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Cry for me. I lost ALL my fish!

2036 Views 28 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Jim_D
Some one said it's not "IF" you will have a tank disaster but "WHEN". My 150 reef tank was going real well. It hit the 5 year point and was very stable. I was smiling every time I looked at it. Tons of great coral, rock with good stuff on it, and great fish.

What happened? I was on vacation and we had a lady coming in once a day to feed the fish. Sometime since her last visit the chiller malfunctioned and kicked the circuit breaker. Everything was on one breaker. So no chilling, no filtering, no powerheads, no nothing. The water temperature went up, and the oxygen went down. When she came the next evening about 1/2 the fish were dead. She called my emergency fish guy who came out and stayed till midnight doing what he could, but by the next day the rest of them had expired, and the coral looked pretty bad. Luckily they took them out as they died so it did not pollute the tank.

Here is what I lost:
Mated pair of clown fish - had them from day one - 5 years - those where the ones that were producing my babies!
Yellow tang - had it for 4 years
Powder Blue tang - large beautiful speciman - had it one year
Puffer - had it over 3 years
Mandarin - relatively new
Six line wrasse - had it 3 years
One huge clam
One huge serpant star
A few small brittle stars
Decorator urchine
Tons of snails and crabs (I was surprised they didn't make it)
Sea cucumbers, peperment shrimp, etc etc

Within a few days some of the coral that I thought I was going to lose is showing signs of coming back. I think the net coral loss will be 15 to 20%. I credit my fish guy with saving the coral. My two carpet anenomies made it fine.

So I lost about $2,000 of stuff. Have to replace the chiller at $800. So it's an emotional and financial shock.

I am having a electrician come next week to split the circuit so 1/2 the equipment will be on one and 1/2 on the other. I'll make sure the chiller and filter are on separate lines. At least that way if something goes wrong at least somethings will be working. That's going to be $400.

If I had only spent that $400 a few months ago it would have saved me the current disaster. Ahhhh .... hindsight is so clear!!!

What did I learn? "you never know when disater will strike and you can't plan 100% for everything that could happen" ... but each time it does happen I learn a little more.

Those fish had personalities and my wife and I cried when we got home. I'm finding that my friends and family have a hard time understanding ... they say "Hey ... they were JUST FISH". They just don't understand. I know you guys will.
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Man sorry to here about your loss, its sends chills down my spine with you here about something like that happening as it something that can happen to anyone!!!:-( I don't know what I would do with such a great loss!!!
That really sucks man...I'm sorry that happened. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.
OMG... I am so sorry to hear this. I know exactly how you feel...been there, so I really do feel your pain. We do get attached to those little critters living in our tanks.

So much I want to say, bottom line is I am sooooo sorry.
Very sorry Gary I understand the loss:cry:
Bummer Ross:( , they say hindsight is 20-20,,,,:(
as a electrician,,,,don't look behind my tank's circuitry:eek: , but follow my advice when i give it,,,;)
hang in there, don't stay off that horse, get back on when you are ready, and keep us posted,,we are here to cheer you on!
(i lost my reef tank(total) about 5 yrs ago inna weeklong ice storm/power outage,,,:( , on the up side, i up sized the tank , started all over again, and now the tank kicks behind!
i KNOW have a generator at the ready, if i never use it , it still be $$ well spent!;)
Wow that's awful. Why is it that it always happens while the keeper is on vacation???

I'm very sorry for your losses.

Sorry to hear about your losses, this reminds me to rehook up my battery back ups so that I have at the very minum water circulation. David Grigor is currently using some type of batteryback up support, you may want to ask him what he uses so it won't happen again.

Sorry again

Sorry to hear about the loss... To most of us, our fish are as part of the family as anyone's dog would be... Next time someone says it's just a fish, ask them how they'd feel if their dog or cat died.... and tell them there's no difference in it being a fish...
Sorry to hear bro. I would be devistated to lose all my fish at once.
Oh No!

I'm so sorry to hear about losing your babies... it's heartbreaking to hear, and I wish you luck over the next few weeks.

Hang in there, and vent if need be. We're here for you.

Man Gary sorry to hear of your loss in fish and corals!! You will come back stronger than ever and a wee bit wiser! At least that is what I tell myself when something happens!;)
Gary, so sorry to hear of this huge loss.

Nothing makes it better, but I hope that the support from TRT folks makes it a little easier to spread the loss out.

Hopefully this will be the LAST EVER loss for you: understanding the timing of making the changes is always viewed through the hindsite lens as a crystal clear picture of "why didn't I think about that before?" One good point from this, now you can make the population of your tank up with the knowledge you've gained through experience now.

good luck with the recovery.
Thanks all.

This all happened about a week and a half ago.

I added a small replacement clean up crew as soon as I got home (and the LFS opened), and let the tank just sit without any fish in it for a week. I just did a water test and all the numbers are in excellent shape, so I guess they got most of the bodies out before they started to rot.

Today I added a pair of Percula's and they took up housekeeping in the anenomie within a few hours. [That anenomie used to house my pair of Clarke's that were laying eggs (sniff)] Tommorrow I am going to add a larger clean up crew, a Six Line Wrasse, and some clams.

I'll let it sit another week before I add anything more. That will give me some time to think about what I really want.

My wife insists of replacing the puffer. She used to hand feed the other one, and it would come to the surface for her to scratch it's back. I'm trying to convince her that the puffer is a nitrate factory, and not really good in a reef tank. I'll let you know who wins (yeah ... right ... like I have a chance).
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Gary don't think you can have clams and shrimp with a puffer in your reef!:eek: I know about the shrimp because I had a puffer and loved him but he made short work of my shrimp! He ate a snail from time to time as well!:)
im sooo sry and i thought losing 250$ was bad i can only hope you can figure it all out and again im sorry for your loss
you could try and get some help from the insurance co.
really sorry to hear that Gary.:(

i have also learned the hard way about keeping different things on different circuits. luckily for me it was not as bad as you.

Sorry to hear about your loss Gary. Have you thought about getting a battery backup (UPS Unit) for the main pump? I have a APC Matrix 3000 and it works great.
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