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(Someone?) Tripped my GFI


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Hi All,

Thought I'd share this morning’s bad news and look for thoughts. I went to my office today and immediately noticed my maroon clown fish was dead along with several snails and all of my green mushrooms. My small black spined urchin and two red hermits seem to be alive and I have a colony of green zoas that are closed. Apparently the floors were waxed and someone might have pushed the cords behind my tank accidentally tripping the GFI unit controlling heating and flow. Combine that with an energy savings plan that reduced the temperature of the building and I am very bummed. I was last here three days ago so I can say for sure right now when the unit was tripped. I have removed ~40% of the water and replaced about ~25% back with warm salt water I had previously prepared for a change. I added an extra heater but I am pretty confident that it was the tripped GFI and not an issue with the newer stealth heater. The temp is now ~58 and I will let the heaters go from there.

Questions: (1) Will the urchin survive? It was purchased as a temporary tool to combat an ongoing outbreak of lobophora yet has now been in the tank for a while mostly because I have no clue how to get it out. I am not too excited about touching it despite the ease with which the LFS placed it in the bag.

(2) Will the zoas survive? This was my first coral and I grew it from say eight heads to ~30. I really like it.

(3+4) Should I begin testing water parameters tomorrow and prepare for another large water change tomorrow or Wednesday? There are some other smaller dead creatures (snails and such) that I could not remove with the water change. Should I add another small cleanup crew this week to combat a potential spike in ammonia?


Any other thoughts are always appreciated. Thanks!



The tank:

24G NC DX up for ~1.8 years

Fish: one small maroon clown (not the best choice but I only have one fish?)

Coral: the now deceased mushrooms and one medium colony of zoas (dead?)

Clean up: all that likely remains are two red hermits.

Stealth 150W heater

1200 maxijet

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No idea on the urchin. Probably dead.


Zoas may yet survive. Tough as nails, but 58 is awfully low. Probably dead....but monitor them just in case. I've heard of tanks crashed during Katrina where zoa frags removed from dark cloudy death water after a week actually survived.


Yes to testing and yes to large water change (heat the water beforehand).

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Hi All,


At this point the tank is up to 72.4F which is still low but better. It appears that the urchin is fine as well as one small snail and two hermits. I appreciate the comments about the zoas and I'll hope for good luck. Thanks

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Your Urchin will be fine so long as it is not dropping spines. Also as for the Zoa's They are often the only coral that survives a tank crash. I hope they will be fine. It would suck to loose your first coral.

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