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Old 10-26-2008, 05:54 PM   #1
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Exclamation new tank, all fish died. Please help

I recently set up a thirty gallon tank, we bough it with live coral and sand, we bought it used online, they had an older filter but it seemed to do ok. we first started by adding a blue damsel and sea anemone. Everything seemed to be doing ok so we bought some hermit crabs, sand sifting star, and another damsel. We then bought a maroon clownfish and another sea anemone. We then bought a mandrin goby. We have had this tank approx a month and a half. We replaced the filter with a rena canister. We now read that you cannot quickly add to the bio load which was our mistake. First our sea anemones died, then a crab, then all of our fish in two days. The last is still alive but is breathing on top of the water for awihile. We took it out and know it will die if we cannot put it back in. We now only have our crabs and starfish. We tested the water, ph was low, and nitrate was 20 ppm. We then noticed salinity was lower than usual. 1.020-1.021. it now 1.023 We then changed approx four gallons of water and bough a ph buffer. We do not plan on buying anything for awhile. We were wondering if anyone knows how we can fix this and in time buy some more fish.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:01 PM   #2
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Your nitrates are not extremely high. Yes it would be nice to have them lower but that didnt kill your fish. Your anenome`s died because they need an very mature and stable tank. One that IMO is about a year old. Probably when you aquired this tank the sand got moved around caused a mini spike. That would be my guess. You are going to need some frequent PWC`s to get things back in order. BTW welcome to AA
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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i cant remember if it is anemone's or not.. but if they die, last i checked, they release a toxin in water that, from my understanding will kill anything in it.. but im not sure i got the right animal or not lol
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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First I would get some more test kits. You need to test for ammonia nitrite and nitrate. 20ppm of nitrate is not too high. I'm guessing the sudden increase in bio load overwhelmed the estabilished bacteria colonies and you had a spike in ammonia that caused the deaths.

Get those kits and test your water. Make sure to remove any dead animals from the tank. You are going to have to cycle the tank.

How much LR do you have in the tank and what kind of lighting do you have?
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:09 PM   #5
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Thank you, yeah I actually just read that nitrate was not to high. Ok sorry but I am very new to this and not sure what lr means. We have a marine glow light and a regular florescent.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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How often and how much water do you recommend to change?
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:15 PM   #7
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We have a test kit and tested all of the levels. The only ones off were the ph and I thought nitrate was high but I guess I am not sure. Another thing, how long is a fish safe to stay in a bowl with no filtration, he is not dead yet and we made him some safe water. He was swimming in the tank for a few hours on top of the water. We took him out (I said he was dead because he soon will be I am sure!)
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:18 AM   #8
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In a nutshell, your tank experienced a cycle from the move. If you "cycling" a tank is something new to you, here's a good article:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ank/Page1.html

The mini cycle was cause from junk being released from the sand bed into the water column and rotting. That rotting cause ammonia levels to go up. Ammonia is toxic to fish and coral. The ammonia killed your anemone, and when they go, they can pretty much take down the rest of the tank with them. Your nitrate levels are just an indicator of how much ammonia has been converted to nitrites and then nitrates. I'd actually expect them to be higher from what you describe. You say you tested for ammonia... and it's at 0.0 right now?

Also "lr" means "live rock". Ziggy was asking how much live rock you have in the tank.

Regarding the fish in a bowl... without a biological filter of some sort, the fish will end up in the same mess it came out of - high ammonia levels. And without a powerhead or something rippling the surface or injecting air into the water, oxygen levels will probably drop in short order.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:36 PM   #9
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I agree with Kurt. Put a few pieces of LR in the small tank or a sponge from your filter to provide the biofilter. As Kurt stated, you will want some surface ripple for the O2 exchange.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:34 PM   #10
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Yes I tested ammonia it was normal! Also we got a new filter recently. its a canister filter. Is there a way to over pack it and cause a cutoff of oxygen? Sorry if thats a silly question I am new to all of this!!
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