Tank Smell/Crash???

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Since last night my tank has smelled extra "aquarium" like... you know how it is when you first walk into your LFS. Any idea what the problem can be?

On a separate note (maybe), somehow over night my entire tank powered off so I had to restart it this morning... my water level was low (bubbles in the return) due to evaporation. This morning I topped off with 3-4 gals of RO/DI water then noticed my salinity was low and added some salt via the sump. My corals didn't open today at all... some of them looked slimey/melty and the smell has not gone away.

Any ideas what's going on? I'm hoping the corals didn't open because of the sudden drop and rise in salinity and a few degrees drop on temperature when I topped off.

What about the smell?? I have to get rid of it.

Levels are as follows after topping off/adding salt (PH 8.1, Salinity 1.0245, KH 11, Mag 1290, Calc 460, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20).
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
yes, running carbon.

no i did not dissolve the salt. i've added small amounts directly to the sump before with no issues. i add it to where bio-balls would be, so it mixes pretty good before getting to the return
 
Last edited:

Levito

New member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Location
Jersey City, NJ
not sure what started the whole thing, but you topped off a 65 gallon tank with 4 gallons of fresh water quickly lowering the salinity, then threw undissolved salt in the sump. so it doesn't surprise me your coral are not happy today. your parameters seem fine other than the salinity, but you likely need to top off in smaller amounts and more often. either get an ATO or be willing to top off a half a gallon a day, maybe a gallon every other day. But if you let 4 gallons evaporate the salinity is going to fluctuate too much. And don't dissolve the salt directly in the tank. It should mix for 24 hours in RO/DI before you expose any livestock to it.
 

Imbarrie

PADI Dive Inst
Rating - 100%
61   0   0
Location
New York
It's the smell coming from your skimmer? Do you vent the skimmer exhaust through carbon?

+1 don't add salt directly to the tank. And 4 gallons will swing the salinity by a large amount.
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
It's the smell coming from your skimmer? Do you vent the skimmer exhaust through carbon?

+1 don't add salt directly to the tank. And 4 gallons will swing the salinity by a large amount.
I did empty the skimmer... never heard of exhausting through carbon. How would you do this?

I don't normally add 4 gallons, it seemed to happen overnight.
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Heater short out? Something trip a breaker or surge protector? What was off on the tank.
It's possible my heater shorted out as I smelled a slight electronic burning this morning, but couldn't tell for sure. The entire tank was off when I woke up.

I unplugged my heater and UV sterilizer right away and have since plugged back in only the UV. My heater is rarely used anyways as my chiller has to run a few times a day even in the winter due to my pump and MH.
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Update!!!!

Looks like the crash started... came home today to find a bunch of dead snails... and I cannot find a couple of fish although they could be behind the rocks. Corals still look melty and did not open today either.

Params are same as yesterday except my Ammonia has spiked to 1.0!!! I've never had a spike before. I'm making RO/DI to do changes and I'm about to remove all the dead snails.

Any other suggestions?

I still have the strong smell in my apartment, any ideas on this?
 

Mikei70

New member
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
Looks like the crash started... came home today to find a bunch of dead snails... and I cannot find a couple of fish although they could be behind the rocks. Corals still look melty and did not open today either.

Params are same as yesterday except my Ammonia has spiked to 1.0!!! I've never had a spike before. I'm making RO/DI to do changes and I'm about to remove all the dead snails.

Any other suggestions?

I still have the strong smell in my apartment, any ideas on this?
Sounds like your tank is beginning to cycle.

May have something to do with the huge swing in salinity followed by raw salt added to the system.
 
Last edited:

skene

Winter. Time for Flakes..
Rating - 100%
240   0   0
Location
Queens
lol... how old is this tank?
Who informed you that it was ok to add salt directly into the sump?
You do realize that if any undissolved salt directly goes onto coral or livestock it will kill it?
 

mbg75

DIATOM MAGNET
Rating - 100%
66   0   0
Location
Mt Sinai, NY
u said in the original post that the tank shut off...what did u mean by that? i have a feeling something shorted out like i posted earlier..if something shorted out it could have cooked that tank. ammonia could be a result of the livestock that died off.
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Hi mbg75, I replied in a previous post. I think my heater might have shorted out I've
unplugged it but haven't checked it yet since my tank is heated pretty well by my pump and MH light.

Also, my heater is powered/controlled by my chiller so my temperature didn't rise above 78 degrees and the power to the heater is off unless it hits 76 degrees.

Everything in my tank powered off so even if it did get hot somehow, it would have been contained only to the sump... thanks for the good idea though. I'm leaning more towards the swings in salinity, temp and PH causing this although everything was alive last night.

How can I check if the heater is broken?
 

mbg75

DIATOM MAGNET
Rating - 100%
66   0   0
Location
Mt Sinai, NY
Pull the heater out, it might smell burnt. Maybe the temp didn't go up, but thete could have been electrical current through the tank.
You using a grounding probe?

Not sure If u can to much about the crash. Water change, carbon, maybe some purigen?
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Tank is a year old... before that it was a 12g nano for 2 years that I upgraded.

I think I read on here it was OK to add salt to the sump in small amounts... like I said I've done it before and none of it reaches my display tank undissolved.

Yeah I pulled it out the heater tonight but it's been unplugged for a while so no current since yesterday. No grounding probe but I will definitely get one.
 

Aqua Pro Builder

Vendor: WingoLED
Rating - 99.1%
225   2   0
.... although everything was alive last night.

based on this part, I assume you are saying everything means "the bigger animals like fish and such" and alive means "swimming around." If that's the case, they must have killed my ammonia or something poisonous in the water which demands you to do a PROPER water change quickly. This time make sure you mix the water outside the tank and match the pH too.

Ammonia at 1.0 will kill fish very fast.
 

jamesonwhiskey

New member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
based on this part, I assume you are saying everything means "the bigger animals like fish and such" and alive means "swimming around." If that's the case, they must have killed my ammonia or something poisonous in the water which demands you to do a PROPER water change quickly. This time make sure you mix the water outside the tank and match the pH too.

Ammonia at 1.0 will kill fish very fast.


Yes, I will check again and do more water changes tonight when I get home but unfortunately I'm expecting almost everything to have died. I removed about 10 snails last night. Corals still closed although not all are dead...yet.

Wingo, thanks again for the LEDs yesterday... now I just need to get my tank back in order!
 

Levito

New member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Location
Jersey City, NJ
Just because you don't see salt crystals floating in your display doesn't mean they're dissolved in the water. It takes a while for it to completely dissolve in the water.

I would do a large (50%) water change today. Get ready after that one to do another one in a day or 2. Also, if you have a hospital tank (if you don't, get one. You can get a 20 gallon tank for $20) get out any fish which still seem healthy enough to survive so they don't have to suffer through the crash. But also be careful and acclimate them properly to the hospital tank. Be prepared to do regular small water changes on the hospital tank because there won't be any biological filtration. Any coral which is still holding on I'd probably get into another tank or 2 as well (large buckets will work too). If it looks like your whole tank is going to crash, I'd just start pulling out what's still alive, break down the tank, and put it back together. Your coral has more of a chance of surviving a couple of days in a bucket with low light and good water quality than it does in a tank that's cycling.
 

Featured Sponsors


Top