Water Bacteria... Fish Tank Death

  • #1
So I lost all my lps torch coral in a 3 day span. My water had a very milky white color in it and now no all my lps are dead. Zoas are dead or won't open. Snail's are dead be all over. Over 500$ in torch coral dead. I'm at a lost nowm, I installed a uv sterilizer and it seems to have fixed the problem but now I'm just at a lost. My 2 fishes seem fine and are eatting. Has anyone delt with this before who can give advice on what to do next? I have a new rodI filters and membrane installed.
  • #2
Almost sounds like a Calcium problem given the color and the fact that replacing the membranes seems to have helped.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Question is what happens after a water change and turning off the sterlizer? Will the milky water return?
  • #4
Wish I could help! I do think I'd keep the sterilizer running for a bit longer. Maybe Lorekeeper would be the best to talk to as he's recently been through something similar.

A few questions that might help others help you...

Does anything stick out in your mind that may have started all this? Nothing like an anemone death out anything?

Did the milky water appear before it after the torch went downhill?

Have you seen anything like brown jelly in or on your corals?

Do you have any data on recent levels of calc, alk and mag?
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Ok so the tank began to over heat a lot the past few weeks. The outside temperature has been over 90+ here in NJ almost every other day. With that said my tank got to 85 degree's. I added fans to cool it back to 78 degrees which worked well but after that the water turned milky. I left for vacation for a week but had a buddy top off the tank and feed the fish. Food we're put in a pill holder so he knew to only add the amount for the day. When I got home water was way more cloudy and then the coral just started to die off in hordes. No brown jelly on corals but they do have a bad Smell similar to a dead snail. I did test before vacation and all stats were normal. My rodI was giving out a TDS of 20 but that has been changed. Worst part is I ordered 250$ worth of zoas before I left and now their all dead.
  • #6
With that in mind, I'd think that it could've just been the temperature swings and high temps that got to some of your corals. Then, as they died off, they released ammonia and caused an ammonia spike, which damaged some other corals. Your cycle couldn't keep up with all of that ammonia, so heterotrophic bacteria grew to take care of the excess ammonia, causing milky water. That'd be my guess.
  • #7
Heterotrophic bacteria sounds right to me too, and I also agree that the sudden temp swings are the root cause of all this. I'm so sorry that the heat wave is affecting your tank so badly, and that you've lost so much. Please don't blame yourself. The RODI was not the issue here and there's only so much we can do when nature gets involved.

So, it's your basic bacterial bloom, albeit, a nasty one. You can try extra water changes, running the UV, and carbon never hurts, but either way, it may take some time.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I'm just gonna start over... Seems like green star and Xenia are the only stuff I can grow lol. I may do a rock flower and rose tip anemone tank once the tank settles down. thanks for the advice.

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