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Old 02-09-2005, 01:51 AM   #1
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issues with new tank

I started my SW tank about a month ago. Everything was going great until about a week ago. I got 2 clownfish about a week and a half ago and aside from a few initial eating problems they were doing great. Over the last week or so the tank has been getting progressively cloudier. There was also a lot of dark brown stuff accumulating by my live rock. The ammonia levels spiked to .6 and Nitrite to .2. (Nitrate is 0) I know this is supposed to happen when you get new fish, but the water has me concerned. I thought one of my hermit crabs had died, and this was causing the problem...but I checked both of them tonight and they are fine. If it keeps getting worse I fear I could lose Gus and Buster (my roommates names for the two fish.)

Anyone have any ideas as to the cause of this, and how to fix it? Any suggestions would be wonderful! I want my tank to look clean again!!

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Old 02-09-2005, 02:39 AM   #2
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Did your ammonia and nitrites hit zero before adding the clowns? The bio filtration may not have been built up enough. What type of filtration do you have? The brown stuff may be a buildup of detritus, die off or diatoms. Be careful about overfeeding as it will put excess nutrients into the system.
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28gal bowfront
40lbs livesand(bag from LFS), 30lbs live rock(LR.com)
2 O. Clowns
1 peppermint shrimp, 5 red leg hermit crabs,
4 mexican turbo snails, 15 nassarius snails
ricordea mushroom, candy cane coral,
super color polyps, hairy mushrooms
bubble coral, hawiian feather duster
coralife lunar 2x65, HOT magnum canister
10 Gal refugium(chaeto) & seaclone skimmer
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Old 02-09-2005, 02:52 AM   #3
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all levels were zero before I added the clownfish. I tested it myself and took a sample to my LFS. I have the eclipse filtration system (not sure if that is what it is called, but it is what comes with eclipse tanks) It is possible that there were problems with overfeeding since they weren't eating at all the first couple of days. I had to try different flake and pellet food as well as brine shrimp before I found stuff that worked.

If that is what it is how do I get rid of it?
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Old 02-09-2005, 10:18 AM   #4
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The ammonia could be the leftover food. Should vacuum leftovers out as they'll decay and send the ammonia up. Especially in a smaller, 30g like that. From your post, looks like you started your cycle 4 weeks ago, added fish 2 1/2 weeks later. You did see the ammonia and nitrite go up and come down within that 2 1/2 weeks, right?

Either that, or you're going thru a cycle now. Water changes. The fish probably won't live long with ammonia levels that high.
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Old 02-09-2005, 11:22 AM   #5
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Best course of action is to take the clowns back and let your tank recycle. You are going to need some additional filtration as the Eclipse filter is not the greatest. I suggest getting some LR to help out with biological filtration. Once cycled, add fish one a time and feed lightily. One feeding every other day is just fine. Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2005, 06:03 PM   #6
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I just visited my LFS to discuss the problem, and they also said it was probably a feeding problem. I did see a spike and levels lowered. I already have LR and sand. The LFS recommended some biospira as well as a water change, both of which I have added and done. We'll see what happens and if nothing changes soon I will take the fish back.

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Old 02-09-2005, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
The LFS recommended some biospira
You can try this, but not the money, IMO. Snake oil!
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Old 02-10-2005, 01:50 PM   #8
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I would have to agree... get those guys out of there... I doubt if your tank was cycled in the first place if all the tests came out zero. Nitrates should be around 5-10 when the cycle ends. That means that ammonia and nitrites are 0 but weren't at some time or another.
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:57 PM   #9
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yeah no doubt... your tank probably partially cycled or hasn't cycled at all so added the fish in at that time is like torture. Also you said you have an eclipse i was just curious as to what size it is cause if you have 2 clowns that may be too much. I hate to imagine all the poor nemo's that have lost the lifes due to them eclipse tanks.
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Old 02-12-2005, 05:36 PM   #10
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the eclipse tank is 29 gallons, so they have plenty of room. The fish are doing fine. The amonia levels have dropped to .3 as of today and drop a little everyday. They are eating well and swimming more activly.
thanks for your help
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