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Old 01/16/2017, 11:41 PM   #201
bertoni
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I wouldn't worry about an alcoholic beverage. Given that there's another tank close by I'd look for some other cause than aerosols.


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Old 01/17/2017, 07:53 AM   #202
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I'm fairly sure some of the cleaning products we use contain alcohol, but I will look into them. No air fresheners. I will say on occasion I indulge myself in an alcoholic beverage in my office.
Well let me start off by saying you shouldn't be denied a little levity in your life. We aren't talking prohibition here. Only when it comes to the aquariums.

Do you have night staff that clean the office regularly? Possible source of VOC's overnight?

The places I always noticed the slime building the quickest were those that were most exposed to high flow, air or both such as: overflow boxes (combs), filter material that is exposed to air, skimmer and skimmer output, area in sump where agitated water falls into, socks, powerheads, return pump output etc.

The nutrient parameters in this tank were never great for 8 years (PO4~.5, NO3~ 25-50) until all of a sudden over a 8 month period they went to near undetectable on Salefert(sp) tests. Then the slime began for near 2 years. Nutrients never went up but skimmer always was full. corals faded. Fish okay. Slime invaded everything and black sponges grew under all rock work.

Can only surmise that you are getting it in one tank over another because some physical difference in the way the tank operated or an environmental difference as in, the unaffected tank does not get the same gas exchange or exposure to the (alcohol) in the air. But I'm sure you've eliminated those possibilities already.

Keep an open mind and you will find your demon.

Good luck


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Old 01/17/2017, 09:26 PM   #203
T-Rex
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Originally Posted by Aquamechanic View Post
Well let me start off by saying you shouldn't be denied a little levity in your life. We aren't talking prohibition here. Only when it comes to the aquariums.

Do you have night staff that clean the office regularly? Possible source of VOC's overnight?

The places I always noticed the slime building the quickest were those that were most exposed to high flow, air or both such as: overflow boxes (combs), filter material that is exposed to air, skimmer and skimmer output, area in sump where agitated water falls into, socks, powerheads, return pump output etc.

The nutrient parameters in this tank were never great for 8 years (PO4~.5, NO3~ 25-50) until all of a sudden over a 8 month period they went to near undetectable on Salefert(sp) tests. Then the slime began for near 2 years. Nutrients never went up but skimmer always was full. corals faded. Fish okay. Slime invaded everything and black sponges grew under all rock work.

Can only surmise that you are getting it in one tank over another because some physical difference in the way the tank operated or an environmental difference as in, the unaffected tank does not get the same gas exchange or exposure to the (alcohol) in the air. But I'm sure you've eliminated those possibilities already.

Keep an open mind and you will find your demon.

Good luck
Thanks man!

So the answer to your first question on cleaning...my office is located at my residence, which only I clean, and pretty much the only thing I use at this point is Windex, sparingly.

Second subject related to your comments that I would like to mention, is both tanks are rimless with a large surface area (2ea. 4x4 tanks in a loop) with very high flow. When I had slime, I tend to agree with your observation. Mainly high flow areas were the most exposed. I kinda freaked out when I realized my MP 40's and and an MP 60 was coated in slime. But it barely attached to rocks and was easily swiped away with a hand wave.

Finally the nutrient and skim level are precisely as you mentioned in your example, although I'm relatively slime free (which I believe is only due to increased ventilation and dehumidifier). Nitrates and Phosphate at 0, but pulling full cups of skimate daily.

As for your last comment, I wish that was the case. I've been in the hobby for a long time and still can't wrap my head around the differences between the two tanks. I rarely even test the other tank, because just by looking at it I know it's fine, but I still test on occasion. However, my other system I test rigorously. Even with perfect parameters and being relatively slime free, I know something is wrong.

I'm keeping an open mind, but I just can't pin-point the root cause and it's driving me nuts.

Update - Tanks were pretty cloudy this morning - I believe it's from waste-away doing its thing, but I was getting some cloudiness before that in the mornings lately. I decided to turn the skimmer back on as directed by Dr. Tim (12-24 hours after dosing or if water clouds), and it's pulling like crazy. I have a good size external skimmer and it's already half full in 12 hrs. I'll be sure to update again, soon.


