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View Full Version : Restarting Biopellet Reactor and One Fish Gasping


sandwi54
10/08/2012, 12:12 PM
I have run biopellets for about 6 months without any issue, and it kept my FOWLR nitrate < 10ppm with about 1,000mL of pellets. However, 6 weeks ago I had to take the reactor offline to redo some plumbing, and I just plugged it back in three days ago, and immediately there was a bacterial bloom (cloudy water) which lasted for two days.

Last night, I found my bariene tang breathing REALLY hard, and it hit me that I forgot to "acclimate" the tank back into biopellets by starting with only 1/3 of the pellets. I immediately turned off the reactor and put in an airstone (while keeping my SWC 230 skimmer running of course), but this morning the tang was still gasping.

It looks like the bacteria may have deprived the tank of oxygen, but if that was the case, wouldn't all of the fish be gasping for air, instead of just one? The rest of the fish were breathing a bit faster than normal but not too heavily. Could the bariene tang naturally need more oxygen than other fish? The rest of the fish are French angel, pair of naso tangs, golden puffer, and pyramid butterfly.

downbeach
10/08/2012, 12:31 PM
It sounds like oxygen deprivation from the bacteria bloom. What is the temp. of your DT? If you have some room to lower it, that might help. Do you have another airstone? Ozone generator?
I think, Tangs are one of the first fish that you will see distress due to this problem.

sandwi54
10/08/2012, 12:42 PM
I keep my tank at about 77.5 degrees. How much lower do you think I can go down to without putting additional stress on the fish?

I can go buy another airstone today but I don't have ozone.

I have a cycled 75g QT that I never took offline. Does it make sense to put the bariene tang in there temporarily until the O2 level issue is resolved? Or should I just let it ride it out?

downbeach
10/08/2012, 01:32 PM
I think you could go down as low as 72. Do you have the old style PH with a venturi? What do you use in your make up water for aeration?

sandwi54
10/08/2012, 01:49 PM
Ok thanks. I will set my apex controller to 75 degrees now and slowly bring it down to 72, if the tang still looks bad tonight.

I use a water blaster hy-7000w (1,800gph) for mixing saltwater. I think that aerates water well enough. I think I will also raise my MP60's a little higher to have more surface agitation.

I just turned on all the lights to speed up photosynthesis. Hopefully this bad disaster goes away soon...

downbeach
10/08/2012, 01:52 PM
If you're running a fuge that's on a light cycle, you could run the lights 24/7 for a while too.

sandwi54
10/08/2012, 03:04 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately I don't have a fuge.

Do tangs naturally require more oxygen than other fish?

bertoni
10/08/2012, 06:00 PM
Some seem to be more touchy about low oxygen levels than other fish. I might test for ammonia, just in case, although I don't think there will be any. It might be worth taking a quick look at the skimmer, to make sure that it is still producing a good amount of bubbles. I'm a little concerned that the fish is still gasping.

fishroomlady
10/08/2012, 09:01 PM
Had this happen to me as well unfortunately. My tang was really the first to show signs although I didn't realize it at the time. I ran an airhose in my powerheads and made a lot of surface flow with my other filtration. Good luck, if your other fish are ok then hopefully the tang will pull through.

sandwi54
10/09/2012, 03:06 AM
Some seem to be more touchy about low oxygen levels than other fish. I might test for ammonia, just in case, although I don't think there will be any. It might be worth taking a quick look at the skimmer, to make sure that it is still producing a good amount of bubbles. I'm a little concerned that the fish is still gasping.

i tested ammonia and there's none. the skimmer is also working nicely and generating lots of dark skimmates.

i came home tonight and the tang seems to be breathing a little less heavily. hopefully it'll be ok tomorrow...

sandwi54
10/09/2012, 03:06 AM
Had this happen to me as well unfortunately. My tang was really the first to show signs although I didn't realize it at the time. I ran an airhose in my powerheads and made a lot of surface flow with my other filtration. Good luck, if your other fish are ok then hopefully the tang will pull through.

Thanks! hopefully the tang will just pull it through. it seems that tangs are much more sensitive to O2 levels than other fish!

MHG
10/09/2012, 05:26 AM
Are you saying the reactor sat filled with used biopellets and no water flow for 6 weeks? If so I would agree it is some sort of bacteria bloom but may be some toxicity from all that dead stagnant bacteria filled water. Try running carbon as well.

I turned mine off line while I battle Dino, but I cleaned it out and dried it out and threw away the old pellets. I know it will take some time for me to rebuild the bacteria but I was affraid of exactly what happened to you...

Good luck. I hope it is getting better...