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Old 09-03-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
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strange stuff, confused??

I have a 55 gal FOWLR that is 6 months old. 2 occy clowns, 1 royal gramma basslet, 1 diamond sleeper goby that I added a week ago and some crabs and snails.

Current API water test reads:

PH: 8 - 8.2
Ammo: 0
NO2: 0
NO3: 40-60 ppm
SG: 1.022

I do not currently have a protein skimmer (my next purchase), or a sufficient filter so I buy salt water for 10% bi-weekly water changes and RO/DI for top offs from my LFS.

I was also considering getting an anenome for the clowns and possibly starting to consider some easy beginner corals so I wanted to prepare the tank and get the water as good as possible. According to my LFS I had phosphates a little too high and the water changes were not bringing them down so we added PHoslock about two weeks ago. I tested the water when I got the goby (last week) and they said it was looking really good, the phosphates were down to near zero- and they said the phoslock will continue to bring it down.

Ok so I bring the Goby home, acclimate him by floating him in the tank and slowly add my water to the bag every 15 minutes for about two hours. As soon as he came out he went right to work and started digging tunnels all over the place and doing his thing. Tank mates were fine and everyone was doing great- eating, swimming around, the whole 9 yards.

Then about 3 days later (last Wednesday) I noticed a turbo and a mexican turbo snail died. I didn't think much of it just figured because we lowered the phosphates and added the goby that they probably starved. Then the next day a scarlet hermit was dead so I went in to have the water tested and everything was apparently perfect.

Then yesterday I added two powerheads, korlia 1050 and 750. The tank previously had no flow except for the return coming in from the hob filter which is pretty much nothing. As soon as I put them I turned them on and played around with the positioning until I felt it was good and left them on the rest of the day. The clowns looked like they were struggling a little but seemed to be happy so I didn't change anything. Then last night I saw the gramma really struggling with the current and only coming out of her hole for a few seconds and going back in so I turned the 750 off for the night.

This morning the gramma was on her back in the corner, still breathing but looking bad. I turned off the other powerhead and the lights and she swam around the tank and into a hole in a rock. I fed the fish and the gramma didn't come out to eat, the other fish all looked great. For the brief moment I saw her there was either sand or white spots all over her top half. I've checked throughout the day (found where she's hiding and can just see the tail) and she's been resting in there all day.

Finally around 7 tonight as I was in the living room I saw her come out but she was swimming super erratic and breathing fast, twitching as well. Did not see any spots though. Then she swam back in her hole and hasn't come out. That's when I tested the water for the results above.

I guess I'm wondering if the new fish and the powerheads totally stressed the fish out? Were the white spots Ich? Any suggestions or advice is welcome. Sorry for the super long post I wanted to include all background information.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
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Now the larger clown has the small white spots on her head. She is still swimming around and eating. From what I've read I guess it's marine ich.

The gramma is still hiding in her hole and not eating.

Suggestions on treatment would be helpful I do not have any corals to worry about while treating the tank.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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Well, you def have ich in your tank. Hyposalinity is a popular way to treat ich w/o use of a QT that you might want to look into.

Your salinity is low and your nitrates are high. These are both things that might be causing your fish to be stressed out. You should also quarantine your new fish, the goby could have come in with it and infected your tank without you even knowing.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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Yea with the API test I really couldn't tell with much accuracy because the orange looked like it could be anywhere from 20 ppm to 80 ppm lol. I had it tested at my lfs and they said it's it 20 ppm.

As for the salt I should have stated that it was way high, around 1.033 when I first noticed the gramma was struggling, then I added some fresh water to bring it down. I should have done it gradually but I was concerned for the fish.

I guess that helped because the fish are all eating and swimming around and the spots are gone so that's good.

I am going to buy a 10 g from walmart as a QT so I'll probably start a new thread in the getting started forum for those questions.

For this situation should I continue to decrease the salinity in my main tank or setup the new little qt and run the dt fallow for 8 weeks to ensure the parasite dies? Will moving all the fish to a little tank without any rocks or sand stress out the fish more?

Also I have decided to run one powerhead at a time rather than both at the same time and all the fish seem to really like that.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Your hermits might all die if you lower the salinity
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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I agree. Personally what I would do (usually no recommended) is put a bit of sand and a piece of rock and all inverts in the qt and leave the qt set up for 8 weeks with normal salinity and hypo the main tank so fish aren't stressed from moving. I've done this and it works.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Ok. Thanks!

I was wondering about that- having sand in the qt? That seems like a better option rather than stressing out the fish more.

How low should I get the salinity down to? Three tests w the cheap float meter were bw 1.022-1.023.

The fish have been doing better except the gramma scrapes up against any rock or surface she is near... So I guess it's still on her.

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:45 PM   #8
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Well it was a pretty bad morning here- the gramma has died, right when I thought she was doing better too... And the newest addition the diamond goby jumped out last night.... (I didn't even realize they did that!) A few mods on the hood to ensure that doesn't happen again...

I guess now that I only have the clowns and the cuc I'm just going to move them into the QT once it's setup and just run the main tank fallow for 2 months to get rid of the parasite.

Am I correct in assuming that since there will be no sand or rocks in the qt there will not be a cycle? I will be checking the water at first but would love to just get this over with as quick as possible.

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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Sand and rock has nothing to do with a cycle. If there is ammonia present (food and poop) there will be a cycle. This can be avoided by placing a sponge from the main tanks filter into the filter of the qt so some beneficial bacteria are carried over. Also inverts can't host ick so leave them in the DT.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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You do have ich you need to go to your LFS and get some marine ich medicine for your tank follow the instructions and if you plan on getting coral and the anemone it is best to only do one or the other because anemones can sting coral and therefore damage it and regarding the current and your gramma try shifting around the rocks so the current is not so strong around the are where she likes to hang out hope this helps
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