Tank Tear Down

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Aaron Davis, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Before I get into the idea of a tank tear down and my plan; let me give a little back story. I bought the Bowes front acrylic tank used. Kept all the same water and sand. I’ve had the tank for approx 1.5 yrs and have done a lot to it. It was just 3 large pieces of rock, a couple fish, and an anemone. I broke the rock apart and scaped it. The only fish that lived was the clown fish. I added a flame angel, a scooter, a mandarin, and a six line. All of which have died from ich that was introduced by the flame angel. This is where I learned to QT! I also have had 2 snowflake eels die within a week of getting them (Petco). Just lost a GDM that made it 3 moths which showed NO signs of distress. Corals don’t seem to be doing well, despite nothing changing and my every 2 weeks worth of water changes. 10 gallons each time.

    The death of my GDM is the main drive for this. I want to try another one, but in my head, there MUST be something wrong either with my water or my tank as a whole that causes deaths randomly. The only things I’ve lost to known reasons was my fish from ich and a could crabs/ship from a bad coral dip seap. So my thought is this:

    Tear down my entire tank. Place my corals, anemones, clownfish, snails, etc in a temporary tank using the same water I have in my display. Completely breakdown and clean everything. Sump, skimmer, pumps, display, etc. Start the tank back up with new water. My question is the sand, the liverock, and cycling. Would the tank need to recycle? Could I somehow clean the rock to be used again? Can the sand me cleaned and reused?

    Long post; I know. If anyone who was willing to read it all have any input, I’d be happy to hear it.

    Thank you!

    Aaron
     
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  2. hijinks7

    hijinks7 Active Member

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    I tried Petco once and refuse to go back. I know some are well taken care of but the 4-5 I've seen that have salt water fish are a mess.
     
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  3. flagg37

    flagg37 Member

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    We need more information to properly diagnose. To start with, what are your water parameters?
     
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  4. Zack Klabunde

    Zack Klabunde The LPS Guy R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    What is GDM? Also agree with Flagg, a tank tear down may not be necessary.
     
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  5. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I’m not able to give 100% on alkalinity and what not.

    Salinity: 1.024
    Ph: 8.3
    Nitrates: 0 ppm
    Nitrites: 5 ppm
    Ammonia: 0
    Temp: 78 f

    I’m not really asking for a diagnosis. I’m really just wondering if it would be beneficial in the long run to do a tear down and if so, can I reuse the sand and rock after a proper cleaning? And what’s the proper way of doing that? And if I went this route; would the tank essentially “recycle”?
     
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  6. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Golden Dwarf Moray. I’m at a loss with what to do otherwise; as I’m sick of losing things for no apparent reason. And I know my tank has had a few things introduced and I’m not 100% convinced that those things are being seeped out from the sand and rock; even in the smallest amount.
     
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  7. thejuice24

    thejuice24 Active Member

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    Have you tried running carbon to pull whatever these thing you speak of seeping out? Are you using RODI? Checked equipment for stray voltage? Just some things in my head. As well as why are you getting reading for Nitrites....?
     
  8. Zack Klabunde

    Zack Klabunde The LPS Guy R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Best way to do a Tank tear down, would be replace rock and sand if you are worried about leaching. If you replace the existing rock with live rock, the cycle will be short, but nonetheless, you will have to re-cycle.
     
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  9. thejuice24

    thejuice24 Active Member

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    You should also test you ALK, fish require that to be properly set as well, they may adjust to it short term, but it can cause long term issues.
     
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  10. SaltySteve

    SaltySteve Active Member

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    My advice: if the rock and sand are not seeming to leach too many nitrates/phosphates, keep it. However maybe keep 1/4-1/8 of the sand and add dry sand to mix in (which should be rinsed very well before hand). And do a very large water change (the corals probably won't like this, but should bounce back). This way there won't be a recycle.

    If you're suspicious of parasites, keep the tank barren for a few weeks and keep all the inverts/ fish in a rubbermaid with a anti-parasite treatment. Also bump up the temps to speed the life cycle of any resilient parasites in the main tank/ live rock/ etc, and starve them from any hosts. In my experience, ich has rid itself in all my fish when the water parameters are very stable) the fish may have just developed an immunity/suppression to it.

    Try to have sufficient flow in the tank(s) to circulate things and hopefully come to homeostasis.

    How many gallons is the tank? Any info from the previous owner of the setup (how long he had the lr/sand?)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  11. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would run a Triton test. Find out what is actually in your water. This will help determine if you have a water/tank issue or a parasite issue. Once you know where your problem is then you can make an informed decision on how to move forward.
     
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  12. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I haven’t tested for stray voltage and wouldn’t know how really. I am using RO/DI. I was worried about leaching from the sand and rock because my wife accindently did a top off with come water that was pretreated with copper once. Was about half a gallon. That was about 10 months ago. Also, I had placed a coral in the tank that was dipped with Bayer; but I was a total idiot and forgot to dilute it. I KNOW! I’m a Moron! Anyway. That coral piece leaching out the bayer killed my crab and shrimp. That was about 8 months ago.
     
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  13. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    How do i do this?
     
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  14. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have no info really from the previous owner as to what they did or didn’t do other than they said hey had the tank for a couple years. It’s was in rough shape when I got it. Looked like crap. It’s a 55 gallon bowed front with a 20 gallon sump. Approx 65 lbs. liverock. 2” sand bed
     
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  15. SaltySteve

    SaltySteve Active Member

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    In that case, the rock and sand might be carrying a huge load of phosphates (can take weeks, months, or even over a year to leach out). Your parameters seem ok though, but misleading if it's right after a water change.
     
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  16. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    751B88D3-C434-42D2-892C-DCA2752B0D4B.jpeg
     
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  17. SaltySteve

    SaltySteve Active Member

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    Could be the copper. If it was heavily used, might be worth a teardown. :(
     
  18. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Well. I did a copper test from seachem and it showed 0
     
  19. Zack Klabunde

    Zack Klabunde The LPS Guy R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Their are 2 kinda of copper, ionic and Chelated. Sea hem can only test for one of them. The API test kit can test the other. Depending on what kind of copper it was, your test may not pick it up.
     
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  20. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I was using whatever copper type seachem is. Not sure how to tell. In regards to medicines; I’m not as knowledgeable.
     
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