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LR, crashing. Help!


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Help Please! I have a friend that has a 55 gallon LR tank that is crashing. What could be the cause? Her ammonia is off the charts, her Nitrate is high and her PH is dropping. She says her snails are dieing like flies. Can anyone help? Thanks for any advice! W.

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Well... there's not a lot of info here (age of tank etc....)... are you sure its not the snails causing the problem? If the tank is new and the LR is uncured... there's your answer... i dunno need more info....

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Sorry about that.

55 gallon Live Reef running since October.

2 Damsels

1 Tang

1 Foxface Lo

25 lbs. LR

35 lbs. base rock


High readings this weekend so did a 20% water change then a 50% water change the next day since they were climbing.

Added White diamond to absorb ammonia.

Ph 7.0

Nitrite 0.1

Nitrate 2.5

Ammonia 1.75


Is White diamond okay to use? Thanks for any help here.


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is that pH right? 7.0?


are we talking FW or SW. isn't "white diamond" zeolite and totally useless in SW? try ammo-lock or whatever they call it.


what kind of filter is running on that? you might want to pop on a wet/dry real quick to control those readings.

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It's better to ask about the safety of a product BEFORE using it. Were the snails dead before or after ammonia spikes? That stuff you added could have killed them.... what were the ammonia reading before the water changes? what was the ph before the water changes...

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inverts are ph sensative, with a ph of 7 that alone will kill the snails. trites and ammonia are super toxic, with the levels in that tank I doubt anything will survive, does you friend have a qt tank?

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ok, I will check to make sure but I think she added the White diamond when the ammonia spiked. She had a gobie that kind of started this entire mess by taking all of its food under a rock and not eating it. She found the slimey mess and cleaned it out but the ammonia was already sky high. OH and yes that PH is right. I told her you said to take the white diamond out so I'm sure shes doing that. I'm sure she doesnt have access to a wet/dry but I will suggest it to her. The PH dropped after the ammonia spike so I suppose it was due to the zeolite? Is there anything she should do to raise her PH slowly? Thanks so much for your help! I'm glad I don't have a tank yet. I joined so I could learn and its working! I just hate to see her lose all her reef critters. Will they all die? If so will she have to get new LR or what?


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I forgot to say earlier that she also has a protein skimmer. I don't know what kind, didn't ask. Does that make a difference? Also, she doesn't have another tank to go to with them. That was my first suggestion was to get as many out as she could and she said she has no place to put them.

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fastest way to safely boost that low of a pH would be to do another water change imo. dumping in buffers and such will only stress the fish more.


tell her to be careful to maintain temp and salinity.

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She removed the zeolite, she's doing a water change and watching for dead snails. So far the fish are okay but she's going to keep an eye on them. I hope this doesn't ruin the hobby for her. Thanks again. I went to those sites you gave me gobies, they sound similar but no zeolite was used. All the same it was informative. I think I'll be waiting a long long time before I take the plunge into reef tanks. I have always loved the sight of a well kept, well done tank but never knew how very involved they are to do! You guys that have mastered it are chemistry wizards. That tank on the main page? Cal something? That is an amazing tank. Wish I could do one like that.


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