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Old 11-13-2007, 08:06 PM   #1
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Please Help Me Get Over The Reef Hump...

Hey All,

I have sort of a problem... There seems to be a hump in Reef Keeping that I just can't get over.

Here's my current Specs:

55g Glass Aquarium
5g Sump
Coralife Skimmer
VHO lighting (2 lamps)
50-60lbs of LR
80lbs of LS

Fish:

2 Clown Fish (Nemo's)
1 Coral Beauty Angel Fish
1 Fire Fish
1 Fire Shrimp
1 Cleaner Shrimp
2 Pepermint Shrimp
1 Sally Lightfoot Crab
1 Porclin Crab
1 Sand sifting sea star
A handfull of hermit crabs, and snails

I have 2 different types of star polyps, a cluster of Pumping Xenias, a few mushrooms.

Everything listed above has been in the tank for some time.

My problem is that every time I add anything else, it dies, usually within 1-2 months.

Obviously anything that dies in the first week I wright off as stress, and call it a day, but 1-2 months, looking good, then up and dies?!?

I've tried: Diamond Watchman Goby's, Lipstick Tang, Indo Yellow Tang, Spotted Manderen, Lawnmower Blennie, Long nose Butterfly, Clam, Flame scallop. I think that's it..

I'd LOVE do get a Power blue tang, but I'm affraid with all the bad luck i've had with everything else that i'd just get ich and kill what Is actually doing good in the tank!

My water param's are almost PERFECT. My SG is 1.022-1.024, my Temp is 78.2 Stable, No nitrates, No nitrites, No ammonia, PH is 8.0-8.3, Calcium is 380-420ppm.

My soft corals are all growing like weeds, my coraline algae is blooming like crazy.

It's like I've hit the Peek of my reef keeping, and I can't get over the Hump.

All my LFS use copper in their non-coral tanks. So I often wonder if this is part of the problem, I never dump their water into my tank, and I always drip acclimate for 2 hours.


Any advice would be helpfull.

Thanks,

-TheChad
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:52 PM   #2
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Sorry for your troubles. I have some thoughts on some of the items you have listed...
Quote:
Lipstick Tang
Are you referring to a Naso Tang? If so, prolonged stress due to restricked space may be the issue. They require much larger tanks then a 55.
Quote:
Indo Yellow Tang
Could be the same issue but this fish is typically hardy and a 55, while cramped, should not cause stress to the point of death.
Quote:
Spotted Manderen
The issue here is with food. Dragonets rely heavily on natural food such as copepods for the majority of their diet. I do not feel a 55gal tank with only 50-60lbs of LR can sustain a pod population strong enough to keep this fish well-fed. Add to that, the sand sifting star...it will total deplete any fauna from the sand bed, include the precious pods a dragonet needs to survive.
Quote:
Lawnmower Blennie
This is another fish that requires natural food in a home aquarium. They rely heavily on the presence of macro algae for a food source. Many die due to starvation.
Quote:
Long nose Butterfly
Another deliberate eater...ti relies on lots of LR and pods (both copepods and amphipods) for good results.
Quote:
Clam
What species and size? In general, most clams need much more intense light then you have listed here. In addition, smaller (under 3in) clams require the addition of a filter feeding food such as DT's. Once larger, they rely very heavily on intense light for food and energy.
Quote:
Flame scallop
I am not surprised this died. They have a very poor survival rate in the home aquarium. Simply not a good choice for almost any home aquarium.

At first glance I would say your issue is with livestock selection. Honestly, most of the items you listed were simply poor choices for your tank. If you are getting your stocking advice from the LFS it may be a good idea to run future purchases past the good folks here as well.

The second thing that comes to mind is feeding. What are your feeding? How often? How are you preparing the food? Are you using any supplements? DId you use any type of seaweed or nori for the tangs? Sorry for all of the questions but it will help us drill down to the issue a bit easier.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:43 AM   #3
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I was going to say more or less the same as lando. For a 55g with the load you have already, the fish you've tried probably weren't good matches. To me, seems like any "big" fish like tangs or butterflies will be too much load on the tank at this point. Maybe if you steer towards the fish recommended for nanos, you'll have better luck.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:06 AM   #4
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I definitely agree with Lando and Kurt. Run a few ideas through the folks here and we can help.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:50 PM   #5
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I'll chime in agreeing with what's been posted. I just want to add that I see that you are drip acclimating, but I don't see that you are QTing new additions first. Something to consider after investing so much time and money into your current livestock.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:37 PM   #6
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I agree with what Lando said! Excellent points and good questions.

Is your tank covered? What kind of circulation do you have? You mention a 5g sump I assume this is where your skimmer is and a return pump???? What other kinds of filtration are you using?

I tend to agree with the guys above that it is more poor choices then anything majorly wrong. The powder blue tang would not be happy in your tank and probably wouldn't make it. They really should be left in the ocean, or housed in a much larger tank.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:46 PM   #7
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Re: Please Help Me Get Over The Reef Hump...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChad
Hey All,


I'd LOVE do get a Power blue tang, but I'm affraid with all the bad luck i've had with everything else that i'd just get ich and kill what Is actually doing good in the tank!
The powder blue will be a bad choice for that size tank. They need a 125+ tank. Most tangs are very suseptible to ich as it is and to put them in a restrictive size tank makes it that much more a problem.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lando
The second thing that comes to mind is feeding. What are your feeding? How often? How are you preparing the food? Are you using any supplements? DId you use any type of seaweed or nori for the tangs? Sorry for all of the questions but it will help us drill down to the issue a bit easier.

I feed frozen Mysis shrimp, typlically 1 cube every other day. 1/2 in the morning, 1/2 in the evening. I add Vitachem to this feeding.

I also feed Refridgerated Arcti Pods (Not alive) a squirt every few days.

I was feeding Red seaweed a 3" x 1" strip every couple of days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d
... I see that you are drip acclimating, but I don't see that you are QTing new additions first. Something to consider after investing so much time and money into your current livestock.
I use to QT, and after loosing nearly every fish I QT'd from stress, I decided it was not worth the risk. I had way too many fish do great in QT for a month, with no issues, and after chaising them around the tank to move them from QT to the main tank, they would then die within a couple of days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy953
Is your tank covered? What kind of circulation do you have? You mention a 5g sump I assume this is where your skimmer is and a return pump???? What other kinds of filtration are you using?
No, The tank is not covered, I do have a Canopy over the tank that houses the VHO lights, and the glass tops on top of the canopy are left folded open.

I have 2 170gph Power heads, one on the left back side of the tank pointed to the front center, with a Hydor Rotating water deflector, one on the back center of the tank pointed toward the right front corner, with a Hydor Rotating water deflector, and the Sump return pump on the right back corner of the tank pointed toward the front center of the tank. The Sump return I have aimed at the top of the tank just breaking the waters surface. I don't know how many GPH the return pump is. But the sump is rated for 150gal tank.

Yes the skimmer is in the sump, and is rated for 125gal tank. I use to also have a Ehiem canister filter, but I removed it about 6 months ago. There is a sponge filter in the Sump. The sump was a wet/dry sump with Bio Balls, but I removed the bio balls.

-TheChad
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:16 PM   #9
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Diet does not look too bad. More Spirulina algae would be a good thing for tangs. I would chalk this up to less then great stocking choices and move on. Keep running your questions past the folks here.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
after chaising them around the tank to move them from QT to the main tank, they would then die within a couple of days.
I remove the pvc hiding place from the QT and then use 2 nets or my plastic fish catcher. Very little time is spent chasing any fish.

Also, are you acclimating the fish to the main tank before adding it, or are you just catching and releasing into the main tank?
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