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Old 12-14-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
anm
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Fish died week after setup!

I have a 20 gallon hex tank. I set it up a little more than a week ago with live sand. A couple days later (now exactly one week ago) I got two fish (yellow-tailed damsels I think) that the fish store characterized as starter fish good for cycling the tank. Also added about 20 lbs of live rock.

Everything seemed to be going fine. Fish seemed active all week. Yesterday morning I took out the Penguine power head and put in a Koralia nano and Koralia 1. Yesterday evening, one fish was on the bottom on its side. This morning both appear to have died.

I have a several years beyond indicated expiration date Wardley test kit. According to that, Ph is 8.2 (79 deg), Ammonia is 0.25 ppm, nitrite undetectable, and nitrate at 20 ppm. Specific gravity is between 1.021 and 1.020.

I assume the tank could not have cycled within a week, right? So perhaps the test kit (b/c it is so old) is giving incorrect results and the ammonia or nitrite levels are actually higher?

The only other thing I can think of is that the change out of the pumps caused the problem. While there is clearly water circulation with the Koralias, they don't break the surface like the penguin. Does this mean that there is not enough air exchange (esp. since this is a hex tank).

Any thoughts?

Is the live rock in danger of dying off? (Much more costly to relpace than the fish...).

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:19 AM   #2
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ignore the lfs as far as using fish to cycle your tank. It is cruel to the fish and will kill some fish....read the articles on FISHLESS CYCLE. As far as your test kit....buy a new one. Pumps probably had nothing to do with the deaths, unless the are leaking electricity. Your LR will have some die off but that is normal during the cycling period. I am sure others will chime in for anything that I may have missed or stated incorrectly.

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Old 12-14-2008, 01:56 PM   #3
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contrary to what the live sand bag says, there's no way your tank could have cycled in a week, simply by adding live sand. your fish died because you didn't cycle the tank properly. get a new test kit and wait at least a month before you add any more fish.
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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I agree The fish died of ammonia poisoning because your tank was not cycled. This is one of the reasons you should not cycle with fish. Read this and cycle the fishless way and you`ll be doing it the humane way.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #5
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I agree The fish died of ammonia poisoning because your tank was not cycled. This is one of the reasons you should not cycle with fish. Read this and cycle the fishless way and you`ll be doing it the humane way.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html
I whole heartily respectively disagree...

I have 6 healthy happy damsels living ammonia in excess of 3.0 with no problems. I would suggest getting your livestock from a different source; clearly the fish store you are patronizing does not sell quality specimens.

Remember no quantifiable evidence has ever been produced that a fishless cycle is any better than a fish cycle. In all reality those fish would have more than likely died in any tank.
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:34 PM   #6
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you're putting your fish through a cruel experience. no one said fishless cycle is better, but its a heck of a lot less cruel.
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:02 PM   #7
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Remember no quantifiable evidence has ever been produced that a fishless cycle is any better than a fish cycle. In all reality those fish would have more than likely died in any tank.
What you dont seem to realiize is that neither one as far as the cycle is better than the other. The difference is the humane way vs the unhumane way. That is the only difference. You have no evidence to prove otherwise. Even your old quote from doctor fenner was proven that he has changed his mind and admitted he was wrong.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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What you dont seem to realiize is that neither one as far as the cycle is better than the other. ....
I think 919 realizes this, but what's the fun to agree with all of us?! Some folks find causing problems much more enjoyable than giving unbiased advice.

While I agree that cycling with fish isn't the way to go, assuming your test kit is correct and you were truly dealing with 0.25ppm ammonia, I have to agree that your fish were more than likely not in too good of shape to start with. That small of an amount of ammonia in that short of time shouldn't bring down a fish that quick... unless it was on its last leg/fin to start with. There's no way to say one way or another what killed the fish... sometimes you just get unlucky. But cycling with it sure didn't help it's chances..
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:16 PM   #9
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Thanks all. Very helpful info.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:02 PM   #10
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I think you get the point anm. I would read our article on fishless cycle and start over on the cycle. You`ll need to remove the fish you have though to a QT or ask your LFS to hold them. Good luck.
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