Cloudy Water, Firefish Goby dead, Snail dead, All Fish swimming on top of tank

Alan Rosa

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
8
Help!

I work night shift and just came home this morning to a cloudy tank. Could not see any of my fish from afar. Looking closer, all of my fish are "gasping" for air on the top of the tank. I noted one firefish goby and 1 snail dead in the corner of the tank. Fish are not eating anything after feeding their usual mysis shrimp.

Tank Stats:
FOWLR setup
1x Ocelarris, 1x Black Ocellaris, 2x Chromis, 1x Bengai Cardinal, 1x Juv. Koran Angel
Issues: moderate green hair algae, being treated with reduced lighting and phosphate remover.
All water parameters were tested good 3 days ago except pH (7.8). Used pH up and went to 8.1. Did a quick strip test once I noticed the death and I have 0ppm Nitrite/Nitrate but have 7.5pH (it went down). Added more pH up.

Only changes to tank the past 2 weeks is a new protein skimmer and 20% water change (same water I've been using for 8 months) . Turned off the protein skimmer for now, still running canister.

Any help would be appreciated!
 
Earn WWC Rewards Points

Retro Reefer

Slow and steady wins the race!
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
5,572
Reaction score
30,632
Location
Manassas Va
Bacterial bloom.. you need to increase oxygen levels in your tank quickly! point powerheads towards the surface, crank up flow if possible, air pump if you have it, repeatedly scooping up water with a cup and pouring it back in tank will work in a pinch.
 

ScottR

Scott ™
View Badges
Joined
Feb 12, 2019
Messages
3,493
Reaction score
10,536
Location
Hong Kong
Help!

I work night shift and just came home this morning to a cloudy tank. Could not see any of my fish from afar. Looking closer, all of my fish are "gasping" for air on the top of the tank. I noted one firefish goby and 1 snail dead in the corner of the tank. Fish are not eating anything after feeding their usual mysis shrimp.

Tank Stats:
FOWLR setup
1x Ocelarris, 1x Black Ocellaris, 2x Chromis, 1x Bengai Cardinal, 1x Juv. Koran Angel
Issues: moderate green hair algae, being treated with reduced lighting and phosphate remover.
All water parameters were tested good 3 days ago except pH (7.8). Used pH up and went to 8.1. Did a quick strip test once I noticed the death and I have 0ppm Nitrite/Nitrate but have 7.5pH (it went down). Added more pH up.

Only changes to tank the past 2 weeks is a new protein skimmer and 20% water change (same water I've been using for 8 months) . Turned off the protein skimmer for now, still running canister.

Any help would be appreciated!
How big is your tank? Any pics?
 
OP
Alan Rosa

Alan Rosa

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
8
Update:

-Just lost a chromis. He was "gasping" for air 45 minutes ago and now he's on the bottom dead.
-I have been cycling the water with a cup.
-Called in a friend who lives down the road who used to work at an aquarium store, she's assisting in checking.
-Did a quick test of water with API kit: pH: 7.8 (increased from 7.5 after dKH buffer added), dKH is 10, Nitrite/Nitrate is 0 ppm. Ammonia is a little under 1ppm.
-Skimmer is back on. I did a few hand pumps of the canister and noted some air pockets that were cycled (helped oxiginate the water a bit). The bengai cardinal is no longer "gasping" for air but my last chromis is still at it.
-Tank is 45gal, live sand and live rock. Tank looks terrible compared to yesterday. Will work on pics shortly
 

William Mumford

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
317
Reaction score
315
Update:

-Just lost a chromis. He was "gasping" for air 45 minutes ago and now he's on the bottom dead.
-I have been cycling the water with a cup.
-Called in a friend who lives down the road who used to work at an aquarium store, she's assisting in checking.
-Did a quick test of water with API kit: pH: 7.8 (increased from 7.5 after dKH buffer added), dKH is 10, Nitrite/Nitrate is 0 ppm. Ammonia is a little under 1ppm.
-Skimmer is back on. I did a few hand pumps of the canister and noted some air pockets that were cycled (helped oxiginate the water a bit). The bengai cardinal is no longer "gasping" for air but my last chromis is still at it.
-Tank is 45gal, live sand and live rock. Tank looks terrible compared to yesterday. Will work on pics shortly
Do you use water straight from the tap or RODI? Air stones only break surface tension. The bubbles popping is what makes the oxygen you might not have enough flow in the tank if the air stone is helping. Do you have enough flow in the tank to make some waves at the top? Any pictures? How many gallons is the tank?
 
OP
Alan Rosa

Alan Rosa

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
8
I have no access to RODI water around here and use distilled water. I have been using it for 8 months now with no issues (maybe a bad batch of water)?
 
World Wide Corals - Quality Aqua-cultured Coral

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
9,364
Reaction score
7,140
Location
tejas
No, you had a loss cascade due to a fish death or snail death not related to anything in your tank or the water

The dying organisms are overcoming what filter bac can carry

I used distilled water just fine

You need to run a full water change quick. Your thread is an example of true free ammonia impacts, this is the cloud and loss cascade only prime or a full water change arrests it. Do the water change vs prime, prime doesn’t add oxygen or remove rotting compounds and a water change does

This thread is now listed in the microbiology of cycling thread page 1 among twenty ammonia misreading ones, that way truth in free ammonia can be seen against misreads for it. Your thread will help others avoid ammonia crashes

1 ppm of true free ammonia stinks, kills the tank in cycles and is cloudy. It’s rare to see the true impacts of free ammonia I’m sorry for the stress, a full water change will stop the cycle.

