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Old 07-16-2003, 06:30 PM   #31
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Is there any question in anyone's mind that that is indeed my problem? I have seen ich on (I believe) four fish now, but the rest of them didn't show any. I'm still worried that I might have two problems. Maybe two types of parasites, or some sort of actual disease, or something.
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Old 07-16-2003, 06:31 PM   #32
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Having no fish will always eliminate the problem. C irritans cannot survive without a fish host. Depending at what stage of the parasite the tank became fishless it can take up to 4 weeks for it to be safe for new fish. I usually recommend waiting 5-6 just to be safe.

The UV will aid in reducing parasitic problems, but I would never rely on them as a cure. Especially for ich. The parasite has three stages of which 2 are attached to the fish or substrate. Only one stage of the parasites life is free swimming and the only time the UV will get a chance at it.

So when you put it into strict numbers UV only have a 33% effectiveness against these kinds of problems.

Cheers
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Old 07-16-2003, 06:37 PM   #33
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Is there any question in anyone's mind that that is indeed my problem? I have seen ich on (I believe) four fish now, but the rest of them didn't show any. I'm still worried that I might have two problems.
I think this is one of your problems and possibly part of the other. I think ReefLady and Steve hit on your other one in each of their respective first posts in this thread. Oxygenation and possibly PH.
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Old 07-16-2003, 06:41 PM   #34
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I assume there is not way to test oxygenation. I can't believe that that is the problem, though, because the filter acts just like an airstone. What would you recommend to solve that? I *devinitely* don't want an actual airstone in my tank if I can possibly avoid it. Plus, I don't have but 3 fish in my tank right now.

As far as the PH goes, I'm going to be taking a water test up to the LFS tonight and having them give me the works since I can only test a few things at home. It's time to stop killing fish and start killing the dang problem!

(Did I mention this forum, and you guys all rule?)
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Old 07-16-2003, 08:10 PM   #35
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Interesting discussion ...

I'll offer a couple more thoughts (opinion only!).

I strongly doubt that your nitrate levels are killing your fish. Most fish can easily tolerate nitrates in the range of 50-100ppm. Corals, inverts, no, but fish, yes. Ammonia/nitrite poisoning can kill fish at low ranges, but not nitrate.

The feeding method concerns me (though I don't think it's your overall problem). I do believe the constant thawing/refreezing could contribute to some sort of toxic bacteria contamination (how many times would you eat hamburg that had been thawed/refrozen)?

Definitely do not *ever* introduce LFS water into your tank.

78F-80F is absolutely fine.

Quote:
These cubes of frozen food are WAY too big for my tank. One could feed my tank for nearly a month. I'd love to have a better way of doing it. What is better to feed with than brine?
Check out this thread: Blender Mush, what do you think.. Way more nutritious & affordable, than brine.

As far as the pH goes, it could still be a factor. It will drop considerably after lights-out, and the fish can pretty much "suffocate" if the levels are too low. Having pH tested by a LFS is an exercise in futility though. I'd snag myself a decent test kit - even better, a pH monitor. For 2 reasons ... pH levels of water in a container (sealed) will drop considerably - (2) - you want to monitor the range of your pH - both morning & night (these levels should be somewhat different) for several days.

Bottom line....

There is a parasite in your tank which is likely the culprit in your fish deaths. Ich, Oodinium, something of the sort. Your best bet would be to set up a hospital tank, and medicate all your remaining fish, and keep them out of the main tank for at least 6 weeks. In this time, the parasite will die off without a host. Also, quarantine any new purchases.

Other factors, whether they be less-than-optimal water parameters, feeding practices, etc., could be issues, but IMO, I doubt they are directly causing the deaths of the fish.

As far as the pH goes, no I would not put an airstone in the tank. If you have sufficient water movement, and the tank is not covered, you should be okay. I would try to test your pH just before your lights turn on in the morning - that should be your lowest level.

Sorry for the lengthy posts - hope it helps a little.
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:17 PM   #36
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Thanks, ReefLady. I still have to bug you, though.

How would you keep the mush between changes? Refridgerate?

I got the water tested in my tank today. Didn't get a copper test, but got the rest of it. Here were the results:

Salinity: 1.0215
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0.2
Nitrates: 10-15
PH: 8.2 (at 7:00 at night)
DkH: 11.5

If what you say is right, my PH must be a little low. How do I get the PH levels back up? I seem to remember being told they're related to DkH levels. Also, there must be something wrong if my nitrates are up already. I've been doing water changes a lot lately.

There's another contradiction between what LFSs tell me and what you guys are telling me that I've run into. What I heard from the LFS is that ammonia is the result of fish waste. Bacteria turn that into nitrites. Another form of bacteria then turn that into nitrates. Nitrates are only eliminated through water changes. Is this incorrect? Is my tank still cycling if all three levels are not zero?

I looked at the one fish who is potentially dying. I might be imagining it, but I think I see little tiny white spots on his tail. He's history.

