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Old 02-03-2005, 10:05 PM   #1
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<-----Frustrated

All tests were A-ok and the cycle process is over. I put a lionfish in first and then 2 sweetlip clownfish. 2 weeks later I introduced a small bluespot stingray. All levels were fine. 1 week has passed and now my nitrite and nitrate levels are off the chart again!!! My stingray is dead also. The food is not stayin in there too long before they eat it.

Only thing I did was remove the coarse coral bed and replace it with fine coral. Almost sand. The LFS guy said it would be no problem at all as long as I used the same water. Which I did. Im really pissed because all was fine before I changed the coral. How would nitrite and nitrate come back so strong after being 100% gone a week ago??? Maybe I can get some instructions from you guys before I lose the other fish I have. Thanks.

PS.. My protein skimmer has been acting wierd lately also meaning huge bubble instead of little misty bubbles. Any chance thats a cause?
EDIT: Its a 160 gal, FO
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:22 PM   #2
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When you took out your coral bed you took the better part of your biological filter. The bacteria inhabits the glass, the substrate, the inside of your filters, and the live rock. Just about every surface in your tank is your bio filter. When you did the change not only did you take out most of the bio filter but you also probably cleaned the walls and the filter while you wer in there. Maybe not the filter media, but you know just a general cleaning while you had it broken down. This caused your tank to be overloaded just with what you already had in there. This is my best guess estimate based on my own experience.
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Old 02-03-2005, 10:49 PM   #3
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How long exactly has your tank been setup for? And you know thos Sweetlips get rather big right? I've been told they need around 180 gal or more.
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Old 02-04-2005, 12:33 AM   #4
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Tank has been setup for almost 11 weeks. And yes I did clean the glass. So the cycling part is starting over again??? Or it is like jumping in half way?? I hate LFS's!! They always tell me stuff that ends up screwing things up. Thats twice now!! I hope this doesnt last long. I just changed about 50% of the water and the fish seem to be alittle happier, ie, swimming around more.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:50 AM   #5
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IF your not showing ammonia then your in effect half way thru the cycle again. And yes I would be frustrated with the LFS also. They should know better that the nitrification bactera are suspended within the water but imbeded on the inside surfaces of the tank and filtration.

Keep a monitor on the nitrite levels and should they start to climb have another water change ready to do to help dilute the nitrite until your biofilter can catch back up.
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Old 02-04-2005, 01:54 PM   #6
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Um yeah... tooo small of a tank for those fish man... research or upgrade if you decide to do it again
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:05 PM   #7
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Changing the substrate did not really help matters. However, being that this was a new tank, you added too many fish too soon. In a new tank livestock should be added very slowly to let the natual biofilter catch up with the increased bio-load. Agreed about the ray. These animals need very large tanks and are difficult to keep. Hopefully you will reconsider on another one.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:02 PM   #8
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Im not going to mess with the rays again, but LFS moron told me it was fine. Ive had 2 separate LFS tell me that a fish a week is ok?? Is this again wrong? How do these places even keep fish if they give such wrong info?? Just to get you back in there to spend more money?? Never again will I listen to them.

The sweetlip fish are only about 3inches long. They get pretty big though??

Thanks again, everything you guys have told me makes sense and when I do what you advise, it seems to work. I say we strike all LFS's!!! hahha
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:20 PM   #9
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Ive had 2 separate LFS tell me that a fish a week is ok?? Is this again wrong?
Way too soon..I would wait 4 weeks between adding fish. It is a shame the lfs will tell people anything to make a sale. Stingrays are so beautiful, and lfs should not be allowed to carry them because unsuspecting customers will want them, without knowing the care requirements for them. Sorry to hear about your lfs.

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Old 02-05-2005, 10:07 AM   #10
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there are many LFS that are wonderful. They have educated staff, nice livestock and care for the animals. However, there are also some out there that give bad advice and are only interested in making money. Be selective. If I get bad advice from a LFS I do not return. I would rather drive farther to a store that I trust. Most importantly, do not forget to run your questions and ideas by the fine folks here at AA!
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