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Old 09-10-2009, 09:23 AM   #21
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That's alot of fish you had in that tank. Were they added to the tank a little at a time. What was the timeframe. It looks to me that with that amount of fish, Your fish were very stressed. Add to that you had lots of Damsels and that Bi-color psydochromis can be very territorial also. Now add to that you seem to have an ammonia reading and that's where you got your fish dying on you. It's a combination of ammonia, over crowding and fish that need lots more space.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:18 PM   #22
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Unless I'm mistaken, the tank is 150g and has never tested above the .25 mark on his tests throughout the entire timeline listed above. I'm not sure I agree that 13 fish in a 150 is over doing it. Adding the initial 8 would have been a small worry but again it's 150 gallons. Even if the bacteria colony was low, there should have been enough dilution in the 150 gallons to keep the readings super low.

If I remember right, the readings have stayed in the 0-.25 range right? I would be surprised if readings that low would produce long term effects. I'm also surprised that the bacteria colony hasn't ramped up to deal with it either
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:08 PM   #23
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The tank never had more than 17 fish in it. The ammonia never got above 0.5 ppm. The damsels are pretty small, and by every rule I've heard it's a small load for a 165G system, which was the idea.

I thought it was my test kit for a while. It's the Red Sea Marine test kit, but the measurements I got make sense, and I used the same kit to measure the LR I was curing and I got measurements that made sense...
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:10 PM   #24
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The fresh saltwater, made with tapwater, is showing that reading of 0.25ppm also. Seems to me that ammonia is being added at every water change and top off. Granted... 0.25ppm doesn't seem high enough to cause a problem, but that assumes the test is giving accurate results. Looking at that picture of the tube/color chart, that's definitely not zero ammonia. You'd assume the bacterial population would eventually catch up, but if you're constantly adding ammonia then I can see why it wouldn't. I know fish can handle low amounts of ammonia for a short period, but can they handle it for long extended periods? Does the gill damage accumulate over time and evenutally bring the fish down?

Just seems like tap water is a major culprit - who knows what else is in the water that you can't test for.

Also... as an aside... I'd clean out those filters on your HOB every week. Just give them a good rinse in your used SW you're changing out during your water change. If you let them collect gunk and don't rinse them, you're going to start having nitrate issues down the road.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:39 PM   #25
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So, I was thinking along those same lines.. but don't most, if not all, 'water conditioners' also detox ammonia, etc along with chlorine. Not sure what water conditioner you are using. If it does, then the ammonia reading is really a false positive. Ammonium instead of ammonia.

Which would deepen the mystery no?
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:43 PM   #26
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It's a store-brand water conditioner -- Jack's Aquarium and Pets. It's possible... I've been looking into getting an RO/DI unit, so I'll have to do that before I try things again, and maybe try using a different water conditioner.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:45 PM   #27
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Does it say it detoxifies ammonia ?
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:47 PM   #28
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Not sure, and it's at home now so I won't know until tonight...
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:57 PM   #29
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I checked, it doesn't .. just chlorine/chloramines and heavy metals. next run through consider Prime.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:46 PM   #30
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Well, there are six damsels left. Today I put all of my LR into a trash can, covered it up with tank water, and stuck a powerhead in there. Will it take any more effort to keep it live?

Then I caught the six damsels, and put them into a 20G quarantine with the HOB I've been seeding for a couple of weeks now in the refugium. I took the display tank down and unplugged everything, and I'll probably drain the water out of it soon.

I don't think all six will make it, two of them don't look very good, and they all look pretty stressed from the move. I didn't feel like the fish store would have taken any better care of them than I can. I'm going to have family stop by a couple of times while I'm out of town and keep an eye on these guys. I figure if any of them have a chance at making it through (I think at least one will), that this is their best shot.

I've never set up a QT though, and in a week I'll probably need advice on starting again from scratch, so if I'm missing anything then please tell me.
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