Moving My 47 Year old Reef Tank. OMG

I finally rinsed the rest:D of my gravel in fresh water to remove the bleach and added it to my reef. I didn't add all the rocks yet. But at least the gravel is up to the level it was in my last tank. I also turned on the Reverse UG filter just for kicks. You know no matter how much you wash gravel, no matter how old it is or how much you wash it, it will cloud your water so i had to run my diatom filter for a couple of hours until it overheated and stopped. I un plugged it before it went on fire but thats what diatom filters do. :rolleyes:

Now the tank is very clear and the corals stopped exuding coral snot. Corals hate change, but they just have to get over it.
We are going to the old neighborhood today and I will get to my LFS. I hope they have some interesting corals and fish as I need to fill this tank.

We are going there to see out Doctors. My Doctor is a Supermodel so I really just go there to see her. She is a Lousy Doctor, but who cares!. I even think she is a Gynecologist.

From working Commercial construction and having a body filled with asbestos, Agent Orange, sea urchin spines and seawater I have so much arthritis, and am so stiff that I was sitting in the lumber aisle in Home Depot yesterday and someone mistook me for a piece of 4 X 4 pressure treated wood.
Oh No!!! I am Battling hair algae, red algae, cyano, Godzilla Larvae and scrunge. But that stuff refuses to fight back, it just stays there laughing at me. :eek: There are dead Beatles and lightning bugs floating in a sea of sludge. I am at my wits end, and my wits are very long. I think I will change the water. Oh wait, that is stupid because it is all new water. Maybe i will add Prizapro, hermit crabs, snails and a Manatee, then cut down the lighting to 15 minutes every other day:confused:

I really need to get my skimmer up and running. I first need to get electricity there, luckily, I know an electrician. I sucked out a salad of hair algae. :mad:

OMG. I may have to quit the hobby, sell everything and get a job managing the French Fry machine at Burger King.

In the move I broke my skimmer pump. I have no idea where my ozonizer is and my algae scrubber is being used as a fly filter on my exhaust fan.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I am such a loser. I don't know what to do. ;Wideyed
Today I am taking a day off from building to look for my hydrometer to see if there is actually any salt water in my tank and try to retrofit my skimmer to this tank. The top of this tank with the new stand is about a foot higher than my last set up and I can't find a lot of my skimmer parts. I only had a day to take the tank down and move it with the livestock so some of the parts ended up in a black hole. I also broke the outlet fittng off my big skimmer pump so I will also try to fix that.
The tubes are all facing the wrong direction which will have to be remedied. But the good part is that the skimmer is right next to my condensate pump for my central AC so I can dump the skimate right in there where it will get pumped out.
The tank is acting like a new tank due to the new water and me washing most of the gravel in fresh water and bleach so I killed a lot of the bacteria. It will take a little time to settle down and will go through a Scrunge period just like a new tank. But I will live with it. Besides there are no job openings at Burger King.
The corals are fine but some of the tips died from algae. That will pass. I got my old skimmer working but there is so much slime exuding from corals and other things that my venture gets clogged every hour or so. The tank is now crystal clear because out of my 3 diatom filters I took enough parts off to get one working, sort of. It leaks almost as fast as it pumps so I have to run it in a bucket and keep dumping the water back. But it did the job. I also have 30 new gallons of NSW that I am using as I am skimming the surface to get rid of grunge. I don't yet have a surface skimmer connected to fix that issue. WE are getting company all day tomorrow and different people the next day. Two days of boating and no time to work on the house or tank.
I ordered new parts for the skimmer so that will be a big help
OMG!!!!! My Biggest fear happened this morning. Well, maybe not my biggest fear. My biggest fear would be if Christie Brinkley knocked on my door and wanted to help me work on my tank and my wife told her I was unavailable because I was Ex-foliating.

But my second biggest fear is a FLOOD!... And I got one!!!. OMG. Last night I set up my skimmer and I didn't have much time or materials so I used what I had. The thing was designed years ago to run on a DIY valve that I designed for this unit. It was very easy to adjust and almost foolproof. I also had a DIY fail safe on the skimmer effluent bucket under the skimmer that shut the pumps off in the event that the bucket filled. I don't have any of that set up here yet. I had to use what Home Depot had which was ball valves which are useless for adjusting.

I got the thing running and had to clean the venture valve a few times due to the mass of broken tube worm shells inside the skimmer that died when I moved and bleached the unit.

I checked it last night three times and it was running great. It was making a lot of foam that was going into the bucket a tiny bit at a time.

But when I woke up at 5:00am I looked outside and seen water near my garage door which was normal because the sprinklers go on at night.

Was that it? NNNNOOOOOOoooooo. It was Sea Water. I ran into the fish room/Man cave/workshop and to my disbelief, the tank was only filled 2/3ds. AAAAAHHHHHHHhhhhhh. The 7 gallon skimmer bucket and a 5 gallon bucket next to it were overflowing on the floor.
OMG. I started pulling out plugs while standing in a pool of water, and I don't have GFCIs hooked up yet but only Girly Men would worry about such things. I saw my copperband and he was agast. Or maybe he was laughing at me. I can still see that smirk on his face.

