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Old 09/16/2008, 02:43 PM   #1
fishcraze2002
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IKE devastation and a hard lesson learned on Vortech battery backup

IKE has given me a devastating experience and a very hard lesson - I lost 90% of my fishes within ~9hrs of power outage. The power went out around 3am, I noticed one of my Vortech still on in the low flow mode since it's connected to the Vortech battery backup. I thought the fishes would be ok for a while w/ the Vortech flow. Went to sleep at ~5am, notice the fishes still swimming. Woke up at 10am and still (over)confident w/ the pump so I didnt even stop by the tank to check it out right away. Went to the garage to start my generator ~11am, and my uncle walked in telling me that my fishes lying on the bottom I thought he was kidding and was shocked to find out he wasn't - only 3 out of the total of 19 fishes still swimming, the others either disappeared or lying dead all over the tank
Then I realized that the Vortech flow was really slow - i don't think it's at 50% as it supposed to be on backup ( i always have the velocity knob turned to max). I have the pump ~6" below the water surface and there wasn't much agitation on the water surface. I'm still shocked to see the fishes died in quite a short time, given the fact that there were 19 fishes in a 220 gal tank - not very heavy load IMO and w/ a vortech pump running on backup. I wished I had turned on the generator right after the power outage and disappointed that the expensive vortech pump/battery didn't help much!!!!

Here are a few pics of the fishes that didn't make it.

A 7" blond naso tang (a streamer) -my favorite pet since I can catch him from my hand:


Achilles tangs: after 6 months, he finally started to eat some frozen food (instead of just nori) couple weeks ago and now he's gone:


Mystery wrasse: he was 3/4" when i got him 2yrs ago and had grown to 2.5":



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Old 09/16/2008, 02:44 PM   #2
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A pair of black/white clown fishes: bought this pair w/ the blue carpet when i set up this tank 4 yrs ago:


3yrs old yellow tang:


Anthias: I lost all of the 7 anthias I had for 2yrs+ now. I still remember spending lot of time hatching baby brineshirmps for them at the beginning and trained them to eating frozen/flake food.


Also lost a pair of six line wrasses, a purple fridami and 3 blood shrimps and 1 cleaner shrimp. That's ~$700 worth of livestocks!


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Old 09/16/2008, 02:44 PM   #3
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Only 3 fishes left in the main tank: a 8 yrs old purple tang, a blue tang and a true percula clown.
Purple tang: the most senior fish in my tank. I got him in 2003 from someone who had him for 2.5yrs:


Percula clown: got him in 2004. He has been harrassed by the two black/white clowns lately but now he can has 3 rose and 1 carpet anemone for himself now


To my surprise, a yellow tang, a sixline and a bloodshrimp in my 40gal frag tank doing just fine w/o any powerhead or air pump from 2am - 11am Sat while the fishes in the main tank suffered badly.


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Old 09/16/2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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On the positive side, my corals have been doing ok during the storm- tho a little shaky right now. I can only get the bodies of 5 out of the 16 deadfishes out of the tank since I couldn't either see the others or reached them way back in the tank. Therefore, i have been doing 40 gal water changes everyday since Sunday to avoid a major cycle that could kill off the SPS.

Here are some random pics I took of the corals on Friday morning while the storm started creeping in to Houston - just in case something would happen to them










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Old 09/16/2008, 02:47 PM   #5
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Old 09/16/2008, 02:49 PM   #6
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Old 09/16/2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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Sorry about your fish..But i hope most of your corals make it your tank if very spectacular and looks well aged


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Old 09/16/2008, 03:38 PM   #8
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wow!! thats horrible. Im so sorry.. what a beautiful tank


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Old 09/16/2008, 03:58 PM   #9
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thank for your sympathy w/ the losses. My corals seem to be fine at the moment. However, I could only get 5 dead fishes out, the other 11 I couldn't either reach them or see them. I have been doing 40 gal water change every day since Sunday to avoid a major cycle that could hurt the SPS.
some more pics taken couple months ago:

















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Old 09/16/2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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Old 09/16/2008, 04:08 PM   #11
acrodave
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every thing is crazy...but that hammer is nuts


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Old 09/16/2008, 04:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by acrodave
every thing is crazy...but that hammer is nuts
LOL that's what many said about that hammer when they see it in person. picture do no justice to it since it looked HUGE in person. It was one of my first few LPS when i started w/ reef tank in 2002, started out with a 8 heads frag I bought from a lfs. I have been selling an average of 5-10 full heads of this hammer every couple months for the past several years, it grows like weed


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Old 09/16/2008, 04:30 PM   #13
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Amazing tank! best of luck


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Old 09/16/2008, 04:34 PM   #14
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I feel sorry for your losses. I hope you'll pull through.


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Old 09/16/2008, 04:35 PM   #15
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Quoc,

I am soo sorry to hear about the losses of your fish. Thanks for posting this, as I am sure it is very painful to see the fish pictures now. This is a great lesson for all of us not to trust untested resources.

Good luck with what you decide to stock.


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Old 09/16/2008, 05:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by SERVO
Quoc,

I am soo sorry to hear about the losses of your fish. Thanks for posting this, as I am sure it is very painful to see the fish pictures now. This is a great lesson for all of us not to trust untested resources.

Good luck with what you decide to stock.
Another hobbyist in Houston also posted to my thread on Marshreef.com that he also lost his fishes for the same reason as mine: left his tank running with the Vortech on backup battery for 5hrs. We may call vortech to complain about this since we spent big $$$ for that backup battery and backup feature on vortech pump to have a peace in mind during short electricity outages but now find out it couldn't even keep the fishes alive in 5-9hrs!


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Old 09/16/2008, 05:04 PM   #17
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Sorry top hear about your fish lost .. but happy that corals are doin ok .. You have some awesome colonies and collection .


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Old 09/16/2008, 05:24 PM   #18
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some closeups:


















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Old 09/16/2008, 05:32 PM   #19
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This pink cat paw is massive (~12"x8"). got it as a 4" colony from a friend in 2003:




My favorite angel but had to sell him last month. He did fine when he was a juvenile, but then started developing taste for zoos and mushrooms when he transitioned to aldult hood.




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Old 09/16/2008, 05:44 PM   #20
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Old 09/16/2008, 05:47 PM   #21
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My favorite Strawberry Stag:
March 08


Sept 08:



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Old 09/16/2008, 06:01 PM   #22
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If you watch long enough can you see your corals grow? haha


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Old 09/16/2008, 06:08 PM   #23
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Very sad to hear of your losses.

That is an exceptional tank you have there though, I hope you dont have any other problems in the near future.

BTW I would have thought the hammer would sting those acros, do they all get a long fine?


Jeff.


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Old 09/16/2008, 06:17 PM   #24
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Sorry, that really is a bummer Hopefully our fish go to the same place we do. I just moved to Texas and it's creeping me out in one year I've had my first tornado's and hurricanes.


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Old 09/16/2008, 07:03 PM   #25
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Wow, this really sucks. As someone in a Hurricane prone area, South Florida, this really hits close to home, and my heart dropped thinking about it. I was thinking of purchasing these, with one of the major reasons the batter backup.

After reading your thread, and seeing your corals alive, I wonder if running an additional battery powered air stone would help. I know you said you tried to keep the water turbulent. I would really like to see the EcoTech guys chime in, because I think there are many of us that would have done the same thing you did.


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