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Old 01/17/2017, 09:52 PM   #204
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I wouldn't worry about an alcoholic beverage. Given that there's another tank close by I'd look for some other cause than aerosols.
I know right?...I'm looking at other options and keeping an open mind. It might be a carbon source (or some other factor) in the tanks which under certain conditions (high humidity and low ventilation in my experience) allows the slime to grow.

The one thing in the back of my mind is when I added a batch of HW Marinemix Reefer salt to the tanks months ago. It clouded like crazy and I did a major water change to eliminate the floating particles that wouldn't go away after a few days.

Within a day or two after the water change everything cleared up. But it makes me wonder if something was in the salt that contaminated the tanks.


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Old 01/17/2017, 10:25 PM   #205
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If it was the one batch of salt, the problem should have resolved itself, but you could try some CupraSorb and a PolyFilter if you're worried about metal contamination.


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Old 01/18/2017, 10:10 AM   #206
T-Rex
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If it was the one batch of salt, the problem should have resolved itself, but you could try some CupraSorb and a PolyFilter if you're worried about metal contamination.
Exactly what I was thinking, should be gone after 6 months. I don't think it's metal contamination, I use carbon media monthly as well. It's definitely a bacteria and some type or organic feeding it (Dr. Tim's and a few other experts). What organic is feeding the bacteria is the big question.

Aquamechanic could very well be correct, with alcohol being the food source. He seems pretty sure. I guess I'm trying to somewhat eliminate that possibility by using Waste Away...with the hope Waste Away will help break down the organic if its in my tanks.

As for an update, the skimmer was full this morning, but the water is much clearer. I'm going to wait a week, then possibly do a water change and one more 1/2 dose of Waste Away.


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Old 01/18/2017, 05:36 PM   #207
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Okay, that sounds like reasonable progress on the skimmer. Maybe the tank will get over this problem.


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Old 01/20/2017, 06:17 PM   #208
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I looked back through notes I had made and texts with the office where the aquarium is located and this is how the change occurred:

Nov. 22 Notified that the office had been wiping down the exam chairs after each patient with alcohol wipes.

Dec 25 Stopped using wipes and changed to something with hydrogen peroxide.

Dec 2 No change but no worse, which in itself was some change

Dec 8 Glass still foggy. Water clearer. Still some slime still visible

Dec 14 Big improvement. Slime completely gone. Some film on usual spots that wipes off and is clearly different. Now just normal detritus on glass feel.
Best the tank has been in 2 years

So it has now been 5 weeks with NO sign of slime. Introduced a hammer frag as a 'canary in the coalmine'

Will update


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Old 01/20/2017, 07:07 PM   #209
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Is the second date supposed to be Nov 25?


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Old 01/21/2017, 09:22 AM   #210
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Is the second date supposed to be Nov 25?


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Yes. Thanks.

It should be Nov 25.

.............................

Nov. 22 Notified that the office had been wiping down the exam chairs after each patient with alcohol wipes.

Nov. 25 Stopped using wipes and changed to something with hydrogen peroxide.

Dec. 2 No change but no worse, which in itself was some change

Dec. 8 Glass still foggy. Water clearer. Still some slime still visible

Dec. 14 Big improvement. Slime completely gone. Some film on usual spots that wipes off and is clearly different. Now just normal detritus on glass feel.


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Old 01/21/2017, 09:54 AM   #211
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T-Rex

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I rarely even test the other tank, because just by looking at it I know it's fine, but I still test on occasion. However, my other system I test rigorously. Even with perfect parameters and being relatively slime free, I know something is wrong.
.

You mentioned that you have a couple tanks going in the same area of your office/ house and that you only have the slime problem occurring in one tank which has very low or immeasurable NO3 and PO4 levels.

How are the PO4 and NO3 levels in the aquarium(s) that are not effected?

My thought is, that in the presence of measurable nutrients, the carbon dosing effect that may be occurring by whatever means (ISO-propal alcohol) in all of your aquariums, does not produce an overload of bacteria (slime) in the tanks with higher nutrients and therefore is dismissed as 'not happening' in those tanks.

This assumes of course that the carbon source is being introduced environmentally which I realize is still just conjecture.

