Tank Crash

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Jordi Posner

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I’ve noticed that my water in my 100 litre reef tank had got more and more cloudy over the last few days. It’s been running for around 4 months now and I have seen bacteria blooms early on but have never had any problems caused by it. I turn my pump and skimmer off overnight and it has never caused any problems. I’ve had saltwater tanks before this that have run for years and I’ve never had a problem with turning these off as they do get quite noisy as they are in my room. Anyway, I heard splashing at around 5:30 in the morning and noticed my new puffer fish and one of my clownfish were dead with the rest of the fish at the surface still alive but almost like they were gasping for air. I turned back on the pump and skimmer but unfortunately I was too late as my other clownfish and two damsel fish died when I got up a bit later. I have been dosing all in one trace elements and Tropic Marin NP bacto balance ( carbon dosing) for the last month. I assume what’s happened is some kinda super bloom I’ve never seen a tank so cloudy and it’s really taken a toll on my fish and by the looks of it my coral too. I need to know what I can do. Shall I do a water change? Luckily I’ve still got most of my clean up crew and 2 other damsel fish but I’d like to hope they make it through another night.
 

Magostini

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Definitely a big water change and then you start to analyze carefully... But a water change is needed to help the other fish.... How old is your tank? Are you testing? Do you have any indicator? Ph, ammonia, nitrate phosphate?
 
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Jordi Posner

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Definitely a big water change and then you start to analyze carefully... But a water change is needed to help the other fish.... How old is your tank? Are you testing? Do you have any indicator? Ph, ammonia, nitrate phosphate?
My tank is 4 months old. I’ve tested ph, ammonia nitrite and nitrate all were spot on and good.
 

Magostini

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Recently do you remember if you bring a new fish or coral, maybe you got some bacteria/disease from them... Are you using RODI? Maybe if you can use a UV filter for a couple days could help too..
 
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Jordi Posner

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Recently do you remember if you bring a new fish or coral, maybe you got some bacteria/disease from them... Are you using RODI? Maybe if you can use a UV filter for a couple days could help too..
I brought in a new fish on Friday but the water was already starting to get cloudy before then
 
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Jordi Posner

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If I turned the skimmer off but kept the return pump running over night tonight, will that create enough flow to keep the rest of the tank mates alive? The skimmer gets pretty noisy for some reason in the evenings but the return pump isn’t usually as bad.
 

Tamberav

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Please never turn off the return over night. This is not good at all. Your sump should not sit stagnant like that for so long.

If your pump is too loud then invest in a different one or a better overflow or whatever is causing the noise. Tanks can run very quiet or near silent with the right set up.
 
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Jordi Posner

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Kept the pump on last night and all still seems okay but my anemone seems to be struggling a bit I assume because of the lack of light due to the cloudy water
 
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Are your corals ever subjected to the open air with no water for water changes or tank maintenance?

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  • Yes even though I planned my aquascape for the possibilty

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