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Hello everyone, I thought this thread would be good for beginners to read. If you are an experienced aquarist I am sure that you made a few mistakes along the way. Please share your biggest mistakes so other may learn from them : )
 

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The biggest mistake I made was when I was a kid. I found these really cool little creatures swimming around in the bottom of my canoe. I thought they would make a good pet. I put together a 10 gallon tank and added these neat little creatures. I was thinking they were tadpoles. Well about two nights later, and after about 50 mosquito bites all over my body, I discovered that my tadpoles were mosquito larvae. lol! So my advice to the novice aquarist is not to add ANYTHING to your tank that you have not researched in advanced : )
 

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I've got the REEF rash!
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The biggest mistake I made was when I was a kid. I found these really cool little creatures swimming around in the bottom of my canoe. I thought they would make a good pet. I put together a 10 gallon tank and added these neat little creatures. I was thinking they were tadpoles. Well about two nights later, and after about 50 mosquito bites all over my body, I discovered that my tadpoles were mosquito larvae. lol! So my advice to the novice aquarist is not to add ANYTHING to your tank that you have not researched in advanced : )
Yikes wow! and a good leason.I raised newts and a walking stickas a kid.
 

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I think the biggest mistake "would be salties" make is thinking that they can throw some salt water, rock and fish into a 10 gallon tank [or any tank for that matter,] buy a cheap hang on filter and walk away and expect everything to be ok. Anybody in this hobby especially the old timers can testify to the fact that it takes lots of research, lots of time, and more often than not, lots of money. I can't tell you how many times I've lost fish, corals you name it, due to not enough research or lack of proper equipment or the simple "I'll do it tomorrow attitude."
This is a beautiful and rewarding hobby but if you do not have the time or finances stick with the goldfish.
 

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I think that the mistake that really stands out in my aquariums passed is using tap water for four years plus... no one told me any other way so that's what I did. I switched to ro/di months ago and still fighting algae.
 

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Not properly securing the return pump to the hose and not having everything on a GFCI outlet. Woke up to a living room full of hazy smoke because the return pump blew off the hose and sprayed water all over the powerstips and timers and melted them. What a fun morning that was.
 

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Adding 2 gallons of kalk saturated water to a 25 gallon system. Normally it's not a problem if added over a couple hours, but my drip rate was off and I didn't notice it. All of the water dumped in 15 minutes or so and nuked the tank by pushing the pH up over 10.

I lost 6 (expensive) SPS colonies, quite a few SPS frags, and 2 LPS colonies. Not fun. Now I have everything completely automated and triple or quadruple fail-safes on tank critical systems. ;)
 

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When I had first set up my sump I had a fish swim through my overflow teeth and get caught in my HOB overflow. I had installed a PVC union just under the overflow for quick removal so I shut off the return pump and detatched the overflow from my drain line. I put the fish back into the tank, set down the overflow, and then went to the other room to get a cup to refill the HOB overflow and start up the U-tube syphon again. While I was in the other room I heard a "SPLUSSSHH!!!" and then water flowing! I ran back in and realized the drain pipe to the sump had slipped and fell to the floor while the other end was still in the sump! It started a syphon that had begun dumping water through a 1" PVC pipe to the carpeted floor! Thankfully I ran to the room fast enough and it had only dumped about 2 gallons of saltwater from my sump to the floor before I got it picked up and fixed. If I hadn't heard it fall though I could have drained my entire sump to the floor.

Also, with that same sump, I used the wrong type of silicone innitially on the baffles and THANKFULLY the only loss I had was a colony of pink birdsnest coral.

Two lessons to learn here. Secure your drain and return lines WELL, and always make sure you use a reef safe silicone on ANYTHING that is going in your tank.
 

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i made the mistake of putting my wife incharge of my first reef tank, a tang had a white spot,.......one! white spot,......needless to say she went to petco and got an ich remmedy witch I swear was a toilet mint, killed everything in 2 hours, died the water blue. She doesnt even look at the tank without me there:)
 

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My biggest mistake was buying an Acan on a rock that had an aiptasia on it. The LFS dosed it with some lime paste. I didn't quarantine the coral, because I didn't have adequate light in the quarantine tank I would use. I had a 3 year old tank that never had aiptasia up until that point. I should have passed on the Acan.
 
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