Without spending the day reading back posts, I wonder if anyone who is/ has been experiencing this particular 'slime anomaly' has higher ongoing nutrient levels (NO3 > 5 ppm and PO4 >0.1 ppm - for example)

One other variable that was occurring with my subject setup BEFORE the slime started was I introduced GFO in the system to bring down PO4 from high levels (around 1ppm).
Could be coincidental timing or maybe I triggered the slime startup by cleaning up the tank in the presence of an ongoing carbon source.

Food for thought?


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Old 01/21/2017, 07:14 PM   #212
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That sounds like great progress. Good luck with the coral!

Cleaning the tank might put a lot of organics into the water column, or interfere with the filtration, depending on what exactly is done. A temporary slime outbreak would be a reasonable possibility, but it should be gone fairly quickly.


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Old 01/22/2017, 08:28 AM   #213
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Cleaning the tank might put a lot of organics into the water column, or interfere with the filtration, depending on what exactly is done. A temporary slime outbreak would be a reasonable possibility, but it should be gone fairly quickly.
Not exactly what I meant by 'Cleaning'

I was referring to purging the tank of it's high nutrient level(s) - specifically PO4 with the use of GFO over a 4 month period. Not vacuuming the substrate and a water change. That is routine.

The Theory

Why does one tank get it but not another in the same house/ office?

Tank#1
High Po4 and/ or NO3 + Environmental Ongoing Carbon Source =
PO4 & NO3 levels that are slightly lower or maintained over time
This does not produce slime if dose does not exceed available nutrients (food) so hobbyist sees no problem. Hobbyist is blissfully unaware that the aquarium is being auto-dosed. Life goes on.

Tank#2
In ultra low nutrient tank:
NO3 & PO4 near or at zero PPM + Environmental Ongoing Carbon Source =
Surge in bacteria from carbon source -> nothing to consume -> bacteria dies and consumes oxygen -> more bacteria form up due to more carbon dosing -> SLIME
Hobbyist notices slime forming in high flow, oxygen rich areas of sump and tank.

Course, the elephant in the room for hobbyists that are still chasing an answer is ...
'What is my source of carbon rick organic that is supplying the food and in turn, the insane bacterial bloom I cant wash away?'

While this theory isn't likely to solve the problem for all, your source may be different but the equation will be similar.




Don't flush him. He may just be sleeping ...


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Old 02/18/2017, 06:24 AM   #214
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Did I break this thread?

It has been another 4 weeks since introducing 4 chromis and a yellow tang and all are doing fine. The tank is going through normal start-up cycles.
There has never been a hint of the slime since the removal of the alcohol wipes from use in the office.


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Old 02/18/2017, 08:06 AM   #215
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Let me give a quick account of my experience with this slime, and then ill give my theory. I started a 125 gallon tank with marco rock and dry aragonite sand. Started the cycle with Dr. Tim's One and Only. Tank ran fine for 5 months, and then I started losing a bunch of SPS frags that had been in there about a month, and my skimmer foam was extremely dense. Did a bunch of stuff to remove possible contaminants/organic build up. I built a new, large plywood sump as part of the efforts as I didn't like my initial design. A day after installing the new sump (siporax and LR moved from old sump to new) I had a massive bacterial bloom that killed my squaretail bristletooth tang. All other fish were affected, and had to be removed, all made it. Other fish are 2 lyretail anthias, a large melanarus wrasse, and a splendid dottyback.

I began a course of wet skimmate water changes, heavy mechanical filtration changed one to twice a day, and siphoning out slime. Also increased flow in DT and blew rocks off daily with turkey baster. I also started daily dosing of seachem stability and ordered some Prodibio (forget the name, but it was food and bacteria, and dosed that once before I left). Tank appears normal now, skimmer is still a bit foamy.

I did spill some alcohol in the bottom of the sump when I was cleaning off some drips of pvc primer from plumbing in the new sump, but wiped it up and it of course evaporated before filling. Alcohol fumes were pretty strong in the garage where the sump is.

I have done quite a bit of researching threads on this and one almost constant is dry rock and Dr Tims all in one. So my theory is the bacterial bloom is possibly kickstarted by a carbon addition, either intentional or not. An imbalance in bacteria is either already present or is created. This bacteria rapidly consumes not only oxygen, but nutrients, and makes it difficult for our desired bacteria to get the food they need. This makes it difficult to beat it. I am wondering if there is a strain in Dr Tims that is prone to this outbreak, or if the strain in Dr Tims is prone to being overrun by some other bacteria.

