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Old 03-10-2009, 05:16 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help, My Fish have Died

I have a 30 gal tank with live rock. The tank was established on Dec 26, and I added two Damsels on Jan 26 and one Green Star Polyp in mid-Feb. I ran tests daily, then reduced them to eventually twice a week. The tests have always been as follows:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0-10 (occasionally fluctuated to 20 for one day, after feeding the Polyp)
Ph - 8.4
SpG - 1.021-1.023
Temp - 78

On March 7 I reduced my lighting from 13 hrs to 8 hrs due to a slight algae overgrowth (affecting my Polyp growth). I also added Seachem Marine Buffer (1.5 tsp) thru the filter, as I am using RO water for my water changes. After adding the buffer, I tested my water as follows:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10
Ph - 8.4

I tied my Green Star Polpys to the live rock (with string) as the snails keep knocking them off the rocks.
That night, my one fan (power head) died and I had no spare.

On March 8, I fixed the one fan and added a second fan to the tank to get additional cross-current. I also exchanged one Damsel for a Coral Beauty and a Hawkfish. To add the fish, I let the bags sit in the tank for 15-20 minutes. I then added about one cup of my tank water to their bags and again let them sit for 15-20 minutes. Then I dumped both bags into the tank. The Coral Beauty was immediately spastic - swimming from one end the other other continually. I fed them several hours later (frozen brine shrimp), the Coral Beauty ate some but neither the Damsel or Hawkfish ate hardly anything. I again did water tests with the same results as above.

The next morning, the Coral Beauty was dead. I immediately removed it from the tank. The Damsel and Hawkfish did not look good (sitting at bottom of tank, hardly moving). I ran water tests again, with the same results as above. I then disconnected each electrical device for about 1-2 hours, thinking it was something electrical - no changes. By about 2pm the Hawkfish was dead and the Damsel was swimming at the top of the tank, almost like trying to get air. I did an 25% water change, and tested the water again with no changes. I then moved the Damsel to a make-shift quarantine tank (hind sight, should have done this earlier), but he still died a couple of hours later.

The snails are fine and the Green Star Polyp is doing okay. Any suggestions on what would have killed the fish so fast, especially the Damsel that had been there for six weeks?? I am afraid to get any more fish until I understand what happened. Thank you for any assistance, Rhonda

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Old 03-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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The Damsel, I'm not sure.

The new fish I am guessing needed to be properly acclimated via drip acclimation. There's a good article on it here.

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Old 03-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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Let me ask you a question. Did you cycle the tank and how?
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:55 AM   #4
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Not to rain on your parade but I am not sure you fully cycled .. It sounds also like an O2 problem however that would go hand and hand with cycling ..Adding the buffer to the filter may or may not give it ample time to "disolve" add it to a cup of water and allow it to sit over nite before adding and then add it to the filter slooowly .
I have a couple questions .
What kind of power heads are you running?
Have you sprayed any thing around or near the tank ?
Do you wash your hands and arms before placing into the tank ? Think hard at this one .. I have done the same with ours and that is how I pinned a posioning on ours ..
We had an accidental posioning in our tank thankfully we did not loose any fish ..
Do you wear gloves ? if not get some it protects you and the fish .
What electrical stuff are you running , heater , power heads , filter .
Do you have access to a volt meter , if not GET ONE .
I had a heater go on me , upon inspection found that the cord was cracked , easly missed since it was near the "boot" where the cord entered the element part ..
We have also had them stick on .
What is your temp is it steady ? with little or no fluctuation ? (1*-2* is normal with lights ect and will not harm your tank .)

I would not add anything else till you are at all 0 for atleast 1-2 months . I know it is hard to wait but in the long run you will be happier .
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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One other thing that I failed to mention always and I mean ALWAYS test what you are dosing you may find that you do not need to dose at all .. Most times water changes of the 10%-20% will replenish any thing that is missing ..
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