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Old 12-29-2003, 06:24 PM   #1
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q. on treatment to aquarium after loss of fish

We have a 20g breeder tank. We started with two clownfishes at the end of July and added a (very small) regal blue tang in late September, hoping to buy a 65g system after the holidays. The blue tang died in early November and we decided to keep the two clowns alone and see how they did (since they had been fine from July through September without the tang). The smaller clown got sick a couple of times (one time in October and the second time in mid December) and died last week. We now have one clown and nothing else. The clown that is living was literally hovering over the dead clown for an hour until I finally decided I needed to remove him or he would be covered completely in sand. It was the saddest sight!

I am wondering if there we should treat the tank or do partial daily water changes, etc. before adding another clown. It hurts to lose these little creatures and I want to make sure that there isn't some protocol that we're missing by just adding another fish. As always, any response and advice is greatly appreciated.

Ida
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:45 PM   #2
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leaving any dead fish in a tank is a big noooo noooo !! my issue here is why is the clown getting sick !! most of the time ya will have prob when ya first get a new fish but after it clears up and your husbandtry is right and not adding anything new should make for a happy fish for a long time !!! having him keep havin an illness tells me that ya need to watch your water better than ya have before adding anything new !! 20 gallons is soooo small is prob why ya havin prob !! a 65 will help that out issue out some olny if you keep up on it !!
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Old 12-29-2003, 11:33 PM   #3
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I agree, consecutive bouts with any malady should not occur. Healthy conditions appear to me a little off in the tank, which could come from not enough nutrient export (water changes, skimmer, carbon, etc.) and a buildup of nutrients in the tank.

If you have a test kit, please provide your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and PH readings. Also, please provide your means for filtering the tank..and any maintenance you do. Maybe we can find something simple for you to change and be very successful.

Once everything is straightened out, I would suggest making the 20g a nice home just for the clown and a new mate. The regal tang is just too big a fish in the long run that will grow fairly quickly and require a much larger (even larger than 65g) for the long run in no time. A better choice that will be easier on the bioload would be one or a pair of shrimp (my favorite are skunk cleaner shrimp).

Little tanks can be tough, but also really rewarding if you approach their strengths.
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Old 12-30-2003, 06:38 PM   #4
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test results

I use the Salifert test kits. These are my readings today:

Nitrate 10
Nitrite 0.25
Ammonia <0.5
Ph 7.7
KH 14.1 - Alkalinity 5.03

We have two hang-on canister type filters (can get the exact info. from the boxes in the garage if you need to know) and we do a 25% water change every 3-4 weeks. I feed the clownfish flakes and frozen brine shrimp. Again, any input and advice will be appreciated.

Ida
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Old 12-30-2003, 06:54 PM   #5
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PH is low, but other levels appear o.k.

How did the other fish die, i.e. what is the example of "got sick"? Parasite? Fungus? etc.
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Old 12-31-2003, 05:35 PM   #6
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illnesses

Thank you, HoopsGuru, for helping me. The tang appeared to suffer from HLLE and never got better. The smaller clownfish had one episode of a bacteria that was successfully treated with Melafix. The blue tang died two weeks after that. We then had red slime algae that was treated (successfully at first) with Chemi-Clean, but the algae returned one week later. At about that same time, the clownfish developed a bulging white velvety spot above his eye that seemed to get worse with Maracyn and died while we were still treating the tank. The red slime algae is gone, though it now appears brown where it was once purple/red. The remaining clownfish seems to be okay, though lonely perhaps (just laying around alot). Although I'd really like to bring in another clownfish, I want to make sure nothing else dies! Any suggestions?

Ida
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Old 12-31-2003, 05:47 PM   #7
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Nitrite 0.25
Ammonia <0.5
These are not ok Any of these present is enough to kill fish.. My guess is probably due to the Dead fish is why these raised up though.. Most likely the issue would be the Tang that was added was probably infected with Ich like they usually are.. It already being infected it died pretty quick.. The Clowns are relativly hardy and survived alot longer.. My first suggestion is change your water every week would help.. But change it at least twice a month.. A 20gal tank will not take too long to get polluted.. Also what is the Salinity??? I would suggest around 1.024-1.025 and have the temp between 80-82 with it being no higher than 84..

Quote:
Although I'd really like to bring in another clownfish, I want to make sure nothing else dies! Any suggestions?
It this going to be a permenant Fish Only tank.. If so I would get a copper test kit and treat with copper prior for 4 weeks prior to adding any more fish.. You also might want to check out the Quarentine Tank Article in the Articles section.. It is a good measure to take when our fishes life is at stake..

HTH<
James
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Old 12-31-2003, 07:52 PM   #8
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answers and question

James, would these readings be high even a week after the fish died? The clownfish died last Tuesday (12/23). It will always be a fish only tank - probably only the two clownfishes now so we'll look into the copper treatment. We originally anticipated this 20g tank becoming the quarantine tank, but now we have none.

As you mentioned, we will begin changing the water every week. We check the salinity daily and it remains at a constant 1.022 and the temp is also constant at 78.

Ida
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Old 12-31-2003, 08:29 PM   #9
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James, would these readings be high even a week after the fish died
They should have gone down quite a bit in a week if the tank wasnt New.. Which you stated it wasnt.. So a week later they should be lower unless something else is going on with the tank.. Copper Treatment will kill most all if not all parasites in the tank.. The bad thing about copper is it will bind to anything in the tank and make it unsuitable for any sort of Invertabrate or corals so make sure you read alot prior to using Copper so that you know the good/bad about using it... My honest guess is that Ich was introduced when the Tang was added... Tangs are VERy prone to getting Ich..
Quote:
We check the salinity daily and it remains at a constant 1.022
I would slowly when doing the water changes make it .001 higher to raise it to about 1.024-1.025 Its not an urgent thing just yen you do a water change make the change water .001 higher than the tank until its up to 1.024.. Your salinity is fine where its at but I personally think its better for the fish to have them at the natural salinities in the ocean rather than having them at lower salinities..

HTH,
James
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