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Old 08-16-2003, 04:12 AM   #11
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I did notice the nitrite readings. You have no LR.......so, how often do you do water changes? How deep is your sand? My guess, and I'm far inferior to the previous posters in experience, is that they are being poisoned by the chemical buildup from their wastes.

What liquid nitrate test did you do? If your dip strip is correct, then you had one hell of an ammonia build up, previously, i think, and they experienced what you would in a closed garage with a running car. If you set the tank up, and didn't use LR or LS, AND you added all of those critters, then you probably just had a 3 month cycle, and the fishies are not taking it well. But, I could be wrong, so, unless I get some more qualified backing, fishfreek-reefrunner69-timbo2-steve-s-hara-hoopsguru-salt4us-and a few others, just use my advice as something to keep in mind, not absolute truth.

If I were you, I would look into some sort of bacterial help, LS, LR or something. HTH. :|
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Old 08-16-2003, 09:21 PM   #12
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His nitrites were at 0.5ppm, which is unacceptable. His nitates were at 10ppm, which is fine.

Plus, nitrites should never "build up" unless you're cycling the tank or the bioload has recently increased dramatically. According to what I have heard, they attack the hemoglobin in some fashion that basically prevents them from respirating properly, and they suffocate.
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Old 08-17-2003, 12:18 AM   #13
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You may have hit it on the head ... the tank is very well established, as it has been around for years. However, I just added a emperor angel to the tank, which was too much for the bio (+ puffer, trigger, lion (now dead), wrasse and harlequin tusk in a 135 gallon tank). I did not realize what effect the new addition would have on the eco in an already full environment ... but the more I have read, the more I see how stupid (greedy) it was to add more fish. Three+ months ago, the system was just the puffer, trigger, wrasse and tusk in a healthy bio (before I got the tank). Assuming the puffer gets better, I'm now concerned that the bio won't hold for the remaining fish??? If I got rid of the trigger, would that help a great deal??? That way, I could add live rock to the compliment (trigger will tear up the LR) and hopefully effect a healthier environment. Obviously, I'd prefer to keep the trigger, should it be safe.
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Old 08-17-2003, 12:50 AM   #14
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Triggers

I'm just a beginner but I've been hanging around our LFS a lot and they have clown triggers in all of their reef tanks (40k+ gallons of it). I'm not sure what kind of trigger you have nor the behavior of other triggers but if you look up your trigger you should be able to find out if he's reef friendly. Also, there is a calculator that shows how many fish you can have in inches......it comes to 1 inch per 5 gallons minus the tails. So in a 135 that would be 27 inches. I hope this helps some, again I'm only a beginner at this so maybe others can comment here =) On a side note live rock and live sand are both neat, you get some great hitchhikers sometimes and the rock helps a lot with filtration from what I know. =)
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Old 08-17-2003, 11:50 AM   #15
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thanks for the advice... given the size of the fish, I am at capacity right now by those rules. My only concern is that the trigger, tusk and angel are likely to keep growing (I guess that I'll just have to get that custom-made 500 gal tank that I've been eyeing next year! )
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Old 08-19-2003, 01:49 AM   #16
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O.K. I have my fish in two separate Quarantines with hyposaline setups (1. sick puffer and emperor; 2. tusk, trigger and wrasse). Due to the relative "need for speed" I only had the sponge filters running in the bilge for 24 hours - I hope that was enough to initiate a bio.

A few (hopefully final) questions that I have:

1) My nitrates (120) and nitrites (.5) are still very high in my display tank, even after I did a 30% water change last week (when I saw my puffer laboring for air, I put extra "bacteria starter" in and it has generated a system-wide plume, that I account for the high levels?). So high, in fact, that I had to put 75% new H2O in my QT tanks to get the levels down ... even with that dilution, the nitrates are still high.
a. is there a quick remedy that I may use to neutralize the nitrates in the QT tanks? does it even matter, as I read it is mostly bad for plants?
b. would it be possible to do a 90% water change in the display tank this weekend and still have the bio hold (with no fish for 4 weeks and such a large depletion of bacteria)?

