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Complete loss everything dead


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Hey all, came home everything is dead. Fish, crabs, shrimp. I dont know where to start and I dont know what to do. I'm done this is completely depressing and disheartening.

I added 30 gallons of saltwater yesterday, and did a light feed, everyone was doing good. Skimmer has not been running as pump is down, I ironically had opened it up today and attempted to fix it. Salinity is at 1.021 and temp at 82.

I dont have any chem tests based on the protein sheen on top, I'm guessing there was maybe an ammonia spike or something, however adding 30 gallons last night should have diluted any problems. Had been feeding every 3 days since skimmer went down.

I'm out alot of money, and I dont know if I want to start again, this is an expensive hobby for us hourly employees. My heart is broken.

So far

Longnose Hawk 40

Clown Fish Fals 20

Pistol Shrimp 20

Cleaner Shrimp 20

Damsel 5

Goby Pink 20

Goby Yellow 20

Goby Pink 20

Wrasse 15

Black Widow Blenny 30 (IDK for sure)

I may just part everything out and get some picos like kim. Who knows?

Thank you everybody for your help, and friendship....

Very Respectfully, Drew Mendez cell 303-847-9500

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Sorry to hear about your tank/fish Drew. I know exactly how u feel. It's completely disheartening and depressing. We are so proud of our tanks, and it feels like a failure. I had that happen to my tank awhile back. Maybe just sit on the ideal for awhile. I felt lost and sick about it for a good few months, but then I started to miss it. I didn't want it to defeat me, so I jumped back in. Good luck and sorry again. Travis.

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Im sorry to hear about this. A lot of us in the hobby have had our crashes. I have had a lot of big spikes but none have ever killed everything and none of my deaths were that fast. Killing coral is one thing but when it takes the fish with it, then something seriously went out of wack. If it was a spike of some sort, it was one hell of a big spike.

Don't give up, just find the problem and learn from it. Take a sample of your water and get it checked ASAP. Look over your equipment too.

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If it was after adding 30 gallons of water, I would check the water used. Could there have been chlorine/chloramine still in the water? Maybe have your salinity double checked. So sorry to hear about your loses. I would go into a depression if my tank were to crash.

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Sorry to hear drew about the crash I don't think your tank crashed was only cuz of your water change yesterday but from the big water lost last week and you are now seeing the effects of it after the water change assuming you were doing a water change and not just add the water must of tip it over the edge of stress. unfortunatly cant alway tell if your tank is stress or not. Wish I can help you i know this hobby is expensive as I am also a hourly wage guy. Pm me if you decide to start it up again and I can try to help you out with some coral

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Other thank checking for salinity, I think just about anything else will be invalid for real analysis.

Sorry, to hear about the loss.

Take this opportunity to learn from this. Look at it as a way to restart and change things you didn't like, evaluate why you had the water loss and fix it, etc. Don't give up. As you've seen, this club is great for helping people and when catastrophes happen we really pitch in.

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Right away I thought it could be the water change too, but that water came from me and just prior to him coming over to get it, I had used that exact water to do water changes on 2 of my pico tanks. Everything is fine in both of them. The water I sent him with was mixed to 1.025. I don't know if that little bit of water at a higher salinity could've done it?

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There are a lot of reasons this could have happened, I totally agree with Wizard. The tank still could've been stressed from last week. With a lot of instability like that it was only a matter of time before an inevitable crash. I'm assuming you changed the water by siphoning some out and replacing it? Anything from the water temp, water not being aerated, or something absolutely insane like the skimmer sending out an electric shock after messing with it (yes, stranger things have happened...) is possible.

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Well from what I've read, fish are sensitive to salinity changing...especially rising. If your salinity was at 1.021 and you added 30 gallons of 1.025, that's a big difference. Also, what temperature was the 30 gallons you added? Temperature swings can also cause death. I don't know how you added the water, but I would have done it very slowly over the course of several hours.

Sorry to hear about your losses. Hopefully you figure out what happened.

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Sorry about your tank. When you have something like this happen you feel like you've failed to support the very things you are trying to save. I personally believe the more it hurts when you lose something the more that shows how much you loved it. Which ever tank size you decide to go with make it something to be proud of.

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Sorry for the loss. Unfortunately I think it's something that many of us have experienced as well so we definitely understand your frustration.

Probably no way to diagnose it, but 30 gallons of water in a 150 isn't going to make that drastic change in salinity even though it was higher.

I ironically had opened it up today and attempted to fix it.

I would bet that this was the cause in some way assuming it was back in the tank. When in doubt the last thing that was messed with is almost always the culprit when something goes wrong.

My advice is to regroup and start again in a few months. Definitely give it some time, not just for financial reasons. Then once you are ready again start back into it slowly. Best of luck.

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Drew,

When the going gets tough, "the tuff get going". You have much support with the ARC family. Do not make major decisions while under the influence of the tradegy. Call me after dog obediance trainning this evening. I do not have transprtation at this time due to my dead engine, but I would like to come over and see your set-up with the plumbing that was in place during your loss of water one week ago. Without knowing the cause of that, you would be skating on thin ice to continue operating this tank.

