Smelt smoke from the tank..

TreyinTheA

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So I got home last Wednesday night around 9:30pm. I smelt smoke but had no clue where it was coming from, so I followed my nose and it led me to my tank.. uh oh. I lift the back portion of my bio cube (30g) and smoke pours out of my mini-protein skimmer.
I remove the skimmer and my two clowns keep swimming around fine.

next day, two clowns are nowhere to be seen. All that is left in the tank are 5 Nessarius snails.

what should my next steps be? Please help.
 

bg2311

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Did you determine if the skimmer pump was the source of the smoke? Maybe set it in the kitchen sink and see if that's really where it was coming from. Tank will be fine without it with such a low bioload. A water change wouldn't hurt if you think the smoke particles got into the water through the skimmer.
 

TreyinTheA

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Did you determine if the skimmer pump was the source of the smoke? Maybe set it in the kitchen sink and see if that's really where it was coming from. Tank will be fine without it with such a low bioload. A water change wouldn't hurt if you think the smoke particles got into the water through the skimmer.
It was definitely the skimmer. The smoke was only around it, and somehow the skimmer has slipped down and was fully submerged - maybe that’s why it malfunctioned.

Im trying to figure out when I can get more fish. I had a cleaner shrimp die within a week and dwarf angel die within 2 days before this incident - but my water tested good.
 

ichthyoid

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What kind of skimmer was it?

I’m trying to imagine what skimmer could ‘just slip down & become fully submerged’ into an aquarium?
 

myvwrock

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All tanks should be hooked to a gfi circuit! It has saved me before!!

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ichthyoid

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Fwiw,
A GFI, while a good idea, is not a panacea. Some things I don’t care to have connected to a GFCI.
 

myvwrock

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Fwiw,
A GFI, while a good idea, is not a panacea. Some things I don’t care to have connected to a GFCI.
Learned a new word today lol

Can you give examples

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ichthyoid

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I do not want my Apex on a GFCI. If it loses power due to spike/surge, then it cannot notify me of problems via email.

I don’t want my lights or battery backups connected to a GFCI circuit either.

Pumps/skimmers, yes.
I will isolate the Apex from the pumps using control relays.
 

civics14

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It was definitely the skimmer. The smoke was only around it, and somehow the skimmer has slipped down and was fully submerged - maybe that’s why it malfunctioned.

Im trying to figure out when I can get more fish. I had a cleaner shrimp die within a week and dwarf angel die within 2 days before this incident - but my water tested good.
How long was this setup running? Shrimp and fish dying before this incident is a concern. Also, what does "water tested good" mean?
 

TreyinTheA

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How long was this setup running? Shrimp and fish dying before this incident is a concern. Also, what does "water tested good" mean?
It was running for over a month before I added any livestock. The two clownfish had been in the tank for over 2 1/2 weeks and doing great, they were eating well, swimming around etc.

“tested good” would mean exactly what you could infer from the phrase - I tested the water and all parameters were in a good, acceptable level.
 

trizzino

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What tests did you do on the water? So the tank is 2 months old or so? Could be a combination of new tank and the skimmer burning up in the water. What else is running on the tank? I would prob throw some carbon in a media bag if you aren’t using any.
 

Sun1914

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Unless the clowns are f-ing ninjas I can't see how the smoke and the fish disappearing are related.
He didn't say he found them dead or being eaten by snails, he said they were nowhere to be seen.
Now, the fish dying even b4 the smoke incident is a clear sign something is off in the tank.
But I'm more amazed at his Houdini Clown fish.

In another post just last week your tank was ending cycling. My guess, besides some faulty equipment your bioload may have been too much for the newly cycled tank.
your parameters are likely off. Take you water to your local store and ask them to test b4 you add anymore fish bro. Then, take ur time adding them in...especially to a new and small tank.
 

aTadb1t

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I’ve had clowns get to the back section of an AIO in the past, I had an ocellaris get into the return pump section of a bio cube. I would flashlight each section of the rear of the tank for the Houdini’s.

Also if the lid was off for a good deal of time dealing with the smoke they may have jumped.


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civics14

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It was running for over a month before I added any livestock. The two clownfish had been in the tank for over 2 1/2 weeks and doing great, they were eating well, swimming around etc.

“tested good” would mean exactly what you could infer from the phrase - I tested the water and all parameters were in a good, acceptable level.
"tested good" is subjective to the hobbyist. I seen people think "tested good" had small traces of nitrites and ammonia remaining. It always helps to actual list your parameters in a new set up like yours.

Usually it helps to provide the test results and a current pic. You mentioned faulty skimmer, did you feel any shock? Determine where it was faulty? Could there be stray voltage.

The missing fish, I assume the snails cleaned them up? Remains buried somewhere in the sand or under a rock?
 
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