2) Given this opportunity (no fish in tank for 4 weeks), it would be the perfect time to change my substrate. I have enough "Tahitian Moon" black sand to create 2+" of new substrate. If I did this concurrently with the water change, would I be wrecking the bio/environment? Keep in mind, I have no LR/LS in current setting.

3) Even though the fish in the 2nd QT tank show no signs of Ich, I should medicated them at the same levels as the "sick" tank, right?

Any advice would be appreciated. You all have been awesome!!!

Mike
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Old 08-19-2003, 08:56 AM   #17
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Mike,
What are the levels in the QT tanks?
How big are those tanks?
Are you sure about that nitrate reading?
You need to keep a very close eye on those levels. Have lots of fresh SW ready for water changes. I would do a 10 -20 % water change every day to help keep all levels under control. You might want to a 20% change on the main tank and continue that every other day till all your levels are at zero (or Nitrates are down to a reasonable level).

I'm no expert, still a beginner in SW, but the advice I've given should help the situation.

What are you using for filtration in the main tank? A wet/dry?
Removing the current substrate and replacing may have a negligible impact if you have biological filtration elsewhere. With no fish to create ammonia and a running filtration system I would do the substrate swap now. THen keep an eye on the tank parameters. When everything is ok, try adding fish back slowly -- just one or two at a time and keep checking the parameters.

HTH
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Old 08-19-2003, 11:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balrog
A few (hopefully final) questions that I have:

1) My nitrates (120) and nitrites (.5) are still very high in my display tank, even after I did a 30% water change last week (when I saw my puffer laboring for air, I put extra "bacteria starter" in and it has generated a system-wide plume, that I account for the high levels?). So high, in fact, that I had to put 75% new H2O in my QT tanks to get the levels down ... even with that dilution, the nitrates are still high.
a. is there a quick remedy that I may use to neutralize the nitrates in the QT tanks? does it even matter, as I read it is mostly bad for plants?
Plants?
Water changes will help but be very sure to match the ph and salinity whe using hyposalinity. You may also wish to keep some Amquel or Prime on hand to help neutralize high levels. Maximum surface aggitation is very important to keep O2 levels optimum.
Quote:
b. would it be possible to do a 90% water change in the display tank this weekend and still have the bio hold (with no fish for 4 weeks and such a large depletion of bacteria)?
Do small water changes unless you have inverts in the tank (which I doubt), since there are no fish, the nitrifying bacteria should be able to take care of it a bit better. Make sure you add small amounts of food to the tank about twice a week to keep the bacteria fed.

Quote:
2) Given this opportunity (no fish in tank for 4 weeks), it would be the perfect time to change my substrate. I have enough "Tahitian Moon" black sand to create 2+" of new substrate. If I did this concurrently with the water change, would I be wrecking the bio/environment? Keep in mind, I have no LR/LS in current setting.
If your going to do this, the sooner the better. It will cause the tank to re-cycle. I would also suggest placing a large amount of the substrate into two large micron bags and place it in with the new sand to help seed it faster with the already present bacteria.

Quote:
3) Even though the fish in the 2nd QT tank show no signs of Ich, I should medicated them at the same levels as the "sick" tank, right?
Most likely they will also be affected and should also be treated.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 08-19-2003, 02:28 PM   #19
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Im not really new at this hobby, but still a little inexperienced so take my advice with a grain of salt. By adding LS or LR is should reduce some of your high levels of nitrates and nitrites. They act as filters themselves and they containe bacteria beneficial for the tank. Not sure if these methods are fiscally feasible for you right now, but it may be something you want to consider in order to lower and maintain your tank in the future.
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:00 PM   #20
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LS containing only bacteria may be of help but do not add LR to the QT. That would be rather pricey as the hypo would kill everything except the bacteria.

Cheers
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