Tank Collapse

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by ashbeggs, 9 Feb 2011.

  1. ashbeggs

    ashbeggs

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    Hi Guys
    Wonder if anyone can help with any info/reasons on the following happenings:

    My brother-in-law has a small marine tank 3foot x 1foot x 2foot.
    Up to date it would have been running for 6months.

    Its very basic with no real significant filtration or sump.

    About a month ago, his tank water went murky and the fish started coming to the surface for air so he rushed his corals down to my tank so they wouldn't die and headed down to the beach to get some NSW for a water change. He did almost a 50% water change that same night and by the morning his tank was clear again.

    Since then his tank has been fine but he's kept his corals with me.
    Monday night this week, the same thing happened. The water went so dirty you could only see about 3cm into the tank. Unfortunatly this time all the fish died!

    He did a 20% water change sunday just before this all happened.

    Any ideas what could cause the water to change so quickly like it did!?

    He hadn't added any new stock since the first crash. I still think it was an over stocking issue, but i'm too new to be able to know for sure.
     
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  3. Tony

    Tony

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    It could be a bacterial bloom or calcium precipitation
     
  4. Slummies

    Slummies

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    maybe you could elaborate because that means bugger all to someone new
     
  5. danimal

    danimal

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    what colour was the murkiness? muddy or whitish?
     
  6. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    It could be plankton die off from the NSW. The system could not have enough DO and light to sustain the plankton in NSW. When it dies an ammonia spike is caused.
     
  7. danimal

    danimal

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    that's what i'm thinking as well
     
  8. ashbeggs

    ashbeggs Thread Starter

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    The water was mudyish.
    There's a good lighting unit on there. one of those complete units with 4 x T5's. 2x blue. 2 x white.

    He had some hermits which survived but all fish and a boxer shrimp died.
     
  9. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Are all pumps working OK in the tank and did any fail ?
     
  10. KeeganP

    KeeganP

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    A similar thing happened to me, Over stocking can cause trouble, also check that all pumps/skimmer is working and cleaned out. this also happens, when the substrate gets soo dirty and has no space left to trap dirt, so the fish that eat off the floor moves the substrate and this causes the murkiness.
     
  11. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    no filteration is an issue does he have Liverock and flow pumps in the tank? what does he have to filter the water?
     
  12. ashbeggs

    ashbeggs Thread Starter

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    Well...I'm sure its a combination of overstocking and lack of filtration!
    He was trying to create a reef tank without a sump or skimmer. He just had a small overflow built into the tank which ran over alittle sand bed then over to a return chamber where it was pumped back into the tank. He had one power head on the tank along with liverock in the tank.

    Non the less, the crash is very sad for the fish and a loss for him, but gain for me cause he's getting rid of it all and I'm taking it to connect to my already running system :thumbup:. Also scored all his corals from the first time the system crashed :)
     
  13. Ash

    Ash Coral biologist

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    A setup as simple as that and he will battle to keep a reef tank going medium to long term. If he isn't going to upgrade the LSS then keep stoking density very low and do regular water changes!
     
  14. Muz

    Muz

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    It is impossible to tell what has happened to this tank without knowing exactly what has been done. You can create a reef tank without a sump and skimmer, but you have to make up for that with different forms of filtration it makes things particually difficult and you have to really know what you are doing, but it can be done.

    You do not give any parameters on the tank like salinity, temp, phosphates, nitrates, nitrites, PH etc.. also you need to give more information on husbandary. When you have a tank with minimal filtration and something happens we need to know what he does with regards to doing water changes, not only how much and how often but how the water change is done.. is the water stored and airated 1st, does he correct temp and salinity to match the tank etc.

    It would also be of help to understand what livestovk he had, how he fed, what he fed and how often.

    It would also be necessary to get an understanding of what additives are added to the tank, how often and why.

    Without a lot of detail frankly and with respect saying that it is a bacterial bloom of calcium precipitation is nothing more than a thumb suck.

    Muz
     
  15. ashbeggs

    ashbeggs Thread Starter

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    I totally hear you MUZ. Unfortunately I can't say exactly what he's done.
    As far as I know he did no water tests and kept no record of activities concerning the tank etc.
    I think he expected he could just throw things in and it would work. He didn't pay much attention to the tank as far as I know.
    As to additives, water changes, temp etc I have no idea.

    I was just very curious as to why and what had happened. Its all about gaining knowledge :)
     
  16. Muz

    Muz

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    Yeah, ok.

    Look, when you are new to this hobby you have to pay attention to the detail. I always say that your focus should be in 3 areas.

    !) bear in mind that above all you are not a fishkeeper, you are a water keeper. Good knowledge of water chemistry is a must. You have to understand the correlation betweel alk, ph, calcium, magnesium, nitrates etc.. if you do not understand these water chemistry parameters then read, read and read some more... then test your water, and test again every week.

    It gets confusing reading so you have to keep a log book.. do water tests every week, use a refractometer to check salinity and get a ph pen or probe to see how the ph fluctuates.. okes that have been keeping tanks for about a year start to understand how their tank adjusts to things like water changes and can start to see the effects that some substrates for example have.. okes that have had a tank for 3 years basically stop testing because they can see the effects through coral behavour etc.

    2) Understand the equipment.. what does a skimmer do and why, what is the difference between a sand substrate, aragonite and coral chips.. what is Ro water and why do you have to use it, what is a calcium reactor, why have you chosen the substrate you have, the rock and the lighting.. what is a deep sand bed, what is the effect it has on the tank. This is imortant as you need to understand how the tank works so you understand when you make an adjustment to the water you understand the process of how the tank reacts to what you have done.

    3) understand livestock, read up on every fish and critter you purchace, why are you putting it in your tank, what are the special requirements it needs with regards to agression, food, water conditions, light.. you can't just buy fish from all over the world and put it into a 300l tank and expect a happy tank. That tank crash may have been a result of somthing dying and not being noticed.

    above all remember that a stable tank is not always a happy tank, but a stable tank allows you to make calculated adjustments that you can predict to make it happy.

    Websites like Wet Web Media are a massive source of information.. dont rely on forums 100%.
     
    Reef Maniac likes this.
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