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Old 12-06-2003, 04:18 AM   #1
Nok
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Need help diagnosing recurring problem!

About 6 months ago, I lost all of my fish in my 55 gal fish/reef tank that had been set up for awhile. The fish that were in it were all extremely hardy and had been in the tank for several months with no problems. I had looked at my tank that day and everything was fine. Within only about 4 hrs from last looking at it, everything was dead and the tank was real cloudy. I never figured out what caused it and had not done anything new to the tank before they died. The corals and a brittle star survived.

The tank was drained and set back up and had been sitting for a couple of months with no fish, just the corals, star and live rock. During this time, I've had a LARGE increase in bristle worms. I'd seen them before but not as many as I had now and the majority of them were now staying out in the light huddled up on two adjoining live rocks. A few days ago I added a damsel to see how did in the tank. I also added some Salwater BioZyme (cant remember if I did this last time). I watched for a few days and everything was ok so I decided to get a hogfish to help take care of the worm problem. When I came in with the new hogfish, the tank looked like the botttom had been disturbed as I noticed it was a little cloudy with what looked like some grains of the bottom sand floating around in it. It was perfectly clear when I left less than an hour ago. I added the the hogfish and after less than an hour, both the hogfish and damsel were dead. The tank was still cloudy and I still had these small things floating around in the water that I had figured would have settled. I looked at them closer and gathered a few from the water and discovered that they weren't sand grains, they were tiny worm looking bugs curled up in balls.

Does anyone know if these are bristle worm "hatchlings" or something else and could they kill off a tank like this?? Or has anyone experienced anything like this before??
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:12 AM   #2
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First off how long was the tank setup prior to adding any fish??? Also tell us a bit about your care routine.. Bimonthly water changes weekly testing ect.. What kind of water are you using ro/di, ro, Tap.. Also what salinity are you running your tank at??? What brand of salt are you using.. When you test your tank what are your normal levels??? Also a bit more information about your tank.. Lighting, skimmer, filter, ect... The bristle worms will have nothing to do with your dead fish.. you might want to look over some of the articles that we have posted on the site about fishless cycling and such.. They are very helpful.. Also what additives were you or are you adding to the tank besides the bio-zyme.. FWIW I wouldnt even try the Bio-Zyme its just an easy way to make money and I have never found it to work IMO.. BTW welcome to AquariumAdvice you will find that there are many helpful and knowledgable ppl on this forum..

HTH<
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Old 12-06-2003, 06:12 AM   #3
Nok
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The tanks been up and running again for three months. The levels in the tank have been fine and everything has been doing great in it until last night. I don't know what those were for certain other than they looked like curled up worms but the tank looked like one of those glass snow scene balls after they're just shook up with all that stuff floating around in it and the water became real cloudy. It was all over the place. It's finally settled but the water is still cloudy. This all happened within an hours time while I was gone. I haven't checked inside the filter yet but whatever those were floating around looked like they were dumped in or propelled out from the filter. ...The filter is a Fluval that sits underneath the stand.
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Old 12-06-2003, 07:13 AM   #4
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Opened the filter up.....bristle worms literally in the hundreds
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Old 12-06-2003, 08:45 AM   #5
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unless they all died and produced an ammonia spike, i still dont think the worms had anything to do with your dead fish.
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:41 AM   #6
Nok
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The ammonia level after this incident was .25 Don't know if thats enough to kill everything but it's always been at 0 when I check it. Everything else was normal.
To be more exact, I've found that they're Fireworms. The ones in the filter were alive but aren't anymore. Although there's still several in the tank.
I can't think of any other reason why the fish would have died. It's the second time I've seen this large "hatching" (didn't realize what it was the 1st time it happened) and all the fish in the tank have died at the same time it happens.

The corals are also bothered by whatever it is but it doesn't kill them. All of the mushrooms and polyps withdrew and started looking bad when it happened but have now opened back up.
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Old 12-06-2003, 07:46 PM   #7
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Are you using any cleaners around the tank? Can you take any pic's? What is your salinity in the tank? Have you added any other chemicals to the tank?

kaye
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Old 12-06-2003, 11:50 PM   #8
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.25 ammonia is pretty high for a reef. althoough i would have expected it to affect the corals first
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Old 12-07-2003, 12:42 AM   #9
Nok
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No cleaners and had not added anything to the tank other than the BioZyme prior to the loss. Salinity is at .021 where I've always kept it. The tank is still cloudy. The mushrooms and polyps are still alive and have started opening back up but still look weak.

I don't have a clue.
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