A half-dozen corals like this were lost, all of which had been reared from small aquacultured frags.
I started to lose some of my corals and a couple of fishes for
no apparent reason. Then a couple of my clams started to look
pretty bad, including my Hippopus porcellanus. If you’ve never
heard of that one, it’s probably because it was very likely the
only one in North America. Certainly being my hardest-to-find
tank inhabitant, the owner of Clams Direct told me it was the
first one he’d ever seen after selling clams for seven years.
Over the next few days, another three fishes disappeared, a
few more corals died, my prized Tridacna crocea croaked, and
the porcellanus passed away too—I still had no idea why. I
added about five times more carbon to the tank than I would
normally run, got the skimmer running full blast, and did
two huge water changes, but nothing seemed to help. Then
it finally hit me. Everything that died was held in the same
trash can, while everything from the other cans was fine.
Despite a good washing with the garden hose and getting it
as (apparently) clean as possible, I can only guess that the
one “can of death” had some toxic residue in it that didn’t get
washed out. Maybe there was something else going on in there,
but I had no clue what.
It was agonizing—I think that practically everything in the
can had died, but at least those were the only victims. I tried to
be optimistic, since it could have been worse.
Anyway, I suppose I should give you some advice at this point.
Considering the emotional and monetary investment we place
into our reef aquariums, being prepared for a leaking tank (or
catastrophic tank failure of some kind) is something to consider.
My circumstances had forced me to go in another direction, but
I would highly recommend going with the safer alternative
Tropical Fish Hobbyist