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Old 01-08-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
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New and having major problems getting started - Help!

I'm new to the arena of saltwater aquariums. Had fresh water tanks in the past but a friend talked me into going to a saltwater set-up because it isn't as hard as it used to be to maintain according to him.

Started buying all new equipment October 1 2012 (see my profile for my set-up). Allowed tank to stabilize and introduced first fish (2 small Ocellaris Clowns) October 26, 2012. All good. Added Condylactus Anemone, 3 peppermint shrimp and Emerald crab on Nov 7, 2012. Still ok. Added Lemon peel angel, Canary Blenny, Purple Dottyback, scarlet skunk cleaner on Nov 14, 2012. Lemon peel angel died in 4 days - found in bottom of tank. Got a partial refund and bought a Pelewensis Butterfly.

Tank was stable for a while then fish started to disappear. Tank is fully covered so there were no leapers. There were no floating or sinking bodies. Religously checked Ph, SG, NH3, Nitrites, and Nitrates. All withinin range. Ammonia would rise a little every now and then but always came back in line.

Added Bartlette Anthias and royal gramma baslette. Pelewensis found dead on bottom Dec 28, 2012. As of Jan 07, 2013 the only things left in the tank are 2 peppermint shrimp, the skunk shrimp, and the Condylactus Anemone. The clownfish were the last to go. Again - no bodies not even for the Anthias which was of reasonable size. However, the anemone never looked so good. Larger with tentacles flowing nicely.

I've maintained my chemicals, temp, changed charcoal, cleaned skimmer per instructions. Changed out 10% water bi weekly. I('m pretty fed up because I wanted to do it right and spent the money to buy all new. Right now I blew over $400 on dead fish alone.

I want to keep going but am frustrated. I'm pointing the finger at the anemone because of it's size and health and the lack of bodies. Everything I read says that they are supposed to be good for starters.

Mycurrent mindset is to bag the anemone and give the [moderator edit] thing back. Just get it out of my sight.

Could someone help me. I got too much invested to just give up. Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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It hard to blame the nem for your hole problem. What kinda clean up crew do you have? The cuc can consume dead fish bodies I'm the matter of a few hours. your levels are off you should never have any ammonia present in your tank. I think your went the right way when buying new equipment But rushed stocking your tank. The cycle needs to complete before stocking your tank. If not you should expect fish lose.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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I'm not sure the anemone is the problem. To me, it sounds like you might be adding too many fish, too quickly. Also seems like a quick cycle (less than 4 weeks), so are you sure the tank cycled? Seeing ammonia after the cycle means something is off, which could be stocking too quickly. I've always gone slow and ill add maybe a fish a month, rarely two, only if they are small.

As for disappearing fish...could be the clean up crew doing their job.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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Please give me some deyails on your tank. Size, lighting, filtrarion, current, etc. How much live rock is in the tank?
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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Ya if you have a bunch of snails and hermit in there they can eat a medium size fish overnight. Bone and all.

What are you feeding the fish? How often do you feed? Whats your water temp? SO many things can effect the well being of these things. Have you seen spots or any weird things on your fish? Some disease doesn't even show up physically (Marine Velvet comes to mind)...

If you're confident that you're feeding them proper, your parameters are all correct and that their care was correct I'd suggest leaving the tank empty of fish (I know, just sucks) for about 45 days but continue doing water changes to make sure any dissease you may have had is gone.

In the future I'd never add 4 fish at once, go with one at a time and space the additions out. I'd give a good couple of weeks between fish to make sure they're all healthy.

Don't give up, you'll get this working soon enough!
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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I haven't lost any fish but I only have 3 damsels in my 90 gal reef condy's will eat fish or sting and kill them but in my experience is put the blame on the emerald crab I had one and he wreaked havoc on my tank totally destroying my corals completely ate my pulsing Xenia and peppermint shrimp and half my hermits not to mention chewed on my gSP. Funny thing is there is plenty of food he could have eaten but he chose to eat what I wanted to keep and liked
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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I don't think it was the anemone either. Nor do I think an emerald crab can catch a peppermint shrimp. Not a healthy one anyway.
I too, would like to know how much rock is in this tank. I'm thinking the bacteria colony can't keep up with the bio load.
I've kept many anemones, with fish, and I've noticed that fish know to stay away from them. All but clowns of course, and clowns are not effected by the sting, as far as I have seen.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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I put the blame on the damsels. I started with 3 damsels in my 90 gallon tank and one of the damsels killed the other two, killed my goby, killed 6 or 7 peppermint shrimp and a couple cleaner shrimp, and ate the head off one of my polyps. Stupid damsels. I had to remove all my live rock to finally catch him. I tried a trap for about a month. I even tried fishing him out with a hook and line and a piece of brine shrimp. Lol.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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What type of damsels??
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supa Belle View Post
What type of damsels??
The demon damsel we had (my clever little name) was a Yellow Tail Damsel. But all damsels are pretty aggressive.
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