My tank is dying and I don’t know why!!! I’m frustrated and sad, please help!

Anihiel1

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You mentioned the red bubbling algae/cyano. I actually went through something very similar after an LTA died. As the red gets under your sand you will see it turn black. Very toxic. Which you might not notice if your sand itself is black. Everytime you stir the sand you are releasing this back into your system and its overloading the good bacteria. What worked for me: removed and replaced all sand. Scrubbed, h202'd and /or vinegared the tank and all equipment and dipped & h202'd all live rock & coral. Full water change. Started re-cycling with the existing rock plus new live sand, along with dosing microbacter 7 and vibrant. Hair algae has gradually died off along with the red cyano. Corals are thriving. Fish are thriving. Snails are fat as golf balls.
 

Anihiel1

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Ps helps if you have an extra tank or even a big enough rubbermaid tub, you can just put the fish heater rocks filters etc in there while you clean and gradually transfer everything back. I can vouch for the CaribSea black, that's the sand i switched to. It's got a very good texture for water flow through the bed. The magnetism is inconsequential in my opinion.
 
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LukeWolf

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You mentioned the red bubbling algae/cyano. I actually went through something very similar after an LTA died. As the red gets under your sand you will see it turn black. Very toxic. Which you might not notice if your sand itself is black. Everytime you stir the sand you are releasing this back into your system and its overloading the good bacteria. What worked for me: removed and replaced all sand. Scrubbed, h202'd and /or vinegared the tank and all equipment and dipped & h202'd all live rock & coral. Full water change. Started re-cycling with the existing rock plus new live sand, along with dosing microbacter 7 and vibrant. Hair algae has gradually died off along with the red cyano. Corals are thriving. Fish are thriving. Snails are fat as golf balls.
Thank you for the advice!
 

jda

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Did you all read Dana's post that I linked? There is "new" and "old" volcanic sand. The older sand has had most of the "stuff" in it dissipate and is different than "new" sand that could have all kinds of elements. When you factor in that nobody knows where the old and new deposits are, you could be getting totally different results with each batch. Black Sand is on my "hell no" list with a few other things.
 

Jenuvio

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I had a situation where cyano started to grow on my sand bed... i started syphoning it out during every water change, which it just kept it at bay. I got a yellow tang as a gift and within a month the cyano was gone.

Didn't record parameters at the time, but it worked. Haven't seen cyano since, tank was about 6-8months old.

Temp 72-76*
Salinity - 1.026
Alk - 8.5
Mag - 1400
Cal - 480
PH - 8.0
Nitrate - 40ppm
Phosphate - .1ppm

I tend to feed a lot, corals are happy and growing. Patience is key, sometimes time is what the tank needs.
 
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LukeWolf

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Did you all read Dana's post that I linked? There is "new" and "old" volcanic sand. The older sand has had most of the "stuff" in it dissipate and is different than "new" sand that could have all kinds of elements. When you factor in that nobody knows where the old and new deposits are, you could be getting totally different results with each batch. Black Sand is on my "hell no" list with a few other things.
Yes I did read the posts. That’s one reason I’m thinking not all Caribsea black sand is magnetic.
 
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LukeWolf

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I had a situation where cyano started to grow on my sand bed... i started syphoning it out during every water change, which it just kept it at bay. I got a yellow tang as a gift and within a month the cyano was gone.

Didn't record parameters at the time, but it worked. Haven't seen cyano since, tank was about 6-8months old.

Temp 72-76*
Salinity - 1.026
Alk - 8.5
Mag - 1400
Cal - 480
PH - 8.0
Nitrate - 40ppm
Phosphate - .1ppm

I tend to feed a lot, corals are happy and growing. Patience is key, sometimes time is what the tank needs.
Thanks for the info!
 

