HELP!! LiveAquaria shipping disaster, can you help me identify this guy?

muppet

Misanthrope
Just to remove any confusion, I never ended up dosing the prazi. Nobody looks like they’ve got a parasite except maybe my engineer, but he’s had scars on his face since the marine ich 10 years ago so it’s always hard to tell with him. The skunk cleaner was at him the other day but not today.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
I think it’s the temp swings, but I’m not sure how to address them. The temp was relatively stable with the stock aquarium lid on and the 100W Fluval heater, but now with an acrylic screen top, it drops like a rock at night if it’s cold outside because the window in my office is drafty.
Add another 100w will take care of the night swings and pretty much not run during the day.
 

muppet

Misanthrope
Add another 100w will take care of the night swings and pretty much not run during the day.
Yeah this is more or less the plan, I’ve just got to figure out how I’m going to work it in there. My sump is packed with filter bags right now and the pump is larger than spec even though it came with the kit.

I may end up adding a short 50W instead just because of space.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
Yeah this is more or less the plan, I’ve just got to figure out how I’m going to work it in there. My sump is packed with filter bags right now and the pump is larger than spec even though it came with the kit.

I may end up adding a short 50W instead just because of space.
That could make the difference depending on how much of a drop you are fighting.
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
As others have said, definitely look at adding a second heater or upgrading the first one. Also, if cost permits, maybe look at adding an external temp controller like a Ranco ETC-111000 or Aqua Logic digital temp controller just as a fail safe in case of heater failure
 

muppet

Misanthrope
So, an update to the update.

I don't think that it was the temperature swing, although that may not have helped.

No, what I'm 99.9% sure happened now is that in starting my new nano as a rescue tank I rushed things a bit. I knew that my 100g system was going to collapse in the living room because the (pretty decent quality, but still from the LFS) tank stand was deteriorating, with a piece of veneer'd MDF swelling that was the primary support member for the front left corner...

...ANYWAY...

What I'm 99.9% sure happened is that I saw diatoms in the tank, and I wanted to nip that right in the bud because they're ugly and I wanted my daughter to enjoy our nice pristine new tank with our beautiful fish in it, so I jumped right on that stuff with PhosGuard, Purigen, Poly-Filter, and activated carbon.

Are you guessing what happened yet? This was actually a new theory/concept to me because I've been off on my own maintaining my tank without forums and without my local club for a decade. I've been too busy (and frankly, too broke) to keep up on the state of the art.

So, two things, really:

1. I got a new really powerful LED light (SmatFarm) cheap that could grow some corals in my little nano some day, because the stock Fluval EVO X lights were ugly and dim

2. I started ultra-filtering the tank because I wanted the diatoms to go away

So what happened then?

I got dinoflagellates. I got a tank swarming all over the place with dinoflagellates. They're on my rock, they're on my glass, they're on my filter media and sand, and they were in my fish's eyes and gills. And I haven't ID'ed them yet but I'm pretty sure they're the toxic sort.

SO, I now have an empty tank. Total wipe today while I was at work. I lost EVERYBODY in a couple of hours. I even tried a 30% water change during work hours (WFH) and still lost a fish an hour until I'd lost everybody.

So, I've removed almost all of my filtration. I still have the polyfilter in because I threw out the stock mechanical filtration the tank came with. I'll probably buy a replacement. I'm going to let the tank sit fallow for 2 or 3 months and do what I can to wipe out the dinos. Right now with the filters out, I'm feeding the empty tank to try to get the non-dino flora going again.

This experience really sucked. At first I was SURE that I had been right a few days ago and that little file fish really did have flukes, but no, it turns out I rescued him from his nightmare experience in a lost FedEx box for a weekend only to suffocate him in a tank full to the brim with bad dinos.

I lost fish I've had since before my 12 year old was born.

Never would have even guessed that over-filtering would be a thing, honestly. I don't have any corals atm so wasn't concerned with keeping nutrients up.
 

kharmaguru

Premium Member
So, an update to the update.

I don't think that it was the temperature swing, although that may not have helped.

No, what I'm 99.9% sure happened now is that in starting my new nano as a rescue tank I rushed things a bit. I knew that my 100g system was going to collapse in the living room because the (pretty decent quality, but still from the LFS) tank stand was deteriorating, with a piece of veneer'd MDF swelling that was the primary support member for the front left corner...

...ANYWAY...

What I'm 99.9% sure happened is that I saw diatoms in the tank, and I wanted to nip that right in the bud because they're ugly and I wanted my daughter to enjoy our nice pristine new tank with our beautiful fish in it, so I jumped right on that stuff with PhosGuard, Purigen, Poly-Filter, and activated carbon.

Are you guessing what happened yet? This was actually a new theory/concept to me because I've been off on my own maintaining my tank without forums and without my local club for a decade. I've been too busy (and frankly, too broke) to keep up on the state of the art.

So, two things, really:

1. I got a new really powerful LED light (SmatFarm) cheap that could grow some corals in my little nano some day, because the stock Fluval EVO X lights were ugly and dim

2. I started ultra-filtering the tank because I wanted the diatoms to go away

So what happened then?

