My reef tank is cursed....

BRS

bb6311

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Greetings fellow reefers, I have been in the hobby for years but am having a problem now that is almost a year old. For years I had a 75 gallon tank with an HOB refugium. It was live rock, fish and corals. It also had a lot of hair algae. Eventually the 75 sprung a leak so I bought a used what-I-thought was a 135 gallon tank. I loaded all my stuff in it and added some live rock and some more corals, fish (you know how it is when you suddenly have extra room!). That was in 2017. Last year the tank sprang a leak. No one in the Houston area had any tanks that I could afford. My LFS had a used 90 gallon, so I bought that, moved the fish and important corals into it and put all the rest of the rock and stuff in a tub with a powerhead. It was 2 months before I found a 125 gallon tank that was affordable. I moved it into place and discovered my 135 was actually 160. I put some fresh substrate in the new tank and moved all my stuff in. To my chagrin I found out I had a die-off in the tank that didn't manifest until the 125 was going. It manifested in the form of massive cyanobacteria outbreak. I have been unable to get the nitrates down and I have finally decided that everything that worked well in the 160 is too much for the 125. In a recent test I found I have ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I watched a video on Mad Hatter's Reef about Microbacter7 and a brick, so I bought a brick and the Microbacter. Nothing changed. I saw a video for Dr Tims and bought both Refresh and Waste Away. Some of the cyano disappeared but a lot more remained. I tried Vibrant because the guy at a different LFS recommended it. I found out after my corals started wilting that the Saltwater version if for a FOWLR tank only and not for reefs. The guy I bought the 90 from told me to use a product called Remediation (also live bacteria). For the most part, the cyano is gone from the rocks and there is a faint outline of it on the substrate. However, I still have ammonia, nitrite and nitrates.
Here is my idea. Please share with me your thoughts. Since I have that 90 no one wants to buy, and since I have a leftover HOB refugium, I was thinking about putting some substrate into it, filling it and cycling it. Then I could move some rocks into slowly to give it time to recover, and finally to put my fish and important corals into it (why does this sound familiar???). Once that is complete I can break down the 125, remove and replace the substrate and do the same thing. Cycle the tank, and then move stuff back into it slowly. Once I have the fish and important corals as well as some rock in it, I will stop and leave everything else in the 90. Then I could see if maybe I could put use the tank as a FOWLR tank, or (if the water quality is good), to grow something like acro that I would probably lose in the 125. What are your thoughts? Or does someone have a magic cure????

Here are some pictures.

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GoVols

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Pull an ATI ICP test, then post, all of it’s results.

Even the reef Vibrant is not good, turns out it is only an algaecide.
 

G Santana

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Welcome to R2R, although you have been struck with more than your fair share of mishaps, you obviously have what it takes to square that tank away.
Hats off to you for hanging tough!!!
ZomboMeme 18092021172236.jpg
 
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bb6311

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Your tank looks good, bet it would look even nicer under blues. I didn't quite get why you want to go back to the 90 gal though? Maybe i misunderstood.
I have ammonia, nitrite and high nitrates. The idea behind going back to the 90 was to properly cycle the tank before moving anything into it, then rebuilding the 125 and cycling it.
 

GoVols

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I do have blues and whites with an extra led blue strip.

How does one pull an ATI ICP test?


 

maleks.reef

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I have ammonia, nitrite and high nitrates. The idea behind going back to the 90 was to properly cycle the tank before moving anything into it, then rebuilding the 125 and cycling it.
What test kits have you used for them? How long have you had the current tank up and running? How many fish do you have?
 

Jedi1199

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Something seems fishy here to me.

You have plenty of rock in that tank to skip-cycle it immediately. I would look at your test kits first. My gut feeling is you are getting a false reading.

My next suggestion is to stop adding all of these bottled cures. Let your tank balance out on its own. These quick fixes always make me cringe.

You said you used to run a HoB refugium. I don't see a refugium in your new sump? Why not put your old HoB on the new tank?
 
