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Thread: Tank Overheated

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Tank Overheated

    Hey everyone,

    Sad news for me today, I'd like opinions to help us get past it. Our 75g reef overheated yesterday. I came home to find everything curled in on itself completely, and the water at 88*F.
    So far two encrusting monties have completely bleached, the white xenia has melted, the frogspawn and hammers are "gooey". I've got a maxima clam in there too, but he seems to be ok for the moment. I have a feeling our entire clean up crew bit the dust. And iffy about whether or not the starfish survived. He's crammed up under a rock pretty good, so perhaps being mostly buried in the sand saved him. We only lost one fish, the ruby wrasse, the a-hole clowns, the yellow spot goby, and the longnose hawk all are doing fine. I don't know if the pistol shrimp that came with the goby is alive or not.

    I brought the water temperature down from 88 to about 83 within an hour through waterchanges and icepacks. I let it cool off more slowly afterwards, hoping to not temperature shock them more than they already were.

    Anyone have any tips for supplements / treatments, or care for the tank to help the ones that aren't dead yet survive? I'm running carbon to help pull any "I'm dying" coral chemicals out, anything else I need to be doing?
    Last edited by ReefDragon; 1 Week Ago at 02:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReefDragon View Post
    Hey everyone,

    Sad news for me today, I'd like opinions to help us get past it. Our 75g reef overheated yesterday. I came home to find everything curled in on itself completely, and the water at 88*F.
    So far two encrusting monties have completely bleached, the white xenia has melted, the frogspawn and hammers are "gooey". I've got a maxima clam in there too, but he seems to be ok for the moment. I have a feeling our entire clean up crew bit the dust. And iffy about whether or not the starfish survived. He's crammed up under a rock pretty good, so perhaps being mostly buried in the sand saved him. We only lost one fish, the ruby wrasse, the a-hole clowns, the yellow spot goby, and the longnose hawk all are doing fine. I don't know if the pistol shrimp that came with the goby is alive or not.

    I brought the water temperature down from 88 to about 83 within an hour through waterchanges and icepacks. I let it cool off more slowly afterwards, hoping to not temperature shock them more than they already were.

    Anyone have any tips for supplements / treatments, or care for the tank to help the ones that aren't dead yet survive? I'm running carbon to help pull any "I'm dying" coral chemicals out, anything else I need to be doing?
    Sorry for the crummy way to start your weekend. I would do water changes as your water quality has been compromised a bit with things dying. I know it hurts but if anything looks iffy, I'd go ahead and remove it as it dying off will only make your water quality worse.

    Any idea why it overheated? Bad heater?

  3. #3
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    I'm still working on figuring out the "why". I don't believe the heater was at fault, as it was plugged into a temperature controller. A crappy one, but it has been working perfectly for the last year and a half. It was either the control decided to stop controlling. Or the coralife 5 T5 fixure stayed on too long, and the house got too hot, and the combination continued heating the tank long after the heater turned off. I've got the lights off right now, I read somewhere that having them off will help until the bleached corals recover, (or die). I figured I'd give it til tomorrow, then test the lights being on. The heater has been removed from the old controller and I'm now using my reefkeeper with it's temp probe to control it. (I had gotten the reefkeeper long after the first one, I should have switched it over but I got lazy.)

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    88 seems a bit high for just lights to heat it up unless it's in a closed canopy or the house got super hot.

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    It's not a closed canopy, but it does have vented plexi-glasslids. I've noticed them getting the tank slightly too warm before, (max at 83 in the middle of summer.) But I think you might be right, even so. The sump is a 30 gallon cube that is not covered at all, and has a lot of surface agitation for oxygen and cooling. It was most likely a fault in the heater controller, but I'm testing both anyway just in case. We were planning on getting a lot of coral from reef currents this year, so at least this happened before we went!

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  7. #6
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    only a heater can do that, that's why Ive always recommended 2 smaller heaters one goes on the bling the other shuts off the first is 2 small to overheat tank
    david

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  9. #7
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    +1 reeftopia
    2 small heaters are a great way to avoid something like this and adds some redundancy. Apex Controller... just sayin

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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    I would love to go with two smaller heaters, but at the time of setup I was plug in poor, as in, I had 6 plugins to run every device on. I've tested the heater controller and the lights and you guys were right. The controller was faulty, and allowed the heater to remain on. I've got the heater hooked up to a reefkeeper lite now. That should keep it in check until I can invest in some good quality smaller heaters. Thank you a for the advice!

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by reeftopia View Post
    only a heater can do that, that's why Ive always recommended 2 smaller heaters one goes on the bling the other shuts off the first is 2 small to overheat tank
    +2 reeftopia
    I have had a heater stick in the on position and cook everything in the tank. I now am a firm believer to run two small heaters. Plus I have them connected to the Apex for additional redundancy. Same for my chiller.


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