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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! I have a 1 1/2 year old 36 gallon tank. DSB w/50 lbs of LR. I had a blenny, diamond goby, 2 clowns and some corals along with 70 nass. snails.

my readings were 0-0-15 8.3 and 1.023..normal as usual. When i woke up the next day all of the fish were dead except 1 clown who was near death. I immediatly took the clown out of the tank along with the corals (unaffected) and put them in QT. The clown is now doing great. Anyway i checked my levels and the ammonia was at 6.0. It was too late for the fishes so I figured I had a spike and was going to let it cycle back out. I checked all levels 3-4 times a day and after 5 days the ammonia is gone but no trates or trites. none. ph is stable and everything looked great. 2 days ago I bought a damsel but he is on the bottom of the tank..not laying down but just stays there and is breathing rapidly. O2 shouldnt be a problem, I have great flow in there. My lfs said it may be a parasite or fungal but the clown in my Qt is totally over it...no cloudy eyes and breathes like a champ, swims around like nothing happened. Im not sure of the behavior of damsels but i doubt that is their norm. Also why didnt the ammonia turn into trites? no way I could have missed it. No water change was made except for a top off. BTW when i found the fish, there was a small patch of white film on one corner of the tank that i removed ( thats visible). Anyone know whats happened?
 

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Actually parasites depending on their cycle can take quite awhile to clear your system (think a couple of months) BUT what you have sounds distinctly like contamination.

I don't know your system but auto topoffs, the use of chemicals near the tank or in the bucket that you use to change water, something along those lines are usually the culprit when you go from good to dead in a very limited amount of time. Anything like this happen recently?
 

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hi andrew. i will try my best here...
not true on the parasites, they can live in the tank for a very long time with out a host, usally it is recommeded to leave a tank fishless for a month or more..
do you have any pictures?
the levels spiking is not surpirising since your fish died and that most likly cause the amm. spike, once you removed them the tank was able to level out.
a few questions..
did anyone clean in that rooom or near thetank in the last few days? any type a areosal spray?
what did the white stuff look like? any more details?
when you clean the tank do you vaccume the DSB very well and or replace it fromo time to time?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No pics, sorry :( I always clean with water and soap then buff out the streaks when it dries. I guess its possible a spray can may have gotten in there. It is by itself in the corner, I dont use chemicals around it but that doesnt mean it didnt travel through air. The clown is fine now in QT , he recovered...does that rule out parasite? Shouldnt the bacteria have converted the ammonia?...I do gravel the sand once a month..the white stuff looked like...maybe pledge when it dries up or maybe the fungus around a dead fish ( it was near any fish when found..probably didnt have time to settle in anyway...life to death was about 10 hrs.)
 

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was the fish that died the biggest? it really sounds like an O2 depletion problem. maybe your pumps all shut down for some reason. O2 depletion affect the biggest organisms first. i also believe as O2 drops the bacteria needed to break down ammonia are no longer able to function, therefore ammonia can also increase. this could happen even without a death in the tank. hmm, maybe CO2 would counter this, maybe i need to call Tom in on this one.

G~
 

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can this be caused by a DSB crash? not putting in my 2 cents, im asking so i know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was thinking of that until the ammonia simply went away without converting into anything..but also my pumps never stopped working..I have a 1440 and a 400 working along with the fluval 204 filter and a smaller filter for 10 gallon tanks...I clean the cannister when i do water changes and the 10 gall filter once a week..should be plenty of 02..but maybe not, Ive obviously done something wrong, but i wish it was pin pointed exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No the second biggest fish lived..the goby was the biggest but he leaped out of the tank. I checked the heater for a possible surge into the water by putting it into the qt but everyone seemed ok.
 

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Andrew, did you ever run carbon before putting a new fish in there? In case of chemical contamination, that can help a lot. As to the nitrates, when you go from lots of fish to one, you aren't going to have nitrates because the bacteria will convert it all, its use to alot more.

Without knowing what has happened I would definitely get some carbon into this tank and see if it helps. At this point it couldn't possibly hurt...

I would also do water changes to help dilute the unknown contamination as well, one fish in a tank shouldn't be having an 02 problem and a problem that is still occuring doesn't sound like a one time electric shock. Though I would check for stray voltage too, I am pretty sure you would have notice a voltage powerful enough to kill all your fish in 10 hours and still going to stress your damsel...

I once saw someone's signature that read the solution to pollution is dilution, that tends to be the case alot of the time with fish tanks...
 

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I agree - massive RO/DI water changes are in order because so much is unknown. I use diluted white vinegar in a spray bottle to clean the outside of my tanks because it won't cause any type of contamination issues if some of it sprays in to the water. Because the die off was so rapid I would suspect contamination.

I had this happen several times to my smaller tanks when my kids put soap in there (to "clean the fishies") and also when my spouse had lotion on his hands and put them in the tank without thinking.

I'm so sorry for your losses, what a drag!

HHC
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone...I did a 70% water change and bought a second damsel...He seems to be great after 2 days..the first damsel was still alive as of this morning, but havent seen him since i got home from work about 2 hours ago. I will get some carbon today or tomorrow. Would a UV sterilizer also help?
 
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