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Old 12-30-2009, 02:52 PM   #1
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Lava Rock removed... What do I do now...

OK, third question since yesterday... Just tryin to figure out my problem here...

Before starting out my 10g nano last month, I researched every site I could find regarding lava rock and salt water aquariums... Even asked several different LFSes in my area. I got more "go aheads" than I got "don't do it" so I decided that I was going to give it a shot since I had two huge chunks of it. I thought I would use it as base rock in addition to my 15+ lbs. of live rock...

Fast forward to today. Corals aren't doing so well... not dying, but not all opening up either... Inverts keep dying on me and I haven't done fish yet. (And won't try for a while til I get this settled...)

No ammonia and trites, no test for trates but I'm sure that's part of my problem as is phosphates... pH is fine, salinity is about 1.024. Lights are 3wpg using 1 actinic and 1 50/50... 170gph PH... 78-80 degrees... Also running a filter with no carbon. Aside for the high excess nutrient problem I'm in the process of fixing (was using dechlor tap but PWC today with RO, added chaeto last night as well), the lava rock is the one and only thing I know of that can cause these issues for me...

Question is, I took out the rocks last night... What else can I do to ensure that if they did leech anything in my tank that it is removed besides PWCs? I heard things can leech into your glass, but how much can it have affected my tank after 1 month? Basically... where do I go from now?
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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My first question is did you cycle the tank? I`m not a big fan of Lava rock as I`ve heard it will put certain heavy metals in the tank. You`ll need to replace the rock you took out. I`m not convinced the lava rock is what`s causing the problem though. Remember that smaller water volume is less forgiving with problems and mistakes. You`ll need to stay on top of it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:20 PM   #3
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Yes, tank was cycled within the first two weeks, then coral was added then. I'm not sure at all if it's the problem, but I'm just trying to solve everything that it might possibly be... I've gone ahead and changed 20% water last night using RO water and trying to slowly get the original tap water out... will be doing another 20% this weekend, added a handful of chaeto, siphoned out some algae that I thought may be irritating my zoas... The one thing I haven't done yet is a dip... I'll be doing that tonight after I purchase some Lugol's... Back to the lava rock... You don't think it has anything to do with the invert deaths? I've read in a few places that it may leech copper out... that's why I was attributing my snails/crab deaths to it and decided to take it out and try to remove as much trace as I can... Heard about entire tanks dying from very little copper... Since snails/crabs are supposed to be more sensitive to it, it fit my scenario. (Corals aren't dying, but crabs/snails are...)
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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The best thing to do was to remove it but when you pulled it out then also out went the nitrifying bacteria that was on that rock. Your bioload might cause another cycle with the smaller amount of nitrifying bacteria. That`s why I would get some more rock in there as soon as you can.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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Will do. I did replace with a tiny bit... But not near how much I took out... Will get more rock today. Thanks...
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