why the garage door opener wasn’t operating correctly). Only survivors were a couple clownfish and some leather corals… I had no idea that would happen and it was a completely freak accident. Honestly, it can happen to the best of us and I should’ve done more back then (battery back ups, extra power heads, etc.) to prevent this from happening, but I was a teenager and it just happened at the wrong time. Luckily, I’ve been able to recover and have had some ****** tanks since then. Moral of the story: if something happens, don’t beat yourself up. Many of us have made plenty of accidents ourselves, and we all do what we can to keep our pets alive but sometimes things just happen that are out of our control.
 
BRS

How much of your saltwater reef tank is automated?

  • Nothing is automated

    Votes: 70 14.1%
  • 25% or so

    Votes: 154 30.9%
  • 50% or so

    Votes: 110 22.1%
  • 75% or so

    Votes: 110 22.1%
  • Close to 100%

    Votes: 51 10.2%
  • Totally Automated (we need proof)

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Reef Breeders
Top