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View Full Version : very tempted to give up...so frustrated..


djbetterly
07/02/2014, 08:08 PM
So this is my second reef tank, first one I had no problems with and loved it! My second one, which is still very young, 3-4months old at best has been plagued with problems. First off I have velvet..I know this is my own fault for not QT'ing but I have no space in my one bedroom apartment for one. So I've lost almost all of my fish and basically waiting for the rest to die, its painful.

Second problem, which I feel is even worse, is hydroids. These are the small, branching, clear-ish hydroids that spread like wild fire.

I really don't know what to do? Do I start over? Give up? From what I've gathered and read over the past there is no cure for eliminating hydroids. Am I wrong?

I need a bit of encouragement or advice..I'm lost at this point.

jay13
07/02/2014, 08:17 PM
muriatic acid wash that rock and start over clean. sorry, no cure i have ever seen for hydroids.

billdogg
07/03/2014, 05:18 AM
If yo give the tank time, the hydroids will eventually go away (or at least self limit) all on their own. A stiff brush will take care of most of them.

Your tank is still too new to get too stressed out about stuff like that. There's always the diatoms, cyanobacteria, hair algae....to look forward to. :hmm3:

What size tank? How many fish? You really should try to treat your fish if at all possible. Just letting them die won't do you, your tank or, especially, them any good at all.

justthewife
07/03/2014, 05:30 AM
Don't give up. This is all part of the hobby in my opinion. If nothing happened, you would have nothing to do and would not be stimulated to learn and be able to teach others. Patience is the key to a great tank :)

skimjim
07/03/2014, 07:40 AM
how old is your substrate and LR?

both substrate and LR do have a life cycle. both can get plagued with saturating nitrates and phosphates.

under normal conditions i would say one would need to replace their substrate every 3 years.

with LR you need to pull it every couple years and scrub it and "cook" it via a cooking procedure to remove all the nutrients is has absorbed.

you may want to consider tearing down your setup and concentrate your efforts on cooking your LR until the first of 2015... giving you a 6mos break. tearing down and doing a deep clean to all your equipment is going to take at least a good month. tinkering with the cooking process with your LR is going to take you another 3-4mos. so by Jan 2015 you'll be ready to start with a new setup.

Dont give up. just redirect your efforts ;)

triggreef
07/03/2014, 08:06 AM
Don't ever cook rock please. Anyone. Ever.

If you really feel you must start over, pull inverts & rock asap& attempt to treat your fish. Bleach your rock & soak in fresh water until all traces of chlorine has dissipated.

But no cooking please, & anyone who reads this please scratch cooking out of your reefing vocab before you get someone killed. Seriously.

ridetheducati
07/03/2014, 08:07 AM
First off I have velvet..I know this is my own fault for not QT'ing but I have no space in my one bedroom apartment for one.

If you have room for a five gallon bucket, you can quarantine.

billdogg
07/03/2014, 08:19 AM
how old is your substrate and LR?

both substrate and LR do have a life cycle. both can get plagued with saturating nitrates and phosphates.

under normal conditions i would say one would need to replace their substrate every 3 years.

with LR you need to pull it every couple years and scrub it and "cook" it via a cooking procedure to remove all the nutrients is has absorbed.



Really? I guess that means I have dodged a HUGE bullet! Most of the rocks in my systems have been in continual use since the late 80's, and although I do sometimes add new (dry) sand, much of it dates from the same time.

fishgate
07/03/2014, 08:37 AM
Don't ever cook rock please. Anyone. Ever.

If you really feel you must start over, pull inverts & rock asap& attempt to treat your fish. Bleach your rock & soak in fresh water until all traces of chlorine has dissipated.

But no cooking please, & anyone who reads this please scratch cooking out of your reefing vocab before you get someone killed. Seriously.

Are you aware there is a method of killing off all life on live rock that is called "cooking"? It does not involve heat btw.

