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Old 04-21-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
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Unhappy help

I am new to this salt water tank hobby. I started my 55 gallon tank about 7 weeks ago everythng was going well. I started with two tank raised clown fish the next week I added a blue hippo and yellow tang. Then I added the following week two anthiases and then finally I added the fish I always wanted a powder blue tang,still everything was great then all of a sudden i started getting brown spots on my live sand and rock. what is this stuff and will it ever go away?Oh yeah and for some reason I lost all my fish yesterday except for one clown because I believe some kind of poisoning of some kind unsure.Very expensive lesson to learn my local fish store said maybe I had some kind of lotion on my hands that contaminated the tank I lost about 3 hundred dollars of fish.Time to start all over but don't want to add anything to tank while I'm having this brown issue. Please help me I can't believe I lost all my fish.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:10 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

First, do some research on here and it will clear up a lot of your questions.

The brown stuff is likely diatoms, this is very common in a new tank, as it's an organism that feeds on silicates. They will clear themselves up over time.

As for your fish deaths, it doesnt' sound like you cycled your tank. please read the article in my signature about the nitrogen cycle. Without cycling, and at the speed that you were adding fish to your system, I suspect ammonia poisoning killed them. The article on the nitrogen cycle will explain all of that.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:12 PM   #3
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:01 PM   #4
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does a tank need to cycle everytime you add a new fish or live rock? I thought once a tank was cycled you could just add fish when you wanted I guess I was wrong. Should you add more than one at a time? should you do a water change everytime you add a fish?How long should I wait before I put another fish in tank after losing all my fish yesterday I did a water change today 20 gallons.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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Okay first of all, we have to get this straighten out. Have you tank fully cycled??? How did you find out your tank is fully cycled? Between the first fish in the tank to the second one, I would say a month would be best to test stability. YOu don't cycle the tank everytime you add the new fish, however, you don't change water right after you add new fish, because the fish hasn't adjusted to your tank and yet you already cause more stress by changing the water, so the best time to add new fish is after you do all your PWC. Okay, don't want to go too far for now, just please make sure that your tank is cycled to begin with.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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I think it may have been a combo of a non-cycled tank and adding too many fish at one or in a short time.
Also, you may want to rethink stocking 3 tangs in a 55.
What are your water parameters?
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:05 PM   #7
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my local fish store told me I was fully cycled I already had the two clowns by that time. So i guess i was adding too many fish to fast.I was told to slow down by my lfs but I didn't listen.And yes I did have too many tangs in the tank but I was planning on upgrading within the next 6-12 months so figured it would be ok for now. But now that I have lost them all I will have to start all over and this time I will go really slow. I was so excited to get fish that I wasn't thinking about what was going to happen to the fish. Any answers to why I have all this brown growth of what looks like an algae on my ls and lr? Will it go away?
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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Hi Giovannie,

Okay, did you check for yourself if your tank is fully cycled? I think you might need to get a Test Kit so you can check with LFS and then check on your own to make sure it's correct. In any case, if your tank is cycled, the brown thing is called diatoms, usually people get CUC (Clean UP Crews) to clean this, it's very normal for a new tank to happen.

Clean up Crews are such as Nassarius snails, cerith snails, astrea snails, hermit crabs, you can combine it anyway you want to, but the best thing is to have Nassarius snails to sift your sandbed and Cerith and/or astrea snails to clean up the glass part. Hermit Crabs are usually cleaning up junks on the sands, you have the option not to have them, it's okay. Also, lighting hours, how many hours you turn on per day? It should be 8 hour or less, if you have more, start to toning it down... it will help getting rid of these diatoms.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:28 PM   #9
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thank you, I watch lfs check to see if I'm cycled but yes I do need to get a test kit your right.Can I add these snails now and how many can I add at once?As far as lighting goes I probably turn on my lights around 7-8 am and turn them off by 8-9 pm so I'll try to have light on less.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Okay first of all, we have to get this straighten out. Have you tank fully cycled??? How did you find out your tank is fully cycled? Between the first fish in the tank to the second one, I would say a month would be best to test stability. YOu don't cycle the tank everytime you add the new fish, however, you don't change water right after you add new fish, because the fish hasn't adjusted to your tank and yet you already cause more stress by changing the water, so the best time to add new fish is after you do all your PWC. Okay, don't want to go too far for now, just please make sure that your tank is cycled to begin with.
IMO.....every time you add to the bio-load of your tank you go through a mini-cycle where your tanks bateria reproduce and grow to be able to handle the increase in waste produced by the added fish. If you add to many at one time the cycle is larger to the extent that your fish die. That is the reason you are told to add fish slowly. You really don't have to wait a month...everyone is just being safe. If you have a test kit you would be able to test and track this process then give it a few days(for good luck, ) and add more bio-load.
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