Moving My 47 Year Old Reef tank. OMG

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Paul B, 19 Jun 2018.

  1. OP
    Paul B

    Paul B

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    I took pictures of my tank and they are still in my phone which is right next to my sleeping wife and a sleeping wife is a wife that is not asking me to go shopping for a bunch of stuff that we don't need or want and will return next week. I will post the pictures when I can get my phone.
    Yesterday I added about 20lbs more rock from my old tank. Some of it smelled of hydrogen sulfide because it has been in a bucket of old water along with a lot of mud and it had a cover on it.

    I also added a few gallons of gravel, also not in great shape but it is what it is. I have a lot more rocks and gravel but I will unfortunately have to either dump it or bleach it as it really developed to much sulfide so I can't put it in.
    It is a testament of the health of the tank when you can take everything out, throw it in buckets, move it 60 miles and dump everything back in with no thermometer or test kits, no lights and everything is better than ever. No mini cycles, no spots, no stress, no red tide, no heartbreak of psoriasis. All the fish ate right away. (That is due to the bacteria in their diet)

    Yesterday I got my Off the Road permit and found a beach about 2 miles from here that I can drive on. I figured I would be the only one there. Nope!

    We went there and you go down this steep rocky hill to the sand and near the entrance there were about 100 people dancing, swimming, playing volley ball and bowling :eek:

    It was a big party. Then we drove down the beach a while and there was almost no one just a couple of fisher men and Girls Moon bathing.

    The water was like linoleum (google it) Very clean and not a ripple. The sand was pristine and you can drive right up to the water. You can drive into the water if you are a Jiboni.
    Now I have a very clean source of NSW that I can easily get all year and I am thrilled beyond belief. Well,,, Not that much, but I am happy. I am normally happy but now I am happier. :p

    If my wife was healthy I would be the happiest man on Earth.:D
     
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    I think my diatoms are pretty much gone. Must have gotten bored. I am starting to get a nice growth of algae on the back glass which I think is pretty essential so things can start growing and grazing there. Now I can start to add smaller fish that can hunt there. My mandarin seems pretty fat and I may have to introduce him to Jenny Craig even though I have not added baby brine shrimp in 5 weeks. He must be living on those white worms I throw in there every other day when I think about it.
    I want to get more corals and fish as my tank seems a little sparce. I still have a lot of rock and gravel soaking in bleach but that container is covered in construction debris and saw dust so It may be a while before I get to it.

    I have been building closets and putting in the floor in my work room/Man cave. I still need to sheetrock around the tank, water heater and furnace. The temperature in that room is all over the place in that room so the fish are just going to have to deal with it. I am going to put in a huge exhause fan which I ordered yesterday. This fan is so powerful it is supposed to pull out your ear wax from 20' away. :eek:
     
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    I really need to add my skimmer because I have foam that looks like hot chocolate that was made with bad milk forming on the surface of my water. Being that there is no top on the tank and it is in my workshop where the door is open all day to the outside the tank is also collecting a bunch of beatles that are up side down on the surface. One of them looks like Ringo.
    I am also getting some lightning bugs in there but I feel that is a good thing because they are supplementing my lighting. I am not exactly sure of the spectrum though and they may grow cyano. :confused:

    I need an archer fish in there to eat them because they don't sink and are starting to form an Island. :rolleyes:
     
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    I plugged in the fan while I was holding it. The very first thing that happened, was that it tripped the breaker. :confused:
    That was one of the builders 15 amp GFCI breakers which is a silly, Sissy thing to have on a garage circuit.
    So I then held the fan and plugged it into one of the Real Man 20 amp Non GFCI circuits that I installed and the fan started to spin. Then spin faster, then faster, then it was going like an SST and I was almost pushed backward into my collection of Milly Vanilli tapes. :eek:

    The thing acted like a gyroscope and I could hardly hold it. I can't wait to install this thing but I am worried it will pull the hermit crabs out of my tank. :rolleyes:
     
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    I finally rinsed the rest:D of my gravel in fresh water to remove the bleach and added it to my reef. I didn't add all the rocks yet. But at least the gravel is up to the level it was in my last tank. I also turned on the Reverse UG filter just for kicks. You know no matter how much you wash gravel, no matter how old it is or how much you wash it, it will cloud your water so i had to run my diatom filter for a couple of hours until it overheated and stopped. I un plugged it before it went on fire but thats what diatom filters do. :rolleyes:

    Now the tank is very clear and the corals stopped exuding coral snot. Corals hate change, but they just have to get over it.
     
  7. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    How about some pics of the tank.
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    what do you want to do with the fan? Use it as an extractor fan for the garage?
     
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    The fan is to remove the dampness from my workshop. We live near the ocean and this was new construction so the cement is exuding moisture. There are also no windows in my workshop and the tank in there doesn't help.

    We are going to the old neighborhood today and I will get to my LFS. I hope they have some interesting corals and fish as I need to fill this tank.

    We are going there to see our Doctors. My Doctor is a Supermodel so I really just go there to see her. She is a Lousy Doctor, but who cares!. I even think she is a Gynecologist.

