Old tank syndrome

Alan

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Does this really exsist, or is it a myth please read the article and see the changes that will happen in the system the older it gets.

''Because so many aquarists have experienced it, old tank syndrome must exist. However, as with other syndromes, the causes are many, so it is not a simple matter to say that this is just one problem since it isn’t. This article will examine the factors that I believe to be involved, and discuss their relevance to what actually happens in reef aquariums. This article does not represent the results of experimental analysis. It is instead a summary of some ideas that have been presented in the aquarium and scientific literature, a discussion of their relevance, and a discussion of some observations and proposals of my own regarding old tank phenomena'' an article by Julian sprung on Advanced Aquarist
Complete article here.
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/10/aafeature
 
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Interesting read Alan, thanks for the link.
I know Old Reefers Syndrome exists - carrying 25 Litre barrels up the stairs defineatly seems to feel different these days - lol
 

Galibore

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Interesting read Alan, thanks for the link.
I know Old Reefers Syndrome exists - carrying 25 Litre barrels up the stairs defineatly seems to feel different these days - lol
LOL

Yup, that's why I have been employing my son lately...hehe.
 
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This is interesting... I recently talked briefly about this on WWM. IMO, "old tank syndrome" can happen in any tank that is "unnaturally" stable for many years. However, I think it happens faster in smaller tanks (reason being that the smaller the tank the few niches and the harsher the competition). Personally, I think when people have otherwise inexplicable problems in nano tanks with 10 different kinds of corals, it's the actually the same phenomenon... a few species out-competing the rest in a confined space.
 

Kanga

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Interesting, certainly a few things to be aware of
 
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Does this really exsist, or is it a myth
It does exist, and I'm currently experiencing it.

My tank has been "full" for more than a year now, and most of my corals have been in my tank for 8 years or longer, being transferred from one tank to the next with the live rock and sand as/when the tanks were upsized (which happened 3x during the past ~10 years).

At this point in time I have at least 6 "conflict zones" where corals are visibly fighting each other, and in two of these zones a Monti and Acro are (respectively) overgrowing weaker SPS species, and are also trying to overgrow each other. Apart from this, some corals have grown so large that they are now shading others, so unless I break down my reef (new larger tank !!!) I'm heading towards the "few mature species" tank described in the article.

Although I really like having large coral heads in my tank, and take some pride in the fact that I've managed to reach this point, it is real agony not being able to buy any more new corals - my "latest" addition has been in the tank for nearly two years :cry:

Apart from the above, the growth is now restricting water movement, and I'm starting to have cyano growth in places where it's not really welcome. I suppose a tank upgrade is fast becoming a "must" - only problem is I'll have to get rid of the wife before I can do it... any takers :whistling:

Hennie
 

Kanga

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It does exist, and I'm currently experiencing it.


Although I really like having large coral heads in my tank, and take some pride in the fact that I've managed to reach this point, it is real agony not being able to buy any more new corals - my "latest" addition has been in the tank for nearly two years :cry:

Apart from the above, the growth is now restricting water movement, and I'm starting to have cyano growth in places where it's not really welcome. I suppose a tank upgrade is fast becoming a "must" - only problem is I'll have to get rid of the wife before I can do it... any takers :whistling:

Hennie
I would imagine i would have similar problems with my colt overgrowing everything. Never thought about flow restrictions but it really makes sense

Oh damn Hennie, you should spoken earlier about the wife, I recently went out and got one, signing the purchase in 2 weeks :p
 
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Sorry Hennie. I am still trying to get rid of mine. But she keeps finding her way home. :lol:
 

Alan

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I would imagine i would have similar problems with my colt overgrowing everything. Never thought about flow restrictions but it really makes sense

Oh damn Hennie, you should spoken earlier about the wife, I recently went out and got one, signing the purchase in 2 weeks :p
Whats this?????
 

jacquesb

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Hi Alan - seems that Kanga kept a VERY nice secret from us!!! IS HE GETTING MARRIED??? ;-)

To add to the thread.... something else I would like to know - "old crap" in live rock.... doesn't "old tank syndrome" also mean increased uncontrollable instability in the tank, due to detritus and other "crap" "compacting" in the inners of your nice old live rock? Unless one keeps on "breaking down" your reef constantly, "cooking your live rock", and re-building your reef in a constant process (or alternatively have a minor hurricane of water spewing pumps/power-heads, strong enough to clear out your every single piece of live rock from detritus and crap), thus NEVER having a really "old reef"???

