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Old 10-15-2008, 12:20 PM   #1
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Emergency Help - newbie question

Hi all,

My roommates and I recently got a saltwater aquarium and are a little over our heads.

We got a couple sturdy fish to test out the tank and after 1.5 weeks we lost one and the other 2 arent looking to great (a little discolored) and I'm hoping to get answers here as to what steps we should take.

We tested the water using the OceanMaster Test Kit and the readings are:

pH 7.8
Ammonia: 0.4
Nitrite: 0.2
Nitrate <10
and Alkalinity of 13 drops to change the color of the water.

Sorry for the vagueness of this but I imagine we need to change some of the water, get a functioning protein skimmer right away and what else? Is there any emergency action we can take?

Thanks for any advice!!!!
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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Did you purchase everything brand new as in a new setup or was this an established system you bought from another aquarist? If this is a new setup then the tank is currently cycling. If purchased as an established tank then the move probably disturbed much of the bacteria populations and organic waste in which a 50% water change would be in order. If you are cycling, I would return the fish and take a look at some of the links available here on the Homepage.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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We got all the equipment used and set it up ourselves. We know the water was good before we put fish in and I think the problem iis a result of waste product and a malfunctioning protein skimmer.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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Read up at this site in the "Articles" section on Cycling a tank. Getting sturdy fish wasn't a good idea until you understand cycling. What kinda fish by the way. The other will likely die also.

What sized tank? What kinda substrate? How much Rock? Were'd you get the rock from? Powerheads? Salinity reading? Need to know a lot more to help you, but first and foremost, you've gotta read up on cycling a SW fish tank to understasnd what the ammonia and nitrate is all about - and what it does to fish.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:05 PM   #5
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I agree, read the link about fishless cycling under my sig file. That should give you more understanding of what is going on in your tank.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roman86x View Post
We got all the equipment used and set it up ourselves. We know the water was good before we put fish in and I think the problem iis a result of waste product and a malfunctioning protein skimmer.
You are in the midst of your cycle. Since you have fish in the tank the best course of action is to mix up some new SW and do a PWC. (mix the SW for at least 24 hours prior to use) The ammonia and nitrite are what caused the death of the one fish.

As the others have said go to the article section of the site and read about cycling your tank.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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welcome and keep us updated
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
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We know the water was good before we put fish in
It has nothing to do with the water. It has everything to do with the nitrifying bacteria that is needed to cycle your tank. This is found on the different surfaces in your tank like the LR, substrate and glass sides. This is done effectively by cycling your tank. As mentioned above read our article on cycling the humane way.
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