My solution was allowing the bacteria to clean up the excess organics to start to starve itself, and aggressively adding bacterial diversity. I'm hoping that this will make my tank more robust. I also have plans of adding a live sand activator pack along with some macro, and copepods/amphipods from IPSF in hopes of further improving biodiversity in the tank.


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Old 04/01/2017, 02:46 PM   #216
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I have done quite a bit of researching threads on this and one almost constant is dry rock and Dr Tims all in one. So my theory is the bacterial bloom is possibly kickstarted by a carbon addition, either intentional or not. An imbalance in bacteria is either already present or is created. This bacteria rapidly consumes not only oxygen, but nutrients, and makes it difficult for our desired bacteria to get the food they need. This makes it difficult to beat it. I am wondering if there is a strain in Dr Tims that is prone to this outbreak, or if the strain in Dr Tims is prone to being overrun by some other bacteria.

My solution was allowing the bacteria to clean up the excess organics to start to starve itself, and aggressively adding bacterial diversity. I'm hoping that this will make my tank more robust. I also have plans of adding a live sand activator pack along with some macro, and copepods/amphipods from IPSF in hopes of further improving biodiversity in the tank.
You make a great point on the dry rock and nitrifying bacteria. I can say for sure it wasn't Dr. Tim's bacteria with me, but I did use Smart Start nitrifying bacteria. I cured my live rock for at least two months before adding anything. At this point the 3 main suspects are BRS Pukani Dry Rock, Smart Start bacteria, and HW Marine Mix Reefer Salt.


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Old 04/01/2017, 03:53 PM   #217
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Sorry I haven't updated lately. There hasn't really been much to update until now. Basically I've continued to see hints of slime after a few days but only on the top of the tank glass and very slight at the top of the filter sock. After a couple weeks of dosing Dr. Tims Waste Away the water cleared up and the tank has been looking a little better...but I still saw the slight presence of slime, and skimmer still pulling way to much given the low bio load.

In the mean time, I've been battling a problem in a separate tank. Turf algae (which I've never had in any tanks before) started growing. I tried the best cleaner livestock and nothing wanted to eat it. Brought Mag. up high, nothing. Then I was talking to a buddy who owns a LFS in his shop and one of his customers (serious reefer) chimed in and said how he used Underwater Creations Vibrant and that its a crazy algae killer that is very effective and safe.

A couple weeks later after manually pulling as much as I could off rocks and agonizing over doing full hydrogen peroxide dips, I decided to contact Jeff the owner of UWC and Vibrant. He was super helpful and I ended up buying a bottle to try it out.

This stuff is legit! After the first dose I noticed a change the next day. Three days later was almost completely gone. So how does this tie into my SPS tanks?

I decided to dose them as well. The reason being Jeff claimed this potent bacteria in Vibrant can actually overtake other bacteria such as cyano. Seeing how awesome my corals are thriving within days in my other tank and the overwhelming positive results from others, I figured it was worth a shot.

Sure enough after only a few days I have a substantial reduction in skimate. As in emptying the cup daily to getting only 1/4" from the bottom pulled out. I'm concerned about coral starvation, so I plan to feed a little heavier, but I'm really happy how the tank is looking now and the SPS polyp extension. I will continue to update as things progress.


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Old 06/24/2017, 09:42 PM   #218
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I have a little bit of the white slime in my sump hanging on to some cords/cables. I dose vodka and vinegar. N03 around 5 p04 shows 0 on sailfert kit.
240 gallon tank, 30 fish in it. Feed once a day.

