Came Home and Everything is Dead!!!

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by lmajor32, Jul 3, 2006.

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  1. lmajor32

    lmajor32 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    62
    I need help, big time!

    We went away for the weekend and somehow the tank lost power, for 4 days! I came home and everything is dead, fish, snails, crabs, etc. Everything that was in the rocks is now floating around in the tank dead also, things I didn't even know where in there like shrimp, star fish, little centepede looking things, everything!

    So my question is, is my tank worthless now? Is the live rock and sand now dead? I did tests and obviously everything is off the charts, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, all of it, and it smells like rotting fish, since, well, there were dead rotting fish in there.

    What do I do???!!! Do I have to start all over with new like rock and sand since everything that was living in there seems to be dead? Please advise.
     
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  3. reiple

    reiple Fire Shrimp

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    Quezon City,
    I'm sorry this happened to you. I also went through many times (many loss) where power loss caused death if not all most of the inhabitants.

    Take out all the dead matter, make widescale water changes (50% is not bad), clean out your filter material (if you use them) and even temporarily run GAC. Everything should return to normal in a day or two. If it doesnt try water changes, gradual this time, say 25% a day until things normalize.

    sigh. this happened to me and it really was a mess.
     
  4. rickzter

    rickzter Torch Coral

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    You're gonna have to start over. You have definetly lost your cycle. The rock is completely dead, you can consider it base rock now. You have to re-seed the rock and tank with fresh new rock.
     
  5. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    lmajor32

    Sorry to here about the problem, same thing happened to me a few years back :(

    I agree with Rickzter and strong suggest that you start over again. You can certainly use the sand and rock again but I strongly suggest that you give both a complete "cleaning" treatment, particularily for the rock. As you know the reason the rock works so well is it's porosity, in your case that may work against you so you need to completely "nuke" the rock before using it again.

    I got some good advice from a friend on how to do this, but I simply cannot remember the formula. If Amcarrig reads this then maybe she can get the rock cleaning formula from Roger and post it here before I get a chance :)

    If you do this at least you willo end up with some great base rock and ypu should then only need a small amount of live rock to seed it.

    Good Luck

    John
     
  6. antonio101

    antonio101 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
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    Hay all am rely not sure about this, if he cleans the rock and replace the live sand will that work ?:-/
     
  7. lmajor32

    lmajor32 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
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    Thank you all. I will wait to hear from some of the others on the best way to proceed.
    I have to at least do a huge water change today because it smells sooo bad. Luckily I installed the exhaust fan so I can keep the house fom smelling. I feel so bad for the fish I had, and all of the cool stuff that was in there that I didn't even know about.

    I am hoping that the $500 worth of live rock is not going to end up in the garden as decoration.
     
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  9. lmajor32

    lmajor32 Astrea Snail

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    Update! Something is alive! I started cleaning the tank and saw a snail alive! It was one of the small snails that lives in a hermit crab shell. I pulled him off thinking it was dead and he started moving. What does that mean? If he is alive could the rock still be?
     
  10. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    To clean the rock, make a 50/50 solution of bleach and water and soak the rock for about 3 days. Then drain the containers, fill then back up with plain tap water and let that soak for 3 days. Drain the containers again, fill them with water again and throw in a couple of 2 pound boxes of baking soda. Let that soak for another 3 days then let the rock air dry in the sun for about a week before you put it back into the tank.

    Since you really want to empty the tank and start over, you can treat the rock in the tank as the tank itself will need a good bleaching/cleaning as well.
     
  11. lmajor32

    lmajor32 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
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    So it doesn't matter that at least something surived? Could the rock survive if that snail did?
     
  12. coral reefer

    coral reefer Giant Squid

    Joined:
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    Your best bet is to remove the dead livestock first and foremost. Next you need to do a water change, just make sure not to go to crazy at first, in case you still have living organisms, which i'm sure you do. You can always do more at another point in time.
    I would get some living bacteria at your local pet shop. It comes in a bottle and comes with different strains of bacteria(millions of cells). Add that to your tank to start the cycling process again. You can also get some live sand from your local pet shop in one of their established mature tanks.
    The main thing for you right now is to reestablish the live bacteria and remove the dead organisms. Also, you should get the filters(skimmer) going and get some carbon and phosphate remover in your tank. The last thing to do which is very important is to place an air pump with a diffuser in your tank to replace the depleted oxygen rich water you use to have. Basically you lost everything or most everything due to depleted oxygen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I know it seems like alot to do and you are basically shocked and depressed and I guess I could go so far as to say you feel helpless-I know because I have had this happen to me though not as dramatic.
    At any rate, relax, take each step one at a time. You will get back on track to the flourishing tank you once had and desired.
    I hope this helps!!! Maybe i'm wrong in my diagnosis and solution, however, I feel it will work for you based on all my research and experience in the saltwater reef hobby...
    Good luck and let us know how you make out!