That sounds like rain... (long post)

Discussion in 'General Reef Topics' started by generic_411, May 15, 2009.

  1. generic_411

    generic_411 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    So I woke up to the sound of heavy rain at 3:30am on Friday last week. At first I was just surprised that it had been loud enough to wake me. After listening for a moment however, I was more disturbed by the apparent location of the noise. It sounded as though it was coming from my living room. I forced myself up from my early-morning stooper, and lazily zigzagged my way through my bedroom and as I stumbled through the doorway, and into the dark living room itself, the sound was almost deafeningly scary. Not because it was particularly loud, but because it was now clear where the noise was emanating from – the bottom of my 29 gallon reef tank. Suddenly I was no longer weary from sleep. I quickly jumped from my state of drowsiness, to a state of pure panic. I found the light, flipped it on, and proceeded to completely come apart as I saw my tank quickly draining as it rained a curtain of water through a fracture that stretched from one side of the bottom to the other. At first my sole concern was my floor. That worry was relieved, and replaced with a new one when I found that the water was not actually hitting the flor. It was in fact all being caught by the tank sitting below the now broken reef tank. The bottom tank was somehow, to my surprise, holding water. This was a surprise because this tank was never meant to hold water. It was meant to hold a 4 ft. Honduran Milk snake – and he was currently learning how to swim.

    I finally snapped out of my state of shock, and rushed to save whatever I could. I first saved the snake. He was less than thrilled about his aquatic experience. I moved him to another spare tank that I had in a back room –luckily I basically have a zoo in my home, and therefore I am well supplied with spare tanks. The next problem to tackle was whether to focus on the snake tank, which now held every drop of water from the cracked tank above, or to try and save what I could from the reef. I chose the later, and got to work. My living room quickly became a reef ‘shanty town’. Bowls, Buckets, Jars, all were homes to a community of very confused sea creatures.

    As The last of the water drained from my tank and filled the smaller, and surprisingly strong, snake tank underneath, I realized I had not fully thought out my plan. I had succeeded in saving my critters for now, but I had no idea what to do next. Since a life in a mason jar is probably not what my peppermint shrimp and emerald crab had dreamed of, I started checking out my options. At first I thought I would have to bag everyone up and take them to my local fish store to be held until I could find a solution. This seemed like my only option until I happened upon a 10 gallon miracle in the back of the closet. Yes, I found a spare 10 gallon tank and it might as well have been a chest of gold at that moment. If nothing else, I now at least had a temporary home for my scared aquatic critters until I could find a better solution. My concern now was that I would have to lose about 100lbs of Fiji rock. However, this was also a problem I was able to solve.

    As I started moving a few scoops of the aragonite from my broken tank to it’s smaller successor, I started sizing up the new tank. I wasn’t sure, but I had a feeling I could save at least half of my live rock if I just decided to keep the 10 gallon as a nano tank, rather than a broken tank triage. After considering this, I decided it was a good idea, and I started to add the rock. As I started to add each piece, I noticed that the rock seemed to fit much better in this smaller tank. In fact, I liked the way it was shaping up even more than I had like the previous aquascape. Before, my larger tank still needed a few more pieces to look ‘full’. This smaller tank now started to look like a true reef. I reached for the last piece of rock, only to realize I had no more left. I had somehow fit all 100 plus pounds in this tiny tank, and it looked awesome.

    After I finished the initial building and set-up, I had fit the hang on filter, heater, skimmer, koralia, 3 inches of aragonite, and every piece of live rock into my new nano. I actually had to take a moment to stop and look at it to make sure I didn’t do something wrong. It just seemed to good too be true. Now came the adding of the water. First I added water from the buckets that had previously help my live rock. I had hastily mixed each bucket as the water in my old tank poured out of the bottom, but somehow I managed to get the salinity and chemistry right in my mad dash to save my tank. After that, I mixed up some more and added until the tank was at the right level. Then I waited for it to heat up and stabilize a little. Now it was time to add the coral and fish. I had already placed some coral in as I placed the rock. Anything that was attached went right in with the rock it was on. Not I had a few across, a mushroom or two, a few zoas, palys, xenia, and a chalice frag. They all went in fine. After the gluing of the final piece was complete, it was time for the inverts and fish. First went the Peppermint shrimp. They actually went in and just made themselves at home. Next the emerald crab, a few blue hermits, a scarlet hermit, and a reef hermit. All went in fine and seemed to not care at all that their home was now 1/3 its original size. Next came the striped yellow fanged goby. I was worried about this guy. He was already a bit of a spaz, and technically he needs a 30 gallon tank. I placed him, and he seemed to love the new tank. He swam about checking out the place and then found a large, empty turbo snail shell and proceeded to clean it out and make it a home. He even ate immediately after he finished cleaning house.

    Finally, it was time for the lights. This was tricky. I have a pretty massive PC set-up and I had to make it fit the small tank until I get new lights. I managed to adjust the legs and it fit nicely, aside from the overhang on the sides. Everything opened, swam, ate, and relaxed. I was quite proud of what I thought was a pretty major accomplishment.

