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Old 11-10-2004, 06:41 AM   #1
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Ok, in case you didn't read my post a few days ago "Stupid anemone", I had a nice condy anemone that wandered around my tank and dissapeared. It was my 1st and I was advised he was probably looking for his place and to leave him alone. It was good advice, but turned out poorly this time.

Three days ago I noticed my corals were looking a little funky. Did a full water check and everything was 0's as normal with my normal 10ppm nitrate. I figure the anemone may be unhappy and poisoning the tank. So I put in some carbon and wait. Next day, coral looks worse, water still checks ok, small nitrate increase. Work is keeping me real busy so that's all I can manage. Last night corals look AWFUL. I do another water check and my ammonia has spiked over 1.0. This is not good, especially considering I've never had any readable ammonia in this tank even during setup.

I start pulling apart my rock and got lucky, finding my dead anemone under the 3rd one. Apparently a clean up crew will not touch anemones. Since I have about 150lbs of rock in there, this made my day all things considered. The normal advice at this point is emergency water changes to dillute the ammonia. I at this point have no water premixed for such an event, so I'm SOL for that. Since it will take a good portion of the night just to get enough RO water to begin mixing, I decide to run a little experiment and gamble that my bio filtration (150 lbs rock, 6" sandbed in a 112 gallon tank) will step up to the challenge.

I got home from work tonight and found my corals all looked much better. Stuff that looked dead on the rock is standing as normal and all livestock, even the sensitive stuff is acting normally. A quick water check later shows ammonia and nitrite at 0, nitrate back to 10. I was expecting the ammonia to be lower, but being back to 0 is very nice. All in all, with the exception of still needing a skimmer, I think the natural route has more than proven itself in my setup. Hopefully everyone can get as favorable an outcome to a problems such as this.
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:55 PM   #2
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Absoloutly, getting that anemone out which was providing a source of ammonia was the important part. A good bio filtration should handle itself, just watch the nitrites.
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:04 PM   #3
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sorry for the loss of your anenome but i'm glad your issue was resolved. The natural route is often the way to go, but I just feel compelled to caution readers that you made out due to sheer volume of rock and substrate and the fact the ammonia source was found and removed. This route likely won't suffice on a smaller tank unless that smaller tank is supported by a reasonably sized refugium with additional LR/LS.

again, glad everything worked out.
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:07 PM   #4
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Hear Hear!
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:14 PM   #5
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Glad it all worked out!
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:13 AM   #6
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True, the amount of waste he cranked out would have likely nuked a smaller tank. And I don't think it would have recovered nearly as fast with less filtration. I'm carrying about 120-130 gallons with the sump, so again, there is the importance of water volume in keeping a tank stable. (And my friends think I'm blowing smoke when I warn them away from the 10gallon tanks) The same with sparing a few seconds to check on your tank even when you're rushed for time, the behavior of corals are a great guage on your water quality since they react so much sooner than fish.
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