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Old 10/30/2018, 09:56 AM   #1
The_King
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Dead tank

Iím freakin out a little. So help me out. I have a 30 Gal tank, 2 HOB filters, about 10-12lb live rock, wave maker and a heater. I have Matrix in bags in both filters. An activated carbon in bag hanging in the aquarium (it was going to be temporary). Ok now, parameters were fine and then I did my weekly water change Sunday night, 5 gal changed. I added Prime, stability, Marine Buffer, AmmoLock, StressZyme.
Next night I tested water and Ammonia was slightly high, nitrite was bad, nitrate was ok, and ph was 8.0. So I added all of the above again ( two nights in a row). This morning the whole tank is dead i.e, 2 clownfish and 2 damsels. This is my only second month with the saltwater. Did I overdose on all that stuff ? But nitrite was high and PH was low. Water is very cloudy.




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Old 10/30/2018, 10:05 AM   #2
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buy an RO/DI unit or buy RO/DI water from you lfs.
you dont want to add any of that stuff into your tank.
a fully cycled tank should have any ammnia.


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Old 10/30/2018, 11:09 AM   #3
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I am sorry to hear about the loss of your fish. It sounds like your tank has several issues.

1. It seems that your system never really completed a cycle and/or cannot handle the bioload. 10-12 lbs of live rock is not a lot for a 30g tank. I would recommend doubling that at the least. the rock should be your main form of filtration.

2. It sounds like you are using tap water in your system. This can cause a large number of issues in saltwater systems. There are a lot of contaminants in tap water that are harmful to our tanks, and even with lots of chemicals (like you are using) these can be deadly. If you are adding this water to the tank regularly, you could be killing the bacteria that breaks down the ammonia and nitrites causing it to cycle after each water change.

3. You are adding A LOT of useless and potentially harmful things to your water in an attempt to correct issues created by using tap water. I have NEVER used Prime, stability, Marine Buffer, AmmoLock, or StressZyme in any saltwater system and you should not need to if things are done properly.

4. Do not chase pH. You mention that your pH was at 8.0 and that it was low. 8.0 is not low at all. Many systems struggle to get above 7.6-7.8 and still have no problems. The key is stability. Ignore the pH, it will fluctuate and that is normal. As long as you keep everything else in check, your pH will not get to dangerous levels.

As mentioned by ClownNut, start with RODI. Take things slowly, research, and then move even slower while doing even more research. Ask as many questions here as needed. We are all happy to help and answer questions. We were all in your shoes at some point and most learned valuable lessons from these experiences. good luck with the restart and keep us updated.

P.S. - PLEASE stop using all of these additives and get an RO system. If you can't get an RO, buy RODI water from a LFS. If that is not an option, use distilled water from the grocery store, just don't use tap water any more.


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Old 10/30/2018, 05:12 PM   #4
The_King
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Originally Posted by lpsouth1978 View Post
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your fish. It sounds like your tank has several issues.



1. It seems that your system never really completed a cycle and/or cannot handle the bioload. 10-12 lbs of live rock is not a lot for a 30g tank. I would recommend doubling that at the least. the rock should be your main form of filtration.



2. It sounds like you are using tap water in your system. This can cause a large number of issues in saltwater systems. There are a lot of contaminants in tap water that are harmful to our tanks, and even with lots of chemicals (like you are using) these can be deadly. If you are adding this water to the tank regularly, you could be killing the bacteria that breaks down the ammonia and nitrites causing it to cycle after each water change.



3. You are adding A LOT of useless and potentially harmful things to your water in an attempt to correct issues created by using tap water. I have NEVER used Prime, stability, Marine Buffer, AmmoLock, or StressZyme in any saltwater system and you should not need to if things are done properly.



4. Do not chase pH. You mention that your pH was at 8.0 and that it was low. 8.0 is not low at all. Many systems struggle to get above 7.6-7.8 and still have no problems. The key is stability. Ignore the pH, it will fluctuate and that is normal. As long as you keep everything else in check, your pH will not get to dangerous levels.



As mentioned by ClownNut, start with RODI. Take things slowly, research, and then move even slower while doing even more research. Ask as many questions here as needed. We are all happy to help and answer questions. We were all in your shoes at some point and most learned valuable lessons from these experiences. good luck with the restart and keep us updated.



