Saving a Failing Reef Aquarium
It’s always nice for our team to install new aquariums, but it’s equally as satisfying to be given the chance to save a failing reef aquarium.
We were contacted by a residential client in Cheshire who had expressed concern that there custom reef aquarium, currently being maintained by another party, was not performing as well as it should. The tank was suffering from nuisance algae growth and corals were dying.
Upon our first visit to view the tank and perform a survey, we found a number of faults with the set up of the aquarium, its water parameters and general cleanliness. The tank was in rather poor condition.
Examining the sump filter tank housed below below the aquarium revealed much of the same. There was again excessive detritus waste and a lack of maintenance. The phosphate filter which is designed to reduce algae growth was completely clogged. The protein skimmer which reduces tank nutrients was not functioning at all and very grubby.
To add to the growing list of issues, the aquarium water was at 30 degrees which is dangerous to livestock health and had already caused coral bleaching. Upon testing the waters salinity, we found it to be far too low.
Desperate action was required to save this tank and so we advised it would need 2 of our technicians a full day to remedy the problems.
Our Actions to Save this Reef Aquarium
We first started by completely cleaning the aquarium panes to remove all algae. With the system turned off this algae would drop to the bottom of the tank. Here it can be siphoned out and we also clean the sand bed and perform a 300 litre water change!
Next the sump tank is stripped down with all components being removed for a deep clean. The reverse osmosis filter which supplies fresh water to the aquarium requires its filters changing about every 6 months. We change these filters as a matter of course.
This large wall reef aquarium relied on a thermostatic heater to maintain its water temperature. This type of heater is fine for a smaller aquarium provided its changed every 12-18 months. However due to the size and sheer value of this tank a dedicated temperature controller is far more suitable. This controller not only controls our newly installed titanium heater but also a set of cooling fans.
We are continuing to provide our fish tank maintenance service for this reef twice per month. As time progresses and the tank is serviced it will once again become a fabulous, healthy live coral aquarium.
Please keep an eye on our blogs for future updates.