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Old 07-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #1
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Is he ok?

pH- 8.1
ammonia-0
nitrite-0
nitrate-5
SG- 1.024

20gallon tank
24lbs of live rock and base rock
4 lbs live rock rubble
130w CF lighting
Aragonate Sand
aquaclear 70 HOB fuge
aquaclear 70 powerhead


I think i may be just paranoid, but i want to make sure.

I got my first ever saltwater fish yesterday, a little ocellaris clownfish. He was in the bag for about 2 hours, and i acclimated him for almost five hours. When i added him to my tank the SG was the same in the acclimation tank and the tank i put him in. When transporting the bag i kept him in a styro container and the temperature stayed stable.

I am asking this because i have never really had the chance to observe a clownfish's regular behavior. I think i had too much flow for him to fight so i turned down the powerhead and the filter to the lowest flow rate they could go. He still seems to hang near the top and in corners.

In the acclimation tank he wasn't looking too good, when i added him to the tank he immediately was so perky and swimming in and around the rocks.

This morning he was the same way, but just kindof gradually moved towards the top of the tank. He is not gasping for air or anything. He just swims about an inch below the water. Sometimes he swims down, and comes back up, he doesn't stuggle or anything like he is trying to fight gravity. He will swim down, then swim back up.

I hope i have described him bovements well enough

His fins are not clenched or anything.

Can someone please either tell me i am too paranoid or, if something is wrong, can someone please help me. Im a little upset over this.

Addition**

A video to aid in diagnosis

http://s94.photobucket.com/albums/l1...t=31fa0be5.flv
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:28 PM   #2
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Very normal behavior for a clown fish but being in the bag for two hours is a bit stressful. The 5 hour acclimation was a bit longer then needed but no harm done.

IME most clown fish will hang near corners and bob up and down even after they have been in the tank for months.

In the video the current does look a little stronger then needed (at least for oxygen exchange) unless you're keeping SPS. You're HOB does 300 gph and your ph does 400 gph for a total of 700 gph in a 20 gal tank or a 35 times turnover per hour.

Not that your clown fish can't handle it, just that too much current can be a pain as far as keeping stuff like substrate/corals in place or can damage low to moderate flow corals.

The 35 times turnover would be less of a big deal if you had more wide flowing ph but IMO you might want to dial it down more if you can or exchange your 70 ph for one that does closer to 250 gph or two ph on opposite sides of the the tank that do closer to 200 gph.
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:02 AM   #3
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From the behavior you describe, it sounds like normal clownfish stuff. Wait until it starts doing it's little "twitch" thing... you'll think you have an epileptic fish.

After looking at the video, I'd also agree that you should turn the flow down. The first fish in my tank was a clown, and I had way too much current for him. I'm now running around 10-12x turnover and things are doing just fine. Someone told me once that if it looks like they're struggling just to stay in one spot, then you probably have too much flow. Just use your instinct. I'd get a smaller volume powerhead (maybe 100gph or something?) and swap it for the larger one, just to keep from developing dead spots.

Regarding the clown staying in one corner, mine adopted the left front corner of the tank when it first arrived and that's it's home. Not until I added more fish did it even venture too far away from it. Sounds like you have a normal clown.

Oh... and the 5-hour acclimation, as tecwzrd mentioned you probably don't want to do that again. I think you would have seen immediate issues if that was the problem, so it sounds like it wasn't a problem. Acclimation is always a fine line between getting the fish into more pristine water, but not shocking the fish with too fast of a change. An hour should be a good length of time (at the most) for most acclimations.
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:10 AM   #4
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With acclimation... shouln't the SG in the acclimation tank be the same as in the tank the fish would be going into?

I did turn down my flow drastically, i will purchase another small powerhead for the opposite side of the tank. I really cant swap the other out for a different one because i dont have the money, and i paid close to $50 for that one. The 70 is now turned to the lowest it can go, and it id directed a little differently than it was before.

THe clown is looking a little better.

Thanks so much for your help, and please don;t mind my idiotic newbie mistakes, and paranoia
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:26 AM   #5
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ph/sg/temp matching the main is the goal but typically doing drip acclimation you're only using a small amount of water from the lfs and adding in your own from the main. Keeping fish in a bucket with little to no circulation for more then an hour or two can be harmful. 4-5 hour drip acclimations are typically used for inverts like shrimp, hermits, snails, and sea stars because they are less tolerant to changes in ph/sg/temp but it's also important to provide circulation for the longer acclimation times.