Patrick

512-514-1446 home

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I agree with pat I'm still in tradegy stage...looks like corals are doing good. I'm thinking I'm going to take this time to strip the tank and remove the sand and rock...did not like at all and add new ones...might as well start a new cycle. Need to fix the skimmer pump by ordering a new impeller will take everyone up on offers

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That's horrible sad.png

When I first started in the hobby I went through two big crashes. Looking back I think both were caused by cycles.

First was caused when I switched filters and lost a lot of my existing biological filtration.

Second was caused when I bought a large piece of live rock from a LFS that must not have been cured...

I think both situations kicked off a cycle the fish couldn't take. Funny enough our little Oc. clown has made it through both crashes smile.png

Anyway, with the huge loss of water and also the skimmer not running. I think the fish got very stressed and also your oxygen levels were probably terrible.

Adding so much new water at once probably kicked off some sort of cycle (Imo) that the fish who were already stressed just couldn't take. Also, seems like the new water was from a few different sources. It would be pretty much impossible to get all of that water to match your existing parameters. I'm by no means an expert, not even close, but that's just what I'm thinking.

Curious to see what your nitrite and oxygen levels were. Guessing those two combined with stressed fish was the culprit.

BTW: Small tanks are scary. I'm using a 20 gallon long as my QT tank... I have some shrimp (not using copper) and a purple tang in there right now. Every morning I'm scared I'm going to see something I don't want to in that tank. Main reason I'm turning that into a hospital tank and using the 55 to QT.

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I have to disagree with the "small tanks are scary and unstable" sentiment going around. I've had a BC14 and NC24 before my current Solana, and I also have a pico. My BF also has regular 20 and 30 gallon tanks. All are beautiful and stable. We test and do our dosing and water changes just like everyone else. It's true that a smaller body of water offers less dilution in the case of pollution, but if you are maintaining good husbandry practices and checking your tank on a daily basis, then this isn't a big issue. Water changes are quick and painless and we aren't breaking the bank replacing bulbs, buying salt, etc. Every time we've upgraded it's been out of a desire for more space.

My advice to newbies is always, buy what you can afford and reasonably maintain on your current available time and budget, and don't get scared out of a smaller tank by this "smaller is harder" nonsense. I started with a BC14 and it was its beauty and ease of maintenance that got me hooked on this hobby.

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Smaller tanks do have another advantage besides costs and easier water changes. I upgraded from a 20 gal FOWLR to a 125 gal hoping to have a bunch of fish and coral in a cool reef tank. I started with ornamental crustaceans as fancy CUC while I tried to be patient with fish and coral. We ended up loving the ornamental crustaceans, especially the ones that associate with anemones, with coral second and fish third (can't get certain fish as they will eat the crustaceans). My wife really wants a Pom Pom Crab, but it would totally disappear in a 125 gallon tank. At least we can always see the Sexy Shrimp, Porcelain Anemone Crabs, etc. as they are almost always in or around the anemones. I get rare glimpses of the Porcelain Rock Crabs and almost never see the big Black Brittle Star even though it's huge compared to the shrimp and crabs. In other words, if there are small things you really like, then small tanks are much better.

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I think it is all relative when we describe smaller tanks as "harder". I kept a nanocube (12 gallons) for 6 of my 9 years of reefing, and didn't once have a crash. Though I had to be meticulous with the regularity of my water changes, it was easily done with such a small volume of water. Besides that, the tank pretty much took care of itself. Any newbie can setup a similar system with similar husbandry practices, and more than likely be successful. I didn't have a magic touch of any sort. Just the same as everybody else starting out, we read what we could and did the best we could to keep our little oceans alive.

Relatively speaking, if someone was to ask me if keeping my 125-gallon is easier than my nanocube? I would say a hell of a lot easier. I don't have to worry about large scale changes occurring quickly within a small body of water. It's more stable, when compared to the 12g nanocube I had.

I think the well-intentioned advice of some of the folks for Drew, including myself, was that after his larger system crashed on him, the mindset was that he would go to a smaller system (a pico) because it was easier. None of us want him to lose his passion for saltwater tanks and just want to warn that in our experiences (again, just our experiences), keeping the smaller system was harder than when we ran a larger volume system, let alone a pico.

Emily, you give great advice on buying what you can afford and reasonably maintain. I understand the sentiment for defending smaller tanks. More often then not, I miss my nanocube and its simplicity and beauty. George hit a good point as well, that smaller tanks are great at letting you focus on the smaller things in the sea. I just wanted to state that the emphasis on the unstableness of smaller systems in this topic was for more Drew's sake in case his thought was keeping a pico system was easier than his larger system.

To be honest, I don't think I could keep a pico system alive myself. But since Drew has Kim's mentoring, I'm sure he will be fine in his new tank setup. As always, I hope I didn't offend anyone as that is never my intent.

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