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Recovering from a Tank crash - Suggestions Please


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My 12 gallon Nano cube DX just crashed over the weekend and I'm slowly but surely recovering from it.


Here were the contents of my tank:

11 lbs live rock

12 lbs live sand

1 Bicolor pseudochomis

1 False Percula Clownfish

1 Six line Wrasse

2 turbo snails

1 red legged hermit crab

1 blue legged hermit crab

torch coral


maiden'shair (very green and healthy)

yellow polyps


1 brittle starfish



The only thing I could come up with that I had done differently on Saturday was this:

1) I had just received an order I'd placed for the Chemi-Mat (a phosphate remover filter pad) and put it in my tank at 1pm. I'd purchased it to try and reduce my phosphate levels because I've been battling red slime algae.


Description: This is a phosphate filter pad for f/w and s/w. It does not need water to be forced through it. All water needs to do is run over it. This simple and easy to use pad will remove all the diluted phosphates from your tank within 48 hours. When process has been completed simply remove the pad and discard. Can not be regenerated. It is non-toxic and contains no chemicals that would make it environmentally unsafe. It is safe for reef and plants.


Now, I'm not blaming this product - I'm just pointing out that this was the only newly introduced factor into the equation. I've had my tank for 3 months now and was testing it on a very regular basis. Prior to adding the pad, my parameters were pH=8.0, Ammonia=0, Nitrites=0 and Nitrates=5ppm, temp=80 degrees - all within very acceptable levels from what I've studied. I'm almost positive that there was no power outage or temperature change in my tank and that my heater is functioning properly, but I will take a closer look in to this.


I just wanted to give you all some background information because all my fish are dead but I was able to pull my coral out and take it to my LFS and they agreed to house them and hopefully revive them. I've taken out all of my live rock and placed it in a styrofoam container with a powerhead for circulation and a carbon filter to take out impurities. Now all that's left in my tank is the live sand. I've replaced about 9 out of the 10 gallons of remaining water with Distilled Water and Salt Mix.


I guess I'm just a little disheartened because I've tried to do as much research and studying as I could before I got my tank, I wasn't neglectful or careless and I still couldn't save my tank.


I was just wondering how I should begin again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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hmmn ive never used one of those phosphate sponges as i have refugiums but maybe when it says saltwater safe it might be toxic to reefs and/or inverts which might have killed something which in turn killed something else cause of water quality which set off a chain reaction etc etc. What are your params? Maybe thats it not sure cuz i have never used the product

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Everybody crashes. Everyone ... period. Whether it's in your first 6 months, or first six years of the hobby - it's going to happen. Look on the bright side - you've gotten it out of the way.


Strictly my personal opinion here ... but given your current circumstances, I would remove some of the live sand and add more liverock. You will likely experience a mini-cycle, but IMHO you will be better served in the long run.


Stick with it, keep learning. Let's face it, you're never really finished working on your tank.

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Originally posted by palaegic

Everybody crashes. Everyone ... period. Whether it's in your first 6 months, or first six years of the hobby - it's going to happen. Look on the bright side - you've gotten it out of the way.


I wonder where you got that? I would think that if you are totally prudent then you could get away without a tank crash.

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well i just had it happen to me and my tank was up for 4 months running strong and healthy and all of a sudden crashed on me. I lost 6 sps colonies. From all the people I've talked to...it happens to everyone at least once...especially if you have sps. Maybe not everyone perse but it can sneak up out of nowhere like it did on me. But my tank is recovering and i'm getting ready to setup my new 90 gallon now that my $10k check has arrived. Oh yea!

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one thing that really effected me, caused my first crash, was these water conditioners. I used them to keep the water from having copper and stuff, even though i use distilled it could have copper and stuff so i used them religiously. now i come to find that they drop the PH below 7...BAD!!! most times i would use a buffer without thinking of it for that reson, but one time i didnt and my PH dropped below 6.5 for 2 days, needless to say i lost most of the life. It's always somethign you wouldent think

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