I got dinoflagellates. I got a tank swarming all over the place with dinoflagellates. They're on my rock, they're on my glass, they're on my filter media and sand, and they were in my fish's eyes and gills. And I haven't ID'ed them yet but I'm pretty sure they're the toxic sort.

SO, I now have an empty tank. Total wipe today while I was at work. I lost EVERYBODY in a couple of hours. I even tried a 30% water change during work hours (WFH) and still lost a fish an hour until I'd lost everybody.

So, I've removed almost all of my filtration. I still have the polyfilter in because I threw out the stock mechanical filtration the tank came with. I'll probably buy a replacement. I'm going to let the tank sit fallow for 2 or 3 months and do what I can to wipe out the dinos. Right now with the filters out, I'm feeding the empty tank to try to get the non-dino flora going again.

This experience really sucked. At first I was SURE that I had been right a few days ago and that little file fish really did have flukes, but no, it turns out I rescued him from his nightmare experience in a lost FedEx box for a weekend only to suffocate him in a tank full to the brim with bad dinos.

I lost fish I've had since before my 12 year old was born.

Never would have even guessed that over-filtering would be a thing, honestly. I don't have any corals atm so wasn't concerned with keeping nutrients up.
Yep. I've gone through a similar situation of just doing what seems right instead of reading the numbers and really understanding what's going on. Run GFO, Carbon, water change like crazy, add an algae scrubber (which wouldn't grow anything but slime) all the while my nutrients are actually bottomed out and the grossness in the tank is just organisms that have flourished in the imbalance and are holding anything good down. Luckily my vermin was crysophytes not dinos but still a pain to get under control. A few years now and it still pops up in patches and I use that as an indicator of things getting thin and the balance going off. I still struggle to maintain nutrients and I have to dose nitrate and I find reefroids is good enough for phosphate.

Sorry you have to deal with this. Getting some different live rock chunks from other reefers or stores can defnitely help bring things back into balance.
 

pinnatus

King Kennard
Premium Member
I am so sorry to hear.

If I can, I’d like to offer some advice. Though I am surprised you don’t already know it after keeping fish alive for over 12 years, which is quite the accomplishment.

First, always do things slowly. Quick changes are never good for anybody. This is especially true in nanos or small tanks.

Even if things get ugly, change things slowly. I don’t think the filefish was ever anything but healthy, but you reacted so quickly, even to the point that you were going to get rid of the filefish! Then you added PhosGuard, Purigen, Poly-Filter, and activated carbon. New lights, And ultra filtration, whatever that may be. The point being, the creatures we keep are adaptable to slow changes but not to fast changes. In the future, just change things slowly and watch what happens then make another change. Put up with ugly til you get it straightened out. Don’t panic!

Good luck on your restart.
 

muppet

Misanthrope
With respect for any earnest attempt to be helpful, I didn’t move quickly.

The one quick move was from the 100g that was about to physically come down on its own. This change was pretty all-encompassing and unavoidable. I brought over as much of their existing ecosystem as I could.

I thought on here out loud about the file fish looking for some advice or really just to brainstorm, but changed nothing and dosed nothing. Monitored him for days. The new lights were part and parcel with the new tank, and dimmed significantly. The filtration I added was wrong but not reactive, it was out of concern for how relatively difficult it might be to stabilize 13 gallons instead of 100 gallons. I didn’t want to wake up to a fouled tank with such old fish.

By “ultra filtration” I simply meant much more filtration than I’d have done on a much larger volume of water, trusting it to be more stable.

And you’re right, I’m not a scrub. 😉

I had more to add to that regarding the tone and implicit intent of your retrospective advice but I’ll leave it there.

Thanks to all who were helpful/sympathetic. The pandemic has not been a fun time in this house.
 
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Noah_Reefing

Active member
i would honestly keep him in there with some macroalgae & soft coral. they are really easy to keep. i would put one in my 10 gallon in a heartbeat
 

pinnatus

King Kennard
Premium Member
I was definitely meaning to be sympathetic and was trying to be helpful. Sorry if it didn’t come across that way. And I truly mean good luck on your restart. Have been there a few times over the past 48 years that I have kept a salt water tank.

I’ll go back to the Lounge now.
 

muppet

Misanthrope
So, the restart is going pretty well. Minimal filtration. Basically floss and a skimmer and that’s all right now.

New sand. Washed rock, some of it dried since the last tank but the rocks that were covered in dinos were just washed off in the driveway with a hose (well water) and that’s all.

It’s been back up for two weeks and it’s got a healthy community of flora and fauna. Tiny bits of GHA and even tinier bits of cyano that are well controlled by a small cleaning crew so far and the occasional dosing with MicroBacter 7.

Feeling pretty good about this nano now.

Ten years ago when I pretty much disconnected from the hobby online due to life stuff, the prevailing wisdom was “zero nutrients in the water column!!!!” for nanos and so I way over-filtered.

Getting ready for a small pair of caramel clowns right now. Parameters look good. Daughter is happy.


K1muKTv.jpg
 

muppet

Misanthrope
Please note that those conch shells are empty (except for one VERY ambitious scarlet hermit!!). I am definitely not putting fighting conchs, or any conchs, in a 13.5g 😂
 
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