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Old 08-24-2003, 07:29 PM   #1
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A dead clown, a sad clown, and several DUMB questions

The facts:
I'm new to saltwater- Two months tomorrow.
55 gallons (long) and no protein skimmer.
I have my 2 original yellow-tails.
I have two dominoes and one of two perculas purchased three-weeks ago.

For the past week the perculas have had a long, white spiderweb looking piece hanging out. The LFS said it was "fiber" in the diet when I called asking about internal parasites.

Also for the past week, an incredible amount of brown algae (I guess) has spotted up the tank, though the water quality has stayed the same for weeks.

Yesterday one of the perculas, on its side, and gasping. It died today. The water quality was crazy. I did a 25% change and the situation now is:
pH8.2
ammonia 0.5
nitrate 20
nitrite 0.5
temp 80F

The others remain normal.
I feed marine flakes twice daily (only what they can eat in five minutes).
Is that normal for percula feces?
Should I be worried about the brown gook?
Should I plan to dump more water SOON? I want that nitrate down!
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:15 PM   #2
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Re: A dead clown, a sad clown, and several DUMB questions

First off... Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenvee
Yesterday one of the perculas, on its side, and gasping. It died today. The water quality was crazy. I did a 25% change and the situation now is:
pH8.2
ammonia 0.5
nitrate 20
nitrite 0.5
temp 80F
With those levels I would suggest three causes: the tank never really cycled properly in the first place, overfeeding or something may have been added to kill the nitrifying bacteria. Have you used any medications in the main tank?

Quote:
The others remain normal.
I feed marine flakes twice daily (only what they can eat in five minutes).
Once daily is plenty. Anymore and you risk the water quality as the filtration cannot keep up. Other than the question above, this is most likley your culprit.

Quote:
Is that normal for percula feces?
No. It could have eaten something that got "stuck", it's bowels where blocked or it did indeed have an internal infection.

Quote:
Should I be worried about the brown gook?
Not really a big concern to the fish health. It sounds like diatoms. What is the source water your using? Tap, well water or RO?

Quote:
Should I plan to dump more water SOON? I want that nitrate down!
You should plan a few more water changes at the minimum. The ammonia and nitrite are leathal and will inhibit the fishs' ability to breath and will suffocate. I would suggest getting some mixed up ASAP. Make sure the new water is free from NH3 and NO2 as well as being and exact match of ph, salinity and temp.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 08-25-2003, 06:01 PM   #3
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No meds.

Municipal water supply.

I dumped another 10 gals. The nitrate has reduced by half. The other clown looks like a different fish. Much better.

I wonder if changing the filter substrate will set back the bacteria growth?

I'm already on board about the over-feeding. Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2003, 10:24 PM   #4
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The municipal water is most probabley the cause of your algae problem. Diatom algaes love silicates and green dinoflagelates are usually the result of PO4. I would suggest checking for those. Even though the tank is 2 months old it will still have these concerns with good water. I would also suggest slowing down on any further animal additions until the water parameters are under control and stable.

Glad to hear the clown is looking better.

Quote:
I wonder if changing the filter substrate will set back the bacteria growth?
Not sure what you mean by this. Did you do a substrate swap?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:14 AM   #5
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umm.. are you sure the clowns got along fine?? like 3 or 4 month ago i decided to give my false perky a friend and when i introduced the friend everyone got along fine the first day.. the next day they were in a fight and the loser(the new clown) had a long white strand hanging from his stomach.. later on that day it layed on it's side and died.
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:27 AM   #6
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You know, both the clowns had the spider-web stuff. And for a period after the one clown died, the other had spider-web stuff. It has since fallen off.

I've reduced feeding to once per day.

I've changed more of the water, increased aeration, and prayed. Water quality is holding steady.

The diatom theory is sound. Our city water is the pits. I should probably consider purchasing water or water system.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:44 AM   #7
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I replaced the filter media. The package alleges that it reduces nitrates. But I didn't want to toss the good bacteria residing there already. If that makes any sense.
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