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Old 07-27-2016, 07:54 PM   #1
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Firefish choked to death from substrate!?

Hi guys, I bought two firefish yesterday to my 20g long to keep my clown company. After drip acclimating them for an hour I scooped them out with a cup and put them in my tank. As most firefish they hid immediately under the live rock. I observed them and saw that only one of the firefish came out once to explore the tank. It was outside from hiding for a minute and went back with the other one in their cave. The next day in the morning everything seemed fine. The two firefish were cuddling under the live rock and it looked so cute! The same firefish came out a couple of times to swim around but the other one stayed under the rocks. after several hours it finally came out but darted around the tank and stayed in one corner. I was worried and didn't know what to do. It had labored breathing and coughed after several breaths. When I observed more closely it was coughing out sand! after a minute it stopped breathing. I took it out of the tank and put it into a cup just to make sure it was still alive. It was definitely dead. I opened its mouth with some tweezers and and held it upside down and a some sand fell out! I'm so mad! I did everything right to build my reef tank and now my fish chokes to death from sand! The other one is doing fine and swims around more often. So I thought I just would've shared this story. Btw my parameters are just fine. Nitrates under 10.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:30 AM   #2
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Firefish choked to death from substrate!?

It is highly doubtful. A fire fish has no reason or behaviors to sift sand.

The many reasons a fish can die aside, a 20 gallon for 2 fire fish plus other fish is overstocked.

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Old 07-28-2016, 09:50 AM   #3
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How long was the tank up and running. Was it cycled. It almost sounds like ammonia or nitrite poisoning. Maybe you can post some numbers.
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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Honestly it sounds like the fish was just extremely stressed from the move. Also no matter what places tell you 2 fire fish in a tank that size will eventually leave you with 1 as they will fight.

In this case though it sounds like the fish was super stressed and didn't make it.


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Old 07-28-2016, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
How long was the tank up and running. Was it cycled. It almost sounds like ammonia or nitrite poisoning. Maybe you can post some numbers.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5-10
Alk 9
pH 8.2
Temp 79 F


My the firefish did seem to get spooked by the clownfish. She didnt do anything but get look at them closely out of curiosity. I dont have and crabs or cleanup crew and flow is pretty good. There is a lot of surface agitation. It just seems to me nothing else could've killed it but the sand...
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:56 PM   #6
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Well you have had continued problems ever since starting in the hobby. This has been filled with disease and death. It is time to stop thinking that something silly is the cause of death here. The same thing that killed this fish is the same that brought issues with your clownfish, brooklynella, ich, and so on. This has been going on since April.


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Old 07-28-2016, 11:25 PM   #7
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I got rid of ich with 37% formaldehyde bath. Took out the rocks and substrate and boiled it. Quarantined my clownfish with some filter media of a friend and recycled my tank. At the time it was a mess. But everything has been fine since I put the clownfish back into the tank in the beginning of the month. So I doubt it could be the same stuff from before. And I certainly don't think the death of my firefish is silly.
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