Messed Up Tank Help Asap

Discussion in 'Urgent Help Needed' started by Lisa, 26 Nov 2009.

  1. Lisa

    Lisa

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    Hi guys
    I have been fighting a problem with nitrates for some time. Now in addition all hell seems to be breaking loose in my tank. Off perametres, red algae, hair algae and white slime bubbly algea.
    I'll start when all the trouble began.
    About 2 months ago a good friend gave me approx 12 hard corals varying from as big as a 10cent piece to the palm of your hand size(3 of)
    My tank is a jewel 260 litre. It has its own canister-no sump etc. It has a prism hang on protein skimmer.

    I was so excited to be getting the corals that I only realized as I was putting the corals in that this could be a problem and that I needed to keep an eye on the peramiters more closely due to the sudden increase of "life" in the tank.

    The nitrates shot through the roof. I kept taking water to test at my LPS. I changed 50litres asap, the ph was a bit high and the salinity was high. I lost a groups of green ears, a large "cauliflower" softie. White bubble coral. I lost a butterfly fish also. The corals i was given are either shrinking or look like they are dying.

    Unfortunately I was STUPID and didnt ask the names of the corals when they were given to me; I also didnt check on the requirements for them. I couldnt even tell if some are dead or alive because I dont know what they are supposed to look like. ROOKIE STUPIDITY

    After about 2 weeks the salinity was fine as well as the ph and the phospates. I added phosphate remover matting to the canister.

    Over the past 3 weeks I have changed 150 litres of water. The nitrates have dropped from off the chart to about 15ppm. I cant seem to get them lower. They are still too high. The corals I think are dying off. Last week I finally got 2 additional T5's working in my tank. I now have 4 x T5's(2 white and 2 actcintic).

    The green algea and red algea are starting to go bonkers. There has also appeared in the space of 24 hours what looks like the red bubbly algea but it is WHITE. It is growing furiously.

    Tank inhabitants are;
    2 x shrimps
    4 x hermit crabs
    1 x large sand anenome 30cm diameter
    1 x small sand anenome 4cm diameter
    1 x 6 line wrasse
    3 x damsels
    1 x marron clown
    1 x cleaner wrasse
    1 x pajama cardinel
    1 x radiant wrasse
    1 x goldie
    1 x algea eater

    purple ears
    cauliflower soft coral
    approx 12 hard coral I dont know the name of.

    HELP HELP
     
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  3. Lisa

    Lisa Thread Starter

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    Sorry guys i just realized that I should have written Urgent Advise not help. I accidentally clicked the wrong drop down option. However the way the tank is going i think I may need physical help soon. I have also been physically unable to do the work myself due to an operation i had 2 weeks ago. I had been trying to instruct others as to what to do for me.
     
  4. crispin

    crispin

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    shees lisa that does sound like a mess :( sorry but where is westville? Durban area? is there any chance we could get an experinced reefer to pop buy and take a first hand look? i really think you need an experienced eye giving the tank a once over.

    also we need some pics so we can see whats going on. Of the filtration section, the skimmer and of the tank.

    and Lisa, please go get some test kits before you buy anything else, else you are reefing in the dark and will always be second guessing.

    sorry i know its no help for the first reply but please get us some pics.


    also what salt do you use, how do you test your SG, what is your SG and do you have RO water?
     
  5. Lisa

    Lisa Thread Starter

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    thanks
    i did have test kits, but they were a second hand and a bit old, thats why i took the water to LPS. I got new test kits last week a Red Ocean or Red Sea multi test kit.
    The salt i use is Red Ocean or Red Sea. I do have R.O. here.
    I test the salinity with a hydrometer and taking it to the LPS. Last week it was 1.023.

