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Old 02-06-2006, 09:22 PM   #1
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Worst crash ever!!! Kinda long.

Came home to a cloudy tank and most of our fish dead. Apparently, at least I think this is what happened, one of the damsels got into the intake on a powerhead and got shredded. Then the whole tank started to die from ammonia. We lost: yellow tang, naso tang, 3 damsels, mandarin (2yrs old), bicolor blenny, and lawnmower blenny. Had to break down the whole tank except the sand and start fresh. I didn't realize what had caused it only that all the fish that were left were gasping at the surface and the urchins and serpent star appeared to be dead. After I moved everyone to fresh saltwater the urchins and star revived and the fish appear to be alright. It's now back up and running and I'm watching diligently to see if any of the anemones or corals seem to be deteriorating so I can scoop them out. I still have measurable ammonia and have added about 2 cups of fresh carbon into the filter. I'm going to have another 20 gallons of water to change out tomorrow night but I already changed about 60 gallons today and still have measurable ammonia. I guess the urchins knocked off the strainer that is usually on the impeller. Both covers were floating around and the impeller was stopped up with what I can only guess is a dead damsel. Please everyone think about putting a dab of silicone on these strainers to keep them attached.
This really sucks and I'm pretty sure we will lose some of the inverts due to the ammonia and the shock of the water change. You win some you lose some. But my poor babies. Sorry this is so long. My husband is out of country and won't find this out till he gets home. Thank God my daughter came over to help me haul the buckets and dip out dead bodies.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:25 PM   #2
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That stinks. I do not think a damsel rotting in a 90 gal could do that much damage that fast. I would still keep my eyes open for a cause. Do you have any amquel, stressguard etc. that will detox the NH3?
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:29 PM   #3
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No but that will be my next stop. I think Pet smart is still open I'll run in and get some amquel I know it works. Thanks Brenden. I'm so stressed I didn't even think of a chemical way to detox it.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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sorry to hear that
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:47 PM   #5
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Yeah, sorry to hear that also. Hope I never experiance that.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:58 PM   #6
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:23 PM   #7
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Ok the amquel is in and the bottle says I can dose again in 24 hours. I also bought another canister of carbon. With this much junk will the carbon absorb faster or will the 2 cups I added today be good for a few weeks? I have plenty but won't waste it if it will only absorb so much so fast. Can anyone tell me what this kind of crash will do to the bacteria and/or the copepod population?
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:24 PM   #8
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My fish bio load has now been cut in half so I hope the bacteria aren't dead too.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:28 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your losses. I don't know that a single fish dying would cause that large a spike so quickly. A 90 gallon tank with 200# of LR should be able to absorb most of the added load, but I'm just guessing here. What about your clean up crew. Were any snails, shrimp, hermits, etc at work on the dead fish?
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:01 AM   #10
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I have appx 50 snails, crabs, and serpent star. The prob is the fish was shredded and dispersed, then as each of the other fish died the ammonia dominoed the effect till it was through the roof. A total of 8 fish died in appx 10 hours I was at work. I left only 3 or 4 inches of the original water and the rest was fresh made. I have appx .50 ammonia still. And there is a fine silt on the top of the sand bed. Never had that before either. I'll have to vac that tomorrow when I do the next water change. It's very strange. As I said this is my best guess at what happened. My daughter says she heard a weird noise after lights out last night. Says it was kind of like a blender coming from the tank. Then when she left this morning it was already kind of getting cloudy looking but she doesnt' know anything about them so didn't know there was a problem. Any ideas about the bacteria dying or the pods dying?
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