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Old 04-23-2003, 10:32 AM   #1
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Please help, probably don't have long to act

My tank is in crisis and I don't know how to handle it. I had 4 fish (3 damsels, 1 clown) Everyone was getting along well, and appeared very happy, then all of a sudden the damsels started hiding in the LR. I found one dead after moving the rock around. The other two continue to hid after 48 hrs. The clown is swimming around with no noticeable changes in behavior. When I can catch a glimpse of the damsels in the rock, it looks like they are shallow breathing (mouths opening and closing quickly) Not sure if they do this all the time, I never noticed it before.
I also don't notice any change in coloration or fin characteristics in any of the fish.

This pattern of behavior is similar to what I saw when I first introduced them to the tank.

Tests for Am = 0, Nitrates = 0, Nitrites = 0, pH = ~8.1

Nothing has changed with the tank except for the addition of a SeaClone skimmer.

Do I wait and see if they come out and go back to normal? What else can I test for that might account for this change in behavior? Do I need to take apart the tank to capture the damsels and put them in a quarantine? Do I need to worry about the clown?

Help is desperately needed and appreciated!!!!!
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:39 AM   #2
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BTW - here are more specs on the tank
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:43 AM   #3
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Whats yoru temperatures? Do they increase much durring the light period?

Have they been feeding well?
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:03 AM   #4
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Temperature is always around 81 (plus or minus 2 degrees) depending on whether the 10,000K are on or not. Everyone has been eating fine, combination of flake and frozen brine. Feed flakes once a day and brine once or twice a week.
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:56 PM   #5
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If the the damsels are hiding, and the clownfish is not. I would almost suspect the clownfish to be your culprit...stressing out the damsels to the extent they are hiding and breathing heavy.
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Old 04-23-2003, 01:49 PM   #6
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I would have thought so too, but I have had the clownfish for a couple weeks and have not seen him act agressively towards any of the other fish. In fact he seems fairly timid and they all usually swam around close together during the day. I've never seen him so much as even attempt to chase or nip the other fish.

Unless when the lights go out its a different story????
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Old 04-23-2003, 03:24 PM   #7
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To be honest, when my tomato clown went psycho on the mandarin, he didnt care who saw it...so I dont know.
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:03 PM   #8
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my spotted hawk beat the fire fish to death in one day i tried everything to get him to stop if it was the clown he would let you watch in horror. any new additions in rock could you have a mantas?
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:32 PM   #9
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I don't know if this will work with SW fish, but this what I did to a danio who was harassing a school of 10 tetras. I put him in a breeder hang on plastic cube for 2 weeks (a little harsh, but he was warned). Is there any way you can do something similar and separate the naughty fish? FIY, the bad FW fish has been a wonderful little tank mate for the past 2 months - not even aggressive during breakfast and dinner. Just a suggestion; I don't know if you can do this to your clown.
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Old 04-25-2003, 03:10 PM   #10
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Update - I am in the middle of a business trip, but the news from home is that everything is back to normal. Sometime yesterday the remaining damsels came out of hiding and everyone is behaving and getting along.

Since I have no indication that water quality was an issue, I am going to assume that the change in the environment (equipment location, water flow direction) was the cause of the stress which ultimately killed one of the inhabitants (pink damsel).

In the future, I will keep to making small adjustments to ALL environmental parameters, not just the ones you typically test for.

Thanks all
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