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Old 11-15-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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Blue Damsel Dead in two days

I recently added my first fish (blue damsel) to my tank and it died in two days. I have a newly cycled 120 gallon saltwater tank. I have had it up and running for about 8 weeks. I used ammonia to get my cycle started. My tank went through the normal cycle and both ammonia and nitrites dropped to zero. I added 3 small blue legged hermit crabs about a week and a half ago. I added 2 small emerald crabs and a chocolate starfish at the same time I added the damsel. The fish looked very healthy and it swam back and forth along the back wall. This morning it was dead. The LFS did mention that they had a problem with their tanks losing power the week before.

Tank readings
salinity 1.022
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 15 - 20 ppm about 4 days ago
PH 8

I don't want to add any more fish until I do some more checking. Is there anything else I should be checking for? I have had freshwater tanks in the past and I don't ever remember having any trouble keeping the fish alive.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:21 PM   #2
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Does not look like any water parameter problems. It very well could have just been a sick or damaged fish. Could have been a acclimation problem. Maybe you could take a water sample to your LFS and have him double check your water test results. Just some ideas.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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First, Welcome to AA! The first mistake you made is not QT your fish. Quarantine Of your fish Prevents a disease from entering your main tank. It also gives the fish a place to get used to your water. also the fish can be monitored to see if it is eating well. How did you aclimate your fish?
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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I think I will take a water sample in to the LFS for testing. I do have one other thing to mention. I have a little problem with asian lady beetles that get in my basement and some have fallen in the tank. Not sure if that would cause any problem with the water.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
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I think I will take a water sample in to the LFS for testing. I do have one other thing to mention. I have a little problem with asian lady beetles that get in my basement and some have fallen in the tank. Not sure if that would cause any problem with the water.
That could be it right there. If those bugs were exposed to any pesticides and they got in your tank that may be what is killing your fish. Have you noticed anything unusual with the other inhabitants?
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:56 PM   #6
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Thanks thincat,
I acclimated the fish by hanging the bag over the side of my tank and adding a little tank water at a time. I didn't do it as much as I normally would because the damsel was almost black and I thought that was a sign of stress. I probably only did this for about 35 minutes. As soon as I put the fish in the tank it turned a real bright blue. The fish was also eating just fine. I guess I need to setup my 25 gallon to QT any new fish.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:00 PM   #7
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That could be it right there. If those bugs were exposed to any pesticides and they got in your tank that may be what is killing your fish. Have you noticed anything unusual with the other inhabitants?

The other inhabitants seem to be doing just fine but I don't have any other fish just a few crabs and a starfish. I haven't used any pesticides around my home but that doesn't mean the bugs weren't exposed to any.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:03 PM   #8
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Myth #15

Mything the Point, Part Three: Conclusion - Reefkeeping.com

A tank typically takes a lot longer than just getting the bacterial colony established to actually be considered "stable". I added 14 fish to a 180 that I maintain and all but 3 are still alive. Some could be attributed to aggressiveness of species, but others I can only attribute to my own ignorance after reading the above article.

But, your could have simply been a case of a sick fish. I think the coloration issue is normal under stress. Many SW fish will change color drastically under stress. One big dog-faced puffer in a tank I maintain goes from steel grey-blue to white with blue spots while I'm cleaning the tank, then turns almost black.
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