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Reef rehab help please...


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Hey all. So I set up this 20 AIO a little over a year ago. Initially things were going well and I was enjoying things, but then things took a turn. I ended up getting flatworms from a coral frag, I had a few fish die (had a fish bring in velvet), and then had a big die off of corals, some that cost me quite a few clams. I got really discouraged and just let it go.


In its current state, I have what I believe are dinoflagellates all over the back wall and to a certain extent on the rock. It's kind of a jelly like substance. I have a carpet of red cyano. Still have flatworms, though it appears to be not as many as before. A couple dozen aiptasia. Despite my neglect, the royal gramma appears to be thriving. There are a few snails and crabs, and a few corals are still kicking around.


My plan to get this back to where it needs to be is as follows:


  1. Kill aiptasia. I just spent an hour combing over all the rocks and items in the tank looking for any of the unwelcome visitors and giving them a taste of Aiptasia X. (Complete)
  2. Dose for flatworms with flatworm exit. (Tomorrow)
  3. Scrape the back wall and do a water change directly after the flatworm exit, getting as much of the dinoflagellates and cyano off as I can in the process of the water change.
  4. I have purchased a media basket for the back compartment that I will stock with chemipure and some chaeto. I have also purchased a small grow light to put by the chaeto to help it grow and out-compete the different pests for nutrients.


I purchased a Red Sea gyre pump to replace another circulation pump that failed in just a few months of use. It worked great for a while.  I had the flow turned way down and it was perfect, but then I came in to the office one morning and the pump was on 100% and blew all the sand around the tank.  I need to figure out why it did that.


Any other steps I should be taking?

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You must do a rip clean. It’s the only way you can fix it. Don’t think that messing with dosers might not kill off dinos, that’s not all hard to pull off given the array of meds available 



but that’s no fix 🙂 it’s a hidden future loss 



if you manage to melt and kill all those invasion cells in the tank you’ll chemical soup the whole setup. Our way is surgical takedown cleaning for a reason, clean tanks don’t tradeoff dinos invasions for gha, and they don’t chemical soup anything because all cells are removed from the display in the takedown cleaning.


This is one of 1000 we have on file…rip cleans. 

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Here is 30 minutes required reading and you’ll never own an invaded nano reef as long as you live 




Read from page 12 to the end, takes 20 -30 mins max probably fifteen. Absorb all details, see the initial doubts in the crowd


see Sadies absolute resolve to win known early on 


see the outcome, look at the other tank that did a rip clean 

notice how growback management works, based on delay of start 


look what rinsed sand does for a clean sharp reef 



look in that reading set to learn what unrinsed sand does


everything is covered fully, all details of a rip clean 


We did not use nor consult:


any test kits whatsoever 



any form of identification, type of invasion doesn’t matter we handle all of them the same 



we did not use bottle bac, not ever, as rip cleans don’t harm the core filtration surfaces (the rocks)

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Here’s a matching job we did in your type of tank, a small cyano + chemical souping job from him adding meds into the tank vs rip clean…everything was drab and dull


and then after rip clean: snap clean 


shadow_k from reef2reef.com used with permission he’s happy to help rip clean examples, his tank is one of our first examples in the big rip clean thread over there:






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Your job will just entail scraping off the tank walls once it’s fully taken apart, wiping the empty tank back to 100% clean with vinegar, rinse dry and restock with all new sand (pre rinsed, entire point of the pre study) and all new water and the old rocks from the setup, all cleaned off surgically and put back. No bottle bac is ever used in a rip clean, that’s false training given by fearful folks who don’t do tank restoration jobs 



it is never required to add bottled cycling bacteria to a reef tank after cycling and it’s never beneficial to do so, and at no time will anyone’s tank die from not adding bottle bac after a cycle. The folks who make and sell bottle bac, along with myriad web forum guessers have made everyone doubt their filtration system. In my threads we know the truth, plenty of natural bacteria adhered to wet surfaces don’t ever need our boosting.


We are doing reef dentistry 100%. Look at the steps above 



this reef below is a rip clean done for GHA recovery, Gator reefers tank on reef2reef






you have the ability to fix your tank in six hours if you will it that way, the steps are clearly on file 


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