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My entire tank died ... overnight


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Last night when I flipped on the lights to my tank, and I was shocked to find everything in my tank, all my fish, my brittle star, everything dead. I've had it up and running for about 2 years now, and lately been having problems with an uncontrollable infestation of aiptasia. I am at a total loss as to what happened. One suspect would be that our power went out for a couple of hours while I was out, but this shouldn't be enough to kill everything should it? With everything dead (except the aiptasia of course, which is flourishing), I plan to take the tank down, but am a little concerned. Having everything die so quickly, are there any health hazards I should be aware of for my own safety when cleaning it? Any ideas on what might have happend? Here is my setup


33 gal tank

Fluval 304 filter

2x96W compact fluorescents

2 Hagan powerheads

40lbs liverock


niger trigger

copper-banded butterfly

2 chromis

2 yellow-tailed damsels

1 perc clown

1 green brittle star

1 moonstone


Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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WOW! sorry to learn about your loss.

2hrs of power failure wouldnt cause this... not unless your tank

was over crowded. But highly unlikely. Fish live longer in a plastic bag during transit. Go figure.

Hang on youre in Calgary... how cold was it that evening?

5 fish in 33g doesn't seem over crowded.

Did you check all your levels?


I went away for vacation last summer, had my tanks setup up with auto feeders... everything was healthy and humming.


Returned 6 days later to find the power was off at the meter.

lost one sinularia, cumcumber and anemone.... nearly lost the fish but a quick 30% water change and getting the pumps running again saved the reef!!! All the fish recovered that night.

From the state of the tank, i reckon the power was off for 2-3 days. Lots of flake accumulated at the bottom.

So 2 hours? I doubt it. Depends how cold it is there......


I hear Copperband Butterflyfish love aiptasia.

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5 fish is boarder line but 8 would definatly have issues


that is allot of fish. i have a 25 and i only have two fish four would be my max.


i niger trigger is a big fish (copperbands can be too)

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How long has it been since you have added anything or changed anything? How long since you last tested your parameters?

Not trying to argue with anyone, but if you have been up and running for a while (you said two years) I doubt they all succomed to oxygen starvation all of a sudden. How was the health of the tank over that past few weeks? No signs of trouble?

I am sorry for your loss. No, I would not worry about anything in the tank being harmful to you if all you are doing is cleaning it.

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