Unresolved Sharp turn for the worse

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by andru1313, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. Av8Bluewater

    Av8Bluewater Giant Squid

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    My last tank everything started dying on me and I never figured it out.
    Basic params were all great and water changes seemed to make it worse. So maybe there is something to the salt thing. I think I was using reef crystals back then but can't really remember. I know Kent Marine had a known bad batch of salt about 10 years ago that caused a lot of tanks to crash. It had super low alk. Not that that would kill your tank right away but I think a few people panicked and did even more water changes .. thus exacerbating the issue.
    Anyway with my old tank I always suspected either some sort of chemical from softies, some nasty gas from not cleaning sand/rocks enough or the salt had an imbalance of something bad who knows what. Also I manually dosed and it could have been alk swings with that. Big believer in dosing pumps/reactor now. Although it can be done by hand it has to be done with care.
    If not already I would stop the Reef energy until things stabilize. Also I assume since things are dying you stopped dosing alk for now. I would take everything down to a basic Berlin system and see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
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  3. andru1313

    andru1313 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    Thanks for the post. I am going to see if using some different salt does any good.. I need to go pick some up. Anyone have any suggestion on what would be a good type to try? I have all must stuff to set up to mix so prefer to continue with that method...

    As far as dosing. I am nervous to try that. i manually do it now which is a huge pain. My levels always seem to swing so not sure if doing the dosing via a doser will cause issue. My tank is a RedSeaMax 250 so its all in one. I don't have a sump.. Hardware is just 2 pumps, one MP40 and a protein skimmer. My other filtration is just 2 units of chemi pure, Puragen and some filter floss...

     
  4. Pete polyp

    Pete polyp Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    I really don't know what's going on with this tank so I have remained silent.

    But with the salt I would recommend the most proven on the market, instant ocean.
     
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  5. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    My suggestion is if you are going to change salt, i'd go 50/50 for a while.
     
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  6. andru1313

    andru1313 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    So was a late night at work last night. Got home around midnight. I picked up a bucket of reef crystals. I checked my Nitrates and they seemed to have gone up. They looked between 50-100... Salifert test.. UGH... So I made 10 gallons of salt water. Did a change around 2am.... Going to check this afternoon when I get home from work see if it went down at all. If not....

    I am going to see if I can put my wet dry vac in the tank and Suck up some sand with out causing to much disruption.... Getting a bit paniced that these levels are so high. The test is showing almost a purple in color... Will have to take a pic next round of testing.
     
  7. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    I agree.

    Too many changes are being made to quickly. Slow down and continue to do small frequent water changes. Stick with one brand of salt, none of this back and forth. STOP dosing anything. Once again, I find people try so hard to narrow in on making each of these numbers perfect. When you make a change one place, it effects something else.
     
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  9. andru1313

    andru1313 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    So that has been the plan all allong. Sorry posts seem likes its all over the place... I am going to swap salt over reguardless. So for now that is the path. No dosing, Light feeding...10-15 gallon water changes per week. I am going to stick with that process for some time. I have engrained in my brain that nothing good happens fast in salt water...

     
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  10. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    By disrupting the sandbed there is the potential of reducing the biological filtration. I recommend waiting at least a day after mixing reef crystals before doing the water change. I usually wait two days.
     
  11. andru1313

    andru1313 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    Yah I let it mix for about 2 hours last night before adding. I am making 5 gallon batches and using a powerhead to mix...
     
  12. Av8Bluewater

    Av8Bluewater Giant Squid

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    Running a tank without a sump sounds really tricky. I know a guy that does (no skimmer either) but he's been running tanks for 30 years so he knows his tank really well. He doesn't own test kits and says when his xenia stops pumping he knows it's time to put in some magnesium. He said he feeds very little and has very few small fish.. surprisingly he has a healthy SPS collection. His tank houses a good bit of macro in the display to help absorb things... Chaeto, calaurpa and xenia all help absorb his nutrients. I saw an all Xenia refugium on youtube. So something to think about.
    I'm not all that familiar with how a Red Sea max works without a sump but I'm sure it can be done.. just sounds harder.

    When I had nitrates like that water changes only helped for a couple of days. Seems like the nasties hide in the rocks and sand polluting the water column. So vacuum sand and use a powerhead to blow out the nasty stuff in the rocks pre-water change. But I now realize my crappy skimmer back then just wasn't cutting it.
    My current skimmer combined with 1-200micron socks(as long as socks get changed twice a week) can keep nitrate zero. (And I feed 2-3 times per day ) PO4 needs a little help from GFO. I do have a small fuge.
    If that was my tank I would look into getting the best skimmer you can afford. But it's hard to make blanket statements like that as every system and user is different.. meaning there are other methods to bring down nitrates.
    I would be willing to bet if you dosed one vial of Prodibio Digest your nitrates would plummet over the next month. So there are many methods you could do but a skimmer to me is the heart of my system. Either way it will take time. If you have access to a small temporary tank you could consider putting heater,light powerhead and the dying corals into some cleaner water until the main tank gets better. I once drove across the country with a bunch of SPS frags in a small tank in my car with powerhead, light and heater plugged into my cars cigarette lighter. Didn't seem to phase the corals they were in that tank for a couple of months.

    Don't use a wet/dry in display. It's too powerful. It will suck out snails hiding and draw out too much water too fast.
    One trick I do to vacuum in between water changes is use a 1/2 inch hose going into a filter sock in my sump. That way I can vacuum all day long with out losing water. Since you don't have a sump you could just do it into a 5 gallon bucket and pour the water back in after filtered.
    For my pre water change vacuum I use one of those vacuums hoses sold on marine depot. They work great but water comes out fast. If you want to remove the sand use that vacuum and do it slowly over time. Not all at once.
     
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