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Old 09-23-2004, 04:02 PM   #1
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is water condition good ??? and advice

I have a 65 gal tank with a 20 gal underneath with all the filtration. Bio balls, bubble wand and power head for air and circulation. Fluval and skimmer. I do normal water changes. The levels are Nitrate (NO3) 2.5 Alk is normal range. Ammonia is 0-0.25 PH is 8.1 The nitrite is a pale pinkish color and I cannot find that on the chart to put a reading to. The salinity is normal. The water temp is a little high 84 degrees. I have 1 porcupine puffer, 1 koran, 1 coral beauty, 1 blue damsel, 1 blue hippo tank, 3 green chromis, 2 3stripe damsels, 1 raccoon butterfly, 1 choc chip starfish and 5 hermit crabs. The fish are all small (ranging from 1 inch for the green chromis with the koran being the largest at 4 inches) The fish look happy and are always swimming and active. They eat in the morning and at night. I feed them Mysis shrimp and frozen sponge in the morning and flake at night. The puffer eats mussels and the other fish eat the small pieces that he spits back out. The hermit crabs eat whatever the fish dont. This morning I woke up and found one of the raccoon butterfly almost dead and floating on top. He was breathing hard so I took him out just in case he had something. I put him into a QT tank and he looked fine. He died. No white spots, no slime. I didnt see anything wrong. He did not have any sores. Is is normal for a fish to just die??? I have had the tank set up since June and fish in since July. The tank has been healthy so far. It is the first dead fish that I cant figure out why. The two raccoon were bought together as tank mates and were in there for about 3-4 weeks. He was fine last night and ate the flake food and was active and happy. Are my reading normal??? Is there something more I should be doing??? I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks Sharon
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:11 PM   #2
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From the looks of it you have detectable ammonia and nitrite. The bioload is high for this tank, way overstocked IMO, sorry to say. This may be the cause. Even small amounts of ammonia and nitrite can be detrimental.
Do you have any live rock? What kind of substrate? Is you skimmer producing much gunk? May want to take a water sample to your LFS and have them test is your getting questionable readings.
Not trying to upset you, just give an opinion but...
I would suggest returning the Koran. A 65 gallon is way too small for a large Angel. They can get up to a foot long and need at least a 125 gallon tank.
Also I would return the Regal Tang or the Puffer. The Regal gets large too and the puffer is a messy eater which may be contributing to the water quality issue.
These are plenty of smaller fish that would go very well in your system. With the stock you currently have, this may be the beginning of a system crash.
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Old 09-23-2004, 05:14 PM   #3
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I have been wanting to take the puffer back. He is messy and eats too much. If I dont feed him 3 times a day he eats the small fish. And he will eat only mussels. He has already eaten 4 of the green chromis. I do not have any live rock. The skimmer fills up with gunk once a day. I clean it every day. The bottom has about 2 1/2 inches of crushed coral. The LFS usually does not want to trade fish in. She says she is in business to make money. You would think with all the money I have spent there she would be willing to help out. She is the only store in town. I would like to get a 2nd tank set up for small fish and leave the bigger aggresive fish in the 65 gal. How many fish should a tank have?? Is it something like one fish per 3 to 5 gallons of water in the tank?? That is what I was told by the LFS. Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. Sharon
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Old 09-23-2004, 06:21 PM   #4
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The "rule" is one INCH of fish (adult size) per 3 to 5 gallons, but there are many, many other considerations (how big the fish are, how messy, compatibility, etc.) You can see that by that rule, you are very overstocked. If your LFS won't take fish back, do you know someone else with a tank who could take some of the fish for you? (And you might want to find somewhere else to shop--lots of great vendor sponsors on this site.)

It sounds like you've been relying a lot on what your LFS says, and one thing I've learned very quickly (I'm a new newbie) is that they don't always give the best--or even good--advice. Can I recommend a couple of books that were really helpful to me?

"The New Marine Aquarium"--Michael Paletta
"The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"--Fenner

These both helped me to understand what goes on in a SW tank and how best to set up my system. This site, too, is soooo helpful--experienced folk have endless patience with newbie questions.

I'm not sure from your post whether you are using a QT, but if not the fish might have brought something with him if you've only had him 3-4 weeks.

HTH!
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Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
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120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
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Old 09-23-2004, 06:45 PM   #5
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I do have a QT tank. He was doing fine. I dont know what happened. I did buy "The conscientious marine aquarist" by Fenner and I will read it. No I dont have any other LFS here that carry saltwater fish. Only the one. I have thought about ordering from Los Angeles. I lived in L.A. for years and know of a few great LFS there. But I dont know if they would be willing to ship. Are there any good places to order from online?? It is kinda scarry not being able to see the fish in the tank before bringing it home. Las Vegas is a two hour drive for me maybe I should go there. Usually in a big city??? Who knows??? I had two saltwater tanks 7 years ago in Los Angeles. A 45 gal and a 55 gal. I had them for years and never had one fish die. I had a puffer, coral beauty, clowns, anemones... pretty much the same thing I have now. Even seahorses and not one death. I do appreciate the feedback from anyone and everyone. Thanks again. Sharon
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Old 09-23-2004, 06:56 PM   #6
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Yes, their are rules that people follow to determine the amount of fish in the tank they can have, but whats most important is your filtration systems. if you have a great filtration system, then you don't have to follow that rule at all. For example, check out my tank and the amount of fish that I have in it. Many will say it's a disaster waiting to happen. but since I have a Nitrate/Phosphate filter that keeps those parameters at 0PPM and 160Lbs of Live Rock, 100lbs of Live sand, Refugium & huge wet/dry, I only change my water once a month. and all parameters ar still the same. But not everyone can afford such an expensive system, so that being said, you sould have the least amoung of fish possible in your tank in order for anything not to go wrong.
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Old 09-27-2004, 03:12 PM   #7
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I took the porcupine puffer back. I did a 50% water change. I cleaned then entire filtration system. And the tank is so clear. The tank looks just as clear as when we set it up. I did all of this last weekend. I have been checking the water every day and the readings are all normal and where they should be. So I think problem solved. That puffer was just to messy for the tank. Thanks for all your help and suggestions....
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Old 09-27-2004, 11:51 PM   #8
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:41 AM   #9
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So I think problem solved
Don't forget about the Koran, though, he's a very large free swimming fish when grown, needs a 6' tank. Maybe you can upgrade or find him a bigger home when he gets larger; same goes for the hippo as well...
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:30 AM   #10
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I have thought about getting a big tank for large aggressive fish. I would love to have a shark tank someday. I have the 10 fish for now in the 65 gal. One starfish and 5 hermit crabs. All the fish are small except for the Koran. I made sure when I bought the fish I got the smallest ones I could find. Thanks again.
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