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tharbin

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How sure are you you really have Ammonia and Nitrite? Your tank looks way too healthy too suspect it isn't cycled. I see a little bit of either cyano or diatoms or dinos (hard to tell from the pics) but not enough to warrant a breakdown. Are you losing any livestock?

My gut would say to slow down. Let the uglies happen just don't let them get out of control. Let the tank find its rhythm. As @Jedi1199 said. Stop using bottled fixes, at least until you are sure what is wrong. If your tank was as bad off as you think your fish should be at least be gasping and stressed but they all look good.

I would suspect either your test kits or your testing methodology. Take a sample of your water to a good LFS and see what they say.
 
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GoVols

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What test kits have you used for them? How long have you had the current tank up and running? How many fish do you have?

Something seems fishy here to me.

You have plenty of rock in that tank to skip-cycle it immediately. I would look at your test kits first. My gut feeling is you are getting a false reading.

My next suggestion is to stop adding all of these bottled cures. Let your tank balance out on its own. These quick fixes always make me cringe.

You said you used to run a HoB refugium. I don't see a refugium in your new sump? Why not put your old HoB on the new tank?

How sure are you you really have Ammonia and Nitrite? Your tank looks way too healthy too suspect it isn't cycled. I see a little bit of either cyano or diatoms or dinos (hard to tell from the pics) but not enough to warrant a breakdown. Are you losing any livestock?

My gut would says to slow down. Let the uglies happen just don't let them get out of control. Let the tank find its rhythm. As @Jedi1199 said. Stop using bottled fixes, at least until you are sure what is wrong. If your tank was as bad off as you think your fish should be at least be gasping and stressed but they all look good.

I would suspect either your test kits or your testing methodology. Take a sample of your water to a good LFS and see what they say.

If you guys don’t mind
Which test kits would you use for ammonia and nitrites

thanks
 

Jedi1199

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If you guys don’t mind
Which test kits would you use for ammonia and nitrites

thanks


To be honest, I haven't tested for ammonia in over 30 years. Once the tank is cycled, testing ammonia is pointless. Same for Nitrites.

If you NEED to test ammonia, A Seneye works, but is expensive. I use Salifert kits for my main water testing of the big 6. I have found them to be reliable. If I were to recommend an ammonia kit, without personal experience, I would say try the Salifert one. I am happy enough with the ones I do use to at least give them the nod.

Edit: If you want a digital reading, look into the Hannah checkers. I have one for Nitrates that I like. The price is a bit discouraging though. for ammonia, I would not really advise it. Again, once you are cycled, you will likely never use it again. to spend $60-70 for something you will only use once or twice seems excessive to me, but that is my personal opinion.
 

maleks.reef

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If you guys don’t mind
Which test kits would you use for ammonia and nitrites

thanks
Do not test for nitrites since it is a waste of money. Also, if you buy an ammonia kit you will use it no more than 3 4 times and then you will throw it away. If you insist on buying, use Salifert, however, i suggest you go to your LFS and have them test your ammonia and nitrites. I am sure that they are both at 0.
 

GoVols

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Do not test for nitrites since it is a waste of money. Also, if you buy an ammonia kit you will use it no more than 3 4 times and then you will throw it away. If you insist on buying, use Salifert, however, i suggest you go to your LFS and have them test your ammonia and nitrites. I am sure that they are both at 0.
Sounds good, but I’m not the OP
 
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tharbin

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If you guys don’t mind
Which test kits would you use for ammonia and nitrites
Since they are done so infrequently, I just use API but if I were to suggest one I'd suggest Salifert as the API Ammonia test is notoriously hard to read.
 

vetteguy53081

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If you guys don’t mind
Which test kits would you use for ammonia and nitrites

thanks
Hanna and Salifert reliable kits and you can take a water sample to a trusted LFS that does NOT use api kits and see what readings they come up with.
Allow tank to mature and stabilize than chasing numbers.
 
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