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Old 11-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
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Sick 6 line wrasse

New to the site and saltwater aquariums. I ha e a 20 gallon tank with live rock and sand. Had 2 clown fish and a six line wrasse. Everything was good for about a week. Came home from work today and one clown was dead and the wrasse is acting very sick. He's gasping and laying on the sand. I scooped him up in the net and when I let him go he took a nose dive straight back into the sand. I set up an emergency qt and put him in it. He is doing the same thing. All my water parameters are good but I did notice a lot more algae in the tank. Any ideas?
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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How old is the tank? Was it cycled? How is the other clown?
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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It's only about a month old. It I was cycled and I had the water tested at the lfs. The other clown is fine.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #4
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How did you cycle? Is there good surface agitation? Are there any other symptoms beyond rapid breathing?
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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Basic cycle. Put the live sand and rock in the aquarium and let it sit until the ammonia nitrate and nitrite levels were 0 did a water change and let it settle. Then added the fish. I have a power head and hang on filter with plenty of agitation. Along with the heavy breathing he is very lethargic and disoriented.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:48 PM   #6
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The cycle needs an ammonia source. That means putting in a shrimp and letting it decompose or dosing with ammonia. The die-off from the live rock, if there was any, is not enough. Were you testing your water and did you see the ammonia rise, followed by nitrites, then a bit of all three and then both ammonia and nitrites ending back at zero with high nitrates? If not, your tank did not cycle. All three should not be zero at the end. That is what regular saltwater bought from the LFS would be.

What are your parameters now? I'm guessing you added fish, your cycle started and you now have ammonia and nitrites, which burn the gils and cause heavy breathing and/or death.

Putting the fish in QT now has it back in an uncycled tank and the ammonia from its waste will start that cycling.
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