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Global Warming? In Our Living Room


jsrtist

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I am sure most of you are familiar with the concept of global warming. I have always been particularly concerned about its connection to the destruction of coral reefs worldwide. Rising ocean temperatures (as well as other factors) cause the bleaching and die off of corals. Most of the reefs have been in existence for thousands of years, and they are turning white and losing their flesh and dying.

Over the past few weeks we got to experience this phenomenon in our own 75 gallon reef tank, unfortunately. It has been set up since January and is a combination of two older tanks that we put together. We have had major temperature issues resulting in the loss of several animals. We have been running two Ebo Jager 250 watt heaters, and in the last few weeks, they have been on constantly! We enabled a fan cooling system over the sump to keep the water cool since we run metal halides.

According to our digital thermometer, the temp has been in the mid 70s, much too cold for these animals. I have noticed that all corals have been closing up, bleaching or dying. We kept raising the temp on the tank but something was severely wrong!

Last night, after watching the digital thermometer hover around 77?, J.D. said, "Go get another thermometer. I want to check something." I got another digital and a regular glass, which both read 88?!!! No wonder everything was dying.

You can invest in thousands of dollars of equipment, buy top of the line items, and still lose your tank over something like an inaccurate thermometer!! I am so upset over this. We are now slowly lowering the temp and hope that we won't lose the entire tank. We're also running TWO thermometers now.

Just a warning to everyone so this can be prevented. :cry1

Here's a great example of a dying, bleached brain coral:

bleached.jpg

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While I have no experience with coral other than trying to dig through it in my yard or stepping on it, I can understand your frustration at being thwarted by a 1.98 piece of equipment. I think Murphy paid you a unwelcomed visit. I hope your tank recovers though.

As for the global warming thing, I have mixed emotions on it. While I understand its a potential problem, some of the information we get is just plain false. Example is flooding if the ice caps melt. Her is a simple test for you to do. Take out a drinking glass (clear) and fill it with ice. Now fill it with water and set it on the counter. Mark the level of the water and wait for the ice to melt. You will notice that the water level does not change as the ice melts.

As for Co2 levels, they did core samples at the poles and found that we are way over the Co2 levels that supposedly caused the ice age. So if thats the case why arent the glaciers carving out new lakes? Does Co2 cause an Ice Age as in "the day after tomorrow" or does it cook the earth?

Im not a scientist so all I can do is look at what the experts say on both sides and make up my own mind. And basically that is, "noone knows". We have only been tracking the weather of the Earth for less than 100 years. Yes we can look back at some markers in fossils and such and "guess" but really, we cant even predict acuratley when a hurricane will form, the path it will take, where a tornado will touchdown, when an earthquake will happen, a volcano erupt, etc.

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Good questions. Good things to think about. I'm not a scientist either (yet!! :) ) and I am particularly interested in the way climate and other changes affect the coral reefs. I have mixed emotions on a lot of things environmental as well, and I look forward to getting a lot of first hand information about things so I can make my own decisions.

My tank is back down to 80? and most of it is doing very well! So far it looks like we've only lost two Acropora corals. That bothers me but sometimes they die for no reason, too. We are monitoring the tank (and both thermometers!) much more closely now.

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Sorry about the coral pieces. A co-worker was telling me about their 30G and the 4g's in rock they have in it. 240 bucks for one little piece you can barely see. I can understand your frustration at the loss.

So are you currently studying for one of the sciences or something your planning later?

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That's terrible! I'm so sorry about your coral. How sad.

I know about the coral reefs collapsing. My younger brother is a marine biologist and has done a lot of research on this and other related global warming issues. The effects of the reefs dieing is going to affect so many aspects of our lives ,its all so interconnected.

Here in North Japan people are dieing in the hottest summer for 74 years. Same in Greece. Its one thing to have a freak summer, another scarier one to notice that each year has been getting steadily hotter. As the heat rises more people buy aircoolers for each room - contributing to the situation getting worse. But dieing from heat for some old people is the alternative.

This is the first year my fishes tank water has topped 30 celcius. Not sure what that is in farenheit..The other day it was 32 degrees celcius- an all time record high. I have fans on the tank, iced bottles floating and massive amount of air in there to try and lower the temps. The fish seem to be alright so far because of the extra air I suppose. Putting your hand in the tank is like putting your hand into warm tea or a warm bath.

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Sorry about your faulty thermometer. That really sucks!! I hope you caught it in time though. That's a great caution though, 2 thermostats is wonderful idea. Good luck with getting everything back to normal! I know nothing about reef tanks, but I found your post fascinating. I hope you don't lose anymore of your occupants!

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Thanks! All the survivors have been doing better each day. Reef tanks are so wonderful when everything is good, and they can frustrate you so much when something goes wrong.

I am currently working on my second bachelor's degree, this one in biology. (My first is in art, and these are my two loves!) I am hoping to someday pursue a masters in marine biology or coastal ecology, something along those lines. It's just always been a subject so near and dear to me! :)

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I think I'm going to try one of those Micro Reef Tanks. One of those deep 12G eclipse units. Even with no fish in them, they look real good.

Best of luck on the Masters when you go for it. I always wanted to study Oceanography, probably in the Marine Biology branch, but as of yet havent made the time to do it. So many other things keep grabbing my attention. I did 12 months of 8 hour work days and 5 hour classes 5 days a week and it kinda burnt me out.

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I am currently working on my second bachelor's degree, this one in biology. (

Second Bachelor's? That's awesome! My AS was enough school for me. I don't like paying back student loans. :exactly

Your major sounds like fun though, and then you can come back and post what you've learned, and teach us some more! I happen to believe in global warming, and I think it's important to educate everyone on what we can do to help our environment.

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