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Reef Nutrition

Rmckoy

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Recently had a huge leak in our 90 gal reef which forced us to upgrade sooner than expected .
The upgrade being a 230 gal with a 48 gal sump .
Mistake #1 I added some of the old sand assuming it would be beneficial to have a little bacteria ..
I was wrong .
Nuked the whole tank killing all fish .
So moving forward , there are still corals alive
Will a bottle (suitable for the volume ) of nitrifying bacteria a good idea ?
ammonia levels are 1ppm with API kit .
 
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Rmckoy

Rmckoy

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The tank went from clear , fish swimming , to cloudy and stink within mins .
Lesson learned , never use old sand !
That being said I want to keep corals and inverts alive .
I’ll pick up a bottle of colony later this evening
 
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Mical

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??? I moved 2 tanks last year, new live sand in both and probably 5 lbs of old sand mixed in - then filled tanks with rock, water then corals, fish & nems - the only thing I experience was a cloudy tank for 48hrs. Did you happen to add this sand after tank was up and filled w/water & fish?
 

NeonRabbit221B

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I would also consider the fact API test kits will read a false positive for ammonia. Test some new SW to see what I mean.
W/c is typically the solution to ammonia issues and I would detoxify it with something like Prime ASAP and then follow with some bottled bacteria. Do you have live rock that was cycled and in the tank prior to adding the sand?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I think this thread represents very important variation outcomes in reefing, this is an important thread and Im sorry to hear of the transfer loss truly but to make the best science out of the post this is what I have found in the sand rinse thread: it is 100% impossible to cause a cycle if the moved sand is rinsed in tap water for hours until clean (if required that long) and then used, vs trying to carry over bacteria. of course rinsing in RO or saltwater would seem better--but being hesitant in the name of concern over bacteria is the root cause of tank-move recycles.
Tap water is endless
RO makes you run out, half rinsed, still upwelled in the sand.

tap is rinse till you run totally snowglobe clean, then final rinse in brief RO to evacuate tap used.

once we trust live rock to always be enough, regardless of what we do to surrounding surface area, then our moves and combination tanks go seamlessly.

live rock transfer handles all the bacteria we need.

seeding with animals from a handful of old sand is ok, that's small degree of waste and nice diversity. but to move the old bed intact simply gives about 70% success 30% fail rates in my opinion.


we usually only hear about successful transfers, this is a third of the pie approximately this thread I am certain will save other aquarists from loss, maybe thousands of them.

agreed there is no telling what api will show now, ammonia events caused by sand upwelling dont last days they're dramatic, fast, have cloudy water usually right then vs a cloud months later on like rock curing, and the #1 rule: its a tank wiper. I fully believe this was a free ammonia event in reefing, and they're rare. The only one I recall all of this year.

ammonia either trends to safety in a reef tank with rocks or it trends to destruction, there isn't a holding point in the middle, the surface area commands too much to let the nh3 ammonia stay in high levels once the upwelling/source has been addressed, in this case sand settles.

even after settling there are some cyano challenges commonly.
*one way to offset those a bit would be to drain the water back down and catch it for reuse, most of the water anyway. saves a total new makeup run. then run the correct cleaning on the sand, put back cloudless, refill with that water and 20% new for a cloudless rebuild. I know it seems like it will further shock but it won't, its addressing gha and cyano problems for summer of 2021.
 
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Avast

DC Reefer

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Did you fill the tank with old sand or just a cup? Also was the sand out of a tank for a couple of years when you added it to the tank?
 

terraincognita

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The sand was a few years old .

He most likely wasn't super diligent about vacuuming his sand bed.

He learned his mistake and why he posted it here XD don't berate him more for what happened. Or ask "How is this possible" if you think hard enough you can figure out how it's possible :p

He also never said a cup, he said some. Probably was a good amount full of detritus.

He wanted to share the experience and ask if adding bacteria would help.

Adding Microbacter 7 or Dr. Tims absolutely wouldn't do harm. And I'd do that as well if I was in your shoes.

that is to say if the reason for instant fish death really was the spike in params. You didn't post params and those would help to see if ammonia or other toxins is what killed them.

