Fishfood's very very near disaster!

Discussion in 'Urgent Help Needed' started by Fishfood, 11 Jul 2009.

  1. Fishfood

    Fishfood

    Joined:
    15 May 2009
    Posts:
    241
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    jhb
    Woke up this morning to find that the power was off. Something had tripped the mains during the night.Walked to the tank first thing and realised straight away that something wasn't right.My zoas looked almost white and were all closed and my frogspawn was completely withdrawn.Only one fish to be seen - my regal tang squashed up against my thermometer and looking very dead.
    Then I noticed that the pumps were off.Got the power back on,turned on the lights and went into a huge panic!
    I felt kind of like that woman in the bible must have felt when she woke up one morning to discover she had rolled over and squashed her child during the night.
    We always jokingly complain about our wives and their lack of love for our tanks but I have to thank my wife for calming me down cos I was crazy!.Immediately sprung into action.I knew I had to oxegenate the water fast so I lifted my spraybar high above the water - luckily I have a big pump in my tank for this.
    started prepping some water for a water change.
    While waiting for the water for my change to heat up, things started to come back to life.My regal practically came back from the dead.
    Have just done my first water change and am very relieved to say that everything is alive.Just spotted my royal gramma which I didn't see for a long time!
    My clown and yellowtail damsel appeared and started to recover soon after I started aerating the water.My frogspawn polyps have extended again.
    Strangely enough my SPS's seem unnafected by this ordeal.My wife almost started to cry when she saw what she thought was a dead cleaner shrimp - luckily it was just his/her shell from moulting - they're both ok too.
    I feel so so so so lucky - this could have been much worse!
    Everyone on this site told me what a steep learning curve this hobby is and you couldn't be more right.
    Just so glad I got to learn a lesson without any losses - again!
    My first lesson was don't use a cheap hydrometer - ever!
    So if you, like me were thinking that this kind of thing will never happen to you - you're wrong - it can.
    I hope that others old and new will learn from my lesson.
    I'm off today to buy a back up inverter - the biggest I can find.Spent so much money on equipment and neglected to buy the one thing that is really one of the most important in this country - an inverter or generator.At least I know now that when a power failure comes along - and it will - i'm ready for it.
    Also my wife now understands why I get so annoyed when she turns off my pumps sometimes while watching t.v. - she didn't know this is what happens.
    Now my only worry is what will happen to my tank from now on and this is where I really need some good advice please.
    I've done one water change already.Nitrites appear fine but I'm going to check the ammonia now.Should I do some more water changes during the course of the day?
    My wet/dry trickle filter ran dry - does this mean that all the bacteria in the media have died off and is this going to affect my tank?If so how long will they take to recover?
    I am just worried now about the capabilites of the biological filtration in my tank now and whether it's been impaired.
    The sad thing is my tank had matured so nicely and everything I put in was loving it - just last night my shrimps hatched some babies.
    Just worried I'm not out of the woods just yet.
    Please any advice on anything else that I can do will be most most appreciated
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Warr7207

    Warr7207

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    12,781
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    JHB
    Depending how long the pumps were off and how much the temp. dropped, will determine the bacteria die off. You may have a mini cycle.

    Good to hear the fish made it.

    Have you investigated what caused the power trip, if it is your tank, you want to find the problem quick.

    What does the cheap hydrometer have to with this mishap ?

    Some sort of back-up system is always a great idea.
     
  4. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 May 2009
    Posts:
    241
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    jhb
    Thanks Warr
    I have found the source of the problem and sorted it.Luckily not in the tank.
    Can't be sure how long it was off for but could be anything up to 10 hours - while I slept.
    I'm guessing it was a very long time.
    Hydrometer doesn't have anything to do with it.Was just saying how sometimes you learn lessons the hard way and the previous lesson was not to use cheap hydrometers which all the LFS's tell u r ok.Nearly lost some fish back then but saw the mistake before it was too late.
    How do I deal with a mini cycle?
    Is this going to cause spikes in my tank and how do I deal with them and make sure all my livestock is unharmed?
     
  5. Warr7207

    Warr7207

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    12,781
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    JHB
    Water changes can help. If large amount of bacteria have died off, then your biological filter is not going work as well as previously. So becareful of overfeeding and watch parameters.

    The LS should handle a mini cycle, you just may found some corals (SPS) going brown.
     
  6. Boendoe

    Boendoe

    Joined:
    13 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wilropark Roodepoort
    Wow I glad everything survived Fishfood. Nice start to the weekend.
     
  7. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    10 hrs??? Too much :peroni::peroni::peroni:????
     
  8. Jaak

    Jaak

    Joined:
    2 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I'm glad everything made it so far! Geesh, that's scary how quickly it can happen...
     
  9. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 May 2009
    Posts:
    241
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    jhb
    Yeah great start to the weekend isn't it.
    Didn't have any :peroni:'s but I'm going to tonight to drown my sorrows.:(
    Warr if the SPS go brown will they recover and get their colour back?
    Don't know if it was always like that or if its just my imagination but my montipora does look a bit brown round the edges.
    How long do you think it will take for a mini cycle to run its course and for the biological filter to recover?
     
  10. Warr7207

    Warr7207

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    12,781
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    JHB
    It will recover, just give it time
     
  11. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 May 2009
    Posts:
    241
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    jhb
    Thanks guys
    Update: Everything still alive and looking better with each minute that passes.After first water change things are much better. :)
    Frogspawn has fully extended now.My regal is nibbling algae of the rocks and is starting to look unfazed by the incident. Churning oxygen into the tank with my pumps.
    Will continue to monitor parameters and do water changes as necessary
     
  12. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    3,370
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Glad that everything is still okay...
     
