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Old 11-03-2020, 03:36 PM   #1
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Possible powerhead problem

Hello, everyone. So last week, I received a 2100 gph powerhead for my 55 gallon aquarium (since I hope to get corals soon), and installed it the night I received it. A lot of sand was kicked up, but the fish seemed to be getting used to it, with the exception of my purple firefish, who disappeared/hid until last night. Then yesterday, I rearranged my rocks a little bit (though not really any that the fish were living in) so I could glue them together with epoxy and make more room for corals, but that night, things took a turn for the worse. Both of my clownfish became lethargic (with one appearing to be bruised), and the bruised one was found dead this morning. In addition, the firefish was found, though he looks ready to pass on, and I haven't seen my royal gramma or yellow watchman goby come out today, and fear that they may be gone as well. In desperation, I unplugged the powerhead and am now trying to figure out what may have caused all this. Since the flow from the powerhead seemed very strong at first, could that be what caused all of this to happen? Or did my rearranging the rocks cause everything to unfold? Thanks in advance for all replies, and I appreciate any and all input.


-Diego
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Old 11-03-2020, 04:43 PM   #2
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Update: After about an hour, the ywg finally emerged from his hole, so he's alive and ok, but I don't think the royal gramma was as lucky, as I found something yellow that looks like a detached fin on the sand outside of his hole.
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Old 11-03-2020, 06:40 PM   #3
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Was the power head new or used? What brand? How olds the sand bed? Have you tested your parameters after rearranging rock? My two best guesses would be possible stray voltage or a mini cycle from disturbing the rock and sand but everything seems to have gone downhill quickly
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:12 AM   #4
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If there was stray voltage, you'd most likely get a shock. I took a couple good hits in my old 55 from a bad heater.
A bruise on a fish is telling me that something bruised it, so it got hit. Most likely from the rocks being rearranged. Maybe they settled and he got hit. But a powerhead issue is not going to bruise a fish.
A new powerhead will usually kick up sand, especially if there was not a powerhead in the system to begin with. It can take some adjusting to get things right, but in a tank that is not cycled, sand will blow around easily. The beneficial bacteria kinda makes it more 'sticky' at times, though a direct blow from a powerhead will still create a sand storm.
All in all, without being given additional information, I see an issue with parameters or an uncycled tank. Could also have been that having no powerhead was an issue in regards to CO exchange and adding it was a big shock to the whole system, in terms of changing what all is inside the water column along with what was stirred up from moving the rocks, from sand to things that cause parameter issues to spike up.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:38 PM   #5
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Yeah, I think off parameters were what most likely caused it, and I gave the tank a water change last night, and now everyone seems to be doing better. To answer previous questions, my sand bed is a little bit over a year old, and the powerhead I used was an Aqqa 2100 gph that I got brand new on Amazon. If I'm to turn the powerhead back on, maybe I should monitor the nutrient levels more closely. Thanks again for the input!


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Old 11-05-2020, 08:19 AM   #6
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If this is an established system, a powerhead should not be causing a dust storm. It just needs positioned differently. I always suggest pointing them up, simply for CO exchange but will also address sand storms.
And in terms of your parameters, you should be checking them yes...but weekly 10% water changes with ro/di water is important. I would suggest some additional water changes on top of that to get things in check, which goes for any time things are out of whack.
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Old 11-07-2020, 08:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
If this is an established system, a powerhead should not be causing a dust storm. It just needs positioned differently. I always suggest pointing them up, simply for CO exchange but will also address sand storms.
And in terms of your parameters, you should be checking them yes...but weekly 10% water changes with ro/di water is important. I would suggest some additional water changes on top of that to get things in check, which goes for any time things are out of whack.
Of course. I'll be sure to stay on top of them as usual. Sorry for the late reply!


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Old 01-21-2021, 11:15 AM   #8
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It may be the case that disturbing the substrate in that way released deadly hydrogen sulphide that poisoned the fish. If the substrate was deep this is the likely cause of the downward spiral and mortalities. Add powder from two part epoxy, if that is what you used, then the dissolved oxygen content would plummet further causing hypoxia. If it was epoxy adhesive you used, it is not inert until cured and contains toxins and irritants. Fish gills are direct contact with water. Consider that when adding anything to the water. Ask yourself if you would like to fill your lungs with that...

Fish require essential habitat and need places where they can rest. Energetically living with 0.9 percent salt internally and 3.5 percent externally puts massive pressure on fish metabolism. They need to conserve energy especially "quiet time" when the lights go out. Relentless excessive flow will severely affect fish health.

Turing flow devices off at night is a silly concept only attempted by the ill-advised. Dissolved oxygen concentrations are lower at night. Hence the lower pH. The whole life support system can collapse. Create hiding places and areas within the tank with low water movement.

Don't disturb sand beds, better still remove them entirely.
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