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Old 02-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #1
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My Tank Crashed ?

The other day i went to the lfs to get premixed water for a pwc. I got 5# of LR also. I put the cured rock and the water into my tank and turned off the lights for the night. The next day my tank was cloudy and the corals(2) were not open. I checked the water parameters and all checked out great, so i figured in a couple days when the water cleared it would be ok. I did feed everything though. Yesterday nothing changed so i checked my water again, and again it was ok. Now i am worried, so i take some water to the lfs and they checked it,it checked good. I checked it for copper, and it showed "0", so i checked the alkilinity, it read blue(or it looked blue)I dont know much about alkilinity but read reefs like between 120-300ppm as a buffer, which should read green(darker green) Mine looked blue not green. Can you have to much alkiline? Anyway that was the only thing i found suspect, then i remembered the lady at the lfs gave me a empty stress coat 5gal. jug to put my water in and put my water in that instead of my 1 gal. water jugs. That draws a flag. Anyway, today nothing changed in my tank, so i went to the store and got RODI water, mixed in the salt, and took 5 gal. of water out of my tank. While checking my Rodi water i noticed all my fish(2 damsel,1 lawnmower blenny), and my pepermint shrimp were all swimming at the top of my tank almost trying to jump out. Aftrer a couple minutes they slowly fell onto their sides and fell to the tank.Looked like they all died.. I got the damsels out of the tank and put them in some left over fresh water, and went searching for the blenny. I foudn him laying upside down on a rock. I also found a bunch of copipods and/or amphipods laying all over the place. While trying to get the blenny i realized he was not dead yet, so i added my new water and a gal. of premixed water with stress coat. After a couple of min. my blenny went right side up, he was breathing heavy but right side up. My shrimp did the same thing, and my crabs started moving around. I checked the damsels and they were still breathing so i quarentined them in my tank incase they dont make it. Just checked on them, there still sitting there. Any ideas or suggestions on what else to do and check ?
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:39 PM   #2
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Please post all of your parameters:
Tank size?
How long has it been set up?
What livestock are in the tank?
What do you use for filtration?
How often do you do a PWC?
What % of tank volume do you change?
What the actual readings for your water parameters?
pH?
temp?
Ammonia?
Nitrite?
Nitrate?
Calcium?
Magnesium?
Do you add anything (trace elements or chemicals) to the tank?
Did you let the new mix sit for 24 hours or did you just mix and dump it in the tank?
Did you match the temp and SG of the new water to the tank?

These are considered normal parameters (Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate being 0).
pH 8.0 - 8.3
SG 1.022 - 1.025
Alk 1.5 - 3 meq/L (NSW) or 7 - 12 dKH or 125 - 200 ppm CaCO3 equivalents
Calcium: (Ca) 380 – 450 ppm calcium ion or 950 - 1125 ppm CaCO3 equivalents
Mg 1000-1500 (3x the Ca level)
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:53 PM   #3
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Assuming you had 5g of water in an empty Stress Coat container, seems it would have been so watered down/dilluted. Not familiaer with stress coat, but can't imagine that being enuf to create a problem. Soap or anything possible?

How big is the tank? If large enuf, also seems 5 lbs of rock may not have been enuf to foul water overnight.

I'd also mix newly made water at least overnight.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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I dont know the calcium, dont know the magnesium either, no trace elements of any kind , it appears my alk. is around 300ppm,SG 1.023,PH8.2,ammonia 0,nitrites 0,nitrates 0, water temp 76dg., yes i just dumped the new water in my tank, i know thats wrong but all i had ready was lfs water which is at this point suspect, and i needed fresh water bad. I have a 45 gal. hex. 2 months old, just finished cycling last week. I have been doing 20% pwc every two weeks. I have a canister filter for now(checking int maybe a sump). Livestock i had 2 yellow tail damsels(6 weeks),1 lawn mower blenny(5 weeks),1 pepermint shrimp(5 weeks), and 9 red and blue hermit crabs(6 weeks), I also had green star polps, and zoanthids(both 4 weeks). I think there all about dead now except the blenny. I had a green tip bubble anenomy but at your alls advice i took that back to the lfs. Any ideas becouse i am so stumped as to what went wrong. Everything was perfect right before this. Last week all my brown algae dissapeared and my water parameters were the best they have ever been, and when i took the anenomy back i put him in a container with 6 gal. of my water, then i bought 7 gal. of their premix water and acouple lbs. of live rock. I put all that into my tank and WHAM !!! By the way i also have 50 lbs. of LR and 40 lbs of LS.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by austinsdad View Post
Assuming you had 5g of water in an empty Stress Coat container, seems it would have been so watered down/dilluted. Not familiaer with stress coat, but can't imagine that being enuf to create a problem. Soap or anything possible?
That assumes that the container last contained Stress Coat! Who knows what was in that container. Maybe it was the container they used to put bleach in to disinfect stuff.

From the sounds of it, sounds like that batch of water from the LFS is the big suspect. I'm thinking you'll never really know what happened, but at this point all you can do is daily water changes to dilute whatever got into your tank. 20% daily is probably a good starting point, as well as running a bunch of carbon in your cannister filter.

[Edit: In rereading your post, I'm confused... you say your tank just cycled last week, and is only 2 months old. But yet you list livestock as being around for 5 weeks and zoas around for 4 weeks. Did you have all that stuff in your tank while it was cycling?]
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:54 AM   #6
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ok this is just my 2 cents...

"yes i just dumped the new water in my tank"

yes, i think you know its not good to add a fresh batch of premix saltwater to the tank. should always give a new batch 24hrs to set up and get plently of air. i have to admit when i first started in the hobbie i did this also. no biggie, but should think twice befor doing it.


"I have a 45 gal. hex. 2 months old, just finished cycling last week. I have been doing 20% pwc every two weeks. I have a canister filter for now(checking int maybe a sump). Livestock i had 2 yellow tail damsels(6 weeks),1 lawn mower blenny(5 weeks),1 pepermint shrimp(5 weeks), and 9 red and blue hermit crabs(6 weeks), I also had green star polps, and zoanthids(both 4 weeks). I think there all about dead now except the blenny. I had a green tip bubble anenomy but at your alls advice i took that back to the lfs. Any ideas becouse i am so stumped as to what went wrong."

sounds to me that the tank was finishing up its cycle. from my experience all my tanks took about 2 months to fully cycle and on my 55g it took close to 3 months. i dont know if you know how a cycle works, but theres alot of good links on this site that does a great job explaining it. but i think for sure your bio load was way to much for a tank so new. not to mention if u added the anenomy to the tank and by chance he got a little stressed out he could have released some toxic defences or into the water and its all down hill from there with out the proper steps to fix it.

you said you had a PH of 8.2 at 2 months old. thats great but i have never been able to do that. in fact my tank and all my tanks have never been 8.2. its always been more of a 7.9. the reason why i say this is it takes a insane amount of time for a tank to fully mature, only then the tank will start to flaten out with closer reading to 8.2.

my suggestion to you is back off a bit, look at what ya got and work from there. if ya have any fssh left keep them QT for a few more weeks. do PWC every few days on the main tank and get things back to normal. you bioload is still weak. i dont think you lost it. it just needs time to grow. in a few weeks add 2 of your fish in the tank. and some snails and hermits. wait a 2 months and then add another fish or even a small low lighting coral ( light depending)

only thing to get out a rushing a SW tank is a broke bank account. i learned the hard way also. LOL keep the faith up and read as mush as you can. dont worrie about all those water spec like cal. mag. redox, copper, alk, no need for that. just purchess a good qulity salt mix and that should do ya for a FOWLR then later down the road when ya get into those hard corals thenh you worrie about those. a good salt mix will replentish any trace elements you are lacking and should keep buffers to a good level. NEVER add any thing to you tank that u cant take out or test for. watch adding PH or Alk buffers cause then tend to make the PH rise very very quickly and then after a few hrs it drops back to your normal reading. this causes alot of stress to your fish and inverts. then you have to QT and hey who likes to QT fish? lol

dont give up and Read read read!
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:23 PM   #7
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Thanks again for your advice. Everything died, and my tank is cloudier than ever. Dont know why the ph was abnormally normal, but i test it two different ways and both check the same. Read the LS helps this. I had all that stuff in my tank while cycling. Not a good idea. So i am starting over, and reading more and more, all the while not putting anything into my tank for acouple months except more LR. I got my new lighting, 265 watts of 10000k and actinic lights. That should be nice.
Since everything died so mysteriously( i still suspect the container from the lfs)can it hurt my rock? I have crustations(dead) everywhere, and i wonder if my rock could have absorbed any of what ever got in. I would hate to keep adding rock to an infected tank. Any thoughts on that? Thanks again
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:30 PM   #8
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If it was something in the lfs water then it is in your LR. Dilution is the cure to pollution. Mix up a tank full of salt water, drain the tank and replace it with fresh mix. Use the fishless method to cycle the tank (see the articles area) and the tank cycle over a month or two. Then add one fish when you know the cycle is complete. You should QT the fish at home for a month before adding it to the tank. At that point you can buy a 2nd fish and put it in QT for a month while the first one is in the hex tank.

A lawnmower blenny will starve in your tank. The do not seem to do well once the hair algea is gone.

To be extra safe you can pull the rock and start the cycle with new uncured rock. Use half or more base rock and a few pieces of uncured LR.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:17 AM   #9
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i would not think anything is wrong with your rock. if your LFS is a good one and seem to do alot of business i would not think they would do somthing to harm your tank. even if there was somthing in your water u got just keep doing PWC over the next months and slowy get back on track. just cause everythings died in your tank dont mean the benifital bac. died as well.

i my self am going through a similar problem with a old tank of mine. just a short over view of my problem. tank was not cleaned for almost 4-5 months no water changes. hair alage everywhere! a few things have died and have been seting on the bottom of the tank for months. but with with water changes ever 3 days and the proper feeding of my current fish i will have it back up and running in a few months.

do a 50% water change now and then follow that up with a 10% PWC every week there after till the tanks back in good shape. i have found using distilled water from walmart or foodlion works great. just be sure to pre mix 24hrs in advance. keep temp in the same range or as close as you can. and be sure to add a pinch or 2 of flake food to your tank every few days so the benifitical bac. has something to eat as well. with no food it wont grow. dont have to be much. if your cycle is not complete you will see your ammo rise. then you know where you stand from there. need to let it cycle till you have no ammo or nitrites and your nitrates are within 10-20ppm's

again slow and steady is the key.
good luck
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:16 PM   #10
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if your LFS is a good one and seem to do alot of business i would not think they would do somthing to harm your tank.
Not intentionally, but I can see where a mixup could happen when someone thinks a container is "empty", or assumes they knew the last thing in it. Especially in a fish store, where you have some very knowledgable people mixed with some very low paid, not-so-knowledgable people.
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