Scare with 14G Biocube
Good morning all..let me relay a story.
I added a heater and did a water change, roughly 30%, on my 14 reef on Wednesday night (29 Sep) just before going out of town for the weekend on Friday. I made sure the heater was working properly over the day and a half I was still home. Temps in my area were going to fluctuate, getting cold through the weekend but it was still very warm on Thursday and Friday. As such, I kept the heater on but added a fan to blow over the cover, leaving the cover open a little bit with a pond skimming net taped over the open areas to allow for the fan air to help with cooling and to keep my very active Firefish from jumping out..I'd been using this method all summer (without the heater).
Everything was stable for the two days prior to leaving. I did have a clownfish whose tail had been nipped who didn't seem to be having issues..he was eating even if his swimming was a little off with him missing part of his tail.
When I got home on Monday, the temp in the house had dropped to under 60 and when I looked at the tank, the tank temp was also 60 degrees..YIKES! The fan was still running but apparently I had lost power at some point and when it came back on, the breaker had tripped on the tank outlet and obviously hadn't reset. I had no idea how long the tank had been without filtration. I turned the heat on in the house and then unplugging the filtration (didn't want to stir up the bad stuff if I could help it) I reset the breaker and the tank lights came on. I lost the Clown, the Firefish looked like he was in suspended animation and two of the three corals were closed up tight. The other coral, a Teacup, was all slumped over. No sign of the peppermint shrimp though the snails were still on the glass.
I did an emergency 70% water change to aid in any bad water at the bottom, with the temp only going up a degree since the house was so chilled. I adjusted the heater to a cool 70 degrees to get a gradual warming and after completely closing the lid, let the lights add some warmth as well. The temp gradually came back up to 72 after about 4 hours and the Firefish, Peppermint Shrimp and one of the corals came out. The other two corals were questionable; water parameters were all OK.
As of yesterday, the Teacup was also back as was the zoos and temp is holding stready at 75. I only have a partial re-opening on the starburst polyp so may have lost a part of the colony but will watch it for a couple of days. Since the known living ones are intermixed with those areas still closed I may have to just leave it alone.
Otherwise, the tank looks good. I did another water change last night and did a very light feeding and everyone was moving normally. I know I got lucky. The corals and everyone else was probably stressed but it could be the lower temp kept them alive instead of the danger of higher house temps.
Needless to say I modified what was plugged into that outlet as I have a separate outlet nearby I could use though it is shared with the refrigerator. Since only those two are on that outlet, I should be safe.