    From working Commercial construction and having a body filled with asbestos, Agent Orange, sea urchin spines and seawater I have so much arthritis, and am so stiff that I was sitting in the lumber aisle in Home Depot yesterday and someone mistook me for a piece of 4 X 4 pressure treated wood. eek.gif
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2018
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    Oh No!!! I am Battling hair algae, red algae, cyano, Godzilla Larvae and scrunge. But that stuff refuses to fight back, it just stays there laughing at me. :eek: There are dead Beatles and lightning bugs floating in a sea of sludge. I am at my wits end, and my wits are very long. I think I will change the water. Oh wait, that is stupid because it is all new water. Maybe i will add Prizapro, hermit crabs, snails and a Manatee, then cut down the lighting to 15 minutes every other day:confused:

    I really need to get my skimmer up and running. I first need to get electricity there, luckily, I know an electrician. I sucked out a salad of hair algae. :mad:
    OMG. I may have to quit the hobby, sell everything and get a job managing the French Fry machine at Burger King.

    In the move I broke my skimmer pump. I have no idea where my ozonizer is and my algae scrubber is being used as a fly filter on my exhaust fan.
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I am such a loser. I don't know what to do. ;Wideyed
     
  11. OP
    Paul B

    Paul B

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    Today I am taking a day off from building to look for my hydrometer to see if there is actually any salt water in my tank and try to retrofit my skimmer to this tank. The top of this tank with the new stand is about a foot higher than my last set up and I can't find a lot of my skimmer parts. I only had a day to take the tank down and move it with the livestock so some of the parts ended up in a black hole. I also broke the outlet fittng off my big skimmer pump so I will also try to fix that.
    The tubes are all facing the wrong direction which will have to be remedied. But the good part is that the skimmer is right next to my condensate pump for my central AC so I can dump the skimate right in there where it will get pumped out.
    The tank is acting like a new tank due to the new water and me washing most of the gravel in fresh water and bleach so I killed a lot of the bacteria. It will take a little time to settle down and will go through a Scrunge period just like a new tank. But I will live with it. Besides there are no job openings at Burger King.
     
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    The corals are fine but some of the tips died from algae. That will pass. I got my old skimmer working but there is so much slime exuding from corals and other things that my venture gets clogged every hour or so. The tank is now crystal clear because out of my 3 diatom filters I took enough parts off to get one working, sort of. It leaks almost as fast as it pumps so I have to run it in a bucket and keep dumping the water back. But it did the job. I also have 30 new gallons of NSW that I am using as I am skimming the surface to get rid of grunge. I don't yet have a surface skimmer connected to fix that issue. WE are getting company all day tomorrow and different people the next day. Two days of boating and no time to work on the house or tank.
    I ordered new parts for the skimmer so that will be a big help
     
  13. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    Could the NSW be contributing to you algae problem.
     
  14. OP
    Paul B

    Paul B

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    Probably. But more so I had to wash a lot of my gravel in fresh water and killed the bacteria so the tank is kind of acting like a new tank. But I did have 160 nitrates and now it is probably zero. So much for nitrates causing algae :cool:.
    This is normal after a major tank move and if I had kept all of my water and gravel as it was, nothing would have happened. I wanted to wash off all my gravel in the sea but a cop chased me and put an end to that. :eek:

    Remember, if this was a new tank, I wouldn't have corals in it so there wouldn't be any problem. The corals and fish seem very healthy but the change is making them exude slime which is feeding algae. I am not concerned about it and feel the tank will come out better than ever. :D
     
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    OMG!!!!! My Biggest fear happened this morning. Well, maybe not my biggest fear. My biggest fear would be if Christie Brinkley knocked on my door and wanted to help me work on my tank and my wife told her I was unavailable because I was Ex-foliating.

    But my second biggest fear is a FLOOD!... And I got one!!!. OMG. Last night I set up my skimmer and I didn't have much time or materials so I used what I had. The thing was designed years ago to run on a DIY valve that I designed for this unit. It was very easy to adjust and almost foolproof. I also had a DIY fail safe on the skimmer effluent bucket under the skimmer that shut the pumps off in the event that the bucket filled. I don't have any of that set up here yet. I had to use what Home Depot had which was ball valves which are useless for adjusting.

    I got the thing running and had to clean the venture valve a few times due to the mass of broken tube worm shells inside the skimmer that died when I moved and bleached the unit.

    I checked it last night three times and it was running great. It was making a lot of foam that was going into the bucket a tiny bit at a time.

    But when I woke up at 5:00am I looked outside and seen water near my garage door which was normal because the sprinklers go on at night.

    Was that it? NNNNOOOOOOoooooo. It was Sea Water. I ran into the fish room/Man cave/workshop and to my disbelief, the tank was only filled 2/3ds. AAAAAHHHHHHHhhhhhh. The 7 gallon skimmer bucket and a 5 gallon bucket next to it were overflowing on the floor.
    OMG. I started pulling out plugs while standing in a pool of water, and I don't have GFCIs hooked up yet but only Girly Men would worry about such things. I saw my copperband and he was agast. Or maybe he was laughing at me. I can still see that smirk on his face.

