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Old 11-16-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
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Unhappy Please tell me I didn't blow it... (hyposalinity)

My blue spotted jawfish appears to have marine velvet and my gramma has ich so I read up on QT tanks and hyposalinity, got everything set up, and then caught the two fish yesterday.

The QT consists of a new 10 gallon tank with a small HOB filter and a heater. I used a piece of sponge that was in my main tank's sump for the filter and the ammonia tested at 0 this morning so I'm hoping the tank doesn't need to cycle. I'll keep an eye on that.

I read Steven Pro's article about Ich treatment and decided to go the hyposalinity route. It mentioned that getting the fish used to the higher SG before putting them back in the tank (once disease free) should be done very gradually, but there was nothing about getting them used to the lower salinity of the QT so I set the tank up using water from the main tank dilluted to 1.010 with RO/DI and brought it to 78 degrees. The fish went right from one tank into the other.

This morning the gramma looks fine but the jawfish is breathing heavy (they've been in since yesterday afternoon). I then got curious about the salinity thing and read another article that said you should gradually lower it over the course of 72 hours. I just added some tank water to the QT to bring it back up to 1.015 and I'll leave it there for a day or two before bringing it back down to 1.010. I'm afraid that changing the level too much will be more stressful than just leaving it alone.

Have I totally blown it??? Please tell me my beautiful jawfish will survive this??!! :-(
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:04 PM   #2
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YES, YOU BLEW IT!
Now take a deep breath cause I was just kidding. Lowering the SG too fast is stressfull to fish. Not as bad as raising it too fast. I took 3 days to lower the SG on my QT tank. You should have started with the same SG as the tank and then lowered it over a 3 day period. Now that you are somewhere in between, keep lowering each day till you are at 1.009.

Are there any other fish in the tank, or do you only have two fish?
Your sig lists "3 false percs, 2 bangaii cardinals, 1 condei wrasse, 1 blue spotted jawfish" but no gramma! If you still have all these fish THEY ALL NEED TO GO INTO THE QT TANK and be treated with Hyposalinity.

If you do not remove all fish from the main tank you will never rid the tank of the Ich parasite.

One in the QT tank you will need to be prepared to do 2x/daily partial water changes of 20% - 50% to keep the water parameters in check. That many fish in a 10 gallon tank can produce a lot of stress and waste. Feed lightly, give them lots of pvc parts for hiding places and watch the pH level too. That's why I recommend 2x daily pwc's for the first couple of weeks.

Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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Velvet kills fast if that's what it is. Starts in the gills, so you can't see it when it first does damage. Good luck with him, but if he's breathing fast and does have velvet, I'm not optimistic. So, I really hope we're both wrong.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:23 PM   #4
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In the sticky post in the sick fish forum there is a description of the two most common marine bacterial infections as either looking like sugar crystals (ich) or like baby powder (velvet). The gramma has tiny white spots on his forehead and fins. The jawfish has an area on each side of his body that looks white and powdery. My research on the topic is quite limited and I could have jumped to conclusions. Hopefully the hyposalinity won't exacerbate the problem if I've diagnosed incorrectly.

The wrasse looked like he had a few tiny specks on his head and fin so I just caught him and put him in the QT. There are now five more fish in the main tank (three clowns and two cardinals) and none are showing any signs of ich. Can I wait until they do - in case they don't? What if I'm wrong about the ich? And can eight fish really live in a 10 gallon tank for 6-8 weeks??? If so, shouldn't I add a couple at a time so the filter can adjust?

And what do I do if the pH drops?

Thank you for your patience. I am apparently destined to learn everything the hard way.
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:20 AM   #5
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The short story is that as long as there are fish in your display tank, you won't be able to rid it of ich - even if the remaining fish look healthy. You can treat just a few of the fish for 6-8 weeks, and return them to the main - but most likely the ich is still there and it may or may not get your fish sick again.

