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Old 03-16-2010, 01:40 PM   #1
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Tragic Loss due to changing filter media

I Made the mistake of changing both filter media out at the same time in my tank which sent the biological filter skyrocketing toward disaster. I then had a huge algae spike, tested the water everything seemed fine, but then left for work. With in a matter of hours i got home EVERY fish i had was dead, nem was dying, along with the snails and starfish. I tried to save the nem by getting it out of the water and putting it into new water but just couldnt find water stable enough for the nem. Everything died. I changed out 60% of the water and replaced it, treated it, but i cant seem to stop the algae from comming back. What has been everyones experience with this ? what should i be doing so i can get my tank back up and running to get fish back in it and NOT MAKE THE SAME FILTER MISTAKE I DID THE FIRST TIME!?
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #2
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PH Levels dropped, ammonia levels rose, so after changing the water i treated with PH Buffer and SeaChem Prime.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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Do you not have LR in the tank. With suffiecent amount it should have taken care of any ammonia in the tank.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:43 AM   #4
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you have been having algae and Ph problems for a while. What type of water are you using for your SW? what is the Ph before you add salt? how much of a water change did you do right before everything crashed? was there something else dead that caused the ammonia spike? did you stir up your sand?
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:10 AM   #5
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First let me say I'm sorry to hear about your losses.
Now would be a good time to take a breath and analyze your prior experiences with this tank. Some large PWC's are in order. Take the time to solve your algae problems before buying more livestock. Stop dosing anything and learn to keep the levels normal with just water changes.

First get the tank under control. That may mean cutting off the lights to eliminate the algae. Consider adding more live rock, a sump with macro algae, removing the other filters, etc.

Take some time to re-cycle your tank and take a fresh start. Get a RODI and use only RODI water for all water changes and top off. Think about the foods you use and what they add (PO4) and learn to eliminate the bad.

Just slow it down, take your time and you can have a successful tank.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #6
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Wow cmor1701d, GREAT advice, thank you so much. All i have no is a HOB Filter, and a few pieces of LR in the 55G. Do you recommend a SUMP ,new filter, with Overflow tank, etc. setup over anything else? Then just salts or w/e i need to in the filter tank? I didnt go that route because i was worried about power outages that happen frequently making the water siphon back into the tank and overflow onto the floor. It sounds like everyone that has the SUMP and TANK filter system with RODI has a more successfull tank than just an in tank filter/skimmer?
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:07 PM   #7
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I would start with at least 1 to 2 lbs of LR in the tank. This will provide the needed nitrifying bacteria needed for good biological filtration. Also a good PH to push the water around so the bacteria can help to remove the ammonia and nitrites. This would be a good start.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:29 PM   #8
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Wow....I'm sorry for your losses.

To go along with what was said above... If you can't do a sump, I would make sure you have a good skimmer and do atleast once weekly water changes....10-20% depending on the bioload you will have in the tank. If you get algae again, increase the amount/and or frequency of water changes. Now is a great time to try to figure out the cause of the algae.

How many watts of light did you have over the tank and for how long? How often did you feed? Any idea what your nitrates were/are? Those answers might help find the cause of the algae.

I have had just about every algae in my reef and am just now starting to win a battle with hair algae, so I know how frustrating it can be. Don't give up and fight to win.

I believe in powerheads and water movement....I'd have 1 on each end, since its a 4ft tank. Make sure you have few (or no) dead spots.

And just so you don't get confused, melosu means 1-2lbs of live rock per gallon. The more the merrier!
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:27 AM   #9
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A sump is a nice to have but not a must have (though personally I would not have a tank without one unless it was a nano). There's no reason to fear flooding with a decent overdlow box. It just can't happen due to the design.
Same thing for for a skimmer.
I believe a RODI is a must have item as it just eliminates so many potential problems.
As others have stated, a power head (ore 3-4) are also necessary for good water flow and to keep some of the detritus in the water column where it can be removed by filtration (cannister, hob, sump/skimmer, etc.)
Partial water changes can make up for a lot. Done often enough (10% each and every week) along with a feeding schedule of just once every other day and a lighting schedule based on livestock can go a long way to helping you have a succesful tank.

Hope that helps
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