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Old 10-27-2003, 04:35 PM   #1
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Help Fish are dying cant figure it out

Hi I am new at this whole saltwater adventure. I have mastered discus and thought I would now try my luck at saltwater I cant believe how
hard it is. I have done tons of research but it seems hopeless. All my corals/amenones are alive and two damsels are alive - those are the only things that will live - all my other fish died within 24 hours of each other. they are fine one day then covered with white spots and dead the next day. All my water levels are correct - if it is a parasite why aren't the damsels dying. Someone please help me - I am ready to take the tank down and give up on saltwater.
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:40 PM   #2
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Can you give us the "skinny" on your tank - size, how long it has been set up, filtration, equipment, all water parameter readings, etc. From there, we can better help narrow down what is happening.

Off the top of my head it sounds as if either (1) too many fish added too quickly and/or (2) a nasty case of SW ich -- some fish are more resistant to this than others, or ... a combination of both.

Are you quarantining the new fish before you add them to your main tank?

The more info. you can offer us, the better.
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:47 PM   #3
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Damsel are very tough and will survive in conditions that others would not !
As RL said , pobably a bad Ick attack and since you have corals and anemones you cannot treat the tank so my suggestion would be to take out the damse and let the tank empty for at least 4 weeks ( I know it's difficult ) until the parasite dies since they could not find hosts !
JMO
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for responding.
The tank is a 30 gallon - it it going on its 4th month. I have an underground filter with a powerhead and a double biowheel filter (up to 50 gallons). salt 1.22, 78-79 degrees, ph 8.0-8.2, 0 nitrates, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites - I have had my water checked by my local dealer (who I have known and trusted) - who also cant figure out why my fish are dying. I dont think it is overcrowding b/c the most i have had in the tank at one time was 5 fish. My two damsels (who are still alive), a clown, a yellow tank, and a Lipstick tank. The lipstick tang was the last fish I bought and the beginning of the downfall. He had white spots all over him - i used GreenX but he died a day later the yellow tang died then the clown. I have down water changes with precycled water, all my corals and the two damsels are fine - since then I have tried another clown and another tang
same exact results. I was thinking it was a bad case of Ich also and that the parasite is in my gravel but why aren't the damsels getting sick? Should I drain the tank or just remove the fish until the parasite dies.

No i didn't use a quaratine tank - I will now
I am at my end - any advice would be great
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:04 PM   #5
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thanks that was my next idea - the parasite can not live on live rock correct
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:14 PM   #6
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One thing to note - Tangs are a poor choice for this size tank. The general recommendation for a Tang (even a small one), is a 4-foot tank at a bare minimum. A 125g or 180g tank is usually recommended. Tangs are avid swimmers and grazers, and will quickly succumb to stress in a too-small tank.

Ich can often be brought on by stress, and Tangs are generally the first of most fish to fall victim to Ich if it is present.

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dont think it is overcrowding b/c the most i have had in the tank at one time was 5 fish. My two damsels (who are still alive), a clown, a yellow tank, and a Lipstick tank.
Having come from a FW environment, you'll have to forget everything you learned. The general rule of thumb for SW is 1" of fish (not including tail) for every 5g of tank capacity. This is a general guideline, and has some flexibility, but I wouldn't attempt to bend it much until the system is mature, and you've gained a lot of SW experience.

I'm not trying to be condescending, just trying to save you some frustration - Ich can be one of the worst things in a SW tank to have to deal with. Nuisance algae is right up there with it.

Quote:
salt 1.22
Your corals (and other inverts) will not be happy with this level long-term. 1.022 is barely above brackish water. Coral reef animals (corals, invertebrates) need a level of 1.025 - 1.026 to thrive. Make sure, however, to bring it up very slowly - over the course of a couple weeks is best.
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:15 PM   #7
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That,s correct !
And I had to do the same thing since I had anemones in there but from now on it's quarantine tank every time I have a new occupant !
So good luck to you
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for your help but I still need to figure out what is killing the fish and how to fix it. As for the salt 1.22 - my salt was originally at 1.25 and a couple of people I spoke too in pet stores had stated that 1.25 was way too high. I have heard different opinions from different people on everything from a to z. I know a 30 gallon isn't a very big tank but this is my learning tank before I go and put in the money/time into a bigger more expensive tank. Also, both tangs were small and the tank isn't crowded with live rock and or coral leaving plenty of swimming.
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
I still need to figure out what is killing the fish and how to fix it.
SW Ich. Cryptocaryon irritans. A couple articles (some of which include treatment options):

>>Diseases in Fish Part 5.<<

>>CRYPTOCARYON IRRITANS<<

>>Cryptocaryon (White Spot Disease)<<

All proven treatments must take place in a >Quarantine< tank.

Quote:
and a couple of people I spoke too in pet stores had stated that 1.25 was way too high.
>> What are Natural Reef Salinities and Temperatures…Really…and Does It Matter?<<

Quote:
I know a 30 gallon isn't a very big tank but this is my learning tank before I go and put in the money/time into a bigger more expensive tank. Also, both tangs were small and the tank isn't crowded with live rock and or coral leaving plenty of swimming.
I can't (and don't want to) argue with you over tank size/stress, etc. I can only offer my opinion which is - if Ich is at all present in the system, the Tangs being confined to this size tank, are very likely to be stressed. Stress is the preliminary precursor to Ich. Tangs are extremely territorial, and need considerable swimming room along with a substantial amount of LR to graze on. JMO
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Old 10-27-2003, 06:21 PM   #10
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I agree with RLs advice 100%. I might add that you need to proceed VERY SLOWLY! Especially if you've been experiencing problems. Be patient. You may want to let the parasite live out its life cycle. Then add more hardy and appropriate (to tank size) fish SLOWLY. Make sure your new addition is adjusted and healthy before another addition. Remember that a single addition to your tank stresses ALL the fish. HTH
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