When excitement turns to sadness - please help

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fishpuppies

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Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
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When I was first planning to move my 29g marine aquarium (populated with two clowns, a damsel, a pseudochromis and 20-30 lbs of live rock) to another room, I decided to replace the hang-on filter with a canister and change the live sand substrate to crushed coral. That day came on Sunday when the power went out and my filter died, necessitating an immediate replacement. I saved about 1/3 of the water, then completely scrubbed out the tank (no bleach or soap). After placing it in the new location I filled it with well-rinsed crushed gravel, the live rock, the water I saved plus fresh dechlorinated saltwater, installed the new filter, and waited until the water was clear before adding the fish. By Monday morning the fish still looked shell-shocked, and by the evening they were dead.

The standard test-strip didn't show anything out of whack. I want to repopulate the tank, but what else should I look for that could be the cause of their death? I suspect that the worms now crawling on the glass (see photo) aren't the problem as they must have been there all along (think War of the Worlds), so what else chemically should I test for?

IMG_0225.JPG
 

dougall

...
Mar 29, 2005
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Maybe using a liquid test kit, or taking a sample to your LFS and testing that way instead of strips.

Maybe say specifically what your strips test, and confirm they are not outdated. and give a list of everything you tested for and the results.

Personally with live rock, I'm unlikely to use a HOB or canister filter, more a powerhead or two, and to use the rock for the filter.
 

Mr. Bones

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May 25, 2017
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Such a terrible thing can cause a partial die off of your live rock, and the system with new substrate instead of you old live sand was maybe not ready for the extra load.

However a good water test would speak volumes as to what may actually be the problem.
 

OrionGirl

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Aug 14, 2001
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Agreed--too many possibilities to say. Salinity? How were the fish kept while the new tank was settling? How long was the power out? Temperature? How did you acclimate the fish to the new tank?

Why did you ditch the live sand?
 

fishpuppies

Registered Member
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
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I plan to stop by my LFS this weekend with a sample and see what he says, and pick up a master test kit (another good weekend for him). I'm planning on doing a complete water change afterward and introducing a new damsel to get things restarted.

Since my tank is small and I like a clean tank, a filter is a must for me. I changed to a canister because the tank is being placed in a prominent space in my living room and I wanted to reduce the visibility of the equipment and noise. I haven't been happy with the look of the sand so I decided to replace with crushed coral (also to reduce to the suspended particles that get sucked into the filter during water changes).

I'll post results when I have them.
 
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