It's been a couple of years since I've visited this forum.
About 2 years ago, I set up my first saltwater tank (after a year of research and planning). It was 60G with a 14G refugium. Modest size for many but pretty ambitious for a novice like me. I invested a bunch into the tank because I wanted it to succeed so I bought the best equipment I could afford. I took my time, monitored my water, added corals and inverts very slowly. I was at the point of adding fish (I had the tank 6 months by this time - like I said, I was moving slowly and carefully).
Long story short, I awoke at 2 AM to the sound of all hell breaking loose. The stand failed. The tank slid forward then fell, punching a hole in my wall and another in my floor. 60G of water rushed forward like a tidal wave and the carpet in that room was flooded and seeped into two adjacent rooms. I had a pool of water in the basement and I just stared at this scene completely dumbstruck for what felt like an hour. Then, my husband and I staggered and slopped around picking up what animals we could and throwing them into buckets of saltwater that I mixed on the spot. As luck would have it, the following morning was the first day of my new job and there was NO WAY I could call off ;p
On hand, I had a quarantine tank that was unused. I set that up stat and put the corals and crabs, peppermint shrimp, urchin and snails into that. I didn't have much in the way of livestock, little beyond a clean up crew but I had some nice corals that were really doing well before this disaster.
We patched the wall, the carpeting was unsalvageable and was ripped up. I needed to replace a section of subflooring. I opted to go with hardwood but (get this) it took MONTHS for the subflooring to dry out enough to lay it down. This was with dehumidifiers running 24/7. The cost of repairing this mess rivaled the amount I invested in the tank. Thousands of dollars down the drain.
I was in shock for a long time - years. I didn't even want to think about this hobby. Never again I said. NEVER. I quickly lost the corals except for the mushrooms. The crabs lived for about a year under the simple fluorescent lights you get with an inexpensive 10G tank. I didn't feed the tank or heat it. I used plain tap water to fill it when it got low. When hurricane sandy blew through, I lost power for nearly a week and the remaining livestock still lived through that - mostly snails, hitchhiker limpets and starfish, bristleworms and the mushrooms and chaeto algae. I was stunned that these animals were surviving/thriving in this hostile environment when the original tank had been pampered and spoiled as best as I could. Life certainly does go on. It freaking blew my mind. Out of curiosity, I took the first salinity reading since the accident and the it was 1.025? I had expected it to be brackish by that point. I somehow struck a balance on a self-sustaining tank (apart from adding water). I also grew to really respect those mushroom corals. They weren't doing great but they were hanging on 2 years after the fact. I began spending time with this tank and looked at the inadequate lighting and everything that was wrong with it and began to feel a pull toward the hobby again.
This is a longer post than I intended so I will start wrapping it up. I bought this 24G cube: JBJ Lighting Nano Cube Next Generation LED Aquariums | Nano Aquarium Systems & Aquarium Kit
It should arrive Thursday. I'm ready to begin again. Although my 60G didn't crack (haven't water tested it though) and I still have all the equipment, I want to ease back into this with a small tank. I know fish choices are limited with the nano but ironically, I found fish were secondary to my interest with the hobby. I greatly enjoyed the inverts and found them extremely interesting.
Anyway, now for my question. I have a good 40lbs of dead rock. I've washed and brushed off anything dried and organic on it that was left over but there is no way I can get it perfect. Is this going to behave like bleached rock or liverock gone bad? I have maybe 10 or 12 lbs of live rock in the Q tank to add. Not sure what to expect for the cycle. I barely had one at all with the 60G but the ratio of live rock to water was higher, I think.
Also, as I was brushing off the dried stuff off the dead rock, I was reminded of the rhodophyta outbreak I fought for most of that tank's life (red macro algae that smelled really bad and swarmed my rock). It's dead right? It can't reseed my nano tank?
Thanks for reading.