Breadman03
07/03/2014, 08:49 AM
Are you aware there is a method of killing off all life on live rock that is called "cooking"? It does not involve heat btw.


Cooking is a poor choice of terminology. Some people have applied heat, often through boiling, and become very ill due to the toxins that are released. Read up on palytoxin poisoning and you'll see a few first hand accounts from RC members.

A preferred term is curing. Basically, one places the rock into a dark bin, such as a covered Brute trash can, covered with saltwater along with a heater and a powerhead, and allow it to sit until all the phosphates have leached out.

Macimage
07/03/2014, 08:54 AM
how old is your substrate and LR?

both substrate and LR do have a life cycle. both can get plagued with saturating nitrates and phosphates.

under normal conditions i would say one would need to replace their substrate every 3 years.

with LR you need to pull it every couple years and scrub it and "cook" it via a cooking procedure to remove all the nutrients is has absorbed.

you may want to consider tearing down your setup and concentrate your efforts on cooking your LR until the first of 2015... giving you a 6mos break. tearing down and doing a deep clean to all your equipment is going to take at least a good month. tinkering with the cooking process with your LR is going to take you another 3-4mos. so by Jan 2015 you'll be ready to start with a new setup.

Dont give up. just redirect your efforts ;)


Really? I guess that means I have dodged a HUGE bullet! Most of the rocks in my systems have been in continual use since the late 80's, and although I do sometimes add new (dry) sand, much of it dates from the same time.

Me too! My live rock and dsb have been set up since 2001. I would hate to kill off my huge bristleworms, amphipods and mini stars that are not so mini anymore. My live rock is teaming with life. There is no way I would kill it all off every 'couple' of years.

HumbleFish
07/03/2014, 08:56 AM
You really should try to treat your fish if at all possible. Just letting them die won't do you, your tank or, especially, them any good at all.

+1 It may be a hassle, but saving one or more of your fish will give you a much needed boost of confidence. You'll always look at that fish, know you saved it's life, and that will keep you going in the hobby.

If I were you, my primary focus would be on saving as many fish as possible right now.

atrox
07/03/2014, 09:42 AM
The old saying nothing good ever happens fast in this hobby comes to mind. Replace sand cook rocks what is happening with this hobby that some people go to this measure. If that's the case just get a tank with coarse crushed coral and dead coral that you bleach every month to clean. Pay very careful attention to some ofthe advice you get as it will create more problems and all the extra nonsense steps will deff want to make you "give up". My tanks have and always been as simple as I can make them, with the majority of the system maturing and taking care if itself. Let it be, if you can treat the fish treat them, if not maybe the fish survive maybe they won't. Is this hobby frustrating....at times but the frustration is what makes you even more aware of just what we can control or not control in a reef tank. You have hydroids I say COOL!! You are seeing ancient life thriving in a once sterile glass box. They will control their own population and will get themselves under control. Take a breath step back, stay current on testing, cleaning, water changes, and research if you have the patience the tank will SLOWLY get to a point where you start being excited and not frustrated. You got questions ask we are all here to help,but for the love of god do not cook you're rocks. Where are you getting fish from?

atrox
07/03/2014, 09:47 AM
how old is your substrate and LR?

both substrate and LR do have a life cycle. both can get plagued with saturating nitrates and phosphates.

under normal conditions i would say one would need to replace their substrate every 3 years.

with LR you need to pull it every couple years and scrub it and "cook" it via a cooking procedure to remove all the nutrients is has absorbed.

you may want to consider tearing down your setup and concentrate your efforts on cooking your LR until the first of 2015... giving you a 6mos break. tearing down and doing a deep clean to all your equipment is going to take at least a good month. tinkering with the cooking process with your LR is going to take you another 3-4mos. so by Jan 2015 you'll be ready to start with a new setup.

Dont give up. just redirect your efforts ;)


Completely disregard this post as it is completely ridiculous.

inetmug
07/03/2014, 09:49 AM
Really.... someone would relate "cooking" to literally putting established rock on a burner??? Now that is funny...

