Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > Reef Discussion
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 11/08/2020, 07:42 PM   #1
Littlesmit
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Unhappy Tank slowly dying

Will try to give as much information as possible. I'm a freshwater person so am mightly flumoxed by this formerly thriving tank.

The tank:
100 gallons with 20ish gallon sump. Set up and happy for 8+ years. 2 clowns hosted in a large (18") toadstool mushroom, kole tang, yellow tang, 2 green chromis, 2 yellow belly damsels, 1 large and hundreds of small brittle stars, fire shrimp, banded coral shrimp and a very active collector urchin. Corals - large toadstool, large tree coral, zoanthid polyps, button polyps, torch coral, several leather corals, several chalice corals, many hammer corals and many many many red and blue mushrooms.

Water changes once per week 10-15 gallons using RO water from Ontario municipal water source. Premixed in large plastic garbage can (lid on) with circ pump and let set to mix until next water change. Matched to tank water for salinity - always 1.020 to 1.024. Seachem boxed salt. Moved cat litter box out of laundry room recently in case it was the issue. Adding bags of carbon to this reservoir too in a fit of trying ideas.

Nitrate and phosphate checked semi-regularly and always been negligible. <5 according to API test kits used. Other tests recorded below. These 2 never waiver. Test kits all API tests. Salinity measured with refractometre.

Tank thriving. Moved locations within same city March 2020. Everything transitioned well and no livestock or corals were lost - in fact we found a few we didn't know were still alive because they were hidden from view before. All practices stayed the same and all looked the same.

24 July - fire shrimp died. No other cause for concern
26 Aug - concern hammers closing and not opening up, some polyps being taken over by mushrooms
28 Aug - added banana wrasse, spotted goby and Xenia coral from quarantine tank (2 months in there)
5 Sept - red chalice dying, can't find goby. wrasse happy and xenia thriving
11 sept - torch dying, started upping water changes. Changed phos beads in reactor and added carbon, used Aiptasia-X to kill a few mushrooms near polyps to give them a chance
18 sept - calcium 280 ppm - start dosing calcium a few times a week
24 sept - torch gone, calcium 320ppm, 2nd dose of Aiptasia-x to get some aiptasia. Only used 2-3 syringes worth
1 oct - leathers weak, KH 8-9, calcium 360
2 oct - damsel died (at least 6 years old), snail died (at least 4 years old)
6 oct - new RO unit and new inserts, most button polyps gone.
10 oct - calcium 400, KH 9. mushrooms not opening fully
8 Nov - calcium 440, KH 9. Wrasse missing, no body. Toadstool staying closed. Most corals closed most of time or fully gone. Other fish acting normally and feeding fine.

Since tank move: no change in food or feeding regime. No change in algae. No direct sunlight on tank. No change in cleaning chemicals used in tank room.
Sump - refugium - thriving caulerpa - no change. Protein skimmer actively working - no change. No change in circ or return pumps. Lights replaced November 2018 and regularly wiped to keep clean. No electricity felt when servicing tank. Temp of tank 25*C with no change.

I'm at my wits end. What else do I test? What else do I think about? What am I missing?


Littlesmit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/11/2020, 09:46 PM   #2
Oldreeferman
Registered Member
 
Oldreeferman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: NW Indiana Valparaiso
Posts: 410
You have not mentioned your substrate, is it a deep sand bed by any chance? Only thing that comes to mind if swapping tanks or moving. They don't take a disturbance well if in an old mature tank.


__________________
Montipora Digitas, Cyphastrea, Blastos, different Leptoseris, Green Stylo, GSP, gorgonions, Ricordea mushrooms, psammocoras, Birdsnest coral, Clownfish, Watchman goby, Royal gamma, cardinalfish.

Current Tank Info: Nano Reef tank
Oldreeferman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/12/2020, 07:49 AM   #3
Timfish
Registered Member
 
Timfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,842
Regarding the sand if it's an 8 year old system I would replace a lot of it with new sand. I wouldn't disturbe any of the aquascaping to get it all out but just would replace what's easily removed with siphoning.

It sounds like the GAC is just set in bags in the water flow which doesn't work too well, I would use it in a reactor so there's a good consistant water flow forced through it.

