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Old 07-16-2014, 12:18 AM   #1
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Almost full tank crash

Hey guys. Now that I'm over the devastation of losing almost all my tank I want answers.

My 2 clowns and yellow eyed kole tang died. I left for one day, came home to them dead. Tested the water and everything was normal except ammonia was at .06. But with three dead fish that's expected. The hippo survived whatever happened. No power outage, they didn't seem sick, hippo is fine now, royal gramma is awal (May just be hiding), temp was good, skimmers still skimming, lights are on a timer... What could have happened?!?!


40 gallon cichlid tank;
Pseudotropheus socolofi (albino) x 1
Labidochromis caeruleus
x 1
Metriaclima greshakei x 2
Amatitlania nigrofasciata x 20
Pseudotropheus crabro x 1
6" pleco x 1

120 gallon saltwater
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
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Tank size? Age? All parameters?
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:39 AM   #3
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120 gallon DT, 50 gallon sump. Roughly 3 months old. And I don't remember the ph exactly (but it was good) ammonia was 0.06, nitrate was 0, nitrate was 5, ph was 7-8ish (I think...should of written it down, I was just upset).


40 gallon cichlid tank;
Pseudotropheus socolofi (albino) x 1
Labidochromis caeruleus
x 1
Metriaclima greshakei x 2
Amatitlania nigrofasciata x 20
Pseudotropheus crabro x 1
6" pleco x 1

120 gallon saltwater
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:41 AM   #4
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Sounds like the task had not been cycled

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Old 07-16-2014, 10:59 AM   #5
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I cycled it with a dead fish from the grocery store for about.a month. I did it exactly right, ammonia spiked to unreadable levels then dropped, nitrite spiked to unreadable levels then dropped, then I did a huge water change to get my nitrates down... I also tested the water when adding fish, and it never spiked. So I'm almost 100% my tank was cycled. I even had a diatom bloom which happens in freshly cycled tanks. The diatoms are gone now. The hermits are okay, the snails are fine, and my corals growing like a weed.... I also use ro/di water from the store (TDS is 3, it's the lowest I've been able to find...)


40 gallon cichlid tank;
Pseudotropheus socolofi (albino) x 1
Labidochromis caeruleus
x 1
Metriaclima greshakei x 2
Amatitlania nigrofasciata x 20
Pseudotropheus crabro x 1
6" pleco x 1

120 gallon saltwater
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:16 AM   #6
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Sounds like the task had not been cycled

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The ammonia spike is likely from the dead fish and the BB in the tank not being able to handle the ammonia produced from them decaying.

About the only thing I know of that does this regularly aside form a huge ammonia spike which would have an accompanying nitrate spike as well is Velvet. It's a common tank wiper.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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If it was velvet how do I stop it now? I have a hippo in the tank, and because of his HLLE that's just getting better I really don't want to treat with chemicals, this happened over a week ago, and he is fine. Is it safe to say the velvet didn't get a host and died?... I really want to add more fish, but I want to solve this problem first. I was devastated when they died


40 gallon cichlid tank;
Pseudotropheus socolofi (albino) x 1
Labidochromis caeruleus
x 1
Metriaclima greshakei x 2
Amatitlania nigrofasciata x 20
Pseudotropheus crabro x 1
6" pleco x 1

120 gallon saltwater
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:43 AM   #8
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Check out this link for treatment. Sadly, there aren't really any treatments for a reef tank other than an 8 week + fallow period.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:07 PM   #9
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If it is velvet, I'm very sorry.
I just went through that. It's the one disease I wish on nobody.

The fallow period is the only way for a reef.
You will need to remove the fish ASAP, and put them in QT. Treat them with copper in QT to kill of the disease.
Then raise your DT temperature, to I believe 84 and wait.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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All I have for coral is a frag of yellow polyps. He can move to the qt though... I don't have a tank big enough for the 6+ inch hippo though.... It's just getting over HLLE and putting it in something to small and not cycled is just going to stress him even more... Ughhhh! If he doesn't have it yet though will he get it? Can he just tough it out the 8 weeks? Or will that cause it not to go away? He has no marks or anything on him, and has actually improved dramatically since the other fish aren't in there (maybe they were stressing him). I'm going to have my hands full if he survives this and I add new fish... A 6" hippo who thinks he owns the tank sigh. I just don't know what to do...


