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Old 08-22-2007, 10:13 PM   #1
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1st SW Tank, 1st SW S***W UP

Well. I thought I would get a feather duster. LFS guy said it would be fine. (Not listening to him again). I watch as the dusters tube keeps breaking and it keeps retracting further back. Finally it's in the sand and the tube is in about 3 sections rolling around on the bottom. I figure it's dead. I remove the empty tube pieces, and dig around in the sand for the critter. I then find its crown floating around. I decide to do some research (I know. Too little, too late. I feel horrible). Find out they discard their crown and can grow it back. So it's around in the sandbed, and might resurface sometime in the future.

In the process of my digging, I kicked up tons of sediment into the water. Now I see my Gold Striped Maroon Clown swimming at the top in the corner, sort of tilted. Swims down every now and then. In my freshwater experience, that means on it's way to being dead. I don't think he will make it the night.

BioCube 29
Reef Crystals and RO/DI water.
Sapphire Aquatics Protein Skimmer
Pacific Micro Heater/Chiller
SEIO 620gph pump (For Flow)

SG = 1.023 (Refractometer)
Temp = 80.9
pH = 8.4- 8.6 (* I know high..Don't know why)
Alk = 3.5
Ca = 380 (Cant get it any higher, ** see note below)
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = <= 10ppm

Current Inhabitants:
(1) Gold Stripe Maroon Clown
(1) Firefish Goby
(5) Turbo Snails
(1) Stomatella varia
(5) Nassarius
(3) tiny misc unknown snails
(1) Scarlet Red Hermit Crab
(8) Blue Legged Hermit Crab
(1) Hawaian Feather Duster
various critters from live rock (peanut & bristle worms, numerous tiny dusters, reef clams)
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* Did PWC, ran tank for 20min.

SG = 1.023
pH = 8.3
Alk = 4
Ca = 380 - 400

Clown moved down from top for about 20 min but went back to same spot again. I tried to shoo him with a probe. He went to the other side where he usually hung out, and then went right back to the spot on the other side, in the corner at the top.

Crabs and snails seem to have weathered the storm.
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** When I started the tank I had low pH, low Alk & low Ca. At the instruction of the LFS I have been adding Kent Marine Tech CB A & B to try to get the numbers normal.
pH was great until now.
Alk pushed up to 3.5
Ca went from 340 to 380
This is after about 6 straight days of dosing.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:01 PM   #2
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Sounds like normal activity of a clownfish to me. He should be OK. Dont stir up your sand up as stuff that is trapped in there will create ammonia in yout tank. Moving this to the sick fish and coral forum because of the worm (feather duster).
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:50 PM   #3
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Agree. Your clown sounds like it's just getting used to things. Just leave it be. Unless it's showing outward signs of disease, you can't do anything anyways. Just take a deep breath, and let things take their course.

One thing I noticed is that you have quite a bit of flow going on right now. While many recommend 20x tank size for turnover, I found it was too much for my arrangement. When I introduced my clown in the beginning, I had 15x flow and it was getting battered around and just would not move out of its safe corner. If it looks like the clown is struggling to stay in one spot, maybe reduce the flow a bit and see if it helps. Nothing in your tank right now needs that much flow. Just a thought.

[Edit: Just reread your post and realized you're dosing a 2-part additive for Ca. I'd let your tank stabilize for 3-4 months before starting any additives. There's really nothing in there right now that needs Ca (except your coralline algae) and with every water change, you're literally dumping out the Ca you're pouring in. The additive is probably why your pH is high. Also, if you continue with the dosing, be sure to watch your salinity. Overuse of 2-part can make your salinity creep up on you.]
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:15 AM   #4
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Thanks..I feel a bit better now.

Since the Alk and Ca seemed to get better after the PWC, I planned on stopping the additive. I will maybe have to re-start when I start getting corals.

I think you have a good point about the flow. I will attempt to slow it down. I figured it was necessary to help keep the dreaded cyano from forming.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:53 AM   #5
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It's true that good flow is important. But it really all depends on your rock arrangement, and your flow pattern. 20x turnover in one tank may be totally different than 20x turnover in another tank. I spent a day watching my clown get beat around after I introduced him into the main as my first fish. I eventually figured, "Y'know... the world isn't going to end if I take out one of these powerheads and see what happens." With the lower current, the fish immediately just seemed more at ease and content. It still has a good current it can go find and play in, but it also has more peaceful spots to go and sleep in. Once you start adding coral, you'll probably reorient or rethink your flow again! Just realize that it's something you can change - there's really no hard and fast rules.
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:09 PM   #6
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OK..I turned the adjustment on the pump to the lowest setting. Still seems to be some pretty good flow, and clown seem's MUCH HAPPIER!!!

Thanks a million!!

If you don't mind..check out my scooter blenny topic. Tellme what you think about my last post? Thanks again.
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