I would stop carbon dosing if your doing it as well as stop dosing any amino acids.

One thing I've found useful if fixing these problems in systems that have been running for years like your is running a diatom filter. Corals are constantly shedding their mucus coatings as the bacteria in it ages and it seems to gradually alter the microbial composition over time. Water changes help keep slow this shift but may not prevent a slow huiild up (I've heard 2nd hand Jason Fox does frequent large water changes). Diatom filters are a hassle to set up and run and they clog very quickly but as an alternative you might try a series of very large and frequent water changes.


__________________
"Our crystal clear aquaria come nowhere close to the nutrient loads that swirl around natural reefs" Charles Delbeek
Timfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/12/2020, 10:05 AM   #4
Michael Hoaster
Registered Seaweedist
 
Michael Hoaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,362
This sounds kinda like 'Old Tank Syndrome". This is a general term with many possible causes. I found an article that goes into several.

https://reefs.com/magazine/old-tank-syndrome/

Think about all the stuff we add to our tanks over the years. Now think about all the ways we export stuff from our tanks. It would make sense that some of it gradually builds up. And then there's Allelopathy - chemical warfare, between corals, algae and even bacteria.

Moving the tank probably upset the delicate balance, and now things are out of whack. I agree with Timfish that efficient charcoal usage is called for. Oldreeferman also brings up a good point about your sand bed. Things tend to accumulate in them. Moving the substrate would release a lot of unknowns into the water.


__________________
As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
Michael Hoaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/12/2020, 11:58 AM   #5
Littlesmit
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4
Thanks for the replies. The carbon is in a carbon reactor in the sump. I do know there's a bit of a delicate balance of not enough carbon to make it worth while, and too much it gets clogged. I will recheck and see how it works.
The bed is crushed coral aragonite and isn't terribly deep. It was regularly siphoned before and after the move and didn't have any deep areas to have anaerobic pockets.
We are going to try several very large ie 50-60% water changes to clear things out. My experience with old tank syndrome in freshwater is that it reflects in the water chemistry we can see - ie usually it's the KH that drops fast, which hasn't happened here.
I've got a friend with a diatom filter I've borrow before. That' a great suggestion and will try that too.
Thanks everyone


Littlesmit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/12/2020, 02:42 PM   #6
Anemone
Cloning Around

 
Anemone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Valencia, California
Posts: 25,146
You mention "changing the lights" in November, 2018. What do you mean - new bulbs, or new lighting system? What type of lights are you using?

I noticed a few other things - nitrate and phosphate NEED to be present for corals to grow (generally nitrate at 100x higher than phosphate - ie, 0.02 ppm phosphate with 2 ppm nitrate). Obviously, you caught your very, very low calcium, but that could be a contributor.

Finally, you mention your SG at 1.020-1.024. Depending upon timeframes, that a pretty large swing (20% change).

All of the above could have an effect on your tank's inhabitants, especially the corals. Lots of light but not enough calcium could cause problems for stoney corals (of all types). Adding back calcium while not having enough nutrients to support growth with the available lighting can also result in coral failure - especially when you have other competitors for the available nutrients (like your caulerpa).

It could also be the "old tank syndrome" catch-all mentioned above - it seems to happen, but without anyone being able to pin a real reason on it.

Kevin


__________________
Back in the pool, swimming with the sharks...

Current Tank Info: Red Sea 425XL w/Kessil AP700, Vertex 180i Skimmer, 2 x Vortech MP40s

Last edited by Anemone; 11/12/2020 at 03:24 PM.
Anemone is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11/16/2020, 05:06 PM   #7
Sinn Sage
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 53
Look at what has changed since you moved. Could it be your new water source? Maybe that stuff coming out of your faucet isn't really that healthy. Ask your local water supplier and see what are chems that put in there.


__________________
Sinn
Sinn Sage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11/17/2020, 01:34 PM   #8
mhurley
RC Staff
 
mhurley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Illinois'ish
Posts: 38,764
Can't hurt to get an ICP test done. You may find something out of whack there.


__________________
Mike

Current Tank Info: 60G Cube
mhurley is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:28 PM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2021 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.