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Old 04-10-2007, 12:33 AM   #1
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Cyano and Tank Crash

I have been away from the forums for many months, but a drastic tank crash has brought me back today.

I have been fighting cyano for a few weeks now. I finally broke down and used the Ultralife Red Slime remover. I had used this product once before with great luck. After adding this to my tank yesterday, everything seemed normal except for my skimmer creating lots of microbubbles which is expected when a chemical like that is added to the tank.

I get home from work today to find a bare tank. I couldn't find any of my fish at first. I finally saw my False Perc and blue-line goby. They both seemed fine. I finally found my other two fish, a royal gramma and a purple firefish. Unfortunately they were both dead. A lot of snails were also on the sandbed dead. My leathers were both in a closed state. Hell, even the majorno's I had been fighting also were closed up tight.

Pretty much beside the perc and the goby, the only other living creatures left were some crabs and a scarlet shrimp. All of them seemed fine and were already cleaning up the fish and snails that had died. The percula was the only fish I was able to net and transfer to a clean hospital tank. The goby and shrimp are pretty much impossible to catch because of the rock.

Besides my nitrate being at 20ppm(not perfect but not disasterous), my water parameters were all good. Amonia and nitrite were at 0, pH 8.2, alk was normal, salinity was at 1.025. I don't have a ph4 kit and since the cyano was growing, I assume it was probably a little higher than it should be.

My question is, what happened? Did the Red Slime Remover some how poison the water? Did my 02 levels drop? I can say a lot of large water bubble were coming out of the sand this evening. Did the red slime breaking down cause a lot of nitrogen gas to be release from the sand bed.

I'm going to do some major water changes every other day for a while. Especially since I have some living creatures left in the tank. I'm thinking around 20-25% each time for at least 4 PWC's if not a couple extra. I'm really nervous about when I can put my percula back in the tank. It was my first SW fish and I have become way more than attached to him than I thought I would.

Thanks in advance for any advice. I've had a very rough evening so sorry if I dragged on too long in this post.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:53 AM   #2
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Sorry for your losses

Never used Ultralife Red Slime remover or anything to fix algae. The fact that your crab and shrimp survived which are most susceptible to changes in a tank leads me to believe that the fish deaths were not related.

With the flow you have in the tank I also doubt you had an oxygen drop.

I would buy a po4 test kit to keep an eye on it since algae needs excess nutrients to feed off of. Mostly it's levels of po4 above .03 ppm that causes algae blooms. No3 plays a smaller role also but IME only if it's above 20 ppm.

Testing the tank for po4 is hard to get a reading if you already have algae since the algae consumes a lot of it giving false lower readings.

Better to test your source water for any trace. Any food (including for corals) is likely a source of po4 as well and reducing feedings and more frequent pwc will help keep it lower.

I've also used Phosban to help keep it in check which is an Iron Oxide Hydroxide product. Other products like ROWAphos and Poly-Bio-Marine Poly Filters will work.

Keep in mind since you have corals that it's important not to reduce the po4 levels too quickly since they also depend on trace amounts of it.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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Update:
First off, thanks for the advice TecWard.

While out to work today, my shrimp died and I assume that the goby didn't make it either even though I haven't found his body. The crabs are still alive and kicking.

I did a PWC after I got home of 10% of the water. If after a few more days I see that only the crabs are left and have cleaned up all the waste left over, I will remove them and put them in my hospital tank with my clown and do a couple of massive 50% water change and then a few days later do another 50% pwc.

The good news is the false perc is doing great in his little hospital tank. I haven't looked after a really small tank in a few years so checking the water parameters daily is going to be a real hassle.

Obviously something is bad wrong with my water chemistry and the massive water changes should help that. I won't put anything new in until I get a PO4 kit and can verify that along with all other levels are in check.

My question is, how about the bacteria on my live rock? Will whatever is wrong with my tank kill them off? I haven't treated with any anti-bacterial medicine that I know of unless the red slime remover has one. I understand a lot of this advice will be just speculation, I just have had no experience with this type of water problem.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by localhost
I haven't treated with any anti-bacterial medicine that I know of unless the red slime remover has one.
Since cyano is a bacteria, and your nitrifying bacteria(the stuff that converts ammonia to nitrAtes) are both bacterias, that may be your problem.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:44 AM   #5
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From what I understand, most red slime removers are simply antibiotics. Like Scott said, antibiotics *can* mess with your water chemistry, but your water chemistry doesn't seem to be too affected, unless it already worked itself out and that's why you are seeing a rise in nitrates.

Another thought is dead cyano that could have caused an ammonia spike that killed your fish... but inverts are usually more prone to ammonia spikes then fish, so I dunno.

In addition to water changes, I would also run some fresh activated carbon to help get rid of the slime remover and anything that might have gotten into the tank (just incase it's something else besides the product).

Sorry to hear about your losses.
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilishturtles

In addition to water changes, I would also run some fresh activated carbon to help get rid of the slime remover and anything that might have gotten into the tank (just incase it's something else besides the product).
I totally agree with this. Always remember that products like these are band aid solutions. They only cover the problem and dont solve the problem. Read this article on cyano.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=48
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody. I think after replacing a majority of the water I will try to recycle my tank with a cocktail shrimp and wait things out.
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Old 04-11-2007, 06:06 PM   #8
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Cyano and Tank Crash

Do you still have corals in there?
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:26 AM   #9
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Actually Boyd's Chemi-Clean is not an antibiotic but an oxodizer that does not harm your bacterial filtration. I would recommend using some Chemi Clean to rid your tank of red slime algae then start with intensive water changes and so on.

One thing to remember when using Chemi Clean is to have vigorous amounts of flow and plenty of oxygenation. I would even recommend placing a strong airstone in the tank to get the best results.
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