But again he wasn't asking "what went wrong" he's pretty certain he knows, and I think he's probably right.
 

((FORDTECH))

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I would also consider the fact API test kits will read a false positive for ammonia. Test some new SW to see what I mean.
W/c is typically the solution to ammonia issues and I would detoxify it with something like Prime ASAP and then follow with some bottled bacteria. Do you have live rock that was cycled and in the tank prior to adding the sand?
What is the recommended product for bottled bottled bacteria
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Keiki

Remember the variation, thats the key. what happens for one doesnt transfer out to the many

if someone took time to make a sandbed/tank transfer sand specifically against rinsing, and using old sand, you'll have 30% losses by page 20 of random jobs.

This is why blanket rules wont work in reefing. they make a blanket rule, we produce a work thread to show it invalid.

Me saying that 100% of sandbeds must be rinsed in order to be safe is also not the case, yours shows exception and many others

there is simply variation allowed by non rising, divergence in outcome.

stone cold rinsing gets zero recycles for as many pages as we want to chart the applications. we choose to play the risk game is all, and agreed many sands are of varying degrees of impaction

can we get a full tank shot of the Op's tank all settled out, its a nice tie in.

Its brave to start a loss thread, thousands of people need to see the variables to help their reefs. this is a helpful thread for starting the focus, even if it wasnt the sand (in another thread claiming ammonia issues, we found out he used the wrong silicone from the home dept to seal his whole system, the instantly lethal kind)
 

NeonRabbit221B

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What is the recommended product for bottled bottled bacteria
I generally think of them as fairly similar and if you already have cycled rock they are largely a waste of $$$. Microbactor7, Dr. Tims, and Biospira are well tested.


Also I was not at all trying to berate him and I am very sorry if it was taken that way. I am only trying to get some answers to insure the rest of the tank isn't going to die. If the sand was wet and the tank had live rock then I think its unlikely the source of the issue. If the sand was dry then its another issue. As Brandon stated, sandbed bacteria can always replenish itself if you have live rock and sand should be rinsed. Sorry for your losses!
 

MoH

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Did you use any of the live rock from your old tank? Sounds like not having sufficient Nitrifying bacteria is what killed your fish. Sure the old sand added maybe some bio load to ur new tank but your fish died because you have ammonia. Most likely the ammonia the fish produce and the food you add will be worse then the bit of sand you introduce in my opinion. I think the lesson is not old sand kills fish and crashes tank. The lesson is not properly testing and ensuring ammonia levels have gone to 0 and completing a proper cycle in tank is what kills fish. You need to continue testing regularly for ammonia and nitrite on the new tank. I recommend fritz turbo start, Tim’s nitrifying bacteria, and brightwell aquatics microbackter start xlm. I have used all of these products with success. Good luck on the recovery at least you don’t have the tank leak problem anymore!
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I would claim that since only detritus will cause ammonia noncontrol, ammonia can be trusted to stay in safe zone. we're up to forty pages in our sand thread pages never using any form of testing to move homes only because reefers tend to use lots of live rock and we move no waste into the new tank.


strict control by simply managing sandbeds, but not the calcium carbonate grains, the muck in between. killer mud lol

removing the detritus solves the problem, in work threads.

specifically, if we move tanks and move no detritus, we can't have ammonia noncontrol even if we removed all the sand from the old tank, didnt add back to the new tank, and then added three more fish plus feed (live rocks in every reef tank are not used to their maximum surface area abilities, they're underused, always. so, we can add new fish due to that, the missing sandbed didn't rob surface area from the actual live rock, its always enough, solely detritus is the issue if not a direct tank poison of some kind)

that type of removed sandbed job, tank transfer and then adding more bioload to the rocks without ramp up time is specifically from jobs in our sand rinse thread. Live rock controls ammonia always, given that it is not overcome by upwelling or mass dieoff

we still need pics from this tank above to tie in details, but sight unseen these rules for surface area and inherent ammonia control for all tanks not just some comes from patterns found here:
 
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