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Old 09-03-2008, 10:48 PM   #1
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Distress, Death and Rescue

My SW tank is 2 weeks old. I put 2 clowns in on Saturday after the ammonia had zeroed. Since then the nitrites are very high (about 1.6). One clown died today. The levels have not decreased much even after 2 partial water changes and adding Cycle.
The other clown is looking worn but still swimming. So I just set up my quarantine tank and have put him in. It is a 10g equipped with a filter system, heater and light. I have not taken the time to let it circulate since I thought it was more important to rescue the clown.
Keeping my fingers crossed that I will "find Nemo" alive tomorrow.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:13 PM   #2
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Is the qt tank cycled? The nitrite rises after the ammonia zeros.I think you jumped the gun and didn"t let the cycle complete.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:39 PM   #3
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Ray, it's not a QT, it's MD.
Lindsay, I fear your LFS gave you some bad advice. Cycling with live animals it kind of an outdated method. Personally, I use a raw, unseasoned shrimp, from my local grocery store...roughly $.10 (I use 1 shrimp per 30G).
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:28 AM   #4
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Seems like Brooklynella

O.K. looking at the symptoms and onset, I think these poor clowns had/have Brooklynella (clownfish disease).
If the remaining clown is still with me tomorrow, I am going to try a formalin bath. I will still keep him in the MD tank.
I do think cycling with fish was a bad idea. I am ready to try the raw shrimps. Do you just leave them on the bottom? Also what size shrimp? How long do I leave them there?
I read something on the posts about this and will go see if I can find it.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:34 AM   #5
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I would not jump into a formalin bath until you are absolutely sure it will help. I suspect that they are not doing well because of the nitrites in your tank (its toxic). I would keep the clown in your QT tank and work on keeping perfect water quality and a low stress environment and see how he does. Make sure you do large water changed on the QT in order to keep your levels in check.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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I would keep up on the PWCs, just to keep the nitrItes lower. Since you are no longer seeing ammonia, let the cycle take it's course. Adding the shrimp will add more ammonia to the tank and possibly stress the little guy more.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:49 PM   #7
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Thanks, Scott

The surviving clown is still surviving. He has actually improved a bit. I am going to keep him in the MD tank until the main tank has zero nitrites (as long as he makes it). I am going to wait it out a bit longer before treating him as he has been through enough stress to this point.

I am going to wait see how the ammonia and nitrite are doing.

As has been said before, patience is required in this hobby!
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:09 PM   #8
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Just keep up with daily or twice daily (better) water changes in the MD tank for now till it has a chance for the bacteria builds up.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:58 PM   #9
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Back to death

The other clown somehow jumped out tonight! I can't figure out how - the tank is covered and there is only a 2" x 2" cut-out where the heater goes.
I am disappointed but not deterred. I will learn from this process!

I can now concentrate on waiting out the nitrogen cycle - nitrites still around 1.6 today and brown algae spots.

I am going to dump the water from the MD tank and get it going as a QT tank so I can put the new fish in there when I get them.

What I can't figure out is where does the ammonia come from to start the cycle in the QT tank? No LR or sand. Filtration is through a Tetra Whisper (carbon and bio-pad). I need to wait for both tanks to finish the N cycle before getting new fish.

In the mean time I will enjoy reading the posts and learning.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:57 PM   #10
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Ammonia comes from waste or rotting material (raw shrimp).
I would watch the nitrItes, if they drop with no rise in nitrAtes, add a pinch of food (also a source of ammonia). It might be best to add the food to feed the nitrItes.
Remember, the water does not contain the beneficial bacteria. It resides in your substrate, filter media, rock and equipment.
With this being said (I know what your next question will be), you can add a biowheel to your QT to house the bacteria, or keep adding a pinch of food to supply the bacteria with a food source. Some folks will keep a foam sponge/biowheel seeded in their sump/fuge/tank and not have a QT constantly running. Once any of these are seeded, you can plop it in your QT when needed.

Oh yeah, sorry about your losses, how rude of me!
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