Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saltwater Redux

It's been thirteen years since I had a saltwater tank. It was a miserable failure. I dreamed of a living reef with soft corals and thriving anemones. Instead what I got was a thriving crop of hair algae. Every few weeks I had to remove all the rocks, lace rock I believe, from my tank and scrub them with a toothbrush. The only fish I managed to keep alive were two common clown fish. That was until we moved. They died an undignified death in a Styrofoam cooler in my foyer and that was the end of my tank.

The tank actually sat empty in my family room for at least a year, maybe longer. I kept threatening to resurrect it but never did. I was haunted by the brushing of the rocks and the cost of all the fish I lost.

Eventually the tank became a freshwater tank. Our water supply is extremely hard so I even failed at that. I then figured out that African cichlids thrive on hard water and converted the tank over to an all African cichlid tank. The tank was nice. It was colorful but in my mind I knew it didn't come close to a salt water tank. Oh, I tried to convince myself it did but I knew what I wanted all along was to go back to a saltwater tank.

The Flood

One weekend I came home from working out and walked into my laundry room to find my feet in about an inch of water. The washing machine had overflowed and leaked under the walls into our family room. I dried as much of the carpeting as I could but, unfortunately, the 55 gallon cichlid tank was in the middle of the flood. Within a few days the room stunk to high heaven and the carpeting had to be replaced. The only way to remove the carpeting was to move the tank. I happened to have a 75 gallon tank in the basement that I had just bought for $50 from a friend. I set it up and moved the the cichlids there. The carpet was replaced and the previous location of the tank in the family room remained vacant for almost two years.

Scratch the itch

The vacant spot in an alcove in the family room had to be filled. As of last week it is home to a 72 gallon bowfront All Glass aquarium. On Saturday October 13'th, it was filled with RO/DI water and added countless cups of Instant Ocean. On Sunday I purchased 40 pounds of live rock and 60 pounds of live sand and placed them in the tank. It took about a day for the tank to clear up from milky white after the sand was added. On Monday I replaced the two clown fish I lost 13 years ago. So far so good. Today, I added two Peppermint Shrimp because I freaked out about all of the Aiptasia that I may have just added to my tank with that live rock.

This blog will document my progress on this tank. I'll post pictures. I'll share my successes and failures. Hopefully, the failures will be far and few between.