40 gallon cichlid tank;
Pseudotropheus socolofi (albino) x 1
Labidochromis caeruleus
x 1
Metriaclima greshakei x 2
Amatitlania nigrofasciata x 20
Pseudotropheus crabro x 1
6" pleco x 1

120 gallon saltwater
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:50 PM   #11
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It's a tough call. The velvet will not go away if there are still fish in the tank though. You could try to pull the rock and substrate and treat the tank with copper. It might be advisable to run a filter through a fishless cycle to help control ammonia if you go that route. But there's not really an easy way to do it.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:08 PM   #12
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Is velvet like ich where it'll only effect stressed or ill fish usually?


40 gallon cichlid tank;
Pseudotropheus socolofi (albino) x 1
Labidochromis caeruleus
x 1
Metriaclima greshakei x 2
Amatitlania nigrofasciata x 20
Pseudotropheus crabro x 1
6" pleco x 1

120 gallon saltwater
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:02 PM   #13
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Fish can resist it, but its way way way worse than ich. It's definitely not something I would let be and hope for the best with.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:43 PM   #14
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Almost full tank crash

Sorry for stepping in late, but what makes you certain it was Velvet? My experience with MV is that it wipes out everything and it does so very fast. I would be surprised that a Tang would survive, as they tend to do poorly against most ailments. I'm just not sure I would assume it was Velvet without any signs other than fish died rapidly. Were any of these fish new additions?

If it was MV, then it will not just disappear. It is in there as long as the tank has fish. Fallow DT and treating the survivors is the only true solution.


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Old 07-16-2014, 07:01 PM   #15
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Please ignore this post if you feel it to be irrelevant, you say you were gone for a day? A work day or overnighter? Could someone have exposed the tank or sump? Cleaning personnel?

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Old 07-16-2014, 07:23 PM   #16
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Sorry for stepping in late, but what makes you certain it was Velvet? My experience with MV is that it wipes out everything and it does so very fast. I would be surprised that a Tang would survive, as they tend to do poorly against most ailments. I'm just not sure I would assume it was Velvet without any signs other than fish died rapidly. Were any of these fish new additions?

If it was MV, then it will not just disappear. It is in there as long as the tank has fish. Fallow DT and treating the survivors is the only true solution.


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Well, then what was it? Exposure to toxins from an outside source would kill everything including the coral, ich would be very very visible, Bacterial is a possibility but it's very rare that a bacterial infection would act this fast on 2 different fish at the same time, it definitely wasn't fungal, Internal parasites wouldn't kill 2 fish in this quickly of a period of time without outward symptoms, and other external parasites are more visible. Please, if you disagree that it's something offer some other ideas as to what it might be.
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:28 PM   #17
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Well, then what was it? Exposure to toxins from an outside source would kill everything including the coral, ich would be very very visible, Bacterial is a possibility but it's very rare that a bacterial infection would act this fast on 2 different fish at the same time, it definitely wasn't fungal, Internal parasites wouldn't kill 2 fish in this quickly of a period of time without outward symptoms, and other external parasites are more visible. Please, if you disagree that it's something offer some other ideas as to what it might be.


All joking aside, did the fish appear to have a whiteish coating at all? That would definitely prove it is velvet


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Old 07-16-2014, 10:59 PM   #18
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I agree with Todd on this one. MV would've definitely wiped out everybody. my tank went through a velvet outbreak about a year ago and wiped out all my fish in about 2 days. Very nasty stuff.

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Old 07-16-2014, 11:14 PM   #19
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Just because it wiped out all of your fish definitely doesn't mean it always wipes out every fish in the tank. I just personally lost a tang and Wrasse to a veelvet outbreak while my 2 clowns, coral beauty, pink spot goby, and starry blenny are still alive and well.


Again, if you don't think its velvet I would love to hear some other suggestions.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:18 AM   #20
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Just because it wiped out all of your fish definitely doesn't mean it always wipes out every fish in the tank. I just personally lost a tang and Wrasse to a veelvet outbreak while my 2 clowns, coral beauty, pink spot goby, and starry blenny are still alive and well.


Again, if you don't think its velvet I would love to hear some other suggestions.

I had velvet brake out in my tank too, and had a goby survive. Still alive and well.
Velvet IME works in weird ways.

What we really need is more info from the OP.
Did the fish have any markings?
A white covering?
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