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Monday, March 31, 2008

Where in the World is Derek? (And a major flood)

Man, it has been a busy month.  During March, I took over worldwide marketing for my company and prepared the company for the largest product (and company) launch in our history.  That came to a head last week and I am so glad it is over.  It was a smashing success and you can read more about it on my "work" blog at http://rodner.blogspot.com.

But, on to the tank.  It was touch and go for a while.  With all the time I have been spending in the office, the tank itself was not getting the attention it deserved and I even contemplated tearing it down and selling it.  Thank God, I talked myself out of that.

What led me to nearly quit was a massively flood while I was out of town.  UGH.  So, my wife calls me 2 weeks ago.  The tank is full of air bubbles.  No big deal.  Sometimes, the levels get out of wack in the fuge and the pump ends up sucking air.  So, she goes down the basement and the whole area is covered with water.  I am up to my neck in work and unable to get home.  My wife was really, really mad!  And I was depressed.  I knew that it was major and I knew that I would not get home for another 2 days and then go right back out of town again 2 days later.  Everything was lost, I was sure.

Well, my dad went over, shut down the system and cleaned up what turned out to be over 40 gallons of water off the basement floor.

I got home 2 days later and the salinity was at 1.019 and the temp was at 70.1.  But, everyone was alive!

Turns out, the tanks were all fine.  I was sure that the fuge or sump had cracked.  But, in reality, it was all my fault.  Before I went out of town, I did a water change and spent another hour picking hair algae out of the tank.  When I do that, I put filter socks on the drains in the basement to catch the excess hair algae.  Well, I left one of the filter socks on and it got saturated and started overflowing.  It was above the rim of the fuge so the water went right on the floor.  The levels dropped and the ATO (auto-top-off) kicked on, eventually emptying a full 33 gallon Brute trash can full of RO/DI water into the tank and onto the floor.  That's why the salinity level dropped.  And the temp dropped because the system was off-line and the heaters were in the basement.

Long story short, I was able to get it back up and running within 24 hours and didn't lose a thing.

And, the shutdown had an interesting and possibly coincidental side effect:  ALL MY HAIR ALGAE IS GONE!!!

The tank looks magnificent!  I had been holding off on getting any new coral for a while (save for a few items from a friend) because the hair algae was choking everything and the coral was suffering.

But, the tank is quite stable now and all if well.  So, I am off to a local fish store to get some coral.  There is a great place up near my office:  Aquatic Obsessions.  They have some beautiful coral.

And, if they have a hippo tang, I may pick that up as well.  But, that means the yellow tang goes bye-bye.  Whether someone buys him from me or he gets donated to a LFS is yet to be seen.

I took new pictures last night and will upload them in the next day or two.

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