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Old 04-09-2012, 8:16 PM   #1
JayU JayU is offline
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Life Expectancy

Just wondering. With ideal water parameters and excellent husbandry, how long can one expect to keep a tank up and running? Im sure there are tons of factors that can have an impact, but on an average, how long? I've heard of "old-tank syndrome", but I don't understand if it is inevitable.

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Old 04-09-2012, 8:27 PM   #2
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until the silcone wears out... there are tanks up for 30, 40, and i think 50 is the longest ive seen but as long as the silicone holds skys the limit

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Old 04-09-2012, 8:53 PM   #3
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If acrylic... Until ......?

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Old 04-09-2012, 9:03 PM   #4
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I'm sorry if I was unclear. I wasn't speaking in terms of how long the tank itself would hold, rather how long a system can be up and running before starting to decline. In other words is a tank crash inevitable at some point regardless of parameters and husbandry.

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Old 04-09-2012, 9:22 PM   #5
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"Old Tank Syndrome" applies to the livestock - or more specifically, water quality (or lack thereof). Old Tank Syndrome really means, "lazy aquarist syndrome" as we have tanks we've maintained for 10-12 years that still have perfect water parameters because the tanks have been properly monitored and maintained with sufficient water changes all this time.

Tank itself - well, the oldest glass box we maintain, was made in 1973. It was built for a local doctor just over on Univeter Road here in Canton, when O'Dell Aquariums was located there. O'Dell doesn't exist anymore, but that particular tank was built like a brick outhouse.

We maintain some other tanks that are probably 15 or so years old that are still going strong. As long as they're properly staged and nobody rips out the silicone with a scraper while cleaning, they should last a good long time.

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Old 04-09-2012, 9:30 PM   #6
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for longer, healthy tanks some things need to get done on an occasional level that a lot aquarists do not do, i.e., change out some rock, sand, clean overflows, etc...

your tank inhabitants it should last many, many years...
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Old 04-09-2012, 9:36 PM   #7
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i understood your question. you said given excellent husbandry and clean water how long will a tank last. the answer is until the seals give out on the tank

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Old 04-09-2012, 9:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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for longer, healthy tanks some things need to get done on an occasional level that a lot aquarists do not do, i.e., change out some rock, sand, clean overflows, etc...

your tank inhabitants it should last many, many years...
Good call Ralph, I agree. For a very old tank, there are certain things that would need to be done, that I don't ever think about with regular tank maintenance.

I wonder if you would have to re-do the plumbing after several years. When breaking down/ starting up new systems, I often see "stuff" caked to the inside walls of the PVC. I wonder after a long time (say 10 years) if you would start getting restricted flow from your plumbing.

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Old 04-10-2012, 9:14 AM   #9
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for longer, healthy tanks some things need to get done on an occasional level that a lot aquarists do not do, i.e., change out some rock, sand, clean overflows, etc...
Good point. The sand and rock lose their capacity to buffer the water after a while. I was having a hard time maintaining Alk until I read that on Wet Web Media. It never even occured to me that rock and sand could degrade as far as water stability is concerned.

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:15 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input. Just curious how does rock and sand lose their buffering capacity? I mean, does this happen in the ocean? Our tanks are far from the ocean, but is this just preventative maintenance or is their a way of telling when this occurs.

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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They get saturated with phosphate, nitrates, among others...
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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They get saturated with phosphate, nitrates, among others...
That's assuming the levels are high enough to saturate rock and sand... Correct me if I'm wrong.

Seems like that would fall in line with what Jenn mentioned about "poor aquarist syndrome".

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:41 AM   #13
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Anything above 0 in the water will be enough. Plus, phates bind to rock and sand..

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2122858
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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That's assuming the levels are high enough to saturate rock and sand... Correct me if I'm wrong.

Seems like that would fall in line with what Jenn mentioned about "poor aquarist syndrome".

Over time (years upon years) saturation is a certainty.

Here's a good thread with picture of 2 year old sand.

http://www.atlantareefclub.org/forum...ad.php?t=65649
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #15
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I'm not even speaking about nitrates and phospates, although that might be true as well. I'm was particularly speaking to the ability of live rock and live sand to alkalinity buffer the water. As time goes by, organic acids in the system exhaust the sand and rock. That's why it is good to replace the sand and rock every so often. (Years, I imagine).

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Old 04-10-2012, 1:04 PM   #16
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So is there a way to "renew" the sand and rock? Otherwise, how do you know good rock from bad rock? Can we toss rock back into the ocean to recycle and reclaim a few years down the road?

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Old 04-10-2012, 1:17 PM   #17
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Good thing I am no expert. I encourage you to read here regarding my comments.

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsubstr.htm

I recall seeing a "rock acid bath" thread here a while back. I assume that was to regenerate, if possible, some of the carbonate hardness solubility.

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Old 04-10-2012, 1:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McPhock View Post
I'm not even speaking about nitrates and phospates, although that might be true as well. I'm was particularly speaking to the ability of live rock and live sand to alkalinity buffer the water. As time goes by, organic acids in the system exhaust the sand and rock. That's why it is good to replace the sand and rock every so often. (Years, I imagine).
Thanks for the insight!

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Old 04-10-2012, 8:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Good call Ralph, I agree. For a very old tank, there are certain things that would need to be done, that I don't ever think about with regular tank maintenance.

I wonder if you would have to re-do the plumbing after several years. When breaking down/ starting up new systems, I often see "stuff" caked to the inside walls of the PVC. I wonder after a long time (say 10 years) if you would start getting restricted flow from your plumbing.
Id just use Drano every once and a while

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Old 04-10-2012, 9:41 PM   #20
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Id just use Drano every once and a while

i put a capful in the tank once a month to keep everything open

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