P.S. - PLEASE stop using all of these additives and get an RO system. If you can't get an RO, buy RODI water from a LFS. If that is not an option, use distilled water from the grocery store, just don't use tap water any more.


Thanks. That helps a lot. I never realized that those additives are not commonly used by saltwater aquarists. Feeling even more silly and been wanting to bang head against a wall.
So youíre saying if I use RODI system or water from fish store, I do not need to add anything at all and parameters will not fluctuate so much after weekly water change ? And should I do it weekly or biweekly. What about marine salt. Will I need to add that too with RODI or thatís also not needed separately ?
(I should have asked these questions long time ago).

Thanks for help in advance.



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Old 10/30/2018, 06:19 PM   #5
lpsouth1978
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Thanks. That helps a lot. I never realized that those additives are not commonly used by saltwater aquarists. Feeling even more silly and been wanting to bang head against a wall.
So youíre saying if I use RODI system or water from fish store, I do not need to add anything at all and parameters will not fluctuate so much after weekly water change ? And should I do it weekly or biweekly. What about marine salt. Will I need to add that too with RODI or thatís also not needed separately ?
(I should have asked these questions long time ago).

Thanks for help in advance.



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As long as you are using RODI, you should not need any of the additives. The RO system will remove all of the chlorine and impurities in the water.

I do a 10-15% water change every week, though the frequency can vary greatly from person to person and tank to tank. Anytime you do a water change you need to make sure that the temp and Salinity (SG) of the water matches your tank water. To do this you will want a quality refractometer. Mix the salt into the RODI until it is at a SG of 1.026 or 35ppt. If you purchase pre-mixed saltwater from the LFS I would still recommend that you test the SG and adjust it as needed.

When you are topping off the tank for evaporation, use ONLY RODI water with no salt added (freshwater). If you replace the evaporated water with saltwater your SG will go WAY up and everything will die.


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Old 10/30/2018, 06:23 PM   #6
The_King
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Can you recommend a good RO system for purchase. I see them from $100 all the way to $500 and more and something good enough for a 30G tank.



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Old 10/30/2018, 08:57 PM   #7
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https://www.marinedepot.com/Vertex_T...SABEgJ2IPD_BwE
Great unit,with booster pump,fully automated and ON SALE...


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Old 10/30/2018, 11:13 PM   #8
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Can you recommend a good RO system for purchase. I see them from $100 all the way to $500 and more and something good enough for a 30G tank.



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a cheap BRS RODI system works. for a small tank, 4 stage 75 gallon/day is plenty

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/?gcli...waAn5TEALw_wcB

or look at used units in your local forum section. they usually sell between $30-100. you just need to replace all the filters.


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Old 10/31/2018, 12:25 AM   #9
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The unit hottuna linked seems like a VERY good unit for a great price.


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Old 10/31/2018, 12:28 AM   #10
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The unit hottuna linked seems like a VERY good unit for a great price.


Thanks. Also, I have 2 HOB filters. Is that enough for a 30G tank or do I really need skimmer. I might wait a little but if I am going to start over I better do it right this time.



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Old 10/31/2018, 12:51 AM   #11
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Skimmers are by no means a requirement. In small tanks it is pretty easy to do regular water changes and remove the need for a skimmer. A skimmer is simply one way to remove unwanted contaminants from the water. Water changes are just as effective, if not more so, you may just need to do them a little more often.

As for the HOB filters, they are really not needed either if there is enough live rock in the system to provide the required space for bacteria to inhabit to sufficiently break down ammonia and nitrites. The live rock is really all the filtration needed. If you want to keep the HOB filters on the tank, I would just use them for mechanical filtration, by placing som polyfilter in them, and chemical filtration as needed by placing carbon, GFO, Chemipure, etc., as it may be needed from time to time. Otherwise just use them for added flow.

You have a little bit of a head start on cycling the tank again. I would not add any live stock for a while, get more quality rock in there, and let it sit for a month or so. "Feed" the tank from time to time, wait 24 hours and test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. After you have seen the ammonia then nitrite spike and drop to 0, and the nitrate rise, you have your cycle nearly complete. At this point I would do a water change to bring the nitrates down again, feed the tank again, wait 24 hours and test your water. There should be 0 ammonia and nitrites, and nitrates should be slightly elevated.

Once all of this has taken place, you should be ok to start adding live stock again. on a 30g system, I would probably do a 5g water change weekly to keep things stable and nitrates low. Do this and you should be well on your way to a successful system.