    So there is my story. I just thought it was worth sharing.
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  3. PackLeader

    PackLeader Giant Squid

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    Can I ask why you wouldn't just buy a new 29 gallon tank and transfer everything over the next day?
  4. generic_411

    generic_411 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    I didn't really have the cash to get a new tank, and I am sure many things would have died before i ever managed to buy the tank, set it up, and get everything into it. Many of the containers i had were extremely small and honestly it was really freaking cold in my house too. That, combined with the fact that i was still a little dazed with sleep and panic made me choose to just scale the tank down.
  5. dufresne

    dufresne Feather Duster

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    wow, sorry to hear...
    glad it worked out at the end :)
  6. coylee_17

    coylee_17 Fire Goby

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    Glad to hear it worked out. But I gotta ask, are you sure it is only a 10 gal? Just looking at my 29 and my rock, if you put that much rock in there, there must only be like a cup of water lol? Can I hire you to pack for me when I move at the end of the month?
  7. generic_411

    generic_411 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    lol. Yeah i am sure it's a 10. I actually got it a few months back to serve as a holding tank for some babies out of my freshwater tank. I was surprised i got it all int, but it fit and there is more than enough water for everything. It actually looks a lot better, and all the critters are loving it. My yellow pollyps actually started opening and spreading out way more than they ever had and everything intensified in color. I don't know why exactly, but it seems to be an improvement for them.

    oh and I don't think you should trust my packing skills. I olnly pack things well when animal lives are on the line:)
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  9. sean_p_f

    sean_p_f Sea Dragon

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    ok i am a bit confussed how in the world do you fit 100lbs of rock in a 10 gallon tank and still have room for critters to move.

    pictures or it didnt happen :)

    Sorry about the broken tank and glad you got it fixed
  10. ZachB

    ZachB Giant Squid

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    I had a 29 gallon tank with about 60 pounds of rock, and it was so extremely cramped. I could never fit 100 pounds of fiji into a 10, unless it was low grade fiji and not porous at all, and each rock was a solid boulder.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles...
  11. generic_411

    generic_411 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Well i did fit it all, and there is plenty of space. I can get some pics up tonight hopefully.
  12. sharkyshark

    sharkyshark Spaghetti Worm

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    This happened to me 2 nights ago. It was a mad dash with about 40gallons on the floor seeping into the hallway of our apartment building. Lost a beta that had made it's freshwater home in the corner of the fuge (HE LOVED IT DOWN THERE!!!). Fish were without flow for the night but the bf re plumed the entire thing in the morning.
  13. iLLwiLL

    iLLwiLL Sailfin Tang

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    wow, thats impressive stacking. I have exactly 60 pounds of leftover live rock packed pretty tight taking up a little less than half of a 36 gallon trash can . . . i cant wait to see these pics.

    ~Will.
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  15. cdeboard

    cdeboard Montipora Digitata

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    Good story, glad you saved everything. How is the snake taking it?

    Yeah.. gotta see pics of the rock setup as well.. 10lbs pe rgal?
  16. whippy

    whippy Sailfin Tang

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    Now I'm afraid to go home. :(
  17. ermano

    ermano Zoanthid

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    hehe i have about 60 lbs in my 29...i really want to know how you even had 100lbs in your 29...let alone your 10!!! sorry about your troubles though!!
  18. phoenix cat

    phoenix cat Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    you dont have 100 lbs in that small of tank.. 100lbs of lr istoo much for a 29. and you sad fiji which is more porus i have 60 pounds of fiji island lr and a 40g and its pretty full.
    glad your story ended well
  19. doog

    doog Peppermint Shrimp

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    Need some pics with a scale, or I'm going to chalk the 100lb claim up as a fish tale. If it really was 100 lbs, that might explain the blown 29, and forewarn you about the 10.

    Sorry for your troubles, appreciate you sharing, and I hope your new tank does well
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  21. greysoul

    greysoul Stylophora

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    a standard 10g tank is what, 20x10x12, .... the 50# of LR in my 58 compacted into a shipping container 30x20x16 inside ...

    so now we have 100# in a 10G tank?

    1 of 2 things is possible: You have a 20G tank, which 100# would barely fit into, with no room for livestock or sizable corals, or your source for live rock doesn't know how to weigh stuff (or they do, and just over charged you).


    I agree: pics or it never happened. Not just pics, pics with a 12" ruler or something else of standard dimensions we can compare to. I'm all for a good BS story, but when it's called bow out graciously or prove it.
  22. mscottring

    mscottring Fire Shrimp

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    I'm picturing someone jumping up and down on this rock stacked on opening of the tank.
  23. Brandon1023

    Brandon1023 Fire Goby

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    I'm going with a broken scale on this one. No way you actually have 100lbs of rock.

    Glad the rest worked out for you, though.
  24. greysoul

    greysoul Stylophora

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    first thing: Don't take this personally, I can be a horribly crass know-it-all, I'm just saying...

    now one thing to consider is that good LR is very porous, so maybe it's 100# soaking wet? That might mean 30# or so dry.... depending on how heavy water is where you live.

    Around here salt water weighs ~8.5 lbs per gallon... so your tank can hold 85# of water.

    lime stone weighs the equivalent of approx. 21 lbs per gallon of displacement.

    LR is mostly calcium compounds, similar to lime stone so we'll call it limestone.

    so if properly compacted you could in theory put about 210# of coral rubble in a tank. Of course even the most dense LR is not 100% solid, so let's say it's 60% solid,.... a 20x10x12 block could weigh at most around 125#. So yeah, you could have 100# of LR in a 10g tank if it were carved out of a solid block.