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Old 09-17-2005, 02:40 AM   #1
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Need help! newbie ^_^ Lionfish sick

Hey guys here are some details: I converted my freshwater aquarium to a saltwater aquarium about 2 months ago without researching (or not researching it fully) and ended up messing up my water conditions to a point of complete toxication (my lion has forgiving me a lot of times but this time It was really bad, he is in qt right now). I still had the original gravel from the freshwater aquarium which I did not take out. The result: PH dropped below 5.0!!! Nitrate levels were over 80 ppm and so on. I proceeded with buying about 25 pounds of live sand and a dead coral decoration as someone told me it would help. Then I did a major water change of about 50% of the 55 gal tank. First day of water change...everything was great, the PH was up to 8.3 and everything looked fine. Only yesterday the Nitrite level were over 100 ppm, nitrates were over 60 ppm and PH was about 7.2....What happend here??? Please help. I need to put the lion back in the main tank but how can I really stabalize the water conditions and maintain it correctly? Any tips of ideas would be deeply appreciated.
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Old 09-17-2005, 02:41 AM   #2
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btw...my qt tank is actually also a brine shrimp hatchery, will I harm the lion?? He is in there with no complaints seems to do just fine. Let me know!
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:11 AM   #3
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice.com!!!
Can you give me a timeline...when did you start the SW tank, how and how long did you cycle? How long did you wait before adding the lion? Any other ifhs in the tank? What size tank? Here is my adivice...Stop. You really need to pretty much start over. Take the lion back to the LFS and start fresh. IF the gravel is still in the tank, take it out. You will need to cycle the tank all over again. Decide on the substrate you want (I recommned LS) and seriously consider the addition of LR. Get a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner. It is a great resource. Good luck.
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Old 09-17-2005, 05:59 PM   #4
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Lando is right on the money. Sounds to me like your original cycle wasn't over yet and when you added the lion it sent your biological filter into the trash.
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:38 PM   #5
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I'm curious if the "Dead Coral Decoration" is recently dead enough to have something decaying on it, respiking the ammonia levels. Live sand can also end up containing a critter that will not live through transportation and transplanting to an aquarium. It sounds like something or other made your main tank cycle again. You're in for weeks of waiting if that's the case. Just wait it out until your nitrites go back to 0, then do massive water changes to bring your nitrates down.

What is the specific gravity / salt level of your QT? My brine shrimp have a higher salt level than is standard for saltwater fish. How big is your QT? How large is the lion?

I agree that live rock would be a great addition to your tank, especially if you're cycling right now anyway, you can get the pain all out of the way at once.
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Old 09-18-2005, 01:55 AM   #6
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Hey everybody, I appreciate your input. Okie seems like more info is needed here:

Lando: I started the SW about 2-3 months ago. I made a 50% freshwater change then added the salt during the conversion and added the fish at the same day! (ya newbie...tell me about it). I only have the lion and a few crabs in a 55 gal tank with the stock lights and filtration system. I purchases a skimmer and heater. I added live sand on top of the gravel and one dead coral decoration about 2 days ago.

dskidmore: I really believe it might have been the ls or the decoration because the only problem I had before I added those two things to the tank were nitrates were somewhat high and the PH was incredibly low. The S-gravity of my qt is 1.022 about the same I kept the lion in. (UPDATE: I have gotten rid of the shrimp in the qt- I'd rather keep the lion alive than the brine shrimp)

Now My question would be...How long can I keep the lion in qt?? I have a 10 gal qt set up. Anything I can do to speed up the cycling process of my display tank? I have already ordered some live rock and what about the qt? Should I buy some more live sand?
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Old 09-18-2005, 10:18 AM   #7
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It is best to keep the QT substrate free. (Don't go and do anything rash about it until your lion is out of there.) You don't want a sick fish getting sand in his wounds or gills, and you want to be able to catch him easily. Some people put pieces of large diameter PVC pipe in the QT for fish hiding places.

Test the ammonia levels in the QT daily. Do a 50% water change whenever the level is not 0. If the level is above .25, do an additional 50% water change 8-12 hours later. This can get quite expensive with saltwater, but it should keep your lion healthier during the changeover. You may consider asking your LFS to hold him for you while the main tank recycles.
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Old 09-18-2005, 10:37 AM   #8
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That helps, thanks. My advice to you is still the same. Start over. Bring the fish and crabs back, remove all the substrate (FW gravel will simply not work) and get sme LR. Don't forget the book I recommended. Your tank will need to naturally cycle for about 4 weeks before you can start SLOWLY adding fish. Now is a good time to put together a fish wish list and tobegin the a proper QT procedure. Make sure you browse the "Articles" section at the top of the page for good info on how to properly cycle your tank. Lastly, if were relying on the advice of a certain LFS to get you where you are now...find a new one.
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