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.