    I turned on my very Manly exhaust fan which immediately made my nose hairs stand on end. Then I put on a smaller fan and ran to get towels and a shop vac. I sucked up the water and put towels on the rest.
    I had about 20 gallons of freshly collected water sitting there that I didn't use yet. It was a lot colder than my tank but I dumped it in and promised the fish I would heat it later.. The tank still needed about 4" of water so I started mixing some fake water. I only had about 5 gallons of fresh water so I used that. It was really cold so I made the sign of the cross and dumped that in. Now the tank is only about 2" short and will have to stay that way until I have time to collect as our company is arriving even as we speak and we have other people coming all day tomorrow.

    I will let you know if I still have a tank.
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Ha... Every tank must flood, at least once. Or twice, or as in my case, a few times. My last one was due to a forgotten airline hose. You will be amazed how much water can siphon out via a 6mm pipe in 10 minutes.
     
  17. OP
    Paul B

    Paul B

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    It wouldn't amaze me. You should see how much water can come out of a 5' skimmer the width of your leg overnight. :w00t:
     
    Last edited: 7 Aug 2018
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    Paul B

    Paul B

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    The tank is still in scurve mode like a Noob tank. There is some hair alge, I think it's Brunette. But there are brittle stars all over the place which is a good sign, like Sagittarius. The fish are fine and think they are on vacation. Some of the tips of the corals I will lose because they are not smart enough to keep their tentacles extended so the algae don't cover them. But you really shouldn't have corals in a tank that is new, or a tank that thinks it is new. When this scurve phase passes and the grunge phase comes and goes, the tank will be better than before.
    I found my hydrometer and had to add a lot of salt. I still didn't put the tank on automatic yet (which is why I had a flood) I didn't connect up my DIY ATO yet or my DIY switch that will shut off the pump when the skimmer bucket fills but I will get to it eventually. It's no emergency and just goes to show you how resilient healthy, immune fish can be. The temp goes from something like frozen codfish to the tropics when a volcano is erupting and the salinity goes from goldfish spawning water to the Great Salt Lake where just brine shrimp live. The tank water rises and falls 7" in an hour and the lighting is all over the place.
    33f6f43c-4e24-48f8-a00e-077e5b6e8299_zpsf9ydgo1k.jpg
     
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  19. BrentSA

    BrentSA

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    Why must the longnose show off like that :confused1:
    ....conceited much? (Said that in the Queens English for emphasis) lol
     
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  20. OP
    Paul B

    Paul B

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    I got my newly designed diatom filter motor yesterday and ran it all night. The thing works beautifully and I will thank the guy who builds them. It is so much better than the original diatom filter.
    It is plastic so it doesn't rust. You can run it continousely and it doesn't leak. My tank is so clear that the fish are freeking out because they think they will fall to the bottom.
    I am eliminating the algae and it is slowly dying so this filter can suck it out. Thats because i don't think inside that silly box. If I was inside the box I would have changed the water, then came on here all beside myself with that look on my face. You know the look. :confused: Thats the look people get when they get algae and they keep changing water and the algae keeps growing longer until they give up and open a produce stand from their tank, then when they run out of water to change, they become the manager of the french fry machine at Burger King. :rolleyes:
    The algae will leave when it wants to. Unless of course you keep changing the water. :cool:
    But thats what that box is for. All that excess algae.

    Yesterday I bought a baby watchman gobi, an algae bleeny, a big decorator crab and something else, but I forgot what it was. I threw them all in there and they are loving the new place. My long spine urchin, that I got as big as a marble is really liking the algae as he never gets any. He grew about 6" but I have no idea what he was eating.
    But anyway, all is well. I hope everything is great with you guys and girls, if anyone is mistakingly reading this
     
  21. OP
    Paul B

    Paul B

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    Anyway, getting back to my tank move, the thing is moved and it is doing great. Most of the algae is gone with no help from me and there is nothing growing in my algae scrubber (because it is dying) Some day, if I get time I will drive on the beach and collect 30 gallons of water in case I want to change water.
    Today we have to go to some Doctors in the old neighborhood so I will be able to get to my LFS for some corals and fish. I keep mostly small, nerdy, interesting, girly, man/sissy fish so I can fit a lot of them in there. I may also pick up some food while I am there but my white worm culture is still going strong and I think it may be five years old. It's hard to get black worms here but my fish are an equal opportunity eater and will eat any worm. I just want them for the bacteria. I also have not collected much in the way of amphipods this year as we have been busy and the 9 times we went out on the boat it seemed to be high tide and amphipods don't sun bathe at high tide.
    All the corals are fully extended and the sponges bounced back and grew quite a but since the move 3 months ago.
    The algae cycle lasted about three months which is about normal. As long as you don't mess with the tank, don't add things or do anything silly like change water, the algae will get bored and leave. No need to add sea hares, snails, urchins, duck billed platypuses or manatees.
    Last night my wife was running the dish washer and a plastic kind of large dishwasher safe spoon "jumped" out of the basket and melted around the heater coils. Now the place is filled with acrid smoke and a stink.
     

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