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Old 04-06-2010, 12:09 AM   #11
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When does the fish shop open?
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:22 AM   #12
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Not till 11 and I have to work till 6. I left the water sample and Im gonna call during lunch break.

I know there are too many fish. I didnt have a clue when I bought it and they SWORE it was fine on Sat (I went back for that water test because of what I read here).

They said the fish were okay because they were very small (which in part is true. The two clowns were only about 1-1.5 inches.)

Anyway, the plan was that half the fish were going back on thursday (I get no credit for any of them *sigh*) I plan to get bigger tank asap and have been a researching wild woman. I know the type of tank I want/need but having a **** of a time finding one. And of course I have to cycle it anyway. Was hoping to keep the 4 alive till then. Didnt want this whole thing to be a giant waste of money.

Ill be curious to see if th LFS does anything. Ive followed all of his directions and I feel so bad. Guess time will tell by morning.

(Also, of course they dont have refractometers either. People just dont have saltwater tanks in Boise! LOL) Gotta order one online. Tank too.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:25 AM   #13
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Return the cuke for now too. No way I think a cucumber should be in a 10g tank. Looks like you got decent filtration (rock and skimmer maybe??) and very small fish. Not bad on the nitrate readings IMO.

In my past, feather duster's health was a pretty good barometer of my tank's health. Just can't see any obvious reason for your problems.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:35 AM   #14
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Makes sense, one feather duster is closed (and he's usually wide open) and I THINK the other one is dead today.

There is a ideo of the tank which I took on the 2nd...
YouTube - Video 1.AVI

It has a whisper filter and seeded live rock
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:52 AM   #15
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High nitrates by themselves aren't going to kill anything, so no worries there. pH normally doesn't skyrocket up, so I'm guessing maybe testing error - you said they were newbies doing the testing.

Your salinity concerns me. As far as putting in 1g of freshwater in a 10g tank... that's a pretty big shift all at once. If your salinity was 1.027 before that "top off", putting that much freshwater should've dropped it to 1.024. That's way too big of a jump all at once, and if you see problems with your fish in the next day or two, I'd guess this was your culprit. The other issue, as others have mentioned, is the hydrometer. Those swing arm things just are a bugger to use and get a consistent reading. I know your LFS is out of refractometers, but I wouldn't make any major salinity changes using a hydrometer.

If I read your post right, your LFS gave you more bad advice by having you top off with saltwater. You want to replace the water that has evaporated with freshwater... not saltwater. Reason for that is because the salts don't evaporate... just the water. So if you top off with saltwater, you just end up slowly increasing the salinity.

It doesn't really sound like your tank is crashing, but it doesn't sound happy either. Part of it is just learning the ins and outs... like testing and topping off daily with freshwater. And it's just so much harder with such a small tank - even if it were stocked reasonably. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it really IS easier to start with a big tank than a small one.

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They said the fish were okay because they were very small (which in part is true. The two clowns were only about 1-1.5 inches.)
This is just plain not true. Even 8 tiny fish in a 10g SW tank is just plain too crowded. Period. I know you know that, but it's just so so wrong that this shop thinks 8 fish in a 10g is OK.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:04 AM   #16
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I found a local reef club online and a guy with a small store out of his house was nice enough to call me. He's quite pissed at the LFS. His thoughts...

Most of what you said. He thinks my switching the gallon of salt for fresh will kill the worms. He suggested I remove them and separate them because if one dies Ill have a big amonia spike and more problems. He thinks the fish MIGHT be able to take it.

I removed the worms and yep, one was dead. I was afraid to remove the cucumber. If he dies, my tank gets nuked but if I stress him out, it gets nuked so Im kinda screwed there.

BTW, prior to my change, most of my snails today are dead. The turbo is way up in the corner clearly trying to survive. The one living worm was on teh ground, feathers out but flat on substrate so Im pretty sure he was dieing.

Blue Neon Goby (normally active) is barely moving. Yellow cleaner goby lethargic too but not as bad. Clown WAS swimming okay but freakin damsel is pecking him and now he's doing that gasping thing (though light). Damsel seems okay but seems to have a light "film" over him as well as the powerhead, filter, etc. Water itself looks clear.

The guy on the phone doesnt have a guess as to what's killing things. Thinks the PH is probably due to error but wouldnt kill them anyway. The nitrates while not good, wouldnt kill them. My water exchange might kill them, but they were already dieing.

Any ideas whats killing things??


P.S. He just suggested that my first top off be saltwater because tank was 1/4 low but then do freshwater after.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:10 AM   #17
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Any ideas whats killing things??
Just a guess, but could just be stress. Also could be low oxygen levels. I don't recall seeing anywhere what temperature you're keeping your tank at. And do you have a separate thermometer on it, or are you just relying on the heater thermostat? Ideally, you want something in the 78-80 area.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:00 AM   #18
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Just a question to Kurt and Ray but do you guys think that at least 5 fish need to be removed immeadiatley if there are still 9 fish in there? The overstocking would be the root of the oxygen level problems if they are the cause and less fish in the tank would reduce the stress of the others espeacially if the more aggressive ones are removed. (The Damsel)
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:09 AM   #19
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I think there are 7 fish now since one of the clowns died. I guess there could be a stress issue with that many fish, but I'm not seeing any nitrate issues from the overstocking. If the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are fine, and they are all such small fish....

If anything get rid of the damsel and the two fire fish. Nothing scientific there, other than the damsel might get meaner with so much company in such a tight space.

Are we sure there is an oxygen problem?

Have you tested for ammonia or nitrite? just for the heck of it and peace of mind.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:11 AM   #20
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That's just something being thrown around ATM. How much surface agitation is there? Cause that would be affecting the oxygen levels, if that's actually our problem.
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