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Old 01-20-2005, 10:17 PM   #1
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I do not know what to test for to keep from killing my fish

First time user

I have gone through four clown fish, a yellow tang, a blue tang, and one dart fish (over a two month period)

One dart fish still remains along with my invertabrate; a bunch of snails, a brittel start, reqular star, a cleaner shrimp.

My PH is 8.2-8.2
My temp 90 degrees
No nitrites and no amonia
My nitrates were around and now have them back down to 10-20 range
i have little red hair algae.

I do a minimum of 10% water change each or my nitrates strat to climb.

My problem is if I put sih in they die in my tank of death.

I have had the tank since september and basically have been through two sets of fish

Any body have any ideas. I am frustrated and want this to be my hobby
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:36 PM   #2
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Is there a reason the temp is so high? I keep my tank at approx 80. What type of symptoms are the fish having. Are you using a QT before adding fish to the main tank? You said two sets of fish and name 7 fish. If you added 3 one time and 4 another it may have been too much addition to bioload for your tank. What size tank? How did you cycle? How old is the tank? Need a little more info to be any help. Sorry
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:44 PM   #3
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I'm sure 90 was a typo (i hope). how big is the tank and what happens to the fish.........ick.......they stop eating......any marks on them when the die.

Let us know and maybe we can offer some thoughts.
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:51 PM   #4
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I assume you mean 80F, not 90F. Have you been QT new specimens? What are you acclimation procedures. 40g is considered small for Tangs. Need more details to give a better diagnosis.
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:52 PM   #5
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Temp = 90? Really?
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:27 AM   #6
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I meant 80 and not 90 degrees. My tank is actually 44 gallons and I have live rock along with a prizim skimmer.

I cycled my tank for around two weeks. At the time. I finished my cycling my nitrates were near zero.

So I added a blue tang and two clown fish. I used a drip system to add the fish. The fish were doing well. I started to get red hair algae. I bought the star fishes and shrimp. I used a drip system to add the invertibrates. My blue tang gets a case of ick. It takes around three weeks, but I get rid of it. The blue tang looks great, but one of the clown fish dies. I get the skeleton before the brittle star.

Three weeks after the ick is gone I add two cardinals (Looks like an angel fish) and two dart fish. Again I use a drip system. All is well for around two weeks. I have a rock avalanche that claims a cardinal. I fix the rocks. I go through many water changes, because my nitrates are high 40 PPM. I get them under control, but my other cardinal (I never recover the body, I think the brittle star got it) dies and a few days later the other clown fish dies.

I spend four weeks doing water changes to keep my nitrates down. I get them to a point where they are around 20 PPM. I keep it stable for around 1-1/2 weeks. I add a yellow tang more snails, and a cleaner shrimp. I use a drip method. I still have a little bit of red algae problem.

After around two weeks, my son buys me two more clownfish. He uses the drip method. I figure I am done adding fish. I really just need one more dart fish and I have a complete tank. All is going well my nitrites and ammonia are nothing and my nitrates are still a concern, because the are around 30PPM. I keep doing a 10% water change.

All of the sudden, One clown fish dies. Then the blue tang gets a case of ick. I can't get rid of it. Around two weeks, later it looks like it is starving for oxygen and dies. I check my water it shows high nitrates. I take it to the fish store and they say the water looks good a little high on nitrates (But not real bad), but keep doing water changes.

Then the other clownfish dies. Then the yellow tang has a brown spot on its side around the gills. Later a white streak along its spine shows up and then it dies. Again I take my water sample down and they find nothing really wrong with my water. It took a 2-3 weeks when all my fish died accept the one dart fish.

Here are things I am doing:
A massive 40% water change and have followed that up with weekly 15% water changes

I add nitrate remover once a week along with alkalinity and ph buffer.

My current nitrates are around 10-20 PPM and my nitrites and ammonia are zero.

I use marine basic to make my measurements

I have 25 lbs of like rock and 15 lbs of dead rock. My dead rock has started to turn live. So somethings are going well. My snails are having lots of babies. I did lose my peppermint shrimp, but that was weird, it was split down the middle. It looked like it jumped of a cliff and killed it self or got caught between rocks and got stuck and died trying to get out. It had grown big in size.

I have always wanted this fish tank and got it on my birthday in September and need to get this working

What am I not measuring or doing that keeps killing my fish.

Thanks to all of you who have looked and responded
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:04 PM   #7
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If you had ick did your main go without ANY fish for at least 6 weeks (inverts are ok)? That's the only way to get ick out of your tank. There's no way to succeed with ick still in your tank. I would start there. In 4 weeks put a fish or 2 into QT and let them sit there for another 4w before adding them to your main. While they're in QT keep your eye on ammo, trIte and trAte, doing frequent water changes. Don't add too many fish at once. And Tangs require a lot more swimming room than a 44 can offer, so I'd stay clear of them. PJ Cardinals are generally easy fish to keep as would be the clowns so they'll make good starter fish for your setup. Go very very slowly after that. If you're not going to QT (and based on your current experience with Ick I'd highly recommend it) then don't buy any fish for at least 6w.
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:01 PM   #8
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Thanks very much for you help.

Is there anything else I need to test for (ie phosphates, Iron, Copper, etc)?

Should i keep up the weekly 10% water changes?

Howard
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:56 PM   #9
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While it is fallow I would probably just leave it run as is and then a week or 2 before I was ready to add fish I'd start watching Ammo, trIte and trAte. I wouldn't be looking for copper unless I put it in there (unless you got the tank used), besides, your inverts would be the first to tell you about that. If you had a phos problem you'd probably be seeing some sort of algae issue by now, I would guess. Maybe thats what the hair algae you have now is from? You could test for that but I don't think it is going to hurt your fish unless there was some astronomical amount in your water. If you had a parasite that's probably what attributed to the death of the bulk of your fish (crushed cardinal not withstanding).

I'd skip the wc until around that 2w mark also.

Are you using RO/DI for WC? Are you using SW that has been mixed and heated for at least 24-48 hrs prior to adding to the tank? What SG are you maintaining on your tank? What are you using to measure it? Are you topping of with SW or Fresh?

I don't think anyone asked you what your tank turnover was? Is it 10-20x your volume? In a 44 you'd want to be changing over the water between 440 & 880 gph (after factoring in head to the return).

And I don't think anyone said this, but Welcome to AA! Stick around, these people are an incredible amount of help and will get you on track in no time. I don't know where I'd be right now without them!
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Old 01-21-2005, 05:57 PM   #10
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blue tang, yellow tang = too big for a 44gallon tank.
Also a prizm skimmer is underpowered for that tank, and not a great skimmer, so don't expect it to do a lot for you. You *might* have good luck with it...but don't hold your breath.

Nitrates should not be 0 at the end of a cycle...they should be somewhat high. Ammonia and nitrite should be 0 at the end of the cycle.

I see no salinity measurement given. You shouldn't really need more than one 10% water change per week. Are you testing the pre-mixed seawater to make sure salinity and temperature match the display tank?

It sounds like the tank could be a little overstocked...that'd give you high nitrates.
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