Is it dead?


New member
While out of town, my 50 mixed reef cube had an equipment malfunction. Long story but my Salt levels dropped from 1.026 to 1.010. When I got back took a day and got the salt levels back up to normal.

I'm thinking my tank has crashed as none of the corals are open, inverts are mostly dead. Fish seem fine.Did a 50/50 WC yesterday and will do another 50% tomorrow. And then will crank up the AWC to do 20% a day for a while. Skimmer is producing extra but not overwhelmed.

Hollywood stunner chalice is now all closed, Candy Cane Coral (200+ heads) have all retracted, some color left but not much. My Zoas garden (~14inches) nothing open. My back wall is one big GSP field but not a single polpy in two days. I have a few random SPS stick Acropora that is showing some signs of life, but that's about it.

Going to set up my quarantine tank and move the Fish out and anything else that looks like it might live. I'll give it a few more days but looks like almost a total crash.

I guess I don't need anything, just was feeling sad. In my 30 years of reefing, I had a virus kill all fish in a FOLR tank once, but never crashed a reef. This was a great ultra low maintenance mixed reef I've been running for 3+ years. I think I relied on the technology a bit too much. Yet Covid also got me. One of the redundant backups was a simple salt conductivity probe reading. About 6 weeks ago my probe stopped holding calibration, but nobody had a replacement in stock. Thus I was running without that backup.


Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
That sucks! Unfrotunately, if you stay in the hobby long enough, this happens. I've had chillers fail and long-term power outages occur when I've been out of town resulting in complete tank meltdowns. Not fun. :(



Super Best Friends!
Premium Member
Give it time, some stuff will probably bounce back. I've had zoas stay shut for a couple of weeks before opening again. Just work on cleaning up your water and see what survives. Don't toss anything unless it's clearly dead.


Premium Member
Sorry to hear about your loss! Personally if salinity is acceptable I'd leave them where they are and hope for the best. Your fish should do fine but as mentioned above keep an eye on ammonia and the corals and remove as soon as you're sure they're dead.


New member
Had my original 90 gallon tank crash really bad due to a malfunction I didn't detect in time, to the extent I even lost the couple of fish in there, which I'd had nearly my entire time reefing (a watchman goby and a clownfish I'd had for 8 and 11 years!)

I re set up the tank and left the coral skeletons of my chalice collection since they were encrusted on the rocks.
Didn't believe my eyes for months but four of those chalice grew back from NOTHING. Not one visible shred of flesh. Two of them are different colors than anything I ever owned. All bigger than my spread hand now.

Which is to say, don't throw away anything that's just closed up, because it's not often in my experience, but sometimes miracles do happen.

Vinny Kreyling

Premium Member
While it's too late now, any increase in salinity should be done over the course of @ least a week when that low.
However, if you need to drop the salinity it can be done in 1 shot.