Free ammonia comes with an obvious, stinky, cloudy death laden price for a reef tank, it’s a compound we can measure by looking at the tank with animals in it and not even need to see a test kit to verify it. That’s why the microbiology of cycling thread doesn’t use testing to discern where ammonia is present. We look for doom or for a normal running reef...the latter has no ammonia even though testers always say it does falsely.

You did not have a bac bloom that causes this, the bac bloom came after due to excess ammonia fuel from the loss cascade. The bloom wouldn’t happen without some animals dying first, that’s why it ran a while with no bloom.
 
Last edited:

Retro Reefer

Slow and steady wins the race!
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
5,572
Reaction score
30,632
Location
Manassas Va
distilled water is fine.. just about zero chance of your make up water causing your issues, your biological filtration isn’t able to keep up which is most likely fueling the bacterial bloom.
 

tripdad

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
1,164
Reaction score
2,332
Location
Chicago suburbs
Bacterial bloom.. you need to increase oxygen levels in your tank quickly! point powerheads towards the surface, crank up flow if possible, air pump if you have it, repeatedly scooping up water with a cup and pouring it back in tank will work in a pinch.
This^^^^^ many times over! Get as much oxygen in the tank as you can as fast as you can. Also change as much water as is reasonable with new ASW. Stop adding Ph up. Remove any dead and rotting animals too, check all snails, remove any dead ones.
 

Retro Reefer

Slow and steady wins the race!
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
5,572
Reaction score
30,632
Location
Manassas Va
For what it’s worth.. I keep one of these in my reefing first aid kit, they will clear bacterial blooms quickl.

Green Killing Machine.. I have the small one, paid around $40 for it, have cleared several tanks up to about a 50 gallon system so I know they work.

805DC25A-A9FB-4661-86AE-F3C3072D31AB.png
 

moz71

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
161
Plus1 on green killing machine works awesome on cloudy water blooms. I have one handy as well to switch between my many tanks. Fresh water and saltwater. Just added to a QT tank and cleared cloudy water in 30 hours. Crystal clear. I love this thing
 
Earn WWC Rewards Points
OP
Alan Rosa

Alan Rosa

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
8
Update:

-Forgot to mention I removed the dead livestock once I saw them.
-Removed about 20% of water in tank in order for canister waterfall wand to create more distance from surface of water, adding more oxygen to water. Pointed powerhead upward to agitate top of water.
-Ran to pet store to grab a pump and bubble rock.
-Ran to grocery store to pick up 20 gallons of distilled water.
Got home and immediately added 5 gallons mixed with saltwater (I mix in a 5 gallon bucket).
-Fish are not breathing as heavily, all fish are now middle-bottom of tank. Clouding is slightly less.
-Putting together bubble rock now and will be adding more saltwater.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE QUICK RESPONSES! Even though I lost almost 50% of my livestock overnight, this greatly reduced further death. Definitely taking a step back and will be looking into why I lost my oxygen levels like that so quickly.
 
OP
Alan Rosa

Alan Rosa

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
8
You mentioned a canister filter, has it been cleaned lately?
Yes, I alternate every water change, either rinsing everything or changing media (Media layers: micron floss, nitrate/phosphate sponge, carbon, coarse floss, hermit crab shells)
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
9,364
Reaction score
7,140
Location
tejas
In no way did your reef suffer an oxygen deficit. This wasn't o2 related at all and the bac bloom wasn't a lethal initiative it was after the fact. You had a loss of a fish most likely and or snails first, then their rot overcame, creating a loss cascade. Removal of ammonia is all that's required, the water level impacts aren't helping nor hurting.

Being ammonia burnt means gills don't function in fish, you didn't have systemic oxygen issues no reef does. That's a freshwater bog, peat, acidic condition.

Ammonia burns gills, gills are where fish excrete ammonia, they display oxygen weakness due to ammonia. Agreed subsequent bloom uses further, so removing it is ideal vs mixing it around in any way or dosing to offset. The sole saving act is any degree of water change up to 100%
 
OP
Alan Rosa

Alan Rosa

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
8
In no way did your reef suffer an oxygen deficit. This wasn't o2 related at all and the bac bloom wasn't a lethal initiative it was after the fact. You had a loss of a fish most likely and or snails first, then their rot overcame, creating a loss cascade. Removal of ammonia is all that's required, the water level impacts aren't helping nor hurting.

Being ammonia burnt means gills don't function in fish, you didn't have systemic oxygen issues no reef does. That's a freshwater bog, peat, acidic condition.

Ammonia burns gills, gills are where fish excrete ammonia, they display oxygen weakness due to ammonia. Agreed subsequent bloom uses further, so removing it is ideal vs mixing it around in any way or dosing to offset. The sole saving act is any degree of water change up to 100%
can rot occur so quickly? all livestock was well prior to the end of the night.
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

Do consider yourself a successful reef keeper?

  • Yes (tell us in the thread what it takes to keep a healthy reef)

    Votes: 96 37.8%
  • No I wouldn't consider myself successful yet

    Votes: 134 52.8%
  • Not sure.

    Votes: 24 9.4%

Online statistics

Members online
2,104
Guests online
5,227
Total visitors
7,331
Best reef aquarium LED lighting
Top