Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-02-2008, 03:44 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 479
Saltwater Aquarium Disaster!

I have a disaster story for my saltwater aquarium. I know a good chunk of this is my fault, and I am trying to make things right again, but am at kind of a loss.

I started this tank about 2 years ago, and for over a year everything was perfect. The corraline algae was beautiful, and everybody who visited loved looking at it. Then I had to move from one apartment into another apartment, and then started the disaster. I hadn't counted on the level of die-off that would occur even though the rock was only out of the water for about 2 hours and I did my best to keep it moist with wet newspaper. I had a serious ammonia spike which killed my shrimp and some of my snails. I was getting things back under control when my skimmer broke!

Because of the changes in my life that forced me to move, I had neither the resources to buy a new skimmer or the time to do regular maintenance. I have made 3 attempts to get the skimmer running again (full cleaning) and it will work beautifully for about 3 days and then the pump seems to lose power. If I just turn up the skim level, that will work, and then later on, the pump will go back to full force and at one point pumped over 5 gallons out the top onto the floor from the skimmer before I caught it (that was lovely). I can't trust my skimmer!

Meanwhile, the algae has literally gotten out of control. I can't figure out where the source of the problem is. There is currently now one fish in there, I feed him very lightly every couple days, and there may be a couple crabs in there crawling around in the algae. I use only reverse osmosis water purchased from my local grocery store (it's clean), have never used tap water. I try to keep my filter running, but I can't trust the skimmer, and without that running, I don't know how to solve this!

I have decided that the best thing for this aquarium is to sell it off to someone who will have the time and resources to properly care for it, but it is in absolutely no condition to sell right now! I know some will ask for water parameters, and I will try to get those online later today, but my fish is wonderfully healthy and showing no signs of stress.

I have decided I may need to invest in a new skimmer in order to get the aquarium into saleable condition, but I want to make sure I get one that will help the problem, and get me into a resolving situation, instead of just spending more money. Any suggestions? Help!

46 gallon aquarium
60 pounds live rock
live sand bed
Penguin 330 filter
Broken Coralife Super Skimmer (not sure what size, 65? sounds right)
Orbit 192-watt lighting system, lights run 10 hours a day
__________________

__________________
38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
pkremer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 04:25 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 329
Sorry to hear about that. Maybe should have kept live rock in 5 gallon buckets with tank water. whats done is done though. Why not try running without the skimmer if money is tight and save. With one fish how tremendous is the bio load, really, given you have pretty quality filtration?
__________________

__________________
mandown123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 04:26 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 329
also 10 hours seems to much when battliong algae problem for your lights
__________________
mandown123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 04:44 PM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
austinsdad's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Accokeek, Maryland
Posts: 7,694
Cut back the lighting to 6 or 8 hrs daily. Mine is on only 8 in the best of conditions. Any ambient/window light involved? That could make it worse too.

Your'e gonna have to do frequent water changes too to get it under control.

I'm really interested in your nitrates. Also, even though you're using RO water, I'd still check the tank for phosphates which is algea fuel also.

Another thing comes to mind. Could also be time to change your light bulbs. They can aid the problem also if they're old and emitting a lesser or different spectrum.
__________________
-Ray-

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance!"

austinsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
SW 20 & Over Club
 
ccCapt's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 5,362
Send a message via ICQ to ccCapt
If it's only RO water, it can still contain phosphate and silicate which will both fuel the algea. I suggest running some GFO(granular ferric oxide) and if possible test the ro water for phosphate.
__________________
/Larry
125g reef
See My Tank Info
Check out The build project
ccCapt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 09:34 PM   #6
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,242
When you moved the tank did you use the same sand? If you did the this could have been where the spike came from. I always suggest using new sand as so not to carry over the nasties from the old sand. JMO
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 09:56 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
MsBeanCtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Washington State
Posts: 926
ugh! I had the same skimmer and had nothing but fits with it.....after a year I tossed it and got something else that wasn't a fortune and REALLY works well. If you could get some rowaphos and (put it in the sock that's provided in the container it comes in) get it in the water flow that will help with the phosphates. I found out that even though I use ro/di water I still had a small amount of phosphates.....which caused algae. Keeping my lights on a shorten cycle, doing pwc of 20% a week and removing the algae when I did my pwc helped out a lot.

HTH
__________________
If you can't run with the big dogs - stay on the porch! ***Adopt a retired greyhound ***
MsBeanCtr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 11:00 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Fargo, ND
Posts: 479
Thanks for all the replies so far! I haven't checked my phosphates yet, but it's definitely possible this could be a cause. I am going to do a water change, try to pull as much algae out as I can, and try to find a way to pull the phosphates out (like was recommended). Hopefully I can make some progress on this!

Quote:
When you moved the tank did you use the same sand? If you did the this could have been where the spike came from. I always suggest using new sand as so not to carry over the nasties from the old sand. JMO
Actually, I didn't even remove the sand. I'll probably hear about what a no-no it is to move the aquarium with anything inside it, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I actually was trying to sell it, and the guy who was going to buy it backed out on me the night before I had to have the aquarium off the carpet for the carpet cleaners. I only had 3 hours to get it torn down and that was all by myself. So to make a long story short, it is definitely the same sand. The sand never moved.


Are there any skimmers that anyone would recommend?
__________________
38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
pkremer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 07:19 AM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Ziggy953's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Posts: 9,101
If you are planning on keeping this tank and keeping it running there are a few things I would change.

#1. Take a hammer to that skimmer
#2. Add a refugium/sump to the system, load it up with LR rubble and lots of Macro.
#3. Change out those bulbs and reduce your photo period by half.
#4. Check all your water params. Nitrate Nitrite Ammonia PH Phosphate and SG
#5. Do 20% PWCs every week for a few weeks. Oh and check the Nitrate and Phosphate of your source water.

Even though you didn't remove the sand and stir it up by leaving it in the tank (I assume with some water) when you moved the tank all those nasties in the sand got mixed up and were ready to jump up in your water. LR being out of water for even 30 minutes can cause die-off. Sponges and other critters in and on LR can't be out of water. All the things that happened combined created the issue you are having. I understand that sometimes you just don't have a choice and you have to do what you have to do.

Basically you are starting from scratch. As for a skimmer I would look at the Aqua-C Remora (Austinsdad has one he would love to sell you) it is a great little skimmer and will work well you your tank. The HOB filter you have you need to clean it out weekly. If there are sponges in it or media bags of some kind they need to be cleaned or changed out.

Don't give up on your tank. You can get it back and you don't have to break the bank. Check in your area for local clubs, join and ask for help from some local folks. Most of the clubs around will be more then happy to help you out.
Ziggy953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 11:01 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 89
So sorry to hear about your tank problems. I'm sure all the experts here will help you get that beautiful tank back.
__________________

__________________
fishcrack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
salt, saltwater, saltwater aquarium

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My first aquarium disaster mctypething Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 11-22-2009 09:20 PM
Saltwater disaster Help please VitalHandz Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 16 03-24-2009 02:45 AM
Aquarium disaster! telsona Member Introductions 7 03-01-2009 10:31 PM
saltwater Aquarium mike3epanda Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 6 07-15-2007 09:47 PM
aquarium disaster dgorner Saltwater Reef Aquaria 7 04-02-2006 12:32 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.