Today i woke up to a saltwater tank that didn't look right. I had just topped it off the night before and it had evaporated overnight almost an inch of water. At first i thought "leak" but when i put my hand to the glass it felt warm, very warm. My heater had malfunctioned and my tank had a meltdown. My leathers were sagging, mushrooms had snotted away and the zoanthids were closed tightly.
So i spent much of the day breaking it down and separating the live rock out. I decided that after 12 years in the saltwater hobby it was time to quit- at least for a while. My leg does not allow me to care for a tank the way it should be and its an expensive hobby at any rate. I called PetCo to ask if they'd take in the last of my corals that looked like they could have a chance at surviving, i also packed up about 20 pounds of live rock to give them as a thank you. When i got there i was waiting and got into a conversation with a man and his wife about what happened. He asked the store manager how much it would cost for him to take home what i brought and the store manager said it would be fine to just give it to him if i agreed--and i did. So they got a super deal, 5 different corals for free (if they survive and its worth a try ) and about $100 worth of live rock. They were getting a tank set up that week and the rock would boost the project. They were very happy that our timing was perfect for them and i was glad to know who was the enthusiasts that got my corals. They had been keeping fresh water fish for years and salt water for a small handful of years.
I'm going to miss my tank, the living room is so quiet without the gentle hum of powerheads and mini fans blowing the halide lamp to keep it cool. There is no more trickling water sound. Its been close to 20 years since i have been tankless.... I do still have Alpha the beta, so maybe it isn't over quite yet.
In a way its a relief because i hadn't been able to keep it as sparkling as i always tried to do and it was definitely in decline. So as much as it is disappointing to lose, its one less thing to worry about.