got ethical husbandry?

First casualty and it was due to equipment failure, although that same equipment prevented a complete massacre

WAR5150

Supporting Member
As I've said before, I am active duty military pilot and with that comes a unique set of circumstances that is not conducive to a reef tank, i.e. being gone a lot. I know I am not the only one who travels for work, but it is just something we deal with. I've wanted an aquarium for years and got started immediately with my move here. This is the beginning of our story...

Because of my situation, I bought a lot of Apex gear for piece of mind, along with a camera that I can check in on and ensure there are no leaks, my ATO level is dropping as expected, etc. My most recent trip involved being gone for over three weeks, Fortunately at this point, I only have four small corals and they're fairly low maintenance. Unfortunately, I did not have a great plan for the care of my system while I was gone. This is mainly due to mistrust of people I work with, location and lack of time to train someone up to my standard. Regardless, I have to take full responsibility for what happened.

Part of my training included five days in the woods where I had zero access to phone/internet of any sort. Funny enough, on that Monday afternoon, we were discussing stressors we had in our lives and I mentioned the aquarium without proper care or ability for me to check in on it. I acknowledged that things were probably fine, but little did I know what was in store.

On Wednesday afternoon I checked my phone immediately as I had access again. Weird, the lights were off when I checked the camera and the app controlling lights said zero connectivity. Go over to Fusion and there is zero connectivity. Somehow, I had a complete failure and I did not know why. Immediately get a hold of someone from work who agrees to check on the system the next day.

Bottom line: I had everything plugged into my Neptune EB832 and that completely failed. Fortunately I had a spare and the work friend was able to move everything over to the spare and verify everything was in working order before he departed. As Fusion started to come back online, I noticed the last reliable reading I had was from 0900 Monday morning, it was now Thursday afternoon. While things were returning to ops normal, it was still another week and a half before I got home and could really investigate things. Sadly when I got back, I discovered that one of my corals, a finger leather, did not survive the ordeal. I cannot pinpoint exactly what was the cause of death, but I'm certain the root cause was the power failure. While one casualty does not seem bad for the circumstances, it was 25% of my entire system and now I just see a sad bare spot where it used to be.

Now I am in contact with Neptune about getting my EB832 sent back and diagnosed but I'm a bit miffed that they want me to pay shipping there. Maybe I'm entitled, but I feel like they should be providing a shipping label (heck, Amazon would do that) for me to send the equipment back considering I bought it at the end of November and did not install until December, so everything is easily under warranty.

So there it is: my first long trip with life and had a minor tragedy occur. I left lots of details out of the story since it is already long enough, but I learned a lot from this experience too, to include I need to trust others when another situation like this arises.
 

sfsuphysics

Frag Swap Coordinator
BOD
Is it within the warranty period still? I would think shipping would b covered if that was the case.

But yeah, having the ability to check/know when something is wrong is great, however having someone you trust to look in on things is even more ideal, I had an experience with a Hawaii trip when I told my dad to fill up the water once (before I had an ATO) simple grab that bucket pour in the tank in the back of the stand (it wasn't even under the stand) and there was a piece of tape showing where to fill to. Think it would be easy... came back to that nasty electrical smell as under the tank had water in it, electronics were fried, I want to believe he can pour a bucket of water without spilling much but I guess not...
 

WAR5150

Supporting Member
Where do you live? Get to know some of us, I’m sure someone could help you out when you’re gone

I'm in Fairfield, so it's probably not that close to where most of the club lives. Also why I didn't do a good job of finding someone from work, nobody really lives near me. Even the guy who did come by lives in Sacramento, so he had to go completely out of his way and I hate asking people to do that for me.
 

Coral reefer

DBTC Officer
BOD
I'm in Fairfield, so it's probably not that close to where most of the club lives. Also why I didn't do a good job of finding someone from work, nobody really lives near me. Even the guy who did come by lives in Sacramento, so he had to go completely out of his way and I hate asking people to do that for me.
That is pretty far away indeed. Not convenient for me from sf, but I do appreciate what you’re away doing for all of us and if indeed you really needed something I’m sure me or another member would make the drive to check in on it for you. There’s also a club in Sacramento but I have no experience with it.
 

