You've come to the right place for advice, though! It's really common on this board for people to have gotten bad advice from the LFS
to cycle the tank with damsels and then they end up here when the fish get distressed. I'm new to SW
but have some FW
experience and Atari is recommending those water changes because the fish are really in terrible conditions right now.
It sounds like you haven't done any changes during the cycle; that's fine when cycling with LR
/shrimp but really, really hard on the fish. Malkore's advice to return the fish is good--can you take them back to the store? That would be best for them. If not, do a serious water change right now (or as soon as you can get the water mixed) and then mix more water because you'll need to do changes every day to save the fish.
, my QT
started a mini-cycle (it had already cycled with LR
) when I added 2 clowns. I've been changing 20% of the water every day to keep the ammonia under .25 (it's gone now) and the nitrites under .1. I'm starting to get nitrates, which means I should be able to slow down on the water changes soon (assuming the ammonia/nitrites test at 0). It's a lot of work, but that's what it takes to keep the fish healthy. Good luck!
tank with 29-gallon sump
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead