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Old 01-11-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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New additions keep dying...

I have had my 80 gallon tank for about 4 years now, before that I had a 55 gallon for about 5 years and a 25 gallon about a year before that so I've been keeping reef tanks for about 10 years now. Recently I moved and had to tear down my tank and move it about an hour and a half away to my new location. It was a complete reef tank with 2 fish in it and mostly LSP, Leathers, mushrooms and a rose bulb anemone, however, I decided I wanted to try something new and get more fish so I gave away most of my coral. I have now been set up for about 5 months in my new location but have been having major problems keeping any new fish alive for more than a week or so. I moved only a large leather, one rose bulb, and a couple of ricordia; my one fish I kept however didn't survive the move.

After about 2 weeks I started to add new fish, starting with a cinnamon clown, and then a week later a regal and yellow tang. The yellow tang lasted only about a week, but the regal tang and the clown are very healthy, and after attempting to add 5 other fish over the months, are the only fish I can keep alive.

At first I thought it may be the livestock at my LFS so I started to try other stores, but got the same results. I unfortunately live in an apartment and don't have room for a qt tank, but I acclimate them on a drip for about an hour, and am good about observing them in the stores before I buy them so I can't figure out what is going on. My tank params are all within the normal ranges, and my current livestock is extremely healthy, my rose bulb has actually split 3 times since the move leading me to believe its not anything having to do with water quality. I'm just at a loss here and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:54 PM   #2
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First of all an anenome splitting is no guarantee that you have good water quality. Sometimes anenome`s split because of bad water quality trying to keep the species going because they sense trouble. So I would not assume good water quality. What I would do is test your water and post the numbers here. Did you re use the old sand when you moved? I`m thinking that if you did that you are having an ammonia spike and that`s the problem. Anyway post your numbers so we can rule that out. BTW welcome to AA
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:06 PM   #3
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These are my params as of 10 min ago...

SG - 1.021
Temp - 80
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
PH - 8.1

The only reason I look at my Rose Bulb is because after my move it was bleached out and stringy and now they are all very full and have retained all of their color and look very healthy.

I did reuse my sand bed but was very careful not to stir it up, I even moved the tank with the sand still in the tank. Any ideas?
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:12 AM   #4
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How are they dieing? I mean... do you just find them dead on the bottom? Or do are they gasping at the top? Do they look like anything is nipping at them? Kinda wondering if the Cinnamon Clown isn't harrassing/killing the newcomers. What type of fish did you add that died?
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:09 AM   #5
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I have had two yellow tangs, a flame angel, a rock blenny, and a pearlscale butterfly. The weird thing is is that they all looked fine and healthy the night before, and then they are just gone in the morning. The only one I've seen the morning of is a yellow tang, which looked pretty bad. Its top fin looked deteriorated, its was very thin, had a large white spot on its side where its scales looked like they had fallen off, and just looked like death. It hid behind the rocks for a while, then sat on the bottom, then attracted the attention of my brittle star. It looked fine the day before though and had been eating and didn't show any signs of stress. I never saw the clown picking on it or nipping at it or anything.

Any ideas?
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:56 AM   #6
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Sounds like Nemo the Ripper. He may not do damage in front of you but he could be a nasty little guy behind closed doors. I looked him up and he looks like a Tomato Clown in body colouration. They are known to be nasty clowns. I'm not positive it is a Tomato though so don't take my word for it. The Brittle Star may be cleaing up the fish for your Clown by eating them. This is truely baffling. Keep us updated and we keep trying to help!
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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Yes it sounds like your new fish are being stressed out by one of your dominant clowns. Clowns are damsels and can be territorial and just plain nasty at times. I'm interested in knowing how you got your nitrates so low in such a short time after your move.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDainHanson View Post
... It looked fine the day before though and had been eating and didn't show any signs of stress. I never saw the clown picking on it or nipping at it or anything.

Any ideas?
If there's no slow decline of the fish health, but just "one day it's there, next day it's gone"... sure sounds like you have something in the tank killing it quick. Then your cleanup crew is doing its job well enough that the evidence is gone by morning. I'd either suspect the Cinnamon Clown, or maybe you have a Mantis Shrimp somewhere in the tank? I'd doubt that though, since there haven't been any new rock additions to the tank - just reusing old existing rock.

Do you have anyway of isolating or quarantining the clown, then adding your next fish and seeing if it stays alive? If it dies like all the rest, then you can at least rule out the clown.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:00 AM   #9
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I think Ive figured out how to set up a qt tank in my closet. Im going to try removing the clown before I ad my next fish and see what happens. If it is the clown, how long before I can reintroduce it into my main tank? And will it be necessary to move the rock around so territories cant be established?


Quote:
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I'm interested in knowing how you got your nitrates so low in such a short time after your move.
Well I tried very hard not to disturb my sand bed, kept all of my rock moist or submerged, and even reused about 40 gallons of the water when I moved it. Since then I have been doing all my water changes and adding my top off with ro/di water with pretty much no nitrates in it and have pretty nice equipment running to make sure everything gets really good water flow and gets removed. Other than that its just the system doing its job I guess.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDainHanson View Post
I think Ive figured out how to set up a qt tank in my closet. Im going to try removing the clown before I ad my next fish and see what happens. If it is the clown, how long before I can reintroduce it into my main tank? And will it be necessary to move the rock around so territories cant be established?
To be safe, after you have purchased every other fish you are going to buy. That way it can't make a territory of it's own and aggresively defend it from new fish.
Here's an example:
At the LFS were I do work experience we lost 80% of the DT fish and are replacing them slowly. We placed a large (10cm long 15cm high) Bannah Fish in there. A damsel (3cm long) attacked it when it entered it's territory and did some damage on it by removing a lot of it's scales.

Clowns are a kind of Damsel.
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