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Old 08-16-2007, 11:29 PM   #1
Wah
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Dead Four Striped Damsel, Ideas as to death?

Hey all, today i was adding my last fish to my tank and i noticed a sad sight, one of my two damsels was stuck to the powerhead intake. I took a look at his body and i dont see anything odd (tumors, ich, growths.) No bites or any body damage. He has shared his tank with his two tank mates, another damsel of the same speicies and a young pygmy angel for three months. There are 3 hermits, snails, and dusters in there as well.

Useing API test kits and a deep six hydrometer:
salt is 1.021 gravity; i have kept this steady for a while now; i do a water change ever week.
Ammonia is 0.25/0.50, but i am takeing this jump is due to how long the corpse was rotting in the water.
Nitrites, Nitrates are 0. PH is 8.0 Temp is 80f.
He eats flakes, brine, and cyclopeeze.
He and the tank mates have gotten along fine for 3 months.

It's been to suggested to me he may have been spoked/chased by the other damsel, which is possible. Maybe he got to close and couldnt overcome the flow?

I've been working nights and sleeping days, and i just now noticed the body tonight, but i'am pretty sure he was alive wendsday, at least when i got home that morning, and he was alive monday when i did my weekly waterchange. I also only see two of my hermits, which makes me wonder if maybe the third has croaked and is leading to the ammonia spike as well, as during tests i did last week i had 0 ammonia as i was supposed to.



Edit: I've located all my hermits, they are fine. And i am doing a Water change and so forth to deal with the ammonia.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
It's been to suggested to me he may have been spoked/chased by the other damsel, which is possible. Maybe he got to close and couldnt overcome the flow?
That would be my guess too. Sorry.
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:19 PM   #3
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It's possible he could have died before being stuck to the intake. Tank parameters seem expected when there is a death in the tank, but how big is the tank compared to the damsel and the rest of the fish population?

If there's a lot of water volume when a small fish dies, it rarely makes a nick in the ammonia readings. Especially if the tank is well balanced.

I do see the temperature is high. It should come down to 76 degree F, but do so slowly. A degree or two per couple of hours or so to avoid shocking the fish. Once the ammonia spike is done with and reading zero, bring the pH up to 8.3...again slowly and remember...do this AFTER adjusting the ammonia levels. A higher pH with ammonia present makes the ammonia more toxic, therefore more deadly to the fish.
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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I disagree with the statement on temperature. 80 degrees is more then acceptable. I keep all my saltwater tanks in the 83 degree range.

As for the ph, it is more important to have a stable ph than one that is constantly fluctuating due to trying to battle it into submission to a "perfect" number.

I am sure your water changes will take care of the ammonia issue. If it continues to be a problem, I would suspect an inadequate cycle.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:53 PM   #5
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There is some disagreement between experts for the ideal temperature for a marine tank. Natural environments for most of the animals sold range by season from 72-86 degrees. A "closed" system (aquarium as opposed to the ocean) creates different requirements for temperature and the effect it has on the inhabitants.

Natural environments have a dissolved oxygen level of 8mg/l. Because of the huge volume of the open ocean system this level is almost completely constant. In a "closed" system, the higher the temperature, the lower the level of dissolved oxygen. As the level of dissolved oxygen lowers, the animal must work harder to respire and stress increases.

Generally speaking, most animals are able to grow faster as the temperature increases. This is because metabolic processes that result in growth are faster, to a point, as the temperature increases.

76-81 degrees will give the best results for growth and health. Wide fluctuations of temperature during the course of the day should be minimized to the greatest extent possible. Variations of 1-3 degrees is acceptable. In the "closed" system animals begin to show signs of stress due to temperature much earlier than they would in the ocean. Above 82 degrees the animals are in serious danger of falling victim to disease and death.

Temperature can be controlled by various means. A heater obviously controls the lower limit. The upper limit can be controlled by fans in the hood, having the surface of the aquarium/sump open (no cover), fans blowing on the aquarium or inside the cabinet, and by a chiller.

*Note: The process of evaporation actually cools the water. Fans in the hood or cabinet not only remove hot air but cause increased evaporation rates and result in cooling. This increases the need for fresh water to be added to make up for evaporation.
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:04 AM   #6
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Oh BTW...keeping the temps at the lower end possible can be a lifesaver in this aweful heat...YUCK!! It leaves more room for error and less risk of temps going up too high in a short amount of time.

86 degrees constant can shorten life expectancy as well. More heat = more activity, therefore more energy is used and the higher the stress levels and if anything isn't quite feeling well, will be even more vulnerable to the 'elements' of the system. It's just a safety net being aquariums are very limited in comparison to an entire ocean.
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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You are entitled to your opinion. I have run my numerous tanks at 83 degrees for years and years, my fish are fat, happy and healthy and live a very long time. I just lost an eel that was over 12 years old. I do not have disease outbreaks. You mention 86 degrees shortening life expectancy..well, I suppose it would. I didnt see 86 degrees mentioned as a viable tank temperature anywhere.

If your tank sits comfortably at 82 and 83 degrees, set your heaters to that temp so that there is minimal cool down after lights off. Don't try to fight something you don't have to.
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