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Disaster...but an excuse to upgrade?


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I don't post here much but i've been reading the forum for months, i have posted this elsewhere but nano-reef has also helped me loads in starting out with reef tanks so i thought i should post here too, sadly that tank came to a very sudden (and smelly) end in the last 2 weeks.



Sorry that this is going to be a very long post. I just need to get off my chest what happened and start looking into the future of my new tank. If you take time to read this thanks, if it's a little two long just scroll to bottom and i'll summarise and ask a few questions.



The Disaster


I've been away on holiday, i left my dad the precious task of looking after my 7 gallon tank for me whilst i was away. All he had to do was feed my single clownfish a very small pinch of food each and everyday. But as you know, everything has to go wrong when you are away.


I have had a TMC auto top-off attached to the tank for around 4 months, it was working greatly, had it set up dosing kalkwasser for atleast 3 of those 4 months and this was keeping my PH elevated and my corals never looked better. But sadly the plastic snail guard decided to fall off just 3 days into my holiday, my dad didn't notice. I guess a snail/some other critter decided it would feast on the lovely algea that had been growing on the float swtich. Top off water comes on, stays on, floods over tank, finds its way to the electric socket, blows the 100AMP fuse in the fuse box.


The next day when my dad comes to the tank, all electric off so obviously everything on my tank is off too. Clownfish dead, not disastrous but still i feel bad for the little guy.


The next part is where i want to hit my dad over the head, but it's not his fault he doesn't know much about tanks. Not much water actually entered the tank, the tank was pretty full and he told me not much water was on the floor, the fuse must have blown before too much water came out of the tank. Great, my salinty wouldn't have been too low but there would have been a pretty high pH spike what with all the kalkwasser entering the system, but still i'm sure some of the corals could have survived that. But i had a Mini-Maxi anemone in the tank, it didn't like it and hence why there was a 'red floaty thing at the top of the tank' (my dads words). It smelt bad so he thought he would change some water (he used to have tropical fish so was used to doing water changes) but he decided to reach for the bottle saying 'RO/DI' , i dunno how much water he changed but even the smallest of water changes with pure ro/di would be enough to kill everything.


I get back yesterday and i really don't understand why he didn't just throw everything away, the water was cloudy and full of coral skeleton. But it was left for me to clear up and it stunk my house out.


I wasn't angry at him though, i'm angry at myself. I should have got him round a few weeks before to show him the ropes a little. I just keep thinking to myself that if i had actually shown him the difference between the saltwater container and the ro-di container this whole mess may not have happened, i would have probably just come home to 1 or 2 deaths, not a major tank crash and burn like this was.


I loved that tank because it's helped me into the world of marines and reef tank, it was my practice for a much larger tank in future. It lasted 8 months and it was just starting to thrive, growth was taking off and it was looking great.


I feel very angry at myself. But it's done now and i'm thinking of the good things that have come out of it, 1) I'm never going on holiday again!! 2) I'll use this money on my tank haha 3) It's taught me loads of things not to do again and 4) It's time to upgrade.



The Future


I don't have much space for something huge and i'm looking for something which is neat and tidy interms of cableing. I'm looking for an all-in-one type tank which only needs a few adjustments. My old tank had hundreds of wires coming off it, no wonder i blew a fuse, kinda irresponsible really and a god send that something worse didn't happen. But again i learn.


I came across this tank:








I'm a little loyal to Red Sea, i like all it's products and it's ethics and i've read good things about this tank. It maybe a little pricey at £699 but it's like the exact dimension for where i want to put it and with it being 35 gallons it seems alot more room for me to play with against my crampy 7 gallon which my baby clownfish would have quickly out grown (although she never came any further than the confinds of her host torch coral!).


The main selling point for me with this is that it has a little 'power centre' the lights, pumps, heaters etc all controled from one panel and the tank only has 1 plug, which i could then apply proper drip loops to avoid blowing fuses should anything go wrong, like i did with the last tank .


But with reef tanks nothing is all in one to be honest. I will be adding my EcoTech MP10 that i already have, because i love the flow it gives. It has T5 lighting, 110W in total is this enough? I don't have much experience with T5 lighting as i was using a Par38 bulb on my old tank. Love the look of LED but i don't want to go open top this time, i always used to stress about a fish jumping. So i think i'll put up with the stock lighting and keep the hood which will also help a little with evaporation, if stock lighting will be good enough for some begginer SPS.