Coral reefer

DBTC Officer
BOD
And not to trivialize the demise of a living thing, but I got plenty of corals for you if you make it down to sf or pretty much any club event. Just let me know
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
In your case I would not connect everything to a controller. Here is how I would,beside using a reliable controller ofcourse(I do most of these steps now cause I also travel ALOT)
I would have the return pump connected to a wifi enabled plug.
connect as much as I can to an ethernet. Things like camera, controller connect it to ethernet to take away wifi issues.
Connect the skimmer to one of these collection containers that turn off skimmer if it overflows. This way you 9override the controller if skimmer started overflowing.
I would connect power heads directly to wall socket.
For ATO use either a stand alone reliable ATO, or simple float valve sinilar to the one used for RODI and u can even make the ATO gravity driven so its simple..
Depend on your system, your dosing scheme might need some design but only if you need heavy dosing otherwiserelaibale stand alone dose will do the trick.
Tip of the hat to you my man..tip of the hat to you!
 
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JVU

Vice President
BOD
Bummer. Sounds like an office tank (as opposed to at home)? We have quite a few members with office tanks, travel requirements, etc. Hopefully they can chime in with some suggestions for success.

I also agree that having someone around who you already know and trust ahead of time is invaluable to help in a pinch. But if the tank is in a secure office setting (perhaps on-base at Travis?) then not just any random BAR member can get access to help.

Certainly coming to events, getting to know people, posting your experiences here (like you have been), and generally staying active in the club, will expose you to new ideas and relationships that are likely help down the line.
 

Squist

Supporting Member
Curious to learn what caused the energy bar failure when you get word back from Neptune. Are you the original owner?
 

WAR5150

Supporting Member
Not an office tank, it’s in my house and I do not live on base. If I did, it’d be easier for me to ask one of the work people to take a look since they wouldn’t have to go real far out of their way, although it would still not help for the trust issues.

I’ll plan to post a follow-up with the diagnosis of the 832, I am the original owner.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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WAR5150

Supporting Member
Figured I would give a small update to this for anyone following, although there isn't much to say.

Neptune did receive the 832 when I sent it in but I didn't hear anything from them until I reached out. Keep in mind this was around the time of a lot of shelter-in-place orders starting. I was able to get confirmation that the unit was received, but of course there is nobody working in their offices to diagnose or fix the problem. I would have preferred just having a new unit sent out rather than get mine refurbished, but they're not even shipping stuff out it seems. Oh well, life goes on and everything will return to normal. On the bright side, I'm spending much more time home so if there is another failure, I'll be able to catch it immediately (unless I get called on to go out on the road) and use some regular power strips to maintain everything, I'll just lose the functionality of Apex.
 

Bruce Spiegelman

Supporting Member
I've been running Apex Eb8's (literally had dozens of them), and now EB832's for a number of years and that's one piece of equipment I've never had a single issue with. I wouldn't give up on them and lose the functionality of them based on one unit. That being said redundancy and back-up are one key to success in this hobby. That was hammered into my brain again two months ago when a regular (high quality) power strip failed on me. It's on the end of my system farthest from my Apex unit, and it's also where my two return pumps were plugged in. Two -- for redundancy. Great plan till the damn power bar blew up.Now I have each pump plugged into a separate power bar after realizing what an idiot I was. My suggestion is not to give up on the 832's, but make sure that a few things are hooked up separately. If you run two power heads hook one up into a separate power supply, or buy a used EB8 cheaply.

As to Neptune service they have always had some of the best service in the industry. A few of our members are long time employees there as well.However, there is no one in the Morgan Hill offices right now. They still are handling the tickets online, but have no way to test, fix, or replace right now. I just had the same issue with Ecotech.
 

Bruce Spiegelman

Supporting Member
As to Fairfield there are actually some members of the 916 club that live in Fairfield. Let me know if you'd like to be put in touch and if you're on Facebook which is where that club communicates.
 

WAR5150

Supporting Member
As to Fairfield there are actually some members of the 916 club that live in Fairfield. Let me know if you'd like to be put in touch and if you're on Facebook which is where that club communicates.

Is that the MARS club? I didn't really get involved with them since I don't use Facebook.
 
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