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Old 04-05-2010, 11:35 PM   #1
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Help! My tank is dieing...grrrr

Well, just as you all told me, the tank would nuke. Just to refresh, bought a 10g nano tank on wed. (5 days ago) The tank was pre-stocked with everything. It had cycled and been running for 6 weeks. I, the newb, bought it from LFS who told me what to do and take care of it. I can name a million things wrong with the whole scenario but the two biggest problems...

Tank had EIGHT fish in it. I had no testing kit other than hydromter because they were sold out. I was told not to worry because they'd test it for free.

On Saturday, I had the feeling something was off by fish behavior so took a water sample to store and everything was perfect (I saw the results myself). The guy had me top the first top off with saltwater (purchased there) because the tank was lower due to move. Came home and one clown fish died (after I JUST had it tested). Called LFS who blamed the stress of moving on fish death.

Big Problems NOW...

I come home today after work and I can just tell nothing is right in the tank. Run down to LFS 5 minutes before they close to get water test (couldnt go earlier cuz I was working). The fish guys were gone so stuck with newbies who know not much more than I do. From what we can see...Nitrates are now somewhere between 5 and 10. It was really had to tell. It was a yellowy orange.

The PH was all the way at the end, I think 8.8? (forgetting numbers now) So some other guy came up and did another PH test he said was for higher (whatever that means) and the color didn't even match the chart (was dark blue).

What would cause the PH to skyrocket like that?

Also, came home and did a salinity test with hydromter....it's 1.026 and a half!! (It was okay after the top off)

What's happening here? The worst problem is, I dont know what to do. I can do a water change and add feshwater, but of course they only gace me one gallon of fresh water to put in. (I have 5 gallons of salt)

I dont even know what to do for PH and OF COURSE they had nothing I could buy for saltwater. Only had PH buffer for freshwater.


I just got told to come back tomorrow after 11...ummm yeah, Im guessing my tank will be gone.

This really sucks becasuse Ive done everything this guy told me to do. Im guessing without being able to test it there isn't much I can do. I feel so horrible! Any suggestions to save my tank?
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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I don't see anything critical in the readings. A bump here and there. Nitrates are commonly 5-10ppm. 20 or below is acceptable. Salinity can easily be 1.024 or .025. Like I said, a bump. PH is high.

Get a 5 or 6 gallons of mixed and aged SW on standby and do some water changes over the next few days as needed. 15- 20percent at a time. Add a half gallon to a gallon of fresh water to bring the salinity down. Not too fast. .01 or so a day.

The clown dying could have been a number of things happening, but i see nothing in the water readings that would have done him in. What kinda fish are in there? Said there were 8?

Also, top off with fresh water only. SW raises salinity.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:55 PM   #3
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Get rid of all of the fish except 1. That will give all the fish the best chance. Also 1.026 salinity isn't bad, it's actually normal seawater salinity. No idea about pH. Your gonna need test kits for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate at least ASAP.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:00 AM   #4
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I took out a gallon of water and added the freshwater. Waited 5 min and tested. Salinity is now 1.027.

Waited 5 minutes and it was low....just did it again and needle is all the way at top, even tried flicking the thing to make sure needle wasnt sticking. Got that reading 3 times then it went to normal range then back to top again. WTH, is it just broken???
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:00 AM   #5
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Good idea! Check for ammonia and nitrite to make us all feel better for the heck of it.

You might consider a refractometer. Can't rely on those swing thingies! Stop adjusting since the readings are all over the place.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:02 AM   #6
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Hydrometers are dodgy sometimes. I highly recommend a refractometer.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:05 AM   #7
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Oh the fish...

It had 2 oscellaris but one died.
1 Yellowfish damsel
2 firefish gobies
1 cleaner blue neon goby
1 yellow striped cleaner goby
1 yellow clown goby (who, while eating, mostly just sits...his color went from yellow to totally see-through now, Im guessing he is next to go)

It also has two feather duster works (who today are both closed up)
It has a tiny yellow sea cucumber (LFS swears that variety is ok because he is so small)
Various crabs and snails who are even acting wierd. One bigger hermit picking on a smaller hermit and I see one dead snail shell. Turbo snail one of the smaller ones are at very top corner of tank and not moving which is unusual for the,
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:06 AM   #8
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The ammonia was zero....nitrates were 5-10 (cant tell since both colors look so close)

We tried the nitrite and it was a wierd teal green color. It didnt match anything on the chart


Any ideas what could make PH jump?

How wierd is it that it goes from all being great to this over 2 days.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:06 AM   #9
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Woah. I recommend all of the fish go except either the Clown Goby, or a Firefish. Probably means it was too high or tested incorrectly. This is why having your own test kits is imperitive.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:07 AM   #10
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I totally have the plan to get a new tank and do this right. This board has already taught me sooo much. But I really dont want this to be a waste of $300 and dont want my fish to die!
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