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Old 02-12-2005, 04:18 PM   #1
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HELP! my fish died in "good" water

My tank is 5 weeks old. I started with 50# LR and 25# LS in a 55 gal along with 50# CC sand and another 15# ruble rock. After 10-12 days, ammonia and NO2's were 0. NO3's ~50ppm. I run a PS in sump with two pre-filters. At week 3, I turned on the UV

Ok, now the saga;
--14 days I added a partial cleaning crew and they've been just peachy
--16 days I added a clown and LM blenny. Clown dies in 2 days. Blenny dies in 7-10 days. Water still reads good although, NO3's still stand about 50ppm.
--18 days I replaced the clown from above with a powder brn tang who lived lively until day 30 and died today, day 35.
--23 days replaced LM Blenny from above and he's still looking great today on day 35.
--28 days added flame angel who died on day 31-32. Water reads the same although, NO3's have dropped to ~30ppm

RESULT: on day 35 (5 weeks today), I have a LM blenny and cleaning crew that appear very healthy (Shrimp, snails, crabs). Lost 2 clowns, 1 powder brn tang, 1 LM blenny, 1 flame angel
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Old 02-12-2005, 05:21 PM   #2
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Well, even though fish can withstand some nitrates, 50ppm is pretty high. I'm noticing a pattern with your fish losses. Other than your clown, all of the fish you lost are mostly herbivores. What type of food are you feeding them? Did you offer some seaweed/nori for grazing? Your tank may not be mature enough, algae wise, to sustain a LMB for very long.
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Old 02-12-2005, 05:37 PM   #3
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Another thing I see is you might be trying to move a little fast. Each time you add a fish you have to let your biological filter catch up so to speak. With you running a uv so soon you might be killing more beneficial bacteria than bad.
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Old 02-12-2005, 06:35 PM   #4
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How do you acclimate your fish? Do you float the bag and then dump them in or do you use a drip line. Do you check the salinity of the LFS water compared to yours. What is the pH in your tank water.
IMO its not the NO3 40=50 is high but not that high that it will kill fish.
Fish dying that fast IMO is improper acclimation... Read up on the fish before you buy them a PB Tang would not make it in a small tank like yours. You need to slow down and stop buying fish until you figure out what your doing wrong.
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:27 PM   #5
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With you running a uv so soon you might be killing more beneficial bacteria than bad.
The benifical bacteria mostly lives on the stuff in the tank, not in the water. just so ya know.

Do a 20% water change today, wait 1 week do another 20% water change. Don't add anything in the mean time. Keep us posted on how it's going, get the lfs to check your water to make sure your test kit is not shot. After we get your no3 down then you can add 1 fish, wait for 3 weeks before adding anything else. If you get a spike then don't add anything else until it comes down.

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Fish dying that fast IMO is improper acclimation..
This is possible, also could be cyniade poisoning.

Please don't get discouraged. Ask any questions you can think of. SW is very sastifying once you get it started, but some of the "early" mistakes that can be made can get costly. HTH
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:42 PM   #6
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At 5 weeks and you have allready lost this many fish, I would say slow down, most dont even add fish at 35 days. the bio load is surely overwhelming and it could be acclimation related or cyniade poisoning. I would think it's more related to a new tank than anything else.
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Old 02-12-2005, 09:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Thumper
At 5 weeks and you have allready lost this many fish, I would say slow down, most dont even add fish at 35 days. the bio load is surely overwhelming and it could be acclimation related or cyniade poisoning. I would think it's more related to a new tank than anything else.
I agree with Thumper... Although the tank 'reads' well chemically, the biological filter is still new and cannot withstand sudden and large changes on demand. The filter requires time between adding new animals or live rock. I would give the tank at least 2 weeks between new additions. I also would be watching levels after adding. Tangs are not easy to keep and neither are blennies (both require a mature tank because of the diets that they require are found in a more mature LR tank (microalgae)). I would hold off on adding anything more for a few weeks and let the tank settle in a bit more. I would also make some water changes to bring the Nitrates down. And check on your introduction methods especially on those more sensitive creatures (shrimp, tangs etc).

Hang in there... I have lost many fish in the past too...
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Old 02-12-2005, 11:30 PM   #8
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Let me answer some of the questions:
1. I acclimate very slowly. Float 20mins, add some water and float some more. Add a bit more water and play a game of chess (usually). About an hour later, I net out my fish.
2. The shrimp and tang, which you mention as delicate, have had the greater success, in terms of survival time in the tank. My cleaner shrimp is the very first entry and he's just hoppin' along fine. The tang lasted far longer than the others.
3. After each addition, I monitored the water daily - no change.
4. Two lfs's tested my water and said it was fine. One gave me a complete refund! (first clown).

So, I guess It's just too new to mess with now. Even though my chems all read good, I think you folks are correct; I just need to let it settle and mature more. Curious though, why do my NO3's, ph SG all read fine and my fish read dead?
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Old 02-12-2005, 11:39 PM   #9
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Just don't be afraid to ask questions, "we are here to help" to quote one of my grandbabies favorite shows.
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Old 02-13-2005, 06:54 PM   #10
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You might want to do a little more on your acclimation. You are giving it plenty of time but not enough of new water to acclimate it to.

Float the closed bag for 15 min. Then start adding 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 5 minutes or so. When the bag fills up dump half the water down the drain. Continue adding tank water every 5 min. You should do this for about an hr. By the end of this procedure the bag water should be very close to the tank water. Net out the fish and add to the tank. Discard all bag water.

Your procedure is not bringing the bag water to the same as the tank. It is merely temp acclimation with a little new water but not nearly enough.
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