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Old 07-18-2003, 04:56 PM   #71
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Good times. Thanks a bunch, guys. Now, if I can just figure out a way to net that evasive blenny, this should all run along rather smoothly.

I'll keep checking back if you have any other recommendations or questions.
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-19-2003, 12:17 PM   #72
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I thought I would give you guys an update on the progress thusfar. I bought a heater and put it in the 10-gallon tank to keep it around 80 degrees. I put the sponge filter (which sat in the backpack filter on the main tank for a day) in the tank with a couple free-floating bioballs, and the biowheel from the penguin filter (which also sat in the backpack filter for a day). Hopefully this will be enough biofiltration to keep the ammonia and nitrites within the realm of reason.

There were certainly a fair number of hickups, though. When I moved the fish, I wasn't able to keep from stressing them really badly. The chromis wasn't too tough to move, but the blenny was a serious problem. I could NOT get that bugger out of the rock in my main tank. So, I waited until he landed on one of my rocks that didn't have a hole he could go all the way back into, and I just picked it up and threw it in the QT tank. I couldn't acclimate him because the rock was too large. Then, when he left the rock for a second, I snatched it out and threw it back in the main tank. I figure in doing this, I killed the blenny by not acclimating him, but I didn't know what to do. I could either continue chasing him for a few MORE hours and stressing him that way, or I could not acclimate him and throw him in a tank with equal salinity and temp (I checked before deciding to do this.) I didn't have any PVC stuff yet, so to give him something to hide in, I put a few opaque shotglasses in the tank (nice touch, eh?).

This morning the invincible chromis seems to still be invincible, but the blenny is breathing fast. I put the copper in the tank, and I'm aiming for .17ppm. The directions on the bottle said .15 to .20 is where it should be for about two weeks. This sound right?

I had a couple questions about the death of fish that came to mind, and I thought I'd run them by you guys...

1) Do fish ever recover when they reach the stage where they breathe fast and sit still?
2) Do fish always breathe fast for at least a few hours before they expire? All mine have so far.
3) If the answer to #2 is no (i.e. they do other things while dying sometimes), what other things do they do while dying?
4) Which things (from #3) indicate which types of causes of death?
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-19-2003, 12:32 PM   #73
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Oh, another update I forgot to include earlier...

Remember how my nitrites were at 0.1 a few days ago when I got my water tested? The reason I didn't notice that with my home test is that the scale goes up 0.25 each step. 0.1 really looks like 0.0 if you hold it up to the little chart. So, I did a nitrite test on tap water to find a zero to compare it to. You can certainly see the difference between the two and it's still 0.1. The last time I fed was around noon on thursday. That's approaching 48 hours ago. The fish have been out of the tank for about 12 hours. The nitrites haven't budged. This sound odd to anyone? Isn't 0.1 nitrites supposed to be potentially lethal to fish? Would it make sense that the one chromis I have that hasn't died just got used to it?
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:13 PM   #74
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You should leave the bio balls in the new filter. They will need a little more time to colonize properly and the main tank won't miss 2. Keep in mind that they can never be used in the main display after though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge
I could either continue chasing him for a few MORE hours and stressing him that way, or I could not acclimate him and throw him in a tank with equal salinity and temp (I checked before deciding to do this.)
That is why it is highly recommended to syphon water out from the main tank to fill the QT tank. In cases where fish are hard to catch or re-acclimate to the new tank, it allows the possibility to skip that step without further damage to the animal. Slalinity and PH will have already been matched. Then all you need to is watch the temp for a few hours to ensure stability prior to transfering fish.

Quote:
I didn't have any PVC stuff yet, so to give him something to hide in, I put a few opaque shotglasses in the tank (nice touch, eh?).
Anything similar will work, just becareful with glass objects. Your safety is equally important.

Quote:
This morning the invincible chromis seems to still be invincible, but the blenny is breathing fast. I put the copper in the tank, and I'm aiming for .17ppm. The directions on the bottle said .15 to .20 is where it should be for about two weeks. This sound right?
Really depends on which copper treatment you have but I would keep it just shy of 0.19ppm. You also need to monitor the levels a few times a day and replenish the amount if/when water changes are needed.

