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Old 10-31-2008, 01:21 AM   #1
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Not happy...

First the bloody diatoms won't leave my tank alone. It's been 3 going on 4 months and no coraline algae blooms AT ALL.

Then, my gramma gets ich. That means I have to spend more money on a good refractometer, plus some more cash to get a QT running. Not to mention the 6 weeks it'll take to break the life cycle of the Ich. Great.

Plus the cost of an RO/DI filter...there's another $100 minimum.

Now, the cleaner shrimp I bought YESTERDAY appears to have met it's end at the hands of something else in the tank. All I found was a broken piece of it's rear exoskeleton...no way it's a molt. Plus I moved the LR and BR around and no sign of it. So there's $40 down the drain. I may as well have taken the money and burned it.

Not sure what killed it...maybe the brittle star. I saw the star with a chunk of something in it's tentacles...not sure if it was part of the shrimp. In anycase, I think the brittle star is going to get the heave-ho, just to be sure.

Anyway this bloody tank has turned into a money pit that hasn't brought me as much enjoyment as I expected. I'm starting to think that any animals in captivity except domesticated ones, simply don't belong in our possession. Think of how many things die because of this.

Oh, and know what else? My LR sucks. Big time. Anything cool that may have grown on it was probably devoured by those stupid emerald crabs I got rid of a while ago. Everyone else seems to get cool things growing on theres, except me. WTF?

At this point I may just pack it all in and sell it off, before I get in too deep.

Needless to say I'm absolutely fuming.

"What scares the heck out of me is how stupid people are out-breeding the smart ones."
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:58 AM   #2
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I am going through the same things and have found out that I need to slow down. I thought I was going at a slow pace, but in fact I still need to slow down a bit. I cycled my tank for 6 weeks, sounds good! Put a Tomato clown in did good for a week. Put a domino damsel in. Two days later the clown dies. the next day the damsel dies. SO! I bought, or rather made a UV sterilizer and ran the tank for two weeks. Diatoms are a ***** but blow them off the live rock with a turkey baster and all is OK. part of the system. Don't get discouraged. I am going on my fourth month and things piss me off everyday. I also have had no coraline algae either. But Let the system run with snails, hermits, and keep the star. You will know when the time is right to put in fish. My SW tank is the only thing I think about at work, and when I get home all my extra effort goes into it. It is well worth the time and the money. Don't give up!

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Old 10-31-2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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Sometimes things just have a rough start. I too had problems when I started up my tank. After cycling, I went out and bought a pair of false perc clowns, put them directly in the tank, two days later one was dead and the other had ich. I went out and spent $40 on a 10 gallon kit and other supplies for a QT tank. Ihad to leave the tank fishless for about 7 weeks. I was about ready to give up and sell everything. Just recently after having my tang for almost a month he started breathing rapidly, and despite everything I did, died. That was an expensive fish and lots of medication costs, but I felt it was worth it to try and save him. I've also had my protein skimmmer overflow too.. lol. But in the long run, Its really fun. It can have its frustrating moments, but I just think about how much I'm leaning for it all. Ireally enjoy having my fish and other creatures in there. I've always wanted a SW tank and dangit if I'm not gonna make it work!! You'll be ok.. dont give up, just ask lots of questions!
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:49 AM   #4
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Yeah, I was just angry...I'll stick it out. I'm not adding any more fish until the ich is all gone, which will be a good 6 weeks at least. I'm just upset about losing the shrimp...
"What scares the heck out of me is how stupid people are out-breeding the smart ones."
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:17 AM   #5
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As in most cases, one does not simply perfect a craft at the moment of interest. There are many variables and unknowns aquarists must work through, oftentimes taking many years before an understanding of an aquariums functionality. This hobby takes work, diligence, and patience if you want a positive outcome. What you have experienced is no different than every other person just starting out, wanting to have a beautiful aquatic environment in their home. The fact of the matter is that we learn by our mistakes so consider the negatives a doorway to achievment down the road. Anyways, in regards to your tank it is normal for diatoms and other algaes to rapidly encroach for even 6 months because your biological filtration, water parameters in general, and fauna need to stabilize. Algae will always be a part of every system and is natural/healthy, but if importation of nutrients (feeding, general waste, etc) outcompetes exportation then your system will take longer for you to see results. This is where the work, diligence, and patience comes into play. As the others have said, continue to ask questions and think of your trials as stepping stones. Don't give up, far too early for such thoughts
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:38 PM   #6
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Could not have said it better. I agree that setbacks can be learning experiences. I`ve been in this hobby 10+ yrs and have had several but I always learned from them. The good part is that I am able to share them so others might not have to. Hang in there. You`ll be OK.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:46 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone! I feel better.
"What scares the heck out of me is how stupid people are out-breeding the smart ones."
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:30 AM   #8
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If this makes you feel any better, I lost a whole tank to leaching voltage from a ph.

Think of it this way...What you have been through has only (unfortunately) helped you help other new folks. The fact that you are fuming is good (not really in a good way) but your experience is 10 fold for future advice. You now know a QT is a good. Just hang in there, your LR doesn't suck, it's doing it's job. Sometimes thing start off hard and get better.....Sometimes things start off easy and get harder...Think of it as experience.
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

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Old 11-01-2008, 01:36 AM   #9
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Agree with what everyone has said already, and just remember to take a deep breath and consider that 3-4 months in the life of a reef tank is just a blip in time. Your tank is still trying to reach some type of equilibrium, and should start to settle down in the coming months.

Yeah... you've sunk more money into this than you thought, but we've all been there. Even those of us that have put together detailed budgets have still blown it. We live and learn. As Innovator mentions, this is not a "plug and play" hobby, as some of the equipment manufacturers out there would like you to believe. It's one of those hobbies that you *think* you understand things 100%, only to reread something 4 months later and realize you never really got it to start with.

Hang in there... things will get better. And the bright side of that live rock is that while hitchikers can be a nice surprise, they can also be a nightmare. Mine didn't come with any sponges, corals, polyps, or anything like that... and had hardly any coralline growth. But the shapes were cool. In time though, I had little critters scurrying around all over the place, and coralline coming out my ears. With the addition of each new coral, I get even more new hitchikers. I remember when I added my torch coral, I got a couple stripped leg mini brittle stars with it. Those little legs are waving all over my tank nowadays during feeding time! Over time, you'll be amazed at the life in that tank.

Just give it time...
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:44 AM   #10
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This thread got me thinking about the progression of my tank, and I went back and looked at some pictures, and figured maybe I'd post them to give you at least my experience in how long things take to start looking like a reef! I was surprised in looking at my pictures that while my coralline slowly crept along, it wasn't until between 8 and 12 months of being up and running that it really started coming in strong.

Here's right after the cycle, with rocks covered in diatoms...

3 months in...

5 months in...

8 months in...

and finally 12 months into it...

You can see somewhere between 8 and 12 months, the back glass finally became covered in coralline algae.

And here's the tank a month or so ago... after 2 years now:

Guess I just wanted to give you a gauge to go by, and let you know the pictures you see on here of tanks don't just happen in a few months. And if you look at the pictures, you'll notice that some of the corals in one shot aren't in other shots. We've all thrown money down the drain, but hopefully learned from it.

Anyway... hope this helps.

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