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Tank crashed today...


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Today when I got home from work, the tank was cloudy and my yellow clown goby was dead lying on the substrate. The mushrooms, zoos and the ric ( was having some problems: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/showthread...&threadid=16683) were closed up, and hermits and snails were barely moving. I added erythromycin to the tank yesterday to clear up some cyano, after reading in several forums here and on RC that it was safe to treat cyano. Everything was fine as of last night.


This morning the water was slightly cloudy, but everything was looking OK. I did an ammonia test and it showed 0ppm. This evening test results were: 80F, SG 1.025, pH 8.0, NH3/4+ 0ppm, NO2 0ppm, NO3 2.5 ppm, Alk 4.5 meq. I put the carbon back in (took it out for the antibiotic), did a .5g WC and turned off the lights. Later tonight I'll change another .5g.


The erythromycin is Virbac brand, called Maracyn and made for freshwater. It says to use one tablet per 10g each day for 5 days. I added about ~1/3 of a tablet. The only thing off in the tests was the pH. It has always tested at 8.3. Oh, and the cyano has also grown since this morning. Tomorrow I will see how cloudy the water is and keep doing the water changes. I'll also change the carbon (using Seachem Seagel). Is there anything else I should do to keep the corals / inverts alive, and what water parameters did I screw up?

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Their are Maracyn "Saltwater" antibiotics.......I wonder if the people on RC meant that.......sounds like something toxic in it to SW species.....

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I hope it doesn't have copper in it, that would be bad news. The package said safe for inverts, so i would think it wouldn't. I think the only difference between FW and SW versions is the SW adds a B-vitamin complex. I've changed just over 1g in 2 WCs now, and will do another .5g in the morning. The scarlet hermit and astrea snail appear to be back to normal, and two of the mushrooms are open. The ricordia doesn't look very good though, everything else hasn't improved. I'm thinking maybe the medicine changed the O2 / CO2 balance, considering the pH is lower.

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I did the same thing a few years ago in a Saltwater tank. I grabbed the freshwater kind not the Salt. I lost a bunch of fish. About $600 all together. I got out of the hobby until last year because of my screw up.


If you have to make up a bunch of saltwater. Put your corals in it quaranteen them in seperate containers. Or bags.


What kind of tank do you have acrylic or glass


If you have glass the copper will stay in the silicon sealer. You can only use it for fresh water


If you have a one piece acrylic tank you should be fine. But you will have to start over.

I would be afraid to use the sand or the LR.


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But if you act quickly you may be able to save some of the more hardier species.


You may want to use a ph buffer incase I am wrong lets hope I am but I would take the precations


Where are you located at? Lexington Louisville is a large area. I drive to Louisville from Paducah every night.

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So it does definately have copper in it?? The tank is acrylic. What about Seachem cuprisorb, will that work? I guess the first thing I need to do is test for it. But if I did add copper why did my fish die and inverts live? Maybe you are thinking of Maracyn II, it turns the water blue/green. This was a solid white tablet. BTW I should probably change the location in my profile to just Lexington, my parents live in Louisville and I am in there often, thats why I had both.

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Have a product called EM tablets which is a cheap/genreic Maracyn. It is basiclay erythromycin. I bought it for some red slime But did not use it yet. The package says that salt water animals should be moved to a hospital tank while the main tank isbeing treated. It also says that in Salt watet tanks that it will "temproay depress the actvitiy of the biological filter cuasing a sureg in ammonia. Considering how high we maintain PH in salt water Tanks ANY ammonia present will be very toxic. Add the contuinuing ammonia out put of your tank mates while the treatment is taking place you end up having a LOT of ammoina present for a short time long enough to do damage and maybe not long enough to be picked up by your testing kits.

Hye do abny of you guys get an error message when ya try to use the spell checker?

