WTF Happened???

cybermeez

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I moved to a new apartment about a month ago. Set up the 45g reef tank with new live substrate and used Natures Ocean to fill the tank until I could get my 6 stage RO/DI unit squared away. Other than a serious slime algae outbreak things were OK.

I had trouble with RO/DI because after hooking it up to the source water, flow out of the unit was almost non-existent. It took 4 weeks of trial and error to figure it out, but turns out it was caused by a new .5 micron carbon block that I got from BRS. It was dramatically impeding flow. So, I swapped it out with a 2nd GAC cartridge and we were good to go. Or so I thought.

I mixed up about 30g of saltwater using my usual Reef Crystals on friday and changed the water. I've changed that volume regularly on this tank for a couple of years with no problems. I also put in new Polyfilter pads which I used as the primary filtration on the tank. All the hard corals were dead within 24 hours making for a soupy mess and the soft corals were all closed. So, yesterday I did another water change and added a dose of Seachem Prime dechlor for good measure. Now my mated pair of clownfish are dead and the soft corals are still closed. When I left for work there was one fish (an aiptasia eating filefish) and a cleaner shrimp still alive. I'm afraid everything will be dead when I get home.

I don't know what went wrong. Even if the source water had something funky in it that managed to get past the 6 stage RO/DI, the Polyfilter should have caught it. What the hell can/should I do???
 
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cybermeez

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I've had the tank a while, and the live rock etc. is no new. Only the substrate was new due to moving the tank. I don't have a TDS meter, but guess I'll be getting one. You really think TDS would kill fish?
 

Dogbed

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I bet what ever you use to check salinity as your making the water is bad I had it happen to me my hydrometer was reading 1.026 but my water was really 1.045
 

John76

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Hi I am very sorry for your loss the reason I am contacting you is because of last weeks power outage I lost all my precious fish and about 3500 dollars of my treasured coral . I was gonna call it quits bit this hobby brings me to much joy so I am gonna take one more stab at it , I am reaching out to you because I am going to attempt to rebuild my tank and I'd like to help you do the same . I am going to search for any good deals or kind people and I'd like to cut you in on anything i acquire,,, happy reefing let's rebuild
 

cybermeez

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That?s really nice of you! I still don?t know what?s caused this. But if I can get to the bottom of it and fix the problem, I?m game if you are. I had that pair of clownfish for over 10 years and really loved them.

I?ve ruled out a salinity problem. My refractometer is good and the reading was confirmed by a Instant Ocean swing arm hydrometer. I?ve got a TDS meter for my RO/DI getting delivered Wednesday and I?m going to take my water to Manhattan Aquariums tomorrow and get it tested. In the meantime I?ve added an air stone and a mesh bag of carbon in addition to the Polyfilter for extra filtration.

As of right now the filefish and the cleaner shrimp are still alive, but the snails, money cowries and soft corals are not looking good at all.
 

cybermeez

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probably not the ro/di water but then why add prime? how did you keep your live rock before the transfer?
I added the prime out of an abundance of caution once things started go go wrong.. I kept it in Rubbermaid tubs full of water and power heads. Did this with the fish and corals too. Everything was good until the water change on Friday using my freshly made RO/DI.
 

dakotakid846

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Did u do any basic water parameter testing? Regardless if u had a problem or not after setting up, a full battery of testing should be done at least once a week to make sure things are where they should be and if there is a problem you can catch it early.

I'm willing to bet they will indicate a problem.
 
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islandreefer

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That?s really nice of you! I still don?t know what?s caused this. But if I can get to the bottom of it and fix the problem, I?m game if you are. I had that pair of clownfish for over 10 years and really loved them.

I?ve ruled out a salinity problem. My refractometer is good and the reading was confirmed by a Instant Ocean swing arm hydrometer. I?ve got a TDS meter for my RO/DI getting delivered Wednesday and I?m going to take my water to Manhattan Aquariums tomorrow and get it tested. In the meantime I?ve added an air stone and a mesh bag of carbon in addition to the Polyfilter for extra filtration.

As of right now the filefish and the cleaner shrimp are still alive, but the snails, money cowries and soft corals are not looking good at all.


If I may say get to a fish store and buy 15 or 20 gallons of RODI water and do a water change and also get a charcoal bag and some charcoal and put it in the sump .. it possibly will detox the water and f course match the temp to your water and double check the salt make sure salt is at 1023


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cybermeez

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I took some of the tank?s water to Manhattan Aquariums and they tested everything for me. All of the water parameters were within normal limits for a reef tank. So, it?s looking like the source water is the problem. At least it wasn?t something stupid that I screwed up.

I bought a couple boxes of NutriSeawater while I was there and I?m temporarily moving what surviving softies I can into a 5g bucket of the stuff. I?ll put the filefish and the cleaner shrimp in another bucket and run an air stone and a power head in there. They should be ok while I try and get to the bottom of this.

I also bought a Triton Labs test and will send them a sample for a full water analysis. They test for 35 different things and if they don?t come back with something wrong, I?ll be surprised. I may also go to Home Depot and get one of the kits they sell there that test for contaminants like pesticides etc. and see what it shows.

The thing is, I?m drinking this water, my cats are drinking it and I?m using it in my freshwater loach tank too. Incidentally none of the Loaches have died or shown signs of stress, but the water has been consistently cloudy since I moved to this apartment last month. I thought it was odd, but nothing more until now. If there is something bad in my tap water I want to know.
 

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