Plumbing killing my tanks?


New member
I have had two saltwater tanks (75g for 1.5 years and 58g for 1 year). A couple of weeks ago I decided I was tired of two of everything and wanted my house to be a little quieter (pumps, water flowing, etc). So reading here ( I decided to use spaflex and run everything to my basement into a single sump. So over the past two weeks I have been cutting holes, running plumbing and hooking up new parts to run the new single system with 2 display tanks.

On Friday, I tested each of my systems to get baseline readings, and check parameters to each other. As luck would have it, parameters were very similar to each tank and have been very stable to the reading for the past couple of months. (Probably from doing water changes at the same time, and giving them the same care and maintenance). So after that, I disconnected the under cabinet sumps and hooked up the new plumbing.

On Saturday, all my coral stayed closed, but things mostly looked ok. I assume they were in shock of the new system, a lot of new water (20g) and acclimating to the other tank.

On Sunday (yesterday) all the coral were still closed, but now the zinea is grey and shriveled, the pulsing zinea is grey and laying over, seems like I have lost a few snails, everything in the tank has shrunk. I checked parameters on Saturday, and on Sunday to check for any spikes, and there have been none. (I have a friend of mine that has done the same thing, and basically lost all of his corals, and still cannot keep any inverts alive in his tank (going on 3 weeks now)). In a panic, I decided to take the larger tank off of the system and hook it bake up to the old sump and pump.

This morning, the toadstool leather has started to stretch its tentacles (about ¼ of them, about ¼ inch extension) again (first time I have seen this in the last 3 days, when usually they are fully out). That said, I think the corals may actually survive the shock, but this leads to the bigger question. What did I do (or more likely not do) that has introduced some toxins to the system.

Was I supposed to flush the new plumbing with something? Any other thoughts?



New member
Well, it would be a good idea to rinse it out but spaflex wouldn't poison your tank. When you say "the parameters were close" how close is close? An acclimation period would probably be a good idea even if the parameters are close. What is different between your old sump and new sump? Doid you hava a DSB or anything in the old sump?


New member
all the new plumbing will have residual chemicals on its surfaces. Run a generous amount of carbon if you think thats what is shocking your system.


One reef to rule them all
I also doubt it was the plumbing, unless there was some sort of external chemical contact that you were unaware of either at the store or once you brought it home.

Names Brucey

New member
Did you change your flow patterns significantly with the new set-up? Zenia and toadstool may be getting much more flow with the new system than they are used to.


Reef Engineer
What was in the two tanks before connecting them?
I am thinking that there is also the possibility of 'chemical warefare' going on between coral species that previously was not there. Either way, I would add (more?) carbon and perform a WC.