I am working at a lab at Penn State where we have a large tank to keep cold water corals. This morning when I came in to feed them the water was black with charcoal dust, almost no visibility at all.
About 500 gallon tank/sump
A pump (IWAKI Magnet Pump MD-55RLT) pumps water from the sump into the X100 Filter Housing (filled with charcoal) after which it passes through the Smart UV
sterilizer. The skimmer is separately connected to the sump.
This set up has worked fine for weeks but all of a sudden it leaked the charcoal overnight. Yesterday I fed them and turned the pump on/off as I always have.
Some weeks ago there was some charcoal dust in the water, but I thought the reason was the sump had gotten too low and the pump intake wasnt fully submerged. This caused the pressure in the filter to flop around and maybe caused the dust to leak into the water. This morning the pressure in the filter was stable and at normal level.
So my questions: what could cause this? How should I fix it? (A full water change would be a giant nightmare, I can only fill about 40 gal
of water or so per day) And any ideas how hazardous this is to corals and a couple crabs?
Preemptive thanks for any advice.