i spent a while reading some postings here to find a solution for my problem here but im not quite sure - still..
to make a long story short. i bought a 30 gallon tank about 2 months ago. the dealer didnt explained me **** about important things so like always i started to read about everything online. setting up the tank with the sand and the salt was quite easy. after the first night the water was crystal clear and and ammonia, nitrite and nitrate on 0. at this time i believed that is is possible to cycle a new tank in 3 days because thats what the bottle with bacteria said which they gave us...
i always planned to mix fish from the ocean with some fishes we cant get here and to buy them in a store
. i live in the caribbean and love snorkeling in the coral reefs and so i started.
i bought a snowflake eel and got a see urchin and 2 sea stars.
plus awhole bunch of really cool fishes. for ab out 1,5 months everything seemed to be perfect except some missing fishes which had problems with the moray.
then i did something which was wrong but i didnt knew at this point. because the aquarium still looked a little boring rock-wise, i started to add more and more stuff from the reefs, like rocks and broken corals where the fish can hide.
i have the feeling that either that, or the fact that i got too many fish in to short time changed something in the water. the level of nitrite and nitrate was getting a little higher (but not much) and fishes started to get dark, losing
their color and either rest on the ground until they lay down to die or on the op, but more on the ground.
after 2 weeks almost everything in there died except the moray and mantis shrimp i got just a few days ago (yes it works great with it).
so.. i started to do water changes. 20% and so on. it wouldnt get better so i made a drastic water change and changed like 80% of the water. after that the nitrite (which is the only thing that was not on 0) was dropping from 1 to 0,5.
but it was getting more again one day after that. sick of the dealing with the tap water and already reading alot about the cycle and how long it can take with new water i decited to do something totally different.
because 80-90% of our fish are from the ocean anyways i tested the water from the ocean here just for fun and i was amazed HOW clean it is. everything on zero, just the salt was way higher than what i know it is supposed to be for an aquarium.
so again i changed more than 80% of the water, but this time with original salt water and i added some drinking water to lower the salt level. since i live right on the beach its no problem for me here.
the first day it was perfect everything on zero.
so just to make sure if its different now i got 2 little fishes from the beaches here around and they died the same way again.
the thing was, i wasnt sure if there is somehting in the water that could cause death in a way that i cant check with the water quality. i also had an anemona which i removed again because i thought this might be the reason.
so now i only have the snowflake the mantis and the sea stars and urchins left and i dont know what the **** cause that.
it seems like the fishes cant breathe anymore sut like what i read about too high nitrite levels. but they are not too high. right now everything is perfect except the nitrite on 0,25 to 0,5 again.
what should i do? im not planning to add new fish to the tank until i know more even if i may be forced to sooner or later to know if its better.
by the way. another question. i have a skilter 250 (filter and skimmer in one). a guy from antoher pet shop tld me im not supposed to turn on the skimmer for about 3 months. what exactly is the use of a skimmer? right now i let the filter run without "air-injection". oh and just in case the aquarium runs with a new filter pad since 3 weeks, because i didnt knew that im not supposed to wash the pads.
thank you for your time. oh. some of you might be interested in some pics, so i show you some from the first weeks when everything was still fine.
first day without fish:
first 2 weeks: