Another tank crash - what next?

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
If you remember, my tank crashed last year... well it happened again, this time not my fault! My building cranked the heat on full blast for 2 days and my chiller was unable to keep up. Snails and corals started dying and it just spiraled out of control from there. Water changes weren't enough. My tank was doing great... corals thriving, shrimp growing, a Duncan had split from a single head into 5, everything was going really well so this is very frustrating...

Current state of my tank is salinity at 1.025 and Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates are all back to 0. I have a couple of small fish and hermits that survived but that's about it. Clean-up crew is pretty much gone and red slime took over the tank within a couple of days. My plan is to give what's left of my fish to a friend and basically start from scratch so I have some questions:

1. Live sand - I'm thinking I should just toss this and get new.
2. Live rock - I don't want to get rid of this but I'm unsure if I should keep it in buckets to keep it live, or let it dry and make it "dead" rock and then add a couple new pieces of live when I put it all back in the tank?? Keep in mind it has a lot of cyano on it so either way I need to clean it... what's the best way?
3. I'm thinking of going with a Sea Horse tank - I have to do some research but I'll post a separate thread with any questions I have on that.
4. I forgot some of the basics when setting up a new tank as far as stocking and the initial tank cycling, it's been a while! - anyone have a link to a good article or thread on setting up a tank from scratch? I'm basically looking for what to stock when (e.g. clean-up crew (how big?), live plants/coral, fish/sea horses(if I go the seahorse route). Also, depending what on due with the live rock will I have to cure the "dead" rock before adding to the tank?

Thanks in advance for all the help! Half of me wanted to give up but I decided to stick with it! :)
 

Mattl22

Active member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
98   0   0
Location
Garden city
Sorry too hear apartment living makes having a reef tank tough I've lived in 2 places where windows where wide open middle of January the heat must of been in high 70s too 80s I like too be I'n the 60s
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Sorry too hear apartment living makes having a reef tank tough I've lived in 2 places where windows where wide open middle of January the heat must of been in high 70s too 80s I like too be I'n the 60s
Yeah, usually my chiller/heater handle small swings in my apartment temp without a problem.

Anyone have any advice? I'm planning to empty and clean the tank out Saturday. Also clean the live rock and add new live sand. If I keep my current rock live do I need to cure it or can I put it right into the tank? If I keep it live... would adding new live rock help give any benefit?
 

Imbarrie

PADI Dive Inst
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
61   0   0
Location
New York
Two tank crashes, wow.
I would just focus on a stable tank for a while before adding something challenging like a seahorse.
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Two tank crashes, wow.
I would just focus on a stable tank for a while before adding something challenging like a seahorse.
My first crash was my fault due to panic... my heater broke overnight and evaporated a few inches worth of water. I dumped in fresh RO/DI that morning but then added salt directly to the tank without thinking.

Second crash was due to my building as described above, only solution here is to get a huge chiller and heater so they can handle the rapid environmental temperature swings I experienced those 2 days.

Both times my tanks were stable and flourishing. Once I added the small refugium with Miracle Mud I didn't have to dose anything, ever!. Corals were growing and I even had Mandarins for over a year each time, which everyone though was impressive.

So again I ask again, regardless of going with seahorses or not.. should I start from scratch or try to fix my current setup? If I start over I will keep my live rock (but cleaned!), a small amount of sand from my current tank and also the miracle mud in my fuge.
 

thirty5

A Little Annoyed!
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 96.6%
84   3   0
I would honestly just start over. I you have a place to keep your livestock that is still alive. Then empty the tank. Start with fresh sand, (NON LIVE), scrub your rocks in RO water. Put it all back together and start a fresh cycle. If you want to use a piece of rock to seed the tank or a bit of sand that is fine. But you need to keep that alive while you are doing it. I say just start over since you are already talking about it.

:)
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
I would honestly just start over. I you have a place to keep your livestock that is still alive. Then empty the tank. Start with fresh sand, (NON LIVE), scrub your rocks in RO water. Put it all back together and start a fresh cycle. If you want to use a piece of rock to seed the tank or a bit of sand that is fine. But you need to keep that alive while you are doing it. I say just start over since you are already talking about it.

:)
Yeah, that's what I'm leaning towards. Why do you say not to use new live sand??

For the part about keeping "that" alive... what are you talking about exactly? Do you mean don't add any sand or rock I save from my current tank until after it cycles? In that case how would I keep it alive for a month? :)
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
think a seahorse tank is a bad idea especially if ur tank just crashed due to the heat. seahorses thrive if im not mistaking cooler waters.
From what I read some of the tropical ones seem to do ok up to 78 degrees but could be disease prone. The idea of the lower temp around 74 is to prevent disease. If I went the seahorse route I would upgrade my chiller as well.

The heat issue in my apartment was a one-time thing... hopefully. They basically turned the heat on full blast for 2 straight days. They did it in the morning after I left for work and all my windows were closed so it was probably close to 90 in my place when I got home and of course any size chiller is useless when the ambient temperature is that high.
 

rbtwo4

New member
Rating - 100%
61   0   0
From what I read some of the tropical ones seem to do ok up to 78 degrees but could be disease prone. The idea of the lower temp around 74 is to prevent disease. If I went the seahorse route I would upgrade my chiller as well.

The heat issue in my apartment was a one-time thing... hopefully. They basically turned the heat on full blast for 2 straight days. They did it in the morning after I left for work and all my windows were closed so it was probably close to 90 in my place when I got home and of course any size chiller is useless when the ambient temperature is that high.
Gotcha!
 

MatthewScars

Guns, Razors, Knives.
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
59   0   0
Location
Brooklyn
So if you opened the window, put a huge fan in it and another fan directing the cool air in its still too hot?

I live in a one bedroom with one window in the bedroom and nothing in the livingroom where i have my tank. I have a fan in the window and a fan in my bedroom doorway directing air in.

Also, have you looked into insulating the exposed heat pipes? My apartment got up to the 90s when they had the heat on, but I went to HD and got these and this. I double wrapped the first one with the second one. Brought the temp down considerably. Also for radiators, they have 3" thick foam wrappers you can put on them to keep the heat in.

You should try this before you start thinking about a new tank. It really works. I can help you with anything if you have questions.
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
So if you opened the window, put a huge fan in it and another fan directing the cool air in its still too hot?
This is exactly what I would have done IF I knew they were turning the heat on full blast to bleed the lines out.

That first night our temperature dropped into the 40's I closed all the windows because the heat wasn't on yet. I left the windows closed in the morning too for the same reason. After I left for work they turned it on and that's where it all went downhill!
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Manhattan Reefs
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Ok so I cleaned and rebuilt everything this past weekend and started cycling my tank. I went with 1 bag of live sand, 1 bag of dry sand and my live rock which stayed submerged in the old water while I cleaned everything. I cleaned the rock before putting in the "new" tank.

I might have found another cause for my tank crashing in the process... when I took the cover off my JBJ Submariner 9W UV Sterilizer, the bulb basically fell into my hands. It looks like the bottom of bulb rotted out... the bulb was in my hand but the socket of the bulb was still plugged in. I have no idea how long it was running like this. Has anyone experienced this? There was no electrical current in my tank but it couldn't have been good for this to happen.

Could someone recommend another UV sterilizer? I'm skeptical to go with JBJ again.
 
Top