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Well as long as there is no copper in the tank it should be ok. The water was clear this morning after running carbon all night. I'll change the carbon again and keep up with the water changes at least for another day. Hopefully I won't come home from work today to find another death. Thanks for all the help. I'll be more carefull what I add from now on.

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I don't mean to sound like an ass, and I surely do hope your tank recovers, but despite all the conjecture, the bottle did say "for freshwater". You used it in "salt water". Keep us posted on how it all recovers.

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I know it said for freshwater only, but I came across posts here and on RC where people specifically said that FW Maracyn is reef safe. I would have picked up the SW version if the LFS had it. Its my fault for not doing any of my own research after what I read.


It looks like everything else is going to survive. The water is clear and all the critters are moving around again, and the corals are open. I guess it was ammonia that got the fish, but my test kit still doesn't detect anything.

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I'm very sorry about your tank, Pulse. My eclipse3 crashed a few times before I moved to an 11 gallon tank. I feel crappy about what happened, but I always believed that any chemicals in a tank less than 20 gallons is bad news.

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The only difference between FW and SW Maracyn is the fact that SW has added B-vitamins to stimulate appetite because it isn't very effective if the fish aren't eating.

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Thanks everyone for all the help and support. Luckily all of the inverts are doing well now, and the tank is crystal clear. I think the cyano may disappear as well. Haven't decided yet if I'm going to replace the fish. I'll keep testing to see if another cycle starts.

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Dave Scheiner

Pulse13, sorry to hear about your tank crash, I know it s**ks. You mentioned that you read posts where other people used fresh water Maracyn, well I'm one of those people! I used the same brand you used, made by Vibac. There is no copper in it. I used 1 tab in my 29. Everything worked out well for me, maybe being more dilute saved me.


Anyway let us know when you're back up and running. I have a nice ric that is starting to split, let me know I'll be happy to send the new one off to you.

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I just started with Maracyn tonight, made by Mardel. I'm using it to hopefully save my fish from infections not yet identified. It's so hard to know for sure until the symptoms are so noticeable, the fish are dead. I got the SW version the one with the tang on the front of the box. Your right about the shrooms, they don't like it very much. I think where you went wrong also, is how much you put in.. The instructions say to put in i tablet for 20gal. in a SW and 1 for 10gal in freshwater. I have a 15 gal. and I used half a tablet. My only concern is that I have corals so i didn't want to use to much. I feel your pain, I hope my fish get better and I don't loose any corals. I'd almost rather loose the two clowns since the corals would cost so much more to replace, but I feel bad for the fish.. I'm also adding cycle everyday to hopefully replenish some of the good bacteria that will likely die from the meds. Goodluck with your tank, Hope all is well.

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It wacks the GOOD bacteria also if you OD the dosage. THAT is what caused your water to cloud. Also, it does have a small ammount of copper, but not enough to cause serious side effects.

In an acrylic tank, chances are it will come out fine.



ENTER ESPI PLUG REPLY # A billion and one... (Crakuer.... this sound familliar ? )

The better remedy is NO-CYA-NO from Fish Vet or Red Sea RED SLIME REMOVER. It is Kanocyn BUT it has the terchiary Phospho group not in the formula like Erythomyacin does..... THAT is why it is 15.00 a container.


Do a few W/C... ya will get it back to square 1.


BTW.... What brand salt U using and do you have RODI ?

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Dave Scheiner, thanks for the offer, but my ric survived and is doing well. What color ric do you have that is going to split? Maybe if mine ever does we can trade.


The mushrooms, zoos and inverts all are doing well, and the cyano actually cleared up. Thats what I was thinking too that it was an overdose that killed off a lot of good bacteria. I don't know how much it affected the cycle though because all the tests showed zero, but it was just enough to kill the fish and nothing else. I'm using IO salt and RO water from a machine in the grocery store. I'm about to switch to RO/DI that I can get a work. Don't know if I'll get another fish, but I think I'm going to add a skunk cleaner shrimp in about a week. The tank is just too boring without the fish now.

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