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Old 02-27-2011, 03:12 PM   #1
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killed damsels in 2 days

Hello everyone,
I am just starting up a tank. I have been reading a book which says to not use fish to cycle the tank but then when I went to my LFS they told me that my book is wrong. They said you use Damselfish and so I bought 3 to cycle my tank. I think my tank is around 17 gallons. They tested my tank water before selling me the fish. In the tank I also put two pieces of coral skeletons I received with my tank. With in one day the smallest fish had disappeared and I thought maybe he was hiding in the coral. Soon after the tank became very cloudy and yellow and then with in 2 days all three fish were dead. My boyfriend thinks I overfed the fish which might be possible but then someone else told me that it would take longer to kill the fish by overfeeding. I called my LFS and he told me to come in with a sample of water. My boyfriend and I are thinking that the ammonia got too high too quick for the fish and that maybe we should use live rock instead. I want to get some other opinions before I go see my LFS. Any ideas?
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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Your fish probably died from ammonia poisoning or stress from a tough acclimation. Make sure you 'drip acclimate' your fish. The book was right, you should do fishless cycling. Your lfs was wrong.

Make sure you do lots of research it will save you tons of time, effort, and $$. For instance, make sure you have at least a pound of live rock per gallon and around 7x your tanks total number of gallons in flow per hour.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:21 PM   #3
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They died because the take wasn't cycled. First don't go to that LFS anymore they sound like a bunch of tards. It was the ammonia from three fish plus food into a brand new tank that killed them. I suggests the next thing you buy is your own test kit. You can use LR and dead shrimp to cycle the tank even though now the tank as seen it's spike in ammonia I'm sure. I would do at least a 50% water change and then test your water and tell us where your at. What kind of water are you using? If it's tap make sure you are treating it. PS don't forget to search online and try to find a new LFS.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
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I, too, think it was the ammonia. Overfeeding in combination with the start of your cycle could lead to toxic ammonia levels.
Don't listen to them about cycling with damsels. There are great resources on here about fishless cycling.
I suggest not relying on your LFS, because they often lie to make the sale. Do your own research, and you should get your own test kit as well.
Good luck and welcome to AA.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:32 PM   #5
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I am using RO/DI water.

I received a test kit with the tank but the test tubes, chart, and water syringe are missing. Any idea where to get these items? I'm thinking about just calling the company, Tetra, to see if I can order just these things.

I did research but it seems that there are very conflicting opinions about whether to use fish of not during cycling. I even went to another fish store and they said that you can use live rock but it stinks and using fish is usually better.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:35 PM   #6
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go back to the LFS and get your money back and ask them why they recommend torturing fish to start a tank,If they had given you the right advice you would keep using them but now have lost a good customer.Read the cycling thread in the articles and do a shrimp(fresh dead) cycle.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Live rock or shrimp gets my votes. Really decaying rock can smell up the place though.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:56 PM   #8
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why do a water change if the 3 dead damsels have already started an ammonia spike and the live rock os probably already in its startign stages of its cycle
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simi142 View Post
I am using RO/DI water.

I received a test kit with the tank but the test tubes, chart, and water syringe are missing. Any idea where to get these items? I'm thinking about just calling the company, Tetra, to see if I can order just these things.

I did research but it seems that there are very conflicting opinions about whether to use fish of not during cycling. I even went to another fish store and they said that you can use live rock but it stinks and using fish is usually better.
Its not that there are conflicting opinions, you can
A. cycle with fish and it will get the job done or
B. cycle with LR and or/shrimp and it will get the job done

Difference being that if you go with option A then are sentencing the fish death (as you already found out) Most of time the damsels will live but you are putting them through torment and burning their gills.

Some would argue that a cycle with fish is faster but does that really matter in a hobby where everything you do requires a lot of Patience. Why rush the cycle.

PS I don't know where you could find the spare parts for the test kit, I would do like you said and call Tetra. You can also usually find test kits cheap on craiglist from somebody who is taking down his/her tank. Good luck, look forward to the progress of the tank. By the way we love pictures of your tank build as it is goes along (hint hint )
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simi142 View Post
I received a test kit with the tank but the test tubes, chart, and water syringe are missing. Any idea where to get these items? I'm thinking about just calling the company, Tetra, to see if I can order just these things.

I did research but it seems that there are very conflicting opinions about whether to use fish of not during cycling. I even went to another fish store and they said that you can use live rock but it stinks and using fish is usually better.
Where did you get the test kit? If it was new I would take it back and ask for the missing items (I don't think syringes come with it).

Using fish to cycle was the common way to do things... but things have evolved over time and many feel that using fish is hard on the fish. Especially since you wouldn't be able to keep 3 damsels in a 17 gallon tank! You can use them, but you need to keep up with daily water changes to keep the ammonia down in order to let the fish live.

Live rock, if purchased when underwater and transported back to your house underwater shouldn't smell. If it smells then something else is wrong. Just about all SW tanks have live rock as that is where the bacteria needed grows. You really should have live rock in your tank. You should get at least 17 lbs (or 25 lbs). If going for 25 lbs then you can get 15 lbs dry rock and 10 lbs live rock to cut down on the cost. Having live rock can speed up the cycle.

I really recommend you start reading up. There is a lot to keeping a successful tank. It can be hard work but is very rewarding.
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