Reaching out in grief
We are joining your community a bit late. We've had an 80 gallon tank for over a year, with a family of 9 fish and 3 inverts, and lots of live rock. We upgraded the light system from what we'd inherited about two months ago, hoping to add corals some day. All fish in the tank were reef friendly except the boxfish. We knew someday we'd have to trade him in and we knew he posed a danger to the other fish. After our light upgrade the algae growth in the tank increased, making cleaning more of a challenge. We plan to add a refugium and invest in a protein skimmer, so we thought that move would put the tank back in balance. Before that happened though, the boxfish showed symptoms of ich, salt all over him. We tried to treat it without chemicals at first, raising the temperature and vacuuming really well. When he didn't get better in a week, but was still swimming normally and eating, we decided to add Kick Ich to the tank. The symptoms then spread to the sail fin tang and coral beauty angel fish. After a few days of that treatment, the boxfish took a nose dive and died while I was at work. That was about six days ago. Since then each fish has died, one after another. We took the yellow wrasse out this morning and buried the blenny yesterday. Both clowns died Tuesday. We lost the passers angel Wednesday. The urchins, lobster and conch seem fine. We're despondent. My husband is testing the water now. Our nitrates and nitrates are high but ammonia level is normal. Where do we go from here? How do we know live rock is ok? Ich seemed to only affect tang and boxfish in the end. Could the boxfish's death have poisoned the other fish? Why wouldn't they have all died at once? We appreciate your advice.