    Westville is near Durban in KZN.
    At the moment I cant put any pics onto the forum. My pc crashed and is in for repairs. I am on my old pc which i almost have to pedal to keep it going. I hope for the pc on saturday, but i am worried my tank will crash sooner.
    Do you know anybody willing to come and see my tank?
    thanks
     
  6. Lisa

    Lisa Thread Starter

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    hi
    i have to go to bed now. falling asleep. i will pick up any answers tomorrow. thanks for the help
     
  7. crispin

    crispin

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    i'll point a couple of bannana boys your way:)

    do u use bio balls and ceramic rings? those nitrates shouldnt have shot up that fast, although i would suggest you keep up with water changes to dilute the problem, corals really battle with high nitrates
     
  8. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Hi Lisa, sorry to hear about your troubles. Here's my 2 C, I think you have quite a high bio load for such a small tank which seems also quite new, this will add to your nutrient problems. Maybe look at re - housing some of your fish untill you can sort out the problems

    Red sea test kits are useless in my opinion (but probably better than nothing), If one of the fellow reefers in the area can assist with a decent test kit please

    Cannister filter....mmmmm , very contentious issue. Make sure you clean it regularly , in your case I would say every second day or so.

    The Hard corals you are keeping, are you sure they are still alive and not dying / dead wich will also contribute

    As crispin said , untill you find the cause keep up with WC

    Good luck & keep us posted...lots of people here to help you get sorted
     
  9. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Hi Lisa, maybe Andreas and myself can pop in on Sat around lunch time as we will be in the westville area. I'll ask him. Ok with you?
     
  10. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    I can bring my Elos test kits to check for you as well.
    Pm your address and no to me.
     
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Lisa - Eish - first off - sorry to hear about the problems. Especially as a newbie reefkeeper, such problems could be disheartening. Please don't give up. It will take a lot of work, but you should get it all sorted....

    Now - As it has been said before - all is DEFINITELY happening FAR FAR too fast, therefor your issues.

    The tank itself, with it's current filtration can definitely NOT handle all the lifestock. Therefor the problems.

    I would definitely increase the amount of water changes, more often.
    Also - add some decent macro algae (you will most likely have to put this in the tank, as you don't have a sump) with strong lighting over the macro algae.

    Tobes - perhaps you can take her some chaetomorpha, if you have spare?

    Also - get some bacteria additives from the LFS/LPS. This too should assist with decreasing the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates in the tank.

    Remove you current sponge filters and filter wool - this is causing a HUGE nutrient sink, and replace this with a few kg's of "zeolites".

    The zeolites together with the addition bacteria, should go a very long way in lowering and stabilizing the water parameters....
    That, together with quite a few (once a week, 15 to 20% at least) water changes, should resolve the major issue at hand.

    THEN - please work on trying to get a better hang-on skimmer. That skimmer is not bad, but clearly it cannot cope with the bio-load you have in that tank.
    Either that - or you would have to get rid of some of the fish. That tank cannot sustain more than 7 medium sized fish, in it's current state....

    Good luck - hope you get this sorted ASAP!
     
  12. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    I got plenty cheato Jacques, will take for her.
     
  13. JD167

    JD167

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    hi Lisa

    Where do you get the water for your water changes? You should maybe test it first before doing a water change to make sure it's paramaters are fine. Like everyone else said already, your bio load went from 0 to 100km/h very quickly and your system can't catch up. Tobes will be able to give you great advice when he gets there. Holding thumbs for you!
     
  14. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    I'll also test her RO tds to make sure it's still OK.
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Cool Tobes! Many thanks, man! Awesome of you!
     
  16. Nsteyn

    Nsteyn

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    Good luck Lisa.

    Awesome to know we have a comunity that is so willing to help each other.

    :thumbup: to all!!

    Niel
     
  17. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    OK Lisa, just spoke to Andreas, we can be at your place at about 12:00 to 12:30. Just pm me the adress and cell no.
     
  18. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Hi Lisa, Sorry to hear, I've sent you a PM, give me a call so we can sort this out!

    Justin
     
  19. crispin

    crispin

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    nice one tobes, i think lisa is mainly on in the evenings so lets hope she gets that addy to you soon.

    tobes also have a look at the sbustrate, maybe siphon a little and see how much detritus is in there?
     
  20. seank

    seank

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    Just when I logged in to offer help, I saw the team already gave all the answers I wanted to give- Good on you Teammates-.....:P:whistling:. Hope you come right Lisa
     
  21. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Look who woke up. So are you going now?
    Let me know as it's pointless all of us go at diff times. Seeing that you stay there, maybe you must help as you will have more time and can go back anytime to carry on.
    We only have an hour on Sat.
     
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