Any ideas or input on what's causing it and how to get rid of it. Tank is 4 years old

Corey


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Old 08/22/2017, 10:04 AM   #219
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I have been keeping salt water aquarium with Reef for over 10 years. 200 gallon Tank. On the side I have a small 20 gallon as a fish hospital or placement for newly acquired coral. One day, 20 gallon glass broke, so I ordered a new one, and started a new tank. I kept the same sand, same rock. Same amount of dosing (CA + alcohol). This ran fine for about 1 week, the white slime appeared. All parameter is optimal. Nitrate, Nitrite, PO, CA, magnesium as well as PH and Salinity. (been doing it a long while so it's not a challenge). small coral fragments seems to be fine. I can see the Source of SLIM seems to be on the LR it self. It is coated 100% all surfaces. The reason I went through the description of two tanks is this. Temp. is constant at 76 degree (I run water coolers to do that) I did notice the new setup water aeration is toward the surface. New tank is loaded with white film, while 200 g is not. I see very very slight white film on the glass surface of bigger tank, but nothing on rocks, while new tank is LOADED with it. Protein skimmer is going crazy on new tank almost black sponge like substance every night.
My thought is the live rock bacteria is populating out of control consuming the carbon source. I wanted to include my own scenario to rule out other possible causes of this slimy white substance.


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Old 04/24/2018, 06:08 AM   #220
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any updates?

I have been battling it in a 4 year old reef that i moved to a new slightly larger tank with new washed sand bed. 3 weeks in slime bacteria is killing me. corals are lackluster BUT still alive and growing but the slime and white stringy stuff grows in my all in one tank chambers, plumbing, skimmer and glass after 3 days of cleaning. clogs filter floss after 10 hours. the CUC looks to be keeping it off the rockwork but you can see that fuzzy stuff on rocks and powerheads.

dr tims refresh for 10 days and heavy doses of wasteaway i am on 4 additions of that so far. still around looks like it might be slowing? i have to scrub my chambers, skimmer, return every week and syphon out to keep up.

running oversized skimmer now wet. dosing peroxide nightly 1ml - 10 gallons. i do not dose carbon. it just came out of nowhere.

i am a few steps away from tearing it all down and stopping as i can't keep up with the maintenance and cleaning - it is way to much effort for losing and sadness of not enjoying the tank now is too much to handle.

thanks for any input


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Old 04/24/2018, 03:24 PM   #221
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Well I last updated February of 2017 so it has been almost a year and a half since I discovered the alcohol source at my clients dental office. Alcohol wipes that were used to wipe chairs and equipment tables between patients.
Stopped using them. Solved.

This was unequivocally the reason and sole source of the slime bacteria that cursed the tank for nearly 2 years.

The tank is now thriving. All coral looks great and fish and inverts are all behaving normally.

If anyone considered a similar problem (VOC's) may be what is causing their slime outbreak, try to vent the room and get the air supply for your skimmer from an outside air source if possible. The improvement is nearly immediate.

Good luck




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Old 04/24/2018, 09:48 PM   #222
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To Reef Central

to mashmasterj.


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Old 03/13/2019, 06:42 AM   #223
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wow.. so glad I found this thread.. sorry to be resurrecting.. but was there ever any final conclusion on the cause.. I have it forming on my frag QT tank.. tank has little to zero nutrients. Low phosphate.. at one point I thought it was the result of low alk and low light.

I should note that I have no issue of it in my DT. Or my Fish QT tank. Only in my Frag 30 gallon QT. I was searching for pics of what I had and could not find until I hit this thread. Was thinking maybe it was Dino. Thanks for all the info you all posted.


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Current Tank Info: 500 gal starphire, reef sps dominated, 40 plus fish, 300 gallon sump in basement below, reeftek calcium reactor, reeftek kalkwasser reactor, lifeguard fluidized filter for rowaphose, 4 400MH 10k xm, 2 160 vho super attinic, DYI 50 gallon denitrator
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Old 03/13/2019, 09:06 AM   #224
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It has been another year and the tank is still doing well. Never had an issue again once the source of alcohol fumes was eliminated.

If your frag tank is isolated from the other aquariums not effected by the slime then the source may be in the room with the frag tank. Could also be, as in my case, there was air filtration (carbon filter) that was installed in the basement. The makup water barrel located nearby stopped getting the slime but the aquarium located on another floor continued to have it. This was because the aquarium was located near the source and still had alcohol fumes getting drawn into the skimmer while return air flow from the furnace was filtered clean.

Try to consider anything that would put VOC's (alcohol fumes etc.) into your air near the problem tank. If you can get a carbon filter to run nearby that would confirm.

AM


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