Cooking and curing, from what I can see, are used interchangeably in the hobby quite a bit.

Nanook
07/03/2014, 09:59 AM
with LR you need to pull it every couple years and scrub it and "cook" it via a cooking procedure to remove all the nutrients is has absorbed.




Uh, I disagree. My 375g and 470g tanks have about 1000 pounds of live rock in them that are covered in corals...when you look in the tanks you can barely see the live rock due to all the coral growing on it. So, removing and killing corals to "cook" the rock is just ludicrous advice.

triggreef
07/03/2014, 10:05 AM
Are you aware there is a method of killing off all life on live rock that is called "cooking"? It does not involve heat btw.

This V

Cooking is a poor choice of terminology. Some people have applied heat, often through boiling, and become very ill due to the toxins that are released. Read up on palytoxin poisoning and you'll see a few first hand accounts from RC members.

A preferred term is curing. Basically, one places the rock into a dark bin, such as a covered Brute trash can, covered with saltwater along with a heater and a powerhead, and allow it to sit until all the phosphates have leached out.

Really.... someone would relate "cooking" to literally putting established rock on a burner??? Now that is funny...

Cooking and curing, from what I can see, are used interchangeably in the hobby quite a bit.

People do strange things. Using that terminology helps ensure the next guy will. One account I read involved a newbie almost killing his entire family by doing just that. & I think the dog may have actually died. So think about what you say & how you say it is my only point.

toothybugs
07/03/2014, 10:07 AM
Completely disregard this post as it is completely ridiculous.

Amen. There is so much wrong in that post I don't even want to begin.


Now...
Pick up a "hospital tank" and just set it on the floor if you have to, next to your main one so you don't kick it. 2 flipped-over 5 gallon pails can double as a decent temp stand for a 10 or 20L if you need them to. But yes, do try to save your fish. You'll feel so much better for having done so.

I had hydroids in my tank when I started out and they disappeared on their own. Whether it was the starvation thing I did or what I'm not sure, but they disappeared on their own.

If you HAVE to start over, keep the hospital tank as a QT while your tank is cycling again. There are many ways to nuke a tank, I prefer bleach as it is very easy to neutralize and remove when the killin' spree is over. You could nuke and re-start your tank in a weekend if you really wanted to. In any event, don't use copper to nuke it - you'll ruin your rocks and substrates.

whiteshark
07/03/2014, 10:14 AM
Really.... someone would relate "cooking" to literally putting established rock on a burner??? Now that is funny...

Cooking and curing, from what I can see, are used interchangeably in the hobby quite a bit.

Not its not. Boiling LR was a common practice for a while, and mistaking cooking for boiling is an easy thing to do IMO. It IS a poor choice of words. Yes the word is commonly used to refer to curing or even acid bathing the rock, but it doesnt make it a good word to use.

fishgate
07/03/2014, 12:34 PM
"cooking" and "curing" live rock are also two different things. I agree "cooking" is a bad choice of terminology. But the purpose of "cooking" is to kill everything on the rock to start over. I guess it could be related to "curing" although I see curing as a different strategy.

I have a bunch of rock with Aiptasia right now. My plan is to "cook" it, or otherwise kill off every living thing on this rock and start over with it.

Texas Paul
07/03/2014, 02:18 PM
If you HAVE to start over, keep the hospital tank as a QT while your tank is cycling again. There are many ways to nuke a tank, I prefer bleach as it is very easy to neutralize and remove when the killin' spree is over. You could nuke and re-start your tank in a weekend if you really wanted to. In any event, don't use copper to nuke it - you'll ruin your rocks and substrates.

This is a good way to start over. Unfortunately I have experience with this method.....hospital tank for the fish, then nuke the tank and run it for a few days. Drain the water and take it outside. Fill it up and rinse everything until you think it is free of bleach, then rinse it three more times like that. Let it air dry and start again. It can be done in a weekend. I know, I've done it. Been quarantining ever since......

