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Old 03-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #1
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Disaster. Everything is Dead. Help.

Well, not everything.

So, I wake up on this fine morning, put on my uniform and head out for the day with the sun not even up yet. Upon walking past my darkened aquarium I notice there is some hazyness to the glass. I walk up to inspect and I can feel the heat radiating from the tank. I flip on a light, and am horrified. All my corals are melted, my shimps dead, and the water is a soup of coral slime and tissue debris.

I do a quick inspection of the hardware and instantly find the problem. The water temperature is 85 degrees. I keep it at 72 normally. I take a look at my heater controler and there it is, set to 73 with its "heating" light happily illuminated regardless.

Immediate actions? Ripped the heater out of the wall and smashed into a dozen pieces. I then dumped the contents of my freezer ice trays into the fuge. Before having to leave for work I had the temp down to 83. I turned off all the powerheads, and took my daytime lights offline for the day. My two prized corals, a 30+ head branching australian frogspawn and 6'' in diameter australian wall hammer coral, are a mass of none to slowely desitigrating ooze. My acans look like jelly.

Losses:
Branching Frogspawn - $150
Wall Hammer - $175
Rainbow Acans - $250
Cleaner Shrimp - $30
Fire Shrimp - $30

Probably Losses:
Elegance Coral - $125
Chalice Coral - $60
BTA - $70

Looking Good So Far:
Brain coral
Assorted Zoas/Palys
Bubble Coral
Pipe Organ
All Fish

So all told I am looking at a $890 bath. If I was going to waste that kind of money in one evening I would have prefered to have done so in a bar or brothel.

So now I am at work, helpless to do anything but think about my tank imploding (and murdering the manufacturers of that heater). Not that I could do much if I was at home but watch my favorite corals die.

Well, thats the story so far, what is the advice you guys have for containing this unmitigated disaster? I know I need to get that dead matter out of there, unfortunetly I did a 25% water change last night (what a waste) so I have no water. I plan on just using tap once I get home to do a 50%, whatever is in the tap water can't be worse that what floating in my tank now. I anticipate an algea bloom, but there isn't much I can do about that. I hope the temperature has dropped by the time I get home, but if not I will continue dropping in ice until it has. I am really at a loss...
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65gal drilled Reef (3'x1.5'x2').

1 Powder Blue Tang, 1 Yellow Eyed Kole Tang, 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, 1 Talbot Damsel, 1 YWG, 1 Red Honey Damsel.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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I feel your pain.Although montarily speaking I had no initial-LOSSES...but have recently inherited a 100g (+) which was sooooo neglected its a COMPLETE rebuild such as yours. ALL of my corals were dead at the time I took over..and the only survivors were 2 clownies anda' chromis. But the silver-cloud is (now) 2 clowns 2 chromis 3 damsels 4 hermitt crabbs 4 snails and 1 orange spotted goby.
Next on the horizion...re-vampimg/redesigning lighting to a more modern up-to-date system...and then re-coralizing the project.
Point being>>all is NEVER lost my friend.Have faith in A/A !!! They'll getcha through it !!
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
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Ouch that hurts me just reading about it.... It's scary to.... Sorry for your Loses Man....
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #4
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Thanks.

Update:

Came home for lunch, the death toll now includes:

Sun Coral
Dendros
Talbot Damsel
3 Chromis

That surprised me, I'd have figured the damsels and chromis would be the most likely to survive. My Kole Tang is MIA. I saw him out this morning but I can't find a trace of him this afternoon.

The good news is my PBT, YWG and clown pair are all out and active. I just pulled out everything from the tank that was dead and got in a quick 5gal water change. Emptied the skimmer. The temo is down to 76.

The offending piece of equipment:

FINEX HC-0800 THERMAL-CONTROLER
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:14 PM   #5
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Sorry abot the mess. Hopefully you can get the temp back up and those PWC`s will help.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
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Might wanna watch your ammonia for a while with so much dying. Keep making SW too.

I feel for you. So very sorry!
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:08 PM   #7
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Any particular reason that you are keeping the tank at 72? A reef should be between 78-81ish. My tank hovers around 80 and will hit 85 on a really hot day or if I have the wood stove going a full blast. The giant temp swing could be the cause but I would check you water parameters and look for other possiblities as well.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #8
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So you have your Temp Controller and it went Hay Wire? (Finex Temp Controller?).. So it wasn't the actual heater that went bad?
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Any particular reason that you are keeping the tank at 72?
After playing with my parameters during the cycle, that is just where the tank stablized at. I could heat it if I wanted to, but given the room temp (we keep it at 70) the heater would turn on and off constantly giving me 3-5 degree temperture swings either way all the time. At 72 the heater was almost never on.

Until last night

[qute]So you have your Temp Controller and it went Hay Wire? (Finex Temp Controller?).. So it wasn't the actual heater that went bad?[/quote]

It was the controller. The temperature prob hooks straight into it so it has to have been it, the heater just turns on and off as the controller tells it. The heater can't run without power.

Casualties:
Yellpw Eyed Kole Tang
All Mushrooms

Bubble coral is looking bad. Hasn't melted yet but is shrivled.
Pipe Organ is not open.
Brain is melting
Elegance is shivled up
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65gal drilled Reef (3'x1.5'x2').

1 Powder Blue Tang, 1 Yellow Eyed Kole Tang, 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, 1 Talbot Damsel, 1 YWG, 1 Red Honey Damsel.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:17 PM   #10
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WOW, Man I am deeply sorry sound like your Tank has crashed without notice over night.... Dude I feel bad... for ya...
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