Quote:
I had a couple questions about the death of fish that came to mind, and I thought I'd run them by you guys...

1) Do fish ever recover when they reach the stage where they breathe fast and sit still?
Yes, it really depens on the cause. Stress, illness, low PH, poor O2 or aggression are the main causes and all are "fixable".

Quote:
2) Do fish always breathe fast for at least a few hours before they expire? All mine have so far.
No, but it is a sure sign of a problem if continuous.

Quote:
3) If the answer to #2 is no (i.e. they do other things while dying sometimes), what other things do they do while dying?
In new fish this can be especially hard (unless obvious damage of parasite) but after you have had the fish for a bit of time you will become accustom to normal behavior patterns. Changes in these patterns more often than not will be the first signs of a problem. Darting and dashing, scraping, rapid breathing, surface gulping, improper swimming patterns, bumping into objects and so on. The list is quite extensive.

Quote:
4) Which things (from #3) indicate which types of causes of death?
They can all be interconected and there are to many to give a coherent list. I would suggest reading as much as possible and become familiar with the basics. Hopefully you will never have much need for them though :P

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:34 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge
Oh, another update I forgot to include earlier...

Remember how my nitrites were at 0.1 a few days ago when I got my water tested? The reason I didn't notice that with my home test is that the scale goes up 0.25 each step. 0.1 really looks like 0.0 if you hold it up to the little chart. So, I did a nitrite test on tap water to find a zero to compare it to. You can certainly see the difference between the two and it's still 0.1. The last time I fed was around noon on thursday. That's approaching 48 hours ago. The fish have been out of the tank for about 12 hours. The nitrites haven't budged. This sound odd to anyone? Isn't 0.1 nitrites supposed to be potentially lethal to fish? Would it make sense that the one chromis I have that hasn't died just got used to it?
Nitrites can be a potential concern but keep in mind the QT has just been set up and with the bio balls left in (as suggested) the nitrosomonas and nitrobacters that convert ammonia and nitrite will multiply quickly and should make it less of a concern. Nitrite does not kill immediately. It inhibits/prevents hemoglobin from absorbing O2 and the fish actually begins to suffoctae. It can actually destroy the hemoglobin. Proper water movement and aeration is imperative. Keep some change water on hand properly aerated at the correct temp, PH and salinity just in case.

Nitrite levels of 0.1 are only lethal if left for prolonged periods of time. It should subside before any real damage is done. Keep a close watch on it. Do you have a water conditioner handy for emergencies?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:39 PM   #76
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Excellent info., Steve ~ thank you for sharing your knowledge with everyone.
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Old 07-19-2003, 02:19 PM   #77
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When it rains, it pours. The chromis is also respirating fast. He looks like day one on the three-day death cycle my fish always follow. I have a lot of concerns pulling me in different directions on what to do next. My concerns are these...

1) My main tank's nitrites have been 0.1 for a long time, I'm guessing. My tank took TWO MONTHS to cycle, and all this time I have been assuming the nitrites were 0 when in fact they were higher than that. The reason I couldn't tell was stated in my last reply. This could be the cause of the deaths of my fish because one managed to live for a long time (got used to it), and the others always died within a few days, but never immediately.

2) Some of my fish DID show signs of ich, but only about 1 in 3. Everyone keeps telling me that ich doesn't kill before showing, or at least does that very very rarely. Thus, there's no way ich is my only problem, right? Plus, I haven't seen any signs of it for about a week and a half now in any of my fish.

3) I want fish.


Does anyone have any suggestions on attacking the nitrite problem in my main tank? According to everything I've heard since I started this hobby, this shouldn't be happening. The amount of waste in the tank (that I'm aware of) has stayed constant for the most part and the bacteria population should catch up, right? Why would it just hang at 0.1?
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-19-2003, 03:02 PM   #78
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I would urge you to take a good size sample of your top off water and tank water to the LFS and have them run the "standard" tests. The kits you are using may be faulty or inaccurate. This may help shed some light on matters as well as some tests you may not have on hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge
The only test kits I have at home are pH, DkH, and Nitrites
You are missing some of the basics here and I am also wondering if there is an ammonia source. I still strongly suspect llow water flow which will in turn mean improper pH and low O2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge
I have a fish that's dying. He's about to be one of MANY fish I have lost in the last two months. I've had the tank going for about 4 months now, and it took a good 2 months to cycle.

