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Old 05-14-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
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3 fish die in 1 day!!!! HELP!

I have a 55 gal tank that I want to eventually be a reef tank. It been running about 6 months with 30lb of LR from a previous tank with an additional 50lbs of base rock. A tomato clown a 3 stripe damsel and assorted hermits and snails make up the livestock.
PH 8.4. Kh 12. Salinity 1.025. 0 nitrate 0 nitrite
15 gal Berlin style sump with protein skimmer

So 3 days ago I add 3 green chromis, they all look fine after acclimation. This morning I wake up and my 3 stripe and 2 chromis are dead along with an emerald crab! Any help is appreciated, because my first feeling was to tear down the tank and start again. Thanks for looking.......John
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
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It could be that you added too many fish at once. This same thing happened to me but I kept buying and adding more fish because I wanted to enjoy the tank and they just kept dying. I found out my rodi system needed to be changed bc the ppm was higher than 0. Check your top off/ water you use for changes as well. I never had luck with chromis. Usually they pick off 1 by 1.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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I just changed the filters on my rodi filter, but I'll check it anyway. Thanks
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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The RODI is not the problem though. There are people that use tap water and it does not kill their fish that quickly. Its usually bad over a long period of time.

You say your nitrates and nitrites are zero? If it was adding too many fish, too quickly, there should have been a jump in parameters and that would have been the problem. How are you testing? Was there any aggression? Damsels are tough, so it should have been last to die, even with bad water conditions.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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I use an API test kit, and my parameters have been pretty steady. I didn't notice any aggression. My Damsel stayed with the clownfish. And the chromis schooled with one another.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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OK. So I tested my tap water with a TDS meter and got 40.......also tested my rodi top off water and that was 0.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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Sometimes it's not the number of fish added, but the percentage increase. You only had 2 fish in there with inverts (which don't lend to the bio load very much). Your BB would have grown to support that number. Then you added 3 new fish and depending on the comparable sizes, over doubled the bioload. Suddenly your BB couldn't keep up and an ammonia spike may have occured (you never mentioned ammonia level). The nitrite level may not spike as there is a slow increase in ammonia eating bacteria, so nitrites will go up slowly and be compensated by an slow increase in nitrite eating bacteria.
Just an idea!
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:45 PM   #8
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OK.....So 1 fish at a time is the moral of this story??
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #9
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Slow is better. Right now I'd wait and see if that was the issue. Perhaps there was something else imported that killed the fish/crab.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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I just tested the ammonia level and it was 0. So I guess I'll keep testing the water for the next few days to see. I'll let you know the results. Thank you for your input.. John
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