And I agree... 8 fish in a 10g tank sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Regarding pH... that's a tough one with hypo. In the beginning, I used the alkalinity portion of my 2-part Ca/alk solution to try and keep the pH "normal". But the tough part of that is that the salinity is so low, your colors on the pH test will not be anything that really matches your color charts. The colors I ended up with on my API test kit were sort of in between the "saltwater" chart and the "freshwater" chart. Makes sense, since the salinity is so low... but I wasn't really prepared for that little kink. In the end, I just did water changes (with 1.009 water!) every couple days to keep the water pristine and the pH up.

Learning things the hard way just makes it easier for you to relay your lessons to others later on down the road!
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Learning things the hard way just makes it easier for you to relay your lessons to others later on down the road!
I so look forward to the day when I'm posting ANSWERS and not questions!

I just gave the three muskateers some breakfast and they all ate something, even the wrasse who has only been in there since last night. That's encouraging, right?

I have an old 26G I could set up as the QT instead, since there are eight fish total. I just need to pick up a new filter and heater. I think I'll leave the QT at 1.015 until I get everyone in there and then lower it the rest of the way. It's still a big jump from the main tank at 1.025 but I don't want to stress out the three that are already in there any more than I already have by raising it more.

One of my cardinals has been picking on the other and I'm worried about putting them in a smaller tank together. Can one of them live in the QT inside a clear plastic box with holes drilled in it as long as I open it for meals? Or would it be better to run both the 26G and the 10G as QTs and keep them separate? It's twice the work (PWCs) but if it would make a big difference I'll do it. Advice welcome.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:37 PM   #7
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In my opinion, a jump from 1.025 to 1.015 is an awful big jump. Why not set up the 26g at 1.025, then stick the fish from your main in it. Lower the SG a couple points a day and then when you get the 26g tank to 1.015, put in the three fish that are in your 10g that's now at 1.015. That way no one has to experience a big shift in salinity.

Personally, I'd probably run both tanks... but that's easy for me to say since I'm not doing the work like you are!
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:00 PM   #8
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Great suggestion, thank you Kurt.

I'm really struggling with the need to QT the five fish in the main tank that are showing no sign of ich. Now that I understand the whole QT/hospital tank thing I'm ordering supplies so I can set up the 26G at a moment's notice in the future, but it will take a week or two to get it all set up.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:33 PM   #9
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Okay, dumb question. I recognize that cutting corners (not using a QT to begin with) is what got me into this mess so I'm trying to avoid making that mistake again. I ordered an air driven sponge filter for future use and I was going to run it in the sump so it's ready at a moment's notice to set up in my 10G or 26G (it's sized for up to 30G) if needed. My question is - if I put it in the sump right now and the main tank is already cycled, how would it get filled with beneficial bacteria? There's no ammonia to process since the tank is already cycled and there won't be any fish in there for a couple months since they're all in quarantine.

The 10G QT was at .5 ppm ammonia this morning. :-( I guess the sponge I used from the sump didn't have enough bacteria on it to keep up. I did a 50% water change and will continue to do so until the SGs in the two QTs match and then I'll move the three fish over to join their five friends in the 26G. I know I can't keep up w/ 50% PWCs for two tanks, plus maintenance on the main tank.

If I need to do 50% PWCs every day that's 12.5 gallons and my RO/DI unit only produces about a gallon an hour and the water needs to be salted the day before so I need to be organized if I want to stay ahead of the curve. This whole thing is making my head hurt.

Also, if there are no fish in the main tank, don't I still need to feed the clean up crew? There is a brittle star, maybe 8-9 nassarius snails, a blood shrimp, a bunch of hermits, a sally crab, an emerald crab, and about 15 trochus snails. How much and how often would you recommend feeding? There are also 2 zoas and a xenia to feed...
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:32 PM   #10
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The rock and clean up crew should be feed. The bacteria on the rock needs an ammonia source to consume. I'm guessing very lightly every 3-4 days.

Anybody else wanna weigh in on that one? Hard to describe how much to feed to someone IMO.
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