It’s safe to say, this has been a bad month for me and my tank, in fact, it would be up there with the worst month’s I have ever had in my many years.
I won’t beat around the bush, I will just get straight to the point. This month, I lost my favourite fish, my lawnmower blenny, my most colourful fish, my carpenter wrasse, my blow-pop zoas have completely melted & my toxic green dragon-eye zoas have been closed for two weeks, a new staghorn coral has completely bleached, a new montipora coral is not far behind the staghorn, my torch has had a polyp bail-out, my goniopora still won’t open fully, there is still a loud clicking coming from the tank that I can’t locate, and to top it off, I found my first Aiptasia in the tank.
What created this catastrophe?
The answer to this is simple… Me! It was all my own doing & I feel rotten about it. A series of unfortunate events, lead to this, but at each step, it was an event I could have stopped or not started!
Step One – Dino’s
For regular followers of this blog, you will know I have been battling Dino’s for several months. I have tried all sorts to cure it, the only solution that seemed to be working was dosing hydrogen peroxide (3% food grade).
It was working great, until I went away for 3 days with work. I came back to great big snotty strings all over the tank again. In anger, frustration & being at my whits ends with it, I quadrupled the dose of the peroxide and targeted the worst of it with a syringe.
Unbelievably, most things in the tank survived this. The one casualty was my Lawnmower Blenny. I was heart broken. In my own stupidity & frustration, I had killed my favourite fish. I managed to fish him out before he caused an ammonia spike, and the treatment overdose did clear the Dino’s completely, but this doesn’t make me feel better about any of it.
Step Two – Temperature
Here in the UK, we have been experiencing unusually high temperatures. Once I started to notice the tank temperature increasing, I turned off everything and opened the lids, put fans around the tank and put frozen water bottles in the sump. I thought I had done enough and wen’t to work.
When I came back from work, the tank was sitting at 28.9°C. Everything in the tank was cooking.
Some of you may be thinking, well that’s not really your fault… well no. But what I didn’t do was turn my lights off, why? Because I didn’t want the hassle of trying to re-program them from the 10000th time. This may not have made a massive difference, but I’m damn sure this would have made some difference. Laziness. That’s what helped this step along.
The victims of the temperature rising so much in the tank were the two new SPS corals, the Euphyllia dropping a polyp & the Carpenter Wrasse.
Step Three – Captain A##hole
So, next was the zoas. What happened there? Captain A##hole, a rather large hermit crab that rules my tank, knocked over a whole rock structure. Right on top of the zoas. Normally, this wouldn’t have killed the zoas, but unfortunately I was yet again, away for work. The small zoa frag had remained under the rock for the entire four days & my other half hadn’t notice the fallen rocks.
With the stress of the temperature & the peroxide & then the rock, my blow-pops just couldn’t pull through.
So how is this one my fault? Easy, I stressed the corals even before the Captain came along, and lets face it, if I had glued my rocks down, this wouldn’t have happened.
There have been some hard (and expensive) lessons learned this month. I know I usually post a video each month of the tank, but honestly, I am too ashamed to show it with the bleached corals and Torch coral in such as state. It is not a tank I am proud of at the moment.
My journey through this hobby is proving to be a lot more challenging than expected, especially considering I have god knows how many years of freshwater fish keeping under my belt. Even with my Discus tank, I never experienced losses like I have this month.
Does it make me want to quit? No. Not yet. It has highlighted to me that actually, I need to stick with basic fish and easy to keep corals. Not that I feel I have rushed it, but I can’t help but notice that the major losses this month were the SPS & the more fancy fish. Maybe I am not ready or my tank isn’t sophisticated enough yet, but moving up that extra step into the more exotic, should definitely have been considered more.