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Old 08-23-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
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Angry Tank Crashed!

This is my first post, unfortunately with bad news. It looks like I've killed everything in my 29 gal Bio CUbe after making a water change. I've always had problems regulating pH after water changes, and have been reluctant to make them, as the tank was doing great if I just added water as the level got a litle low. But the sand was getting dirty and I wanted to make a regular water change. I changed out 4 gal, and the pH got low 7.4, so I added some pH buffer and a small amount of baking soda. The water immediately got very cloudy (white), and the next day everything started dying. 24 hrs later the water is still white. I've taken out all the dead stuff I can find.

Wondering if I need to totally start over, or if any of the items in the tank (live sand, live rock, coal, etc.) can be reused.

Also wondering if I let the new water sit long enough after dechlorinating, I thought the chemicals work inmediately. I usually use Amquel, which worked well, but this time used AmmoBuster. The info on the bottle is not good, does it not work as quickly?

1.026 salinity
0 nitrates/nitrites
pH still 7.4
0 ammonia

Any advice????

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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How old is your tank? Do you use RO water? What was in your tank as far as animals. How deep is your sand?

Happy Reefing,
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:14 PM   #3
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Just too many chemicals for a small tank. My suggestion would be to use RO/DI water instead of tap water. Read this


I work for a large water municipality so I know what goes in there to make water safe for us humans but bad for our SW tanks. Then with added chems like dechlorinator and ammo lock it can only go south. I dont think you have to start over but I would not add anything else till you get your water quality under control. Did you cycle the tank? Read our article about SW cycling in our articles section.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:01 AM   #4
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What salt are you using? Also, how are you testing your pH?

7.4 for pH is really amazingly low, with any brand of salt - even bad stuff. I would guess your test kit/method is off. Normally, when you add a buffer, you'll see some cloudiness in the water which will go away quickly. The cloudiness are areas of locally high pH, and the buffer can't dissolve in those areas. Once it starts circulating around the tank, it dissolves. More or less. Since you are looking at a cloudy tank a day after adding buffer, I'd guess you added too much and your pH is actually high.

The other option is the water treatment you used, as you mentioned. I'm not familiar with either brand, so I can't really comment on that.

Whatever the reason for the crash, your sand and rock should still be OK.

You say you've had problems regulating pH during/after water changes. If you premix and store saltwater in preparation for your water change, the pH of the incoming water should match the pH of your tank.
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tan, tank crash

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