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Old 01-22-2005, 05:19 AM   #1
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My Fish Are Acting Strange.....

So I went out today and stopped by the local saltwater store to see their selection of fish and coral. While I was there, I wanted to ask one of the guys there a few questions. I asked about a slime algae that was starting to grow on the top of my live sand, but he reassured me that because I had just relocated my tank (2 months ago) that the slime algae was just a phase that would eventually go away after a little while.. He also asked what lighting I had, and I told him I wasn't exactly sure, but that there were 4 fans on top of the light fixture under the canopy, 2 white, 2 blue, and he told me that they were good for coral, etc because of the light intensity. I told him that I kept both the blue lights and white lights on during the day, and at night, I turn the white lights off and leave just the blue lights on. He told me to turn them all off at night and to only have them both on for about 8-10 hours a day.. My other question was what could I do about the water evaporating from my tank because of the lights, and how could I rebalance the SL in the tank. He told me that adding, and please don't tell me this is a huge no-no, fresh water to my wet/dry filter would bring the SL back into its normal range without any adverse effects. So I went back to my apartment to give this a shot. Now, I have a 55 gallon tank, with about 60 lbs LR and 60 lbs live sand. When I did the water adding at around 4 today, everything was fine, and when I left to go to a movie at about 7:30, everything was swimming and looking good. My levels have been pretty stable, but a tad bit high in ammonia (.2) and nitrate/nitrite. So I switched off the lights and headed to the theater. When I got back tonight at about 12:30, my blue tang and cleaner wrasse were on the bottom of the tank motionless, but still alive; the yellow clown goby and the yellow tang had honestly lost most of their yellow color and seemed a bit transparent in places; but the xenia was still pulsing, the anemone was open, and the emerald crabs were still running around the bottom of the tank. So if anyone has any news on how bad I messed things up, please let me know. And I realize I may have committed the most heinous of cardinal sins in the Saltwater Aquarists Handbook, but any advice would help. Thanks for reading the long post..

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Old 01-22-2005, 06:27 AM   #2
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The advice given was good advice. As the water evaporates off the tank it leaves behind the salt. Topping off with new ro/di water(or distilled) will bring the salinity back up to its original levels. As for the lighting I also agree about turning off the blue(actetic) lights at night. Most people use it as a dawn/dusk light. Turn it on 1 hr before the white lights and off 1 hr after the white lights. The loss of color in your fish is pretty common at night and they should regain color once the lights are on for the day.

The things that you should be concerned about are the slime algae and the motionless behavior of the fish. If the slime algae is cyano then it is a sign of excess nutrients in the tank(phosphates). You will need to reduce the phosphates before it will clear up. The fishes behavior may be attributed to poor water quality. You should have 0 ammonia and nitrites and very low nitrates in your tank. Did you properly cycle the tank? Are the fish showing any signs of distress(rapid breathing etc.)?

Others are more knowledgable than I so they can add more if needed but I hope this helps.

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Old 01-22-2005, 08:10 AM   #3
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but a tad bit high in ammonia (.2) and nitrate/nitrite.
Ammonia is very hard on fish. If this reading is accurate it could be a real problem. What is the trate and trite reading?
Also, what is the spg reading, PH?
What is your stock and what size tank is it? How long have your fish been in the system?
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:00 PM   #4
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RMPD109... The thing that was concerning me most was the motionless fish when I got back. I just woke up and everything seems to be back to normal (i.e. yellow fish regained color, and all the others are swimming around like nothing ever happened). Does anyone know why they started acting so weird? I thought it might have been the fresh water added to the system that threw off the pH.
Also, I have a 55 gallon, with 1 Blue Tang, 1 Yellow Tang, 3 Damsels (3 Stripe, Domino, Yellow Belly), 1 Cleaner Wrasse, 1 Clown Goby (Citris), and what in my opinion is the prettiest, a Red Coris Wrasse. Unfortunately, the Red Coris likes to toss up the sand bed, which results in lots of sand landing on top of rock, etc. I am thinking of selling him, for the benefit of us both.
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:07 PM   #5
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Is your tap water chlorinated? That could cause your fish to act funny I think.I only use RO for topoffs.
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:22 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if the water is chlorinated or not. That would make sense though. I will check it out.
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:28 AM   #7
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That's quite a load for a 55G. However, as QS pointed out, what are your Nitrates at? And, when you are topping off the water, are you using tap, or RO? Tap is definitely not chlorinated. This will have a devastating effect on your livestock. Ammonia is most likely the culprit here.


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