Sorry you are having trouble. Many understand your frustration. The good thing about starting over is we get the opportunity to use the knowledge we gained from the previous tank(s) and set things up better, and use our knowledge to not make the mistakes we made before. If I had a nickel for everything I messed up in my tanks over the years I would be a rich man.....

djbetterly
07/03/2014, 07:25 PM
I appreciate the encouraging words, this hobby really can be tough and frustrating at times. As of right now there are three fish left in the tank and all seem to be doing very well. I'm going to look this weekend and see what I can find for a QT tank that can be hidden some where. My worry is that by the time that tank cycles the fish will have perished.

In regards to the hydroids, I was able to pick the big ones off of the biggest piece of rock. I can't see a trace on that rock anymore. The other piece that I can remove from the tank I took a dremel sanding bit to it and removed all visual traces. I'll see how this all goes.

Thank you everyone.

pmrossetti
07/03/2014, 10:16 PM
dry rock.
small QT tank you set up when you need it.

djbetterly
07/04/2014, 05:56 AM
Found this: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2195588

Great advice! Should be a sticky.

On a side note, is there a minimum size requirement for a qt tank? Most of the fish I will ever put in my tank are small, 2in or less for the most part as I like to start them young.
I have a 2 gallon tank here that I completely forgot about. Would that be ok to use for a clown, a melanarus wrasse and a pink bar goby? I realize that I'd probably need to do more water changes because of the size, but it might be better than nothing no?

Can anyone provide links for velvet medications? What works best?

whiteshark
07/04/2014, 07:25 AM
Found this: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2195588

Great advice! Should be a sticky.

On a side note, is there a minimum size requirement for a qt tank? Most of the fish I will ever put in my tank are small, 2in or less for the most part as I like to start them young.
I have a 2 gallon tank here that I completely forgot about. Would that be ok to use for a clown, a melanarus wrasse and a pink bar goby? I realize that I'd probably need to do more water changes because of the size, but it might be better than nothing no?

Can anyone provide links for velvet medications? What works best?

Not technically but you should give them something with enough room that they won't be too stressed even if it's temporary. IMO 2 gallons is too small. Petco is having their 1$ per gallon sale right now. a 20 gallon long tank would be nice.

djbetterly
07/04/2014, 09:01 AM
@whiteshark, I definitely don't have room for a 20. Where do you see the $1/gal sale at petco? I just scoured their website and didn't see anything.

Odysi
07/04/2014, 09:27 AM
It's a in store sale only. You could work with 10gal min. I wouldn't put 3 fish into a 2 gal tank. You can run a temp hospital tank until your fish are back 100% and the put it away. A QT tank doesn't need to be up all the time.

whiteshark
07/04/2014, 10:53 AM
@whiteshark, I definitely don't have room for a 20. Where do you see the $1/gal sale at petco? I just scoured their website and didn't see anything.

As mentioned it's in store only. I think there is only a week left on the sale though.

djbetterly
07/04/2014, 11:36 AM
Couple more Q's.

Could I pull a small piece of live rock from my sump to help with bacteria since it wouldn't be cycled (dispose of that piece after of course)?

Should I add any supplements to battle ammonia/nitrites?

Can anyone give me a link to what the medication is?

whiteshark
07/04/2014, 11:47 AM
I don't know the meds but amquel would be good to have on hand. You'll basically just have to do very frequent water changes. I wouldn't put any LR in there for fear of killing everything on it with the meds and just contributing to the ammonia issue. You're not really looking to cycle a hospital tank. You will likely be adding chemicals that would kill those bacteria anyway.

As for a QT, if you want a permanent one you certainly could throw some rock in there. I just wouldn't add any rock to a tank you plan to medicate.

djbetterly
07/04/2014, 11:55 AM
Ok, that makes sense.

Is it seachem cupramine that I want?