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Old 12-27-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
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One Dead and One Sick Black and White Striped Damsel

Hi Aquarium Advice,
I recently set up a new 75 gallon tank. I purchased the tank about 3 weeks ago, set it up, and then just four days ago purchased some fish. When I purchased the tank, I immediately loaded it up with every good thing I could think of. I purchased live rock, wet, live sand, bio-spira bacteria start up fluid...ect. I also placed two snails and two hermit crabs in at the initial set up. A week later yet, I tested my levels and all read zero. Still, I chose to wait, and two and a half weeks after setting up the tank, with my tank reading 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate, as well as ideal in Ph (8.3) and salinity (1.024), I decided it was time to buy fish. I purchased quite the load: 2 white striped damsels, 1 yellow tail damsel, 1 blue damsel, a clark clownfish and a long tentacled anemone, as well as a cleaner and a peppermint shrimp, an emerald crab, and more various other crabs and snails. After rushing home from the store, a 2 hour drive, I floated them in their bags, in the tank for 45 minutes, and then removed the bags and placed each one in. Overall, the tank has been flourishing. Besides a slight diatom bloom the tank has really been flourishing.

1. How long have you had the fish? Do you know if it was wild caught, or tank raised?
The fish have been in my ownership in my tank for four days.
2. How long has the fish been in the tank? What are the tank mates? Any aggression?
The fish has been in the tank for 4 days. There has been very little aggression, all the other fish are relatively small, like this fish; 1-1.5 inches. The clownfish is slightly aggressive only when other fish approach the anemone. However, is still has been relatively mildly mannered.
3. Is the fish eating? If so what does it eat?
This is one of the largest problems. The fish that passed away, was not eating for two days before its death. The alive but sick damsel was doing great earlier, eating a good amount of food and being very active, not to reclusive. Now it will not eat any. The deceased striped damsel was reclusive from the get-go. The fish at both "Prime Reef Flakes" and frozen brime shrimp, as well as one night a little frozen algae
4. What are the water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, SPG? (actual numbers please: posting high, average or normal is not helpful) What saltwater test kit are you using?
The current levels are very nice, Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 PH: 8.2-8.4 SPG: 1.024. I have both strips and a chemical kit but I recently have been using the strips, they were just purchased
5. Is the fish showing any physical signs of disease, grain of salt size spots, discoloration, ragged fins, misting or spots on the fins, cuts, cloudy eyes, etc?
The fish has no Ich, and honestly no physical injuries. It appeared the same with the deceased--great physical condition.
6. Is the fish "flashing" (scratching or rubbing on rocks, decorations or substrate)?
The fish is not flashing but is not swimming and is just resting on the reef floor.
7. How is the fish acting? Is it swimming around, or just hovering in one spot or corner of the tank?
The fish is just either hovering in one spot or more often laying on the floor or resting there.
8. Did you use quarantine? If so for how long and did you have a need to treat for any ailments? Is it in qt now? Are you currently treating with any medication(s)?
I just quarantined the second, still alive damsel, and I am not using any medication.
9. Describe in detail how the fish was acclimated.
Being a brand new tank, the fish was floated in its bag on the tank water for 45 minutes, then it was directly placed into the new, unpopulated tank
10. What size system? What type of filtration do you use? Do you have any live rock or sand?
I recently set up a new 75 gallon tank. I purchased the tank about 3 weeks ago, set it up, and then just four days ago purchased some fish. When I purchased the tank, I immediately loaded it up with every good thing I could think of. I purchased live rock, wet, live sand, bio-spira bacteria start up fluid...ect. I use a 100 gal. canister filter, no sump. Protein skimmer was just set up.
11. Do you use any additives? Have you used any sort of meds in the main tank?
I have not used any additives yet, although I have some.

I appreciate anybody reading this, it bothers me that this is happening and I would just like to know what went wrong. Also, it may matter, at the petstore where I purchased these, a few others appeared to be similarly sick as well. These were the healthy and active ones (or so it appeared). Is this species perhaps prone to this?
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:44 AM   #2
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First off welcome to AA

Quote:
I purchased quite the load: 2 white striped damsels, 1 yellow tail damsel, 1 blue damsel, a clark clownfish and a long tentacled anemone, as well as a cleaner and a peppermint shrimp, an emerald crab, and more various other crabs and snails. After rushing home from the store, a 2 hour drive, I floated them in their bags, in the tank for 45 minutes, and then removed the bags and placed each one in. Overall, the tank has been flourishing. Besides a slight diatom bloom the tank has really been flourishing.
thats quite a lot of fish to add all at once your tank isn't ready for that big a load to be thrown out at it all at once

you most likely are undergoing ammonia poisoning by the symptoms your describing

wouldn't be surprised if you were experiencing another mini cycle

nothing good happens fast

good things only happen when you go slow
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:55 AM   #3
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Thank you very much, I had a feeling this might be the problem. The only thing I was just curious about is why would this not register in my tests? Thats the confusing part to me. Do you think it could be stress related too?
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:41 AM   #4
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Also maybe poor acclimation? The drip method would have been better, especially for the nem. How is that doing? I just purchased a new fish from my LFS and out of curiosity I tested the water it came in the bag and the salinity was really low compared to my tank! Just a thought...
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Already mentioned, but floating bags does not do much for acclimation. Read up on drip acclimation and do that moving forward. That allows the fish to adjust slowly to your tanks parameters versus where they came from (which is often not the same).

Also...that was a lot to add all at once. I usually do no more than two at a time and then wait a few weeks.

Are you sure the tank even cycled? It sounds like you only tested once, but never saw spikes? I would not assume it happened in that one week. The bottled bacteria might not have been good. Seeing all zeros for parameters in a new tank seems off to me, especially after adding all those fish. Maybe your kit is bad?
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