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Old 03-30-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
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Help me stock my tank

This is my first post here, so hello everyone!

Background: Ok, my setup is a 46g tank w/live rock and a feather duster. Up until a couple weeks ago, we had 3 or 4 blue-leg hermit crabs, a goby, and a tomato clown (and tons of algae). For some unknown reason, the tank basically crashed (had previously been stable for about 1.5 yrs). The only thing we could think that could possibly have caused it was we were forced to abruptly stop adding iodine. First we lost the goby, then the clown died, then the crabs, one-by-one. We think the duster is still alive, but not sure.

Anyway, we need to re-stock, and I'm not very knowledgeable about compatibility, so I wanted some ideas. I know my wife would like a clown or two, and I like the black ones, otherwise I am pretty open to suggestions. We also had a banded coral shrimp for a while which was cool. Algae seems to grow really fast in our tank though, so something to control that would be good. A small star might be nice, but I don't know what kind my LFS might have and if they would be compatible with hermit crabs, which I would probably get for partial algae control.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site!
Here is a decent starting place:
Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums
Why were you dosing iodine?
Your salt mix with regular PWCs should contain enough of the trace elements to support what you had.
Were you testing for iodine/iodide? That could have been the cause of the crash.
If you haven't had a bioload in the tank, don't go adding fish.
How long have you not had fish in the tank?
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:26 PM   #3
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The stopping of adding Iodine had nothing to do with the crash. It`s possible the adding of iodine could have been a part of it. There is enough iodine in PWC`s to take care of your tank. No added iodine is needed. Number one rule is never add anything to the tank you cant test for. Iodine overdose is possible.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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The stopping of adding Iodine had nothing to do with the crash. It`s possible the adding of iodine could have been a part of it. There is enough iodine in PWC`s to take care of your tank. No added iodine is needed. Number one rule is never add anything to the tank you cant test for. Iodine overdose is possible.
Thanks for your insight, but you're wrong in this case. I WAS testing my iodine levels because my inverts couldn't molt properly. Without supplements, the level was 0 ppm.

Roka, I doubt that lack of bioload will be an issue, as there was so much organic matter in there. But to be safe, I'm only starting with a few cheap snails and a Damsel- they're acclimating now.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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What kind of source water are you using?
What salt brand?
How often/how much PWCs were you doing?
How old is your iodine/iodide test?
Just trying to troubleshoot here.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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What kind of source water are you using?
What salt brand?
How often/how much PWCs were you doing?
How old is your iodine/iodide test?
Just trying to troubleshoot here.
Ok, quick post: I WAS doing PWCs like once a month, until I tested and found the nitrates to be high. I've been doing more since then. Iodine test is brand new. I'll look at the salt brand.

The Damsel died overnight. It was acclimated over 3.5 hrs yesterday. We retested the water today, and it is:

Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0.1
Ammonia 0.25

I'm not sure why he died??
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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I'd say that the death was probably caused by the elevated ammonia or nitrite levels, though of course the levels might have been up as a result of the death not the cause. Still, that's what I would guess happened.

You said there was lots of organic matter inside the tank even when you didn't have livestock. What was it exactly? Was it providing an ammonia source for your bacteria? If not, you may be experiencing a mini-cycle and that could have caused the Damsel's death.
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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I'd say that the death was probably caused by the elevated ammonia or nitrite levels, though of course the levels might have been up as a result of the death not the cause. Still, that's what I would guess happened.

You said there was lots of organic matter inside the tank even when you didn't have livestock. What was it exactly? Was it providing an ammonia source for your bacteria? If not, you may be experiencing a mini-cycle and that could have caused the Damsel's death.
Yeah, maybe it was the Ammonia. I'll wait a few days and check it again.

There was tons of algae that was dying off with the tank crash, so I assumed it was providing an ammonia source.

Oh, Roka, source water is RO. Still forgot to check on salt brand.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:23 PM   #9
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You can cycle your tank a lot cheaper by adding fish food and let that decay, watch the ammonia rise and decline with the rise of nitrItes and the nitrAtes.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:31 PM   #10
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You can cycle your tank a lot cheaper by adding fish food and let that decay, watch the ammonia rise and decline with the rise of nitrItes and the nitrAtes.
I'm not sure that I fully understand your comment; no one is talking about cycling a tank, are we?

Are you implying that my tank needs to be cycled again, and that fish food would be cheaper than fish? If my tank does need to be cycled, then I would have to agree with you, but I'm not so sure that it does... I don't think it was a total crash, as I already have hair algae coming back strong. Though I don't put much stock in my own opinion
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