2 longhorn cowfish (both showed)
10 chromis
2 percula clowns (neither showed)
1 sebae clown (didn't show)
This IME, is moving a little too quickly and may have possibley overloaded the bio filter and not allowed the bacteria to keep up.

After reading the entire thread over again, I could not find mention of anything that would allow for the proper dentrification process save a skimmer. No mention of sustrate type/depth or LR and amount. I am leaning towrds not enough.

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Old 07-19-2003, 03:04 PM   #79
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Oh, I also noticed the only thing in the QT moving water is the sponge filter. You really should add a small PH to allow suface aggitation and help with higher O2 levels.

Cheers
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Old 07-19-2003, 08:26 PM   #80
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Quote:
I would urge you to take a good size sample of your top off water and tank water to the LFS and have them run the "standard" tests. The kits you are using may be faulty or inaccurate. This may help shed some light on matters as well as some tests you may not have on hand.
I took a water sample to the LFS a few days ago, and here were the results:

Nitrates: 10-15
Nitrites: 0.1 (which my test agrees with, but I didn't previously know for reasons stated above)
Ammonia: 0
PH: 8.2

Any other tests they charge for. According to my DkH test, it's 12.

Quote:
You are missing some of the basics here and I am also wondering if there is an ammonia source. I still strongly suspect llow water flow which will in turn mean improper pH and low O2.
What would be a source of ammonia? I don't have any fish in the tank as of about 18 hours ago, I haven't fed as of about 60 hours ago, and all that's in my tank is inverts, a few corals, rock, sand, and water. Shouldn't the bacteria have been able to knock out that 0.1 nitrite level by now considering it's had a steady 2-3 fish load on fish it for about three weeks?

Quote:
This IME, is moving a little too quickly and may have possibley overloaded the bio filter and not allowed the bacteria to keep up.
These were all added over a period of two months. For the vast majority of that time there were 2-3 fish in there. I tried to keep the load on the tank a constant so it would level out and stay that way.

Quote:
After reading the entire thread over again, I could not find mention of anything that would allow for the proper dentrification process save a skimmer. No mention of sustrate type/depth or LR and amount. I am leaning towrds not enough.
I'm sorry about that. I can't seem to keep track of which threads I list this in and which ones I haven't yet. I have the following in/on my tank:

2" sand bed (about 50 pounds worth, 0.7-1.3mm according to the bags)
15-20 pounds of rock
CPR Backpack 2 filter
UV Sterilizer w/ 100gph pump

I may be a complete newbie at this, but even I know this is enough filtration to keep up with 3 inches of fish in the tank. So, there's either a problem with the bacteria population or a huge, unknown source of ammonia. Any ideas on either of those, or a third possibility?

Quote:
Oh, I also noticed the only thing in the QT moving water is the sponge filter. You really should add a small PH to allow suface aggitation and help with higher O2 levels.
Yeah, I put my last spare PH in there. It's 100gph, but slowed to about half that. The blenny is dead now, and the chromis is still respirating fast. I put some copper in the tank and decided to wait a while before adding some more (because it's only at 0.10ppm so far), but at this point I just think there's no way to save the chromis. Nor do I think it's a terribly worthwhile venture. He's doing exactly what the other 20 fish did before they died. He shows no signs of disease of any kind. Would you agree that it would be a waste of copper since (if and when he dies) I'm just going to take the QT tank down, mix new water, add a cycle fish, and keep it going after that for new fish?

By the way, I really really appreciate everyone's help. I'm a little frustrated, so if I sound upset, it's because I am. If I'm rude, I apologise in advance, and please point it out. I try to keep my frustration under control at lease while writing posts.
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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