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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:bawling: My new tank crashed on the weekend. I bought an established system recently and took 90% of the original water with me. Everything was doing great, water parameters were fine. I went camping on Saturday came home Sunday and the water was cloudy and most of the corals were dead. Checked the parms and the ammonia levels were 4ppm, they were 0ppm when I left Saturday. Changed half the water last night in hopes of saving some of the last bits of coral but this morning everything was bleached. Also lost 2 damsels and my clown. Hoping the local LFS can take my 4 tangs while I stabilize the water. Very devastating for me as I am relatively new to the hobby.
 

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Tang Lover
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also very sorry to hear about this. I know how bad this must suck. Try to hang in there...

Do you have ANY idea what caused this? What was the temp? This time of year, lots of tanks have temp problems.

What was the substrate? Did you transfer the substrate with you? If it was a sand-bed...moving from the prior owners location to yours can cause problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The temp was a constant 80 degrees, I know a little high. The substrate is sand and it was moved. Could this be the cause of the problem, I have no clue why the ammonia just shot up like that.

And thanks everyone for your support. Last night I was contemplating packing it in but my wife told me to hang in there. This morning I'm getting the will to rebuild again instead of calling it quits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The sand was stirred up quite a bit during the move.

Also could there have been a chain reaction when some of the less hardy stuff died creating more ammonia?
 

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Tang Lover
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how DEEP was the sand-bed? if it was much more than an inch or two...this definitely could be the cause.

Deep sand beds work because they have different layers. The bottom most of which helps with turning nitrates into nitrogen gas. This works becuase the bacteria that do this, thrive in area's with very little or no oxygen. The bottom layer of a deep sand bed provides them this environment.

The problem....is that these bacteria, in the process of doing this, also give off substances that are VERY toxic to fish/corals/inverts/etc.

So if a deep sand bed is stirred up, these toxins make their way into the water column...thus causing fatalities. These fatalities could have started a chain reaction in your tank (death=ammonia which then can equal more death).

As a general rule, when transferring a tank with ANY sized sand-bed...usually best to toss the old sand-bed, and start over. MAYBE keeping a cup or two of the old sand (upper layer) to seed the new sand.
 

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RIP Steve Irwin
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Honestly when this happens it knocks the intrest in the hobby right out of you. Get it going again as now you have had your tragic turn. Hopefully that will be the last.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The lights were on a timer. I am assuming the lights went off at the set time. I came home early in the evening and they were on, but they were scheduled to be on at that time. I took the temp while they were on and it read 80 degrees. I have just purchsed some new test kits, so I will check every parm when I get home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you everyone for your support and helping me figure out what went wrong.

Smeese, I plan on rebuilding, but right now I just feel so bummed. I was planning on taking some pics Sunday night and posting them as I was so proud of the tank.
 

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Sorry To Hear About Your Tank. I Lost Just About Everything In My 29gal In March (thru No Fault Of My Own, But A Long Story) It Only Made My Resolve To Have A Big Thriving Tank Even Stronger. Most Of The Parts For My 180gal Built In Have Arrived,almost Time To Build. Hang In There, It'l Be Worth It In The Long Run. Good Luck
 
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