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Old 11-23-2004, 01:19 PM   #1
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Salt tank questions.

I am very familiar with fresh water fish and the cycles in that system. I am new however when it comes to salt. I let my salt tank cycle for about 2 monthes, then i put 2 domino damsels in the tank and after about 5 weeks they both died. I figured a spike in the nitrogen cycle, so i let the tank cycle for a bit longer. The setup was a wet dry filter with spray bar i changed to a 204 and ditched the wet dry setup becuase if the power went out my room would flood. Anyway I had the 204 running for about 1 week then i bought 2 blue/yellow damsels. they lived happy together until i brought in some striped damsels 3 to be exact. the small blue/yellow killed all my striped damsels that were twice his size. Soon after 1 of the blue/yellow died (the mean one) now i am left only with 1 blue/yellow.

I want to add puffer fish but i dont want to sink any more money if it is just going to die on me. Should i add more damsels and see how long they last?

I also want to have some live rock but i dont think my 3 ft bulb can put enough light out for them. The light looks very standard im not sure of the power ratting. Would buying a marine life bulb be exceptable enough for my tank? I will try and post some pictures once i get home. (i am at school now)

suggestions please.

thank you

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Old 11-23-2004, 01:53 PM   #2
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Hi, Chris--I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice from people who are more experienced than I am, but I can offer a few thoughts . . .

First, yay for you for being patient and letting the tank cycle before adding fish--that's hard! How did you cycle it? Damsels are generally hardy fish (why they used to be used for cycling), so the fact that they are dying suggests there's something wrong with the water. Can you test for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and post those results? Also, what's the pH and SG? And how big is the tank? The more info like that you can give, the more help you'll get.

Also, LR doesn't take much lighting--it will do okay under NO lights. (I have a piece in my QT tank--no meds--and it's doing fine under a wimpy little NO bulb made for a 10-gallon tank. The coralline algae grows slowly, but it is growing and I have feather duster worms and even pods. I guess that's what they are, at any rate!) Most people here will tell you LR is the way to go for filtration. If you ever want corals, though, you'll have to upgrade.

My advice would be to hold off on more fish until the problem is nailed down and fixed. It's clear there's a problem, and just putting more fish in isn't going to make it go away.


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Old 11-23-2004, 07:43 PM   #3
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:56 PM   #4
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i do not have any testing supplies, when i buy some how often do you reccamend testing?
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Old 11-23-2004, 08:19 PM   #5
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Test every day during a cycle (normally about 3-4 weeks.)

Then test at least 1 time a week after that. (I test two times a week.)

at least test for: Ph, Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites.
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Old 11-23-2004, 09:45 PM   #6
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What sort of rock is that?

Have you ever treated that tank with anything?

how long did you mix your salt?

buy Salifert or as a second choice seachem. Pricey, but cheap kits are worthless.

You should get a refractometer (drsfostersmith.com has one for under $40) to test salinity.
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Old 11-24-2004, 07:57 PM   #7
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it is creek bed rock, and alittle brain coral. My salt i mixed about 10 monthes ago. Never treated it with anything. I put well water into the tank. I got starter gravel from the LFS. how much per month does testing run you guys?
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Old 11-24-2004, 10:33 PM   #8
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You might want to watch it with that rock.... they could be leeching things into the water that are killing off the fish..... Damsels are pretty hardy... if they've croaked then something ain't right.....

The attacks are normal.... damsels are related to cichlids and as you know those fish are very aggresive.... if you plan on doing the same later, I would recommend shifting the rocks around right before you add the new damsels.......

What are you doing for acclimation????

You can also use Bio Spira to speed up the cycle...... but testing still needs to be done.... I think daily is a bit much.... if you have fish maybe every other day for a while.... but no fish...... just test when you get the itch to go shopping
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Old 11-25-2004, 02:56 AM   #9
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You are using well water! Unless it is extremely good well water it will be laden with bad things. I used to live on a farm and I wouldn't even drink the water let alone put it in my tank. Does your water have any odor? If it smells a little like rotten eggs then it has sulfur in it and that will kill your fish. You will probably want to get that coral out of there as it will probably die. It is very important to test your water regularly. I noticed you had stated previuosly that you don't have test kits. Does that mean you don't have a hydrometer or refractometer?

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salt, tan

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