Poisoned Rock?

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Susan Edwards

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I'm wondering if my reef rock is poisoned. Here's some history
Tank: 125 gal/35 gal sump. Water in Feb 2018. In living room
Had a 60 gal AIO in office as well that was thriving
Dec 2018 we painted the master bedroom after my mother died in NOvember. She smoked in that room, so painters used a special primer. That primer was so obnoxious in smell, that even by putting towels to block under the door and closing all windows and doors, the house was so bad, you could barely breathe!

The next morning both tanks were white-cloudy. Over the next week or so I noticed I lost a lot of fish. Never found bodies, just missing. Also, over the next month and longer, I lost a lot/most of my corals, corals that had been thriving in my original tank. Monti's that were encrusting etc, duncans exploding with new heads, etc. Only survivors were softies: gps, palys, zoas, rhodactis and a couple leathers. I eventually moved all survivors into the 125 and took down the 60 gal.

Since then, I have had constant tank issues with algae, with every coral I try to add that is not a softie not surviving. So I'm wondering if my rocks were poisoned and all other corals are too sensitive to survive in my tank. I've tried lps corals and not a one survives for more than a few months. My parameters are good to decent. Parameters even better than the old tank which had high nitrates. po4 at .04. It goes higher and I use phosguard to bring it down. NItrates 10-15. Much better than over 160 which is what I used to run (with corals doing great), Right now I'm leaving the mg at 1600 for algae control. Alk at 7.5 but it was a bit high so I cut the dosing. Added more dosing now but it is usually 8-10.

I did a tank reboot last sept. New sand, scrubbed rocks--ones I could get out. Used vibrant which did clear my tank a lot. But hasn't worked since that 1st week.

So are my rocks poisoned by that primer paint? Is this part of my issues?

I'm planning to get a new tank-never been happy with this one (aqueon 125) and want my starfire glass again., Looking at waterbox maybe or red sea again. And if I do start over, what about the rocks with corals on them. Can I move them and just keep corals? It would be about 3-4 rocks.

Just do not know what to do to get this tank to thrive. It never has since I lost the fish and corals.
 
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slojim

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tough to say - but the VOC's in the primer might have created a bacterial bloom - some livestock might have been poisoned directly, some might have been lost to low O2. I'm skeptical the rocks would be permanently poisoned by an airborne VOC, especially after all this time. You can run some carbon and it might help if they are. My best guess is you lost all biodiversity you might have had, and I'd be inclined to get some new LR, or some garf grunge, or some TBS live sand, etc. Its a risk though. Good luck.
 

redfishbluefish

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I know I've worked with Kilz Complete and that primer is nasty. All windows should have been open, not closed. Anyway, I'd be surprised if this is your current problem. The organics are petroleum based and not overly water soluble. If you know the product, you can try the SDS or MSDS, but most likely they will have a "proprietary" ingredient(s) that they won't divulge. Not sure it will tell you much or help.
 
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Susan Edwards

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tough to say - but the VOC's in the primer might have created a bacterial bloom - some livestock might have been poisoned directly, some might have been lost to low O2. I'm skeptical the rocks would be permanently poisoned by an airborne VOC, especially after all this time. You can run some carbon and it might help if they are. My best guess is you lost all biodiversity you might have had, and I'd be inclined to get some new LR, or some garf grunge, or some TBS live sand, etc. Its a risk though. Good luck.
I run continuous carbon and purigen and always have. As soon as I saw the cloudy tanks, I assumed bacteria bloom and did water changes and fresh carbon. Tank cleared pretty fast. I'm assuming I lost most of the fish I lost that day/night. It took me a while to realize I had fish missing. I should have the biodiversity back, as it has been approx. 2.5 years since that incident. I also use bottled bacteria when I'm trying to control nutrients. Not often but when I feel I need it.
 
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Susan Edwards

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Call the company and ask for the SDS on both primer and paint. Post it here and we can go from there. I wouldn't rule it out at all. Have you done an ICP since then?
I will see if I can get the name. I ordered an icp kit from amazon today. Paint should be okay. Just kelly moore standard wall paint. Used it in all rooms. That primer just in that 1 room.
 

dieselkeeper

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I know someone that refinished his hardwood floors and lost his tank. 220 gal. He stated he had all windows and doors open all day due to the bad smeel. I think the skimmer pulled in the toxins from the air and that is how it mostly got in his tank. Needless to say he left the hobby after that. I guess the reason for my post is to have reefer shut down their skimmer when there is toxic fumes around.

I would think it is possible to contaminate rock with toxic fumes. Especially in the concentration you had. I look at it like putting copper in your tank. It gets into the rock.

Also check for rusted magnets. This got me. I would do water changes, and the death would slow down for about a week. Come to find out, a rusted magnet on my feed clip was the culprit.

Hope you get your tank gets well soon.
 
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Susan Edwards

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I know someone that refinished his hardwood floors and lost his tank. 220 gal. He stated he had all windows and doors open all day due to the bad smeel. I think the skimmer pulled in the toxins from the air and that is how it mostly got in his tank. Needless to say he left the hobby after that. I guess the reason for my post is to have reefer shut down their skimmer when there is toxic fumes around.

I would think it is possible to contaminate rock with toxic fumes. Especially in the concentration you had. I look at it like putting copper in your tank. It gets into the rock.

Also check for rusted magnets. This got me. I would do water changes, and the death would slow down for about a week. Come to find out, a rusted magnet on my feed clip was the culprit.

Hope you get your tank gets well soon.
It was certainly a lesson learned. Doing regular painting hasn't been an issue and yes, from now on, shut skimmers and cover tank with a sheet! No rusted magnets as I use a nori feeder. It's just strange that I cannot keep a single lps and I used to have great success with them. Rhodactis, zoas, palys, hairy mushrooms, gps and leathers do great. I did get my icp test back. Not sure what it all means. will post in the forum for feedback.
 
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Susan Edwards

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Update: I think my tank has been poisoned but not by paint! I think my toadstool leather which is huge is putting toxins in my tank. I read many articles and forum postings of others who can't/couldn't keep Lps or Sps alive and nailed the culprit as the leather. Esp. Sarcophyton which are the worst.

My 2 clowns host it and I think it is perpetually irritated as it doesn't extend the fingers on the tentacles (and it used to when smaller). It is also a good 12 inches or even more and the base is wider than I can wrap my hand around. And it is now on 2 or 3 rocks to support it!

Thinking back before my painting disaster, I think the original tank which housed this coral and a white tipped leather, was showing signs of trouble with my monti and my huge duncan and torch. Then the disaster struck and I lost most fish and corals.

So I think the toxins this coral releases is my culprit. I need to rehome it if possible or put it in my 40 gal observation tank (bit crowded with 2 white tipped leathers).
 

Forty-Two

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Update: I think my tank has been poisoned but not by paint! I think my toadstool leather which is huge is putting toxins in my tank. I read many articles and forum postings of others who can't/couldn't keep Lps or Sps alive and nailed the culprit as the leather. Esp. Sarcophyton which are the worst.

My 2 clowns host it and I think it is perpetually irritated as it doesn't extend the fingers on the tentacles (and it used to when smaller). It is also a good 12 inches or even more and the base is wider than I can wrap my hand around. And it is now on 2 or 3 rocks to support it!

Thinking back before my painting disaster, I think the original tank which housed this coral and a white tipped leather, was showing signs of trouble with my monti and my huge duncan and torch. Then the disaster struck and I lost most fish and corals.

So I think the toxins this coral releases is my culprit. I need to rehome it if possible or put it in my 40 gal observation tank (bit crowded with 2 white tipped leathers).

Im interested to hear what happens when you re-home it - whether it solves the issue or not

Reef Keep = excellent troubleshooting skills
 
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Susan Edwards

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Im interested to hear what happens when you re-home it - whether it solves the issue or not

Reef Keep = excellent troubleshooting skills
I wasn't planning to put more corals in that tank as I'm setting up a new one end of September but I think after I take it out and do a big water change-and add carbon etc (running fluconazle in there now for 3 weeks) I'll put a couple of the "easy" lps in just to see. I have a couple credits with a couple places so will use those.

It answers so many questions as I used to do really well with my LPS's! And then nothing!
 
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