I would set up a QT tank, but it would be a 10 gallon, with a completely uncycled filter. The cycle would kill the uninfected fish before the infection would.
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:28 PM   #37
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Not bugging...that's why we're here. I just wish I were better at "fish". Ask me a coral or invert question, okay? J/K.

Quote:
How would you keep the mush between changes? Refridgerate?
Not sure what you mean by "changes". I make our mush, place it in a ziploc bag, flatten it out into a "sheet" and freeze it like that. At feeding time, I break off a small piece, thaw it in a small cup of tank water, and feed that to the tank. The rest remains frozen.

Quote:
If what you say is right, my PH must be a little low. How do I get the PH levels back up?
Your level actually doesn't sound that bad. I'd be concerned if your evening levels were 7.8 - 7.9. If you're fluctuating between 8.0 (even 7.9) to 8.2, that is completely acceptable.

Quote:
Nitrates are only eliminated through water changes. Is this incorrect? Is my tank still cycling if all three levels are not zero?
Nirates are eliminated through water changes, and also through a chemical process termed "denitrification". This happens in both LR and a DSB, though the sand bed is far more efficient at denitrification than is LR. Denitrification is the conversion of nitrates to harmless nitrogen gas.

Quote:
but I think I see little tiny white spots on his tail. He's history.
Again, an underlying parasite/disease has got to be the problem here.

Quote:
I would set up a QT tank, but it would be a 10 gallon, with a completely uncycled filter. The cycle would kill the uninfected fish before the infection would.
I hear you, and agreee. Keep in mind that a 10g is the 'standard" size for a Q-tank. The cycling issue I understand, though. I guess I mentioned a Q tank more as a future thing. Not sure what to do at this point - how many fish do you have remaining? Any chance the LFS could house them in a hospital tank temporarily?
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Old 07-16-2003, 10:16 PM   #38
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When I said "changes," I meant "feedings." Aparently the "mush" is in my brain.

I have nitrogen bubbles all over in my tank. They are going to the surface constantly and always have been. It took the tank a cool two months to cycle, and it's only 42 gallons. The guy at the LFS was baffled as to why it was taking so long. Perhaps the cause of all the ammonia is still there. My sand bed is only like 2" deep, though. Is that enough to qualify as a DSB? Will it do any good in terms of getting rid of nitrates?

I doubt that I could bring the fish to the LFS for a hospital stay, and even if I could, I wouldn't. Green chromis are $5 a piece, and the stay would cost more. The bi-color blenny I have would hurt my feelings, though, if he died. Maybe I'll put the two chromis in the QT tank to cycle, and if the blenny lasts that long, I'll move him over to it.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:57 AM   #39
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My sick fish died tonight. I began thinking about the whole QT tank idea, and every idea I come up with sounds like a bad one. I can't imagine how upset I would be if I spent 6 weeks with my two fish in a QT tank (that they would likely die in because it would cycle, and be a terrible environment for them for such a long period), and when they went back in the main tank my fish were still dying left and right. I'd give up on the hobby right there, at this point. Anyway, I've come up with some alternate ideas that may or may not be equally likely to kill the parasites I might have, but will be a lot easier on my impatience, at least...

1) Put the fish in the QT tank and hope they live. Then drain the main tank's water down to the top of the live rock (would remove about 65% of the water from the tank), take the biomedia out of the filter and let it free float in the tank, slow the pump on the 9 watt UV sterilizer down to 50 gph, and let that sit for two weeks. I figure with less water, and more exposure time, the sterilizer would knock it out faster. Then put the fish back in after two weeks and see how things are.

2) Wait to see if the bi-color blenny I recently added will survive the ich. If so, great, if not, flush him. Then leave either the one remaining chromis or both of them in the tank for the 6 weeks. If they don't get sick in that long, assume the tank is good to go. During that time, I can set up a QT tank, add a cycle fish, and once the tank is cycled, add one new fish to keep me entertained. A longhorn cowfish can keep me happy for a long time.

Or, I can just do what you guys suggest and hope for the best. I'd be SO angry if 6 weeks was wasted, though. I just can't decide what to do.
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:09 AM   #40
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Sorry for the loss!!

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Originally Posted by Gauge
Or, I can just do what you guys suggest and hope for the best. I'd be SO angry if 6 weeks was wasted, though. I just can't decide what to do.
A QT for all new arrivals as well as any fish that become sick after the fact is still always the best method.

A QT does not really need to cycle. It just needs some of the filter media from the main tank to kick start the bio filtration. A simple corner filter, heater and a power head. Plus possibley water from the main tank to match PH and salinity. You are overthinking the situation. This is not a new ecosystem you are setting up but simply a short layover for the fish.

You may think the fish do not like it but placing them into the main tank right away and possibley losing the new arrival plus all other fish in the main display seems much worse to me. The plan you state above will not really do much if anything.

Hyposalinity or copper treatment is your only real choice and both must be done in a QT environment. Please make the correct descission for the right reasons.

Cheers
Steve
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