By the way, do you have any sort of auto top off system? This is something that I HIGHLY recommend, especially for small tanks. Even a little bit of evaporation on a small tank, can throw off your numbers and start causing problems pretty quick. Stability is key. You can get by just fine with manual daily top offs while you have only fish, and with corals if you are diligent and top off as often as possible, but the tank will be much more stable with an ATO.


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Old 10/31/2018, 01:16 AM   #12
The_King
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Skimmers are by no means a requirement. In small tanks it is pretty easy to do regular water changes and remove the need for a skimmer. A skimmer is simply one way to remove unwanted contaminants from the water. Water changes are just as effective, if not more so, you may just need to do them a little more often.

As for the HOB filters, they are really not needed either if there is enough live rock in the system to provide the required space for bacteria to inhabit to sufficiently break down ammonia and nitrites. The live rock is really all the filtration needed. If you want to keep the HOB filters on the tank, I would just use them for mechanical filtration, by placing som polyfilter in them, and chemical filtration as needed by placing carbon, GFO, Chemipure, etc., as it may be needed from time to time. Otherwise just use them for added flow.

You have a little bit of a head start on cycling the tank again. I would not add any live stock for a while, get more quality rock in there, and let it sit for a month or so. "Feed" the tank from time to time, wait 24 hours and test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. After you have seen the ammonia then nitrite spike and drop to 0, and the nitrate rise, you have your cycle nearly complete. At this point I would do a water change to bring the nitrates down again, feed the tank again, wait 24 hours and test your water. There should be 0 ammonia and nitrites, and nitrates should be slightly elevated.

Once all of this has taken place, you should be ok to start adding live stock again. on a 30g system, I would probably do a 5g water change weekly to keep things stable and nitrates low. Do this and you should be well on your way to a successful system.

By the way, do you have any sort of auto top off system? This is something that I HIGHLY recommend, especially for small tanks. Even a little bit of evaporation on a small tank, can throw off your numbers and start causing problems pretty quick. Stability is key. You can get by just fine with manual daily top offs while you have only fish, and with corals if you are diligent and top off as often as possible, but the tank will be much more stable with an ATO.


Iím not aware of ATO system but I always did that manually. Ok so Iíll skip the skimmer. Live rock and RO/DI unit should do the job then I think. Iíll wait a month to properly cycle.


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Old 11/05/2018, 10:40 PM   #13
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Don't screw around. Buy the best:

https://airwaterice.com/reefkeepers-...eefkeeper.html

Price does not always equate to quality. I own two of these units (one for my reef, one for drinking water and ice cubes), and one of my friends bought one as well. The water out of this unit is lower in TDS than anything other than 100% distilled. It uses a quality membrane and solid carbon block filters, plus quality DI resin. It is a lab quality filtration unit. When my contractor was installing it in my kitchen he was wondering why I was being so adamant about connecting it to my ice maker - until I showed him with a TDS meter how much cleaner the water coming out of the filter was than his bottled water


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Old 11/05/2018, 10:59 PM   #14
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Iím freakin out a little.
Is this your first aquarium? I am not asking to make you feel bad or uncomfortable, but if it is your first aquarium the BEST thing you could do is to join a local aquarium club or society. You will learn more from one afternoon going and seeing someone else's tank(s) than a year of experimenting on your own.

You will also find that you can get better results with less effort once you know what you are doing - and why you are doing it.


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Old 11/05/2018, 11:03 PM   #15
The_King
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Is this your first aquarium? I am not asking to make you feel bad or uncomfortable, but if it is your first aquarium the BEST thing you could do is to join a local aquarium club or society. You will learn more from one afternoon going and seeing someone else's tank(s) than a year of experimenting on your own.



You will also find that you can get better results with less effort once you know what you are doing - and why you are doing it.


No actually I had an African cichlids tank for 7 years. But regarding your previous post, thanks for the suggestion but I had already ordered the 6 stage deluxe plus RODI system from BRS and will be delivered later this week. RODI water and no additives, I should be good. Other than this dead tank, I had no dead fish for 2 months I had the saltwater tank. I overdosed on additives two nights straight not realizing I had not done a whole water change but just barely a top-off but used the quantities same as a 20-25% water change. And then again. Yeah I donít know what was I thinking.




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