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Old 03-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
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Angry A matter of life or death. PLEASE READ

I purchased an artificial reef from Instant Reef. I followed all their instructions re: rinsing and soaking the product. The reef was in the medium range of size they offer but filled up my 50 gal. tank. Yes. It was beautiful.

The next morning I discovered that nearly all my fish were dead. I tested the water and the NITRITES were through the roof. I mean really dark purple.

The next day I took the reef to my LFS where we put the reef in water and let it soak. Three days later, at the LFS, the owner tested the water in the container where the reef was. She didn't even get the last drop of the nitrite test into the vial before it turned deep purple, again. I've written Instant Reef a letter regarding my tragedy. I'm hoping they'll send me a prepaid return label and give me my money back.

Has anyone at AA had this experience? We need to get the word out!
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
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What did you soak the reef in?
I've never heard of this product before, but their web page says it is all inert material. A simple soaking should be enough to rinse it off before putting it in the tank.

Please let us know what Instant Reef has to say on the matter.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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Cmor: The instructions said to soak it in fresh water and that's what I did. This really is a mystery. An hour after I removed it from the tank, the water had improved. I then did a 75% water change.

On Saturday, at the LFS, I purchased replacement fish for the ones I lost and everyone is doing fine. By the way, I bought a Klein's butterfly, and he/she is doing fine. Also, a cute scooter blennie. All is well again and the water has perfect parameters again. It's amazing how stressed out my husband and I were over this. I was actuallyl thrilled when the water tested so badly at my LFS.

I forgot to mention the reef is artificial.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:37 PM   #4
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Have you contacted the company yet? I'd love to hear their reply. I can understand something happening during shipping or storage that could contaminate the reef, but a good rinse should have cleared that.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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I mailed, snail mail, a letter to Instant Reef on Monday. Sent it certified to be sure. I suppose it will take a few days to hear from them, but I'll keep you posted. This is a mystery and has to be checked. Do you think it's possible I'm the only person who has encountered this problem? Having my LFS involved, I think, gives me a better chance of resolving this tragedy.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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I just spoke to my first contact at Instant Reef. Totally not getting the response I wanted. All the fellow kept saying is, it isn't the reef. He is going to ask his boss, manager, to contact me. Doesn't look good. If they refuse to ignore my problem I'll have to spread the word myself.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:37 PM   #7
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You still have no evidence it was the reef, or that it was the manufacturer's fault. Was the artificial reef completely covered or boxed from the manufacturer?

Can you find others who have had a similar problem?
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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The reef was boxed when we got it. I spoke to the manager who was to call me back and he hasn't. Next week I'll try calling him again. My husband has notified our credit card company hoping they can stop payment. If I don't get any satisfaction I'll spread the word that this company doesn't stand behind their products. And. Yes I have proof from my lfs who also soaked it and yesterday, some 4 or 5 days later, I soaked a small piece that had broken off during shipping and voila, purple water. The company told me it has never happened before and that they guaranteed me it wasn't the coral that tainted the water. I replied that they couldn't guarantee the coral because they were in New Mexico not here to see the results. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:39 PM   #9
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cmor. I posted a note on facebook re: the instant reef problem hoping someone else has had trouble. Can you suggest a forum or link where I can reach a lot of people? Let me know..
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:47 PM   #10
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Thats a terrible tragedy. Let us know if you get your money back!
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