I think I just screwed up my tank. I set it up in October. Did everything by the book. After adding some inverts, clean up crew and a few coral frags, I felt confident that everything was progressing well enough so yesterday I bought my first fish - perc clownfish.
I checked out a new LFS
that was recommended to me. I should have known better than to buy anything from the place because I had a crummy feeling, walking in. It was the kind of place that looks like a grimy science lab with experiments in the tanks, you might know the type.
I saw what looked like a healthy clownfish. I asked what they fed it. They said flakes. I asked if they would feed it so I could be sure it was eating and they said no. Yes, I should have walked out but I didn't. The lighting was very poor but I could tell the fish had bright colors, seemed to be swimming around ok, no clamped fins or signs of distress. So I bought it.
I brought it home, acclimated it slowly, netted it and released it in the tank (yes, I should have set up a QT tank but I haven't. Since it would be the only fish in the tank, I thought it would be fine). Mistake number 2 or maybe 3, I'm losing count.
So I get it under my intense metal halide lighting and realize that I made a huge mistake. It looked like this:
I don't have an expert eye for fish disease but I don't like the look of those spots. So I'm thinking it has ich. Am I correct? The picture is blurry. It was moving constantly and the camera flash was harrassing it so this was the best I could do. I can read up on ich remedies but I would like an expert opinion that this fish might have it.
Here are other problems that I'm having.
1. This fish isn't navigating the currents very well in my tank. I didn't realize that the water movement was intense but watching this fish move around is a painful sight. A few minutes ago, I saw it get slammed into a piece of LR
. I've moved the powerhead to stop this from happening but damage may have been done.
2. I saw a thin thread dangling from a gill. I'm thinking this is probably a parasite. I can't get a good picture of it, I've tried. Any thoughts?
3. So now that I've introduced a sick fish into my tank, how do I fix my mistakes? Like I've said, it is the only fish. I don't want to go back into that store because I doubt I would get a refund, this fish would most likely die there and I don't want an exchange because I think the fish there are cared for very poorly.
I'm doing a 20 percent water change this afternoon. Should I do more? As I said, I don't have a QT tank yet. I think the stress of moving the fish again might kill it anyway. Copper based treatments are out because of my inverts. I could jack up the water temp, right now it is about 78 degrees.
On a positive note, the fish is active and exploring. It has not eaten but it has been here less than 24 hours.
Any suggestions? I got the impression that fish would be the easiest creatures to care for in a reef aquarium and that is not the case for me, at this point.