I'll probably add my TMC Auto top off too, i'll find a way to attach the snail guards better so it doesn't fall off, it seems to be very loose now this should stop anymore disasters with the auto top off again.


I may then think about adding my Phosban reactor onto this tank too, but i'm not sure on this as i didn't really see any need for it on my other tank. I was just using it as preventative. As my phosphate was low to zero already and i didn't have any algae problems. Plus i was starting to battle a slowly declining Alk which is linked to using GFO. But i have the reactor already so once the tank is set up and matured i may see if it is needed or not.


In terms of corals, my plan is to add slowly (i know its hard). With my last tank i just seemed to want to buy everything nice (with research before hand) and my tank got very full very quickly. It was basically full of zoanthids (lol) but i also had a torch coral, green acropora, blue polyp encrusting monti, superman monti, pink pocillopora and a lovely purple/green mini maxi anemone. All the stony corals were frags and stayed dormant for ages but just before the tank died everything was doing amazing, i was starting to see really great growth and colors from my SPS, made me start to love SPS (over my zoanthids, i was really fasinated with the colours of the zoanthids so i ended up buying loads and they were growing like weeds). I want to make a list of corals i would really like to add and only buy amazing specimens. I want this tank to last years and i want to keep it fresh by being able to add new things slowly all the time, special things.


In terms of fish, i don't want to cram it full. I'm not sure how many fish i could have in a tank of this size as i've only been used to my 7 gallon which a clownfish was basically all i could put in there (and even then i'm sure some would say it was too small as the clownfish would have soon grown). I definately want a pair of clownfish in there, whether they be occ. or perc., black/orange or picasso i have no idea, it would have to be a pair i fall in love with. Another fish that i love but i would never dream of putting in this new tank is the Yellow Tang, lovely fish but i don't want to get something that i know is going to be unhappy in the tank. Is there any fish that is similar to a yellow tang but would but more appropriate for a tank of my size? I think i'll also get a Yellow Watchman Goby and a Pistol shrimp pair, love the relationship between the two. Other than that i'm not sure what i would want in this tank, if anymore, i think i may have enough with that or is even that too much?


As you can see from what i have written, my first tank was very much an 'experiment' into the world of reef tanks (i hate calling it an experiment because at the end of the day it is a living thing, but i can't think of another word) it's taught me alot and now i want to spend some serious money and buy something nice to look at that i will have for years to come before i win the lottery and buy a 10000 gallon aquarium.


The Summary


Basically i messed up and managed to get my tank completely destoryed whilst i was on holiday and my dad looked after it. Feel bad for what happened but after 8 months and the massive crash of that tank, i feel it's time to upgrade and take my time and create something really special. The new tank i have looked at is the Red Sea Max 130D which has what i'm looking for as it's tidy with just one cable, nicely arranged into a power centre and i'll only have to add a few extra bits like the MP10 i already have. I don't believe in 'all in one tanks' as something always needs to be added/improved but i just want something thats alot tidier than the mess of wires i had with the old tank.


1) Would you reccommend any other tanks than the RSM 130D, i'm looking more in the range of the nano tank, i don't want to go too big. I'm looking for something with an 'all in one' aspect to it. The power cetre on the RSM 130D is the main selling point for me. Maybe a little pricey but i'd rather pay more for something i will love than a little less for something i may just like.


2) Are there any fish that are similar to the Yellow Tang, the size of tank i am looking for is far too small for a Yellow Tang but i think it's a lovely fish, but i also want a happy fish so something with a similar shape and colouring (esp the colour) would be great if you can think of any that are suitable.


3) Anything else to add? (other than that i talk too much!)




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A mite long but yes, I agree. It's time for an upgrade.


It's a clean slate, so you have the chance to do fix what you werent satisfied with before and redo the things you loved.


I think the redsea max has a good reputation here. If you do want the same power controls and more peace of mind, maybe a reef controller is a good idea? Some provide web interfaces so you can see how the system is doing in your absence and get notified if stuff breaks.


Best of luck to you and the new tank!

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