  13. Jaak

    Jaak

    Joined:
    2 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Great news
     
  14. RUAN

    RUAN

    Joined:
    8 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    glad to here everything is sorted
     
  15. chikaboo

    chikaboo

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Newcastle - KZN
    Good to hear everythings doing ok Fishfood - just keep and eye on parameters and keep us informed maybe if something out of whack can adjust accordingly - but your biggest telltale signs would be your livestock - if they seem like they on their way to recovery then everything should be on track soon - Keep the faith!
     
  16. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Glad it was not a total disaster :thumbup:

    Some points to consider:

    • your bacteria would have taken some knock - you won't know how bad until you get an ammonia spike. Because of this, don't feed anything for the next two days, and then only sparingly for the following week or two. Adding "Cycle" or one of the other "bacteria boosters" could help (and won't harm...).
    • "Dilution of pollution is the solution" - so if you get any detectable ammonia and/or nitrite readings then you should do partial water changes. DON'T do this with freshly made salt water, as freshly made water can be pretty harsh on your delicate inmates. Rather prepare the water in advance, and let it stand for at least 24 hours after adding the salt (you can keep the salt water for a week or two without any problems...). If possible, get yourself a 200 liter plastic drum and start filling it with RO water. When full, mix your salt, "just to be prepared"...
    • Your wet/dry filter would have taken a knock. You can assist the recovery of the bacteria by adding an airstone or two to the bottom of the tower, allowing the air to bubble up in the "wet" compartment.
    • Any algae growth occurring during the next 2-3 weeks should be considered as "additional filtration", as they will absorb some ammonia / nitrite / nitrate, and in doing so might prevent a lethal spike. So, DON'T remove this algae, even if it is diatoms or green hair algae - but do siphon off any cyano which threatens your corals.
    Good luck with the recovery.

    Hennie
     
  17. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 May 2009
    Posts:
    241
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    jhb
    Thank you to everyone who offered me support and advice.
    Hennie that's some great advice there - thanks very much.
    Leaving the algae is very clever.I have a caluerpa forest which spreads like wildfire on the one side of my tank so I won't be trimming that back for a while either.
    Luckily I have a container in which I prepare my water in so water was ready straight away this morning.Im sure my wet/dry has taken a big knock as the media must have dried out.Having said that though there is not very much media in there anyway (a few hundred grams compared to 15kg LR in tank) and I'm hoping that the LR will be able to handle most of the filtration duties.I'll be monitoring my parameters and keeping some prepared water ready when needed.
    At he moment everything has gone back to normal - almost as if nothing had happened but I'll keep monitoring my system.
    What a huge relief though - this morning I thought I was going to lose everything
     
  18. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    9,482
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    A Beautiful place!
    Good to hear all is OK - how's your tank doing today?
     
  19. Sentari

    Sentari

    Joined:
    15 May 2009
    Posts:
    2,084
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Weltevreden Park, Johannesburg
    Awesome Fishfood! I too have loads of power failures in my area so i will be to invest in a inverter and some sort of switch over. Good to hear everything is okay.
     
  20. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 May 2009
    Posts:
    241
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    jhb
    Hi
    Been off the forum for a while but been tending to my tank lately more than usual.
    I still live in regret of the day of the power failure - tank not quite the same since.
    Was so nice and stable and everything I put in seemed to love the conditions.
    Honestly has been a battle since then.
    Been adding Seachem Stabilise to try and recolonise the bacteria in my filter and also through in a bit of live rock from another established system.
    There weren't any real spikes or anything but there were a lot of times when some of the corals and my shrimps looked a bit unhappy (fish seem not to notice) and all I've really been able to do is do a water change.
    Also lost all of my caluerpa the day after the power failure (turned white,released spores and died - went to the toilet tank was clear came out and it was GREEN!)
    So I'm really dissapointed about that.
    My Frogspawn seems to have taken it the worst.Was feeding like crazy before and although extended now I still can't get it to eat.
    Anybody know what I can do - will it recover in time?
    Strangely enough all my SPS seems to have grown a lot and also my pincushion has grown like crazy.
    Doing another water change today and I can see that things are looking a lot better.
    I think the tank is starting to stabilise now.
    Damn - waht a knock.
    I suppose I can just be happy that I haven't lost anything yet - besides my caluerpa
    :(
     
  21. Warr7207

    Warr7207

    Joined:
    28 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    12,781
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    JHB
    Softies love high nutrition, out of whack systems.

    Not sure why your SPS are happy.

    Frogspawn don't like huge swings in temp, pH, Alk or basically any parameter, although they can handle non-pristine conditions, they just don't like huge, quick changes.
    Don't worry about it eating, long as you not getting tissue recession it will be cool.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Fishfood's very very Forum Date
Advent Specials.....everyday!!!!! Sponsor Specials 30 Nov 2016
Hair algae everywhere General Discussions and Advice 2 Oct 2016
Hi Everyone New Members 18 Sep 2016
Our very first golden marindo shipmenti Aquatic Warehouse 26 May 2016
Yuppie Pets Everything must go sale :) Sponsor Specials 30 Mar 2016
Hi Everyone! New Members 25 Mar 2016
Win everything you spent @ PET STOP SA back!!!! Sponsor Specials 24 Mar 2016