Well... I had a great 5 day vacation to Chicago, until I came home to a polluted reef tank. While I was gone, a 2" long Mandarin fish died and apparently polluted the tank. He probably died right after I left, because there wasn't much left of him by the time I pulled him out. So far, I have done four 30% water changes over the past five days.
Here are the livestock observations:
1) No other dead fish (only have five others).
2) One dead crocea clam (died three days after I got home, got him out quickly).
3) Two 80% bleached Montipora (plating).
4) Two 50% bleached Montipora (branching).
5) Toadstool coral fallen over and polyps retracted completely, although it is perking up a little now.
6) Cup coral polyps completely retracted.
7) Torch coral polyps completely retracted.
8)Six sets of Xenia severely shriveled up but still attached to the live rock.
9) Two sets of Zoo polyps completely retracted.
10) Candy canes, mushrooms, elegance coral all look just fine.
Here are the chemical observations (these are the only things that I test for since I only add B-ionic and rely on 10% weekly water changes to take care of all other trace elements):
3) Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 3 ppm
, Phos .03
4) Temp 80 degrees, SG
The tank is 11 months old and I have never experienced ANY problems until this. Could the Toadstool be releasing toxins in distress? I'm confused about the ammon, nitrite and nitrate levels being so low since the fish that died was relatively large. Perhaps it spiked quickly while I was gone... I think that this may be the case since there is a moderate amount of cyano
on the rocks (especially near the top) and I haven't had any cyano
problems since I installed a phos-ban reactor. Could something have been released from the sand bed? ( it is only 3" deep).
Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Any chance of those Montiporas coming back or should I get them out of the tank right now? I guess I'll keep doing some more water changes too.