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Old 06-03-2003, 08:19 PM   #1
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good water??? signs of stress???

I have a 20-gallon salt water setup here it is 2-penguin 125 bio-wheels 1-30 gallon capacity powerhead with aeriator(for water circulation and aeriation). 1-air stone 1-fully submergeable heater. Now the tank has been setup for 3 weeks.I added the salt water and cycled for the first 24hrs then added 1 bag of cultured crushed coral substrate. waited 48 hrs then added an 8lb fiji live rock then started adding fish first i added 2-tiny clowns then 1-blue damsel waited a week then added 1-yellow wrasse waited another week then yesterday i added 1-choc chip star 1-turbo snail and 1-cleaner shrimp which died overnight(only the cleaner shrimp died).Since the start all my levels have been excellent!! water is steady 78 degrees ph-8.2 , 0-0.25ammonia , 0 nitrite , 0 nitrate and a salinity of 1.020 water is crystal clear. Now heres my worry this is all new to me saltwater that is but ive had brakish water fish for 10 yrs and i know signs of stress. Heres how my fish are acting they arent eating right ,but must be eating something, considering that the clowns are 2 weeks old .Im giving them marine flakes, brine flakes and frozen brine.Im seeing heavy and rapid resporation,and lack of activity.Please any advise is greatly appreciated thank you for your help your pal HURRIE UP!!
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Old 06-03-2003, 08:26 PM   #2
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What test kit are you using? you should be seeing some nitrate with your setup.

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Old 06-03-2003, 08:42 PM   #3
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Those poor fish. I won't go too far on that because I put fish in to cycle. Now I know better. If you can, take them back to the LFS and try to get a credit. I fear you will lose them.

I would really ask you to get a good book like The Saltwater Aquarium Handbook or The Complete Marine Aquarium and read.

The tank is just now sarting to cycle and it is going to get much worse. The ammonia is just now showing up and it is going to get higher before it is over. Then you are going to battle nitrites. The salinity is too low for me, I keep mine at 1.024 and the temp at 82 to 84*.

I know others are going to get in on this so I will let them. I am serious about the reading part. Patience is a virtue.
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Old 06-03-2003, 09:45 PM   #4
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There are a bunch of people on this message board who have a ton of great advice to offer. The most important pieces of which are to read as much as possible and have patience. Cycling takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks and most fish are not hardy enough to survive the conditions encountered during the cycle. After my tank was up and running I waited 5 weeks before I added my first fish (2 damsels). Last week I finally took the plunge and added 2 clowns, both of which have been doing great so far.

Most people will tell you to add only 1 or 2 fish at a time. With your size tank, probably 1 at a time would be best. After that you should wait a few weeks to be sure that everything is OK and that your tank can keep up with the increased bioload. During cycling and when you add new fish you should continually monitor your water conditions.

Is there any way your LFS will hold your fish for you while you can give your tank some time to cycle? If you spend a lot of money there (which most of us do) I'm sure they'll want to help you out to keep you coming back.

I'm not trying to preach to you but I fear you may lose more fish...

Best of Luck.
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:45 AM   #5
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Did the LR come from the LFS? If so, had it been in their tank for a while? Again, if so, did you keep it wet until you put it in the tank? I agree you have to much bio load for a new tank. I'd take everything back if you can (livestock). 8lbs isn't enough rock to handle the biofiltration in a 20g tank. You'll need at least 20...30 would be better. At the most, leave only the damsel in the tank. He's probably the only one with a chance to survive the cycle. I, like many others on the site, advocate fishless cycling whenever possible though. If you use all fully cured LR from the LFS, your cycle will be very short. 1.020 is kinda low and shrimp are sensitive to changes in salinity. I will add "The Concientious Marine Aquarist" to the books suggested by Timbo. The search link at the top of the page may prove useful to you also. We'll be glad to help you get the tank going. I think you'll find that you want to change some things though.
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Old 06-08-2003, 08:58 AM   #6
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I am using aquarium pharm. master salt water test kit.Do u recommend something else? And yes the last 4 days now ive been reading a nitrite level of 10ppm and i am starting to notice some agale growth.
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:13 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the insight Timbo2 i took your advise on getting a book (saltwater for dummies) hehe, really makes a diffrence having knowledge on paper.
Mutz youre absolelutly right!! i rushed into it to fast and understand it takes time lots of it and adding 1 fish at a time over long periods is a very good idea thank you.
Loganj thanks keep the good advise coming (concientious marine aquarist) is next on my list along with more live rock.
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Old 06-08-2003, 11:17 AM   #8
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IM glad your on the track to getting your water back in line. IF you have not done any water changes I would do a few to help improve your water quality and if any of the fish are still around it would improve their chances of survival.

Check out our saltwater library at www.aquariumadvice.com/library.php you might be able to save a few $ in getting yoru book from amazon.com.
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Old 06-08-2003, 02:18 PM   #9
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I'm not an expert, but I DO use fish to cycle. Not right away, but after a couple of weeks. But...I ONLY use damsels. I never use any creature that costs more that $5 until I know my water is nice and hospitable. Correct me if you think my method is bad.
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:38 PM   #10
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Fishfreek thanks again youve been nothing but help and i appreciate it. Awsome web site!!!!
Kidafius i think youre method is fine thanks for youre advice.
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