Sorry - just a constant newbie asking another "stupid question" ;-)
 
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Kanga kept a VERY nice secret from us!!! IS HE GETTING MARRIED??? ;-)
If so, then a congratulations would be in order, don't you think...:slayer:

... something else I would like to know - "old crap" in live rock.... doesn't "old tank syndrome" also mean increased uncontrollable instability in the tank, due to detritus and other "crap" "compacting" in the inners of your nice old live rock?
Although this could happen, the "cause" would most likely be a gradual depletion of live rock (and sand...) living organisms, caused by pollution events, mismanagement (temperature spikes, etc.) and keeping the wrong tank inhabitants (such as most wrasses, dottybacks, some crabs and shrimps, predatory snails, etc.) which eat the worms and other life in the rocks.

Perhaps one of our sponsors at the coast can grow or collect these types of organisms, and sell it to us "binnelanders" as "live rock booster kits".

Hennie
 

jacquesb

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Hey - that sound like a BRILLIANT idea Hennie! Only thing I would like to know - how much should these little "Goggas" breed (even if one keeps "the wrong inhabitants" (ps: I only own a mandarin and one strawberry dotty-back, oh yes, and a cleaner wrasse - nothing else that "chows" worms/'pods - in my 2 metre tank with DSB in tank, and DSB in-sump - with +-80kgs of rock)... Perhaps one needs much more rock?? How else do one keep your "little critters" breeding like rabbits/mice ;-) There's ENOUGH foods for the little critters....
 
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... I only own a mandarin and one strawberry dotty-back, oh yes, and a cleaner wrasse - nothing else that "chows" worms/'pods - in my 2 metre tank...
That's the problem with most (all...) of us, keeping "wrong" fish :nono: and a tank with only tangs and open-water feeders such as Chromis and Goldies would be hard to find... The problem is that over the long term a tank would suffer the same fate as any animal (such as dogs) where serious and long-term inbreeding produces a nice looking, but weak/sick animal... Thus, the weak "inbred" tank, containing only a few species of "goggas", will be prone to crashes, diseases and unwanted algae after a few years :(

What I have in mind is this:

When live rock is cured, one normally finds that all sorts of peanut worms, bristle worms, brittle stars, shrimps, and numerous other creatures come out of the rock due to the high ammonia content of the polluted water. If one could remove these creatures to decent fresh salt water one should be able to keep many of them alive for a while, even without being in the rock (I have done so myself, and know it works...) The creatures can then be sorted, removing harmful ones (mantis shrimps, etc.) and the rest sold to us hobbyists, or used for breeding in totally non-predatory tanks, without placing any further burden on the reefs. As this is a rather time consuming operation the "kits" will be rather costly, but hey - our tanks are worth it...

I live at the coast (Cape Town) - does it matter that I get these little goggatjies from the cold water?
I'm sure that some will survive if the temperature was gradually increased, but I'm afraid that most species wont. Those that do will most likely not breed/reproduce, unless they are species which also occur in warmer waters.

Hennie
 

jacquesb

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Thanks, Hennie. I think that if one is able to indeed keep on "replenishing stock" of micro-inverts (i.e. pods, worms, etc), then this issue should not occur. BUT, as you say - it could most likely also be a possible cause of "old tank syndrome", not so? As, over time, one's micro fauna population DOES most likely reduce, even if you don't keep fish that feed on them..... due to in-breeding, over-population (which leads to natural selection where communities "crash"), etc, etc....

If there's no way that these populations are replenished (as the same for bacteria colonies), then "old tank syndrome" can also occur, where detritus is no longer being "cleaned" from within the DSB, or live-rock? Right?
 

Alan

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Perhaps one of our sponsors at the coast can grow or collect these types of organisms, and sell it to us "binnelanders" as "live rock booster kits
".
Perhaps the LFS's that cure live rock can help out here aswell.
 

jacquesb

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Hi Alan - VERY good idea.... perhaps someone can start up an operation like what "Tampa Bay Saltwater" has - I am sure that if the people who supplies us fish (importers, LFS's, etc) do make a little effort, that they could either "import" this type of "kit", or as you said - breed this type of kit....
If I had to have an import business, or LFS, this is surely what I would do. Talking about that - nearly all LFS' in the UK and The Netherlands, sell "live bait" for the feeding of the fish (i.e. blood-worms, black worms, live mysid, live brine shrimp, live water-fleas, etc, etc)..... In the same guise as having these type of "live bait" being bred, sold and re-distributed - why can our LFS' or importers breed, sell or re-distribute all the different types of "pods" and "worms" that our live-rock requires to be "healthy"???
 

jacquesb

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Another thing - Alan/Hennie - don't you guys agree then that this is part of "old tank syndrome"? BTW: I have come to a conclusion - that the lack of "micro-life" in my tank (I have far far far less now that what I had before my tank crash - after my tank's crash, I lost ALL of the invert life in my tank, except my hermits - they all survived)..... I think that seeing that my so-called live-rock was completely "dead rock" at the time - there were no live to consume any detritus that accumulated inside my rock at the time.... and still I have too little micro-life to comsume enough crap.......

This is the main cause of the bryopsis outbreak in my tank!
 

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