I turned on my very Manly exhaust fan which immediately made my nose hairs stand on end. Then I put on a smaller fan and ran to get towels and a shop vac. I sucked up the water and put towels on the rest.
I had about 20 gallons of freshly collected water sitting there that I didn't use yet. It was a lot colder than my tank but I dumped it in and promised the fish I would heat it later.. The tank still needed about 4" of water so I started mixing some fake water. I only had about 5 gallons of fresh water so I used that. It was really cold so I made the sign of the cross and dumped that in. Now the tank is only about 2" short and will have to stay that way until I have time to collect as our company is arriving even as we speak and we have other people coming all day tomorrow.

I will let you know if I still have a tank.


Tim- 2019 BRS President
BRS Member
Good luck Paul! Sorry to hear about the second great floods of the Bible have showed up in your man cave.

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My fish laugh at nukes and epic floods. :)

The tank is still in scurve mode like a Noob tank. There is some hair alge, I think it's Brunette. But there are brittle stars all over the place which is a good sign, like Sagittarius. The fish are fine and think they are on vacation. Some of the tips of the corals I will lose because they are not smart enough to keep their tentacles extended so the algae don't cover them. But you really shouldn't have corals in a tank that is new, or a tank that thinks it is new. When this scurve phase passes and the grunge phase comes and goes, the tank will be better than before.
I found my hydrometer and had to add a lot of salt. I still didn't put the tank on automatic yet (which is why I had a flood) I didn't connect up my DIY ATO yet or my DIY switch that will shut off the pump when the skimmer bucket fills but I will get to it eventually. It's no emergency and just goes to show you how resilient healthy, immune fish can be. The temp goes from something like frozen codfish to the tropics when a volcano is erupting and the salinity goes from goldfish spawning water to the Great Salt Lake where just brine shrimp live. The tank water rises and falls 7" in an hour and the lighting is all over the place.
Anyway, getting back to my tank move, the thing is moved and it is doing great. Most of the algae is gone with no help from me and there is nothing growing in my algae scrubber (because it is dying) Some day, if I get time I will drive on the beach and collect 30 gallons of water in case I want to change water.
Today we have to go to some Doctors in the old neighborhood so I will be able to get to my LFS for some corals and fish. I keep mostly small, nerdy, interesting, girly, man/sissy fish so I can fit a lot of them in there. I may also pick up some food while I am there but my white worm culture is still going strong and I think it may be five years old. It's hard to get black worms here but my fish are an equal opportunity eater and will eat any worm. I just want them for the bacteria. I also have not collected much in the way of amphipods this year as we have been busy and the 9 times we went out on the boat it seemed to be high tide and amphipods don't sun bathe at high tide.
All the corals are fully extended and the sponges bounced back and grew quite a but since the move 3 months ago.
The algae cycle lasted about three months which is about normal. As long as you don't mess with the tank, don't add things or do anything silly like change water, the algae will get bored and leave. No need to add sea hares, snails, urchins, duck billed platypuses or manatees.
Last night my wife was running the dish washer and a plastic kind of large dishwasher safe spoon "jumped" out of the basket and melted around the heater coils. Now the place is filled with acrid smoke and a stink.

Joe Rice

BRS Webmaster
Staff member
BRS Member
The algae cycle lasted about three months which is about normal. As long as you don't mess with the tank, don't add things or do anything silly like change water, the algae will get bored and leave. No need to add sea hares, snails, urchins, duck billed platypuses or manatees.
My tank is about three years old and I think I've finally learned this lesson. I used to panic when I started to see a bit of cyano or mystery algae but I've learned that it usually takes care of itself eventually now that my tank is a bit more mature.
Tank is coming along. My good friend came over today and gave me a pair of blue striped pipefish (which my Janss pipefish will probably have for lunch) and a bunch of corals. All is doing well.

He also tested my water because I don't have any Sissy test kits. Nitrates are zero, salinity is 25, calcium is 450 and Po4 is almost zero. But it i9s all new water from the sea. It is just 3 months old and I haven't changed any yet. Whats the sense?



Well-Known Member
BRS Member
You make us all jealous! We would all like to be retired, by the ocean, with a giant, awesome reef tank. Your tank is a beauty, so glad it is working out after the move.

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Mrjantzen. All you have to do is work on your job for 40 years and get old. The tank will get old with you. Now I am right near the sea but for most of my life, I was a few miles away.

It also helps to build an awesome, Man Cave.

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Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I wish I had all the money I wasted raising 5 kids, then I could have a man cave, even a cavelet would be nice.

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Keep Walking that line. :cool:

I took my own advice and did nothing to the tank until the algae disappeared. And it did. All the fish are doing the macarana and smiling. The new two bluestripe pipefish are still in there which I am surprised about because the Janss pipefish killed my last ones. He seems to have stopped chasing these but I still don't trust him.
I can't get live blackworms here real easy so I feed my live white worms which stay alive for 5 days in salt water. Maybe they hold their breath.
I found the 2 Gecko Gobies and see the cave they live in. Really beautiful fish but you never, like never see them.
I want a few more small very interesting, rare, odd fish. No angels or tangs because they are to boring and everyone has them.
I would also like more corals, especially gorgonians. If I get time I will collect some water down the block but I don't think I will change any yet, I may keep it until the winter. I am getting my knee replaced in December so I may change some water before that.

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