Sound's like you used a tank to acclimate though and if so the ph/sg/temp of the acclimation tank should match the water from the lfs because fish can be shocked either way with changes in ph/sg/temp. If you do use a tank to acclimate and it's at least 10 gal then IMO you should not only acclimate the fish to the main over the course of a couple of days but also QT for 6+ weeks before adding to the main.

See Help setting up a QT tank & Equipment for drip acclimation.
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Old 07-15-2007, 10:38 AM   #6
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Just for the sake of argument, I am going to play devils advocate here...My LFS keeps his salinity around 1.019. Mine is at 1.026. I feel anything less than a 3 - 4 hour drip is rushing the matter. While clown fish are fairly tolerant of water changes, there are many that are sensitive and would not do well with a quickie acclimation. The deciding factor to me, is the size of the spread of the numbers. Another words the bigger the difference between the salinity and ph in the two waters, the longer the acclimation time.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecwzrd
Sound's like you used a tank to acclimate though and if so the ph/sg/temp of the acclimation tank should match the water from the lfs because fish can be shocked either way with changes in ph/sg/temp. If you do use a tank to acclimate and it's at least 10 gal then IMO you should not only acclimate the fish to the main over the course of a couple of days but also QT for 6+ weeks before adding to the main.
No instead of a bucket, i used an old acrylic 5gallon tank i had laying around. Thats what i meant by acclimation tank.

I don't have a QT, but this is my first fish, so do you really need to QT your first fish? Besides, i had to take down three of my freshwater tanks just to setup this tank, do you really think my parents would let me setup another one?!

See, alot of stuff i have read said 3-4 hours minimum. The clown did have an airline running in so that added oxygen and a little bit of circulation.

The pH different from my tank and the LFS was minimal. THeirs was 8.2, mine is 8.1.

I just acclimated until the SG of both the main tank and the water that the fish was being acclimated in were about the same. My tank's SG is 1.025 and the water the fish was being acclimated in was 1.024 when i added the clown to the tank.

I don't think there was much harm done. But i would love a straight answer so i know what should be done for the next critter i get.

This is my first ever saltwater tank so the next fish i get will be hardy, im thinking i want a royal gramma, but not too sure yet.

Here is what i did to acclimate:

1. Put clownfish with water from the bag in a 5gallon tank
2. Ran a peice of airline tubing from my tank to the acclimation tank
3.Started the siphon so about three drips came out per second
4.Turned on air pump and air stone
5. Waited about three hours and tested SG
6. Waited
7. Tested SG, only a small different
8. Bagged up fish and floated in tank to get correct temperature
9. Added to tank

Anything i should change there?
Or is it just the time of acclimation?

Oh man, i'm so confused.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:10 AM   #8
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You got a straight answer from all of us already. As stated by myself and Kurt a 5 hour acclimation is in our opinion a little longer then needed depending on what sg the fish came from and what you keep your sg at as Hara pointed out.

My lfs typically keeps their tank at 1.022 and mine is at 1.025 so a 1-2 hour drip acclimation has never been an issue. If your lfs or online dealer kept their tanks at 1.019 for example a longer 4-5 hour acclimation would be needed to give fish the time to adjust to the huge change in sg.

As also mentioned inverts should be acclimated longer regardless of the sg change due to their more sensitive nature in adjusting to ph/sg.

Your process for acclimation is fine and I'm glad you had an air hose circulating the water somewhat during the long acclimation process. Only thing I would add is to try to net the fish (if it won't damage it) from the bag with the lfs water to keep as much lfs water from entering your main.

As far as not QT your "first" fish all fish and inverts should be QT IMO or you risk an infection down the road. See An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: A Quarantine Tank for Everything by Steven Pro
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:33 AM   #9
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ok, thanks, i guess i was a little confused.

And i did net the fish out of the bag, no LFS water was added.

I understand that a QT tank is a great thing to have, and i probably should have one, but i really cant. Im 16 years old and it takes alot of begging to let my parents even consider to let me have another tank. Im already at my cut off point, and to setup a QT tank i would have to take down a few freshwater tanks which i am really not willing to do at all. I will just keep a close eye on the fish i have and carefully inspect any fish i get in the future.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:22 AM   #10
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QT can be set up and taken down as needed and does not have to be taking up space all the time. As already mentioned please read Help Setup Quarantine Tank for more info.

A 10 gal tank does not take up that much space for short term and having your whole main tank die due to infection from an improperly quarantined fish is much worse.

There are countless posts in the sick fish forum of people who infected there tank by not QT. Learn from others mistakes or you are destined to repeat them.
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