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Old 06-12-2009, 05:11 PM   #1
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Newbie Question

** Warning - I am going to ask a question that will make some of you cringe **

Hi there.

I started up my tank before finding this site and was relying on the advice of the LFS which was obviously wrong. I have a brown starfish and one convict damsel in the tank. The damsel is not looking good. I checked the ammonia as did the LFS and found it high so I did a 25% PWC. I plan to test and do another tonight if necessary.

Here is the (cringe) question. If the damsel dies should I remove it from the tank or leave it? I would normally remove it but I have been reading about cycling the tank using store bought shrimp and that you leave them until they disintegrate. Should I take the same tact with the fish (like I said, before I left for work he looked pretty bad) or get him out of there.

Also, I really want to keep the star going as my kids found him at the beach and have become very attached to him (he's actually got alot of personality). That being the case (as it always should be with a living thing) any advice on next steps to recover from these blunders would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

~ SC

PS - Mailbox is the name my five year old gave the Damsel. I thought it was appropriate for a forum name!
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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Hmm, in the interest of saving this damsel I would say remove both and place into QT tank to try to nurse them back to health. They place the shrimp into the tank to complete the cycle. Hard lesson to learn from the LFS guy, I'm sure others more experienced on this site may have other suggestions but this is what I would try. Good luck and I hope your livestock makes is!
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:30 PM   #3
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I hope mailbox makes it!
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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Me too!

I'm assuming that the QT tank won't take long to set up (meaning I only set up the main tank a week ago and don't have a QT tank currently...will it work?).

Should I just follow these instructions will I be ok?

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ish/Page1.html
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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The advice about the QT is admirable but I since the main tank isn't cycled I seriously doubt there is a QT tank setup let alone cycled. Nothing good is going to come from moving something from a 12g non-cycled tank to another non-cycled tank.

Your best bet is to test test test and PWC PWC PWC. If the damsel is looking bad I seriously doubt the star has any chance of survival at all. IMO your only hope is to find someone/some place that would house them until you get your tank cycled properly.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:09 PM   #6
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Great advice Ahab, didn't think about the QT cycle!
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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Welcome Maibox. Do you have a test kit that could give us some readings as the the levels in your tank. Salinity,Ammonia,nitrite,nitrate for now...These are very important readings and if you are going to get into Saltwater it is best that you start getting into the habit of doing these reads.
Please don't give us an answer like,,,"it's Fine".
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainAhab View Post
The advice about the QT is admirable but I since the main tank isn't cycled I seriously doubt there is a QT tank setup let alone cycled. Nothing good is going to come from moving something from a 12g non-cycled tank to another non-cycled tank.

Your best bet is to test test test and PWC PWC PWC. If the damsel is looking bad I seriously doubt the star has any chance of survival at all. IMO your only hope is to find someone/some place that would house them until you get your tank cycled properly.
Could not have said it better.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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First off, thank you guys for the help, I really do appreciate it. I am going to see if I can find someone to house the fish today, but I am not hopeful. The locally owned store near us went under which really leaves me with PetCo and PetSmart. I don't know anyone who has a tank up and running. I am going to try.

Thincat - I bought the test strips not a kit, so I can't give you a good reading. The strips say that the ammonia is in the ideal level but I can't see how that could be the case. I can see why people don't like them, the results are hard to read againt the little color chart they give you. I am going to go out and get a master test kit today.

I can tell you that the salinity is at 1.021.

The other problem I am having is regulating the temperature. The heater is set at 70 degrees but the thermometer is ranging between 81 degrees and 84 degrees depending on if the light has been on. I have been keeping the light OFF for this reason. I bought a digital thermometer and the heater is a visi therm stealth 50 submergible heater.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
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What kind of filter do you have?

Your water temp should be in the 78-82 range (imo). You should set your heater for that range. The probable reason your tank temp is that high is because of the outside air temperature and your lighting. All things considered it's a blessing that happened. At 70 your fish would have been not too happy (or even less happy may be the better worse) if not seriously damaged.

You might want to bring that SG up a tad too.. maybe 023-026. IMO .021 is pushing the lower limit.

What kind if equipment do you have, you know the normal.

Tank size, filter type/brand/model, how long has it been up and running?

If I read correctly it's a sand only (no live rock) correct?
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