Trueblue17

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I didn't have time to read all the response but I just had the same thing on all 3 of my tank , by the looks you got your nutrients too low and bottomed out on nitrates and phosphate and the algea is most likely dinflagelattes and cyano you need to raise nitrates and phosphates abit from 0 ,, what I did was ,stopped all tank cleaning efforts like no water changes , turned off skimmers for a week or more and fed my tank and fish like crazy for a couple weeks with reefroids and all types of fish food , the fish loved it and after about two weeks of heavy feeding the dinoflagelattes started to go away on their own , and nitrates and phosphates came back up abit , the phosphates took longer to come up so you gotta watch the nitrates do get too high from all the feeding but it did take a lot to get them back up from 0 , but then over a period of 3 days all the brown green, red mess started to go away quickly and was all completely gone in 3 days and all 3 tanks look spotless now lol cleaner than ive ever seen them really . then I did a good 20% waterchange after it was all cleared up just to get the nitrates at an accptable level for the fish as they started climbing from all the food, after all the dinos cleared up ,now my tanks look great again but did lose a lot of corals too though, before I figured out what was going on
 

Trueblue17

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im almost positive its dinoflgelates and cyano by reading your parameters and from what you said you were trying , exactly what I was doing , its not algea from high nitrates and posphates... its dinoflagelattes from no nitrates and phosphates, and the more you try to clean the worse your making it , what you need to do is stop all water changes , skimmer and cleaning and start feeding the heck out of it .
 
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LukeWolf

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im almost positive its dinoflgelates and cyano by reading your parameters and from what you said you were trying , exactly what I was doing , its not algea from high nitrates and posphates... its dinoflagelattes from no nitrates and phosphates, and the more you try to clean the worse your making it , what you need to do is stop all water changes , skimmer and cleaning and start feeding the heck out of it .
Thank you for your advice! I definitely think I’ll give this a shot before removing all of the sand. That’s going to be a nightmare
 
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LukeWolf

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Dinos and cyano do not kill coral. That is not your issue with coral death.
Could the low phosphates be killing them though? Every one tells me I need to raise my nutrients, but would that kill my coral as I have described? I’ve never heard of low nutrients doing that
 

jda

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Not likely. Being near absolute zero can be growth limiting, but not death. Nearly nobody is near zero unless you are using chemicals or media to get there.
 

jda

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You have to think about what phosphates (and nitrates) are. They are not "food." Corals, nor other organisms, use them for fuel. They are building blocks of life needed in small quantities to create new organic tissue. Without N or P, stuff does not grow, but real "food" keeps the corals alive... in our case, this is zoox doing their thing with the lighting.
 
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LukeWolf

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You have to think about what phosphates (and nitrates) are. They are not "food." Corals, nor other organisms, use them for fuel. They are building blocks of life needed in small quantities to create new organic tissue. Without N or P, stuff does not grow, but real "food" keeps the corals alive... in our case, this is zoox doing their thing with the lighting.
That makes sense, thank you.
 
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LukeWolf

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Has anyone heard of bacteria killing coral? I know a lfs owner who almost lost his whole acan frag tank to a bacteria (at least that’s what he said)
 

jda

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Not directly. Excessive bacteria in the water column can use up all the oxygen and that can kill a bunch of stuff - you usually have to be dosing organic carbon for this to happen.
 

TheRedBeardedReefer

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Not directly. Excessive bacteria in the water column can use up all the oxygen and that can kill a bunch of stuff - you usually have to be dosing organic carbon for this to happen.
Also, bacteria that colonize a coral's exposed skeleton can slow or stop the coral tissue from reclaiming its lost real estate. I feel like I've been telling this story a lot lately, but after dosing vibrant (per their instructions) to clean up some mild algae growth on exposed skeleton from stn, my situation got worse, rapidly. Chemiclean seemed to slow the bacterial growth and my corals have recovered nicely since.
 

BurgerFish

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Has anyone heard of bacteria killing coral? I know a lfs owner who almost lost his whole acan frag tank to a bacteria (at least that’s what he said)
So just buy a AA Green Killing Machine AA 24W for 60-70$. It's very effective against the bacteria and dinos.

Just turn it in the water to purge all air, it will take 30-40 min turning it up and down.

Works flawlessly.

For cyano use ChemiClean. It works.
For dinos use UV and syphone it with filter floss (to trap the dinos).
For bacteria use UV.
Verify tank temp with analog thermometer.
 
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