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Old 08-21-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
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What am I doing wrong???

I am trying to figure out what I am doing that is causing my fish to die at 3 weeks. This is the second fish that I have had die right at the 3 week mark. (They were from 2 different stores btw). My specs are I have a 40 gal tank with about 50lbs of LR. I have a 2 inch sand base. I run a remora protein skimmer and 2 power heads. I have been running my 350 magnum canister with nothing in it just for more water movement. I'm debating pulling that alltogether though since I read many opinions on filters being a nitrate factory. My tank is 6 months old and my levels are: SG- 1.025, NH3-0, NO2-0, NO3-0, Phos -<.05, Cal - 420. My pH is at 8.4 which is a little higher than it had been about a month ago. I switched my salt to Reef Crystals and my ph went up a bit with it it seems. I am thinking I need to get my salinity down but I am going to do that gradually with my pwc. I do pwc of 15% every week. My temp is the only thing that I have a harder time controlling in this heat. It does get as high as 84 if the air isn't on in the house. When the air is on, it stays around 82. Normally, it gradually goes up during the day about a degree from 83 to 84. I do keep a lid on the tank, but I have to because I have a cat. I do at least prop it up on the front of the tank so that it is open a bit on the front and back to vent. My lights are on 9 hours a day and I am getting some good corraline algae finally growing on the rock after 6 months. So, the last fish I lost was a royal gamma at the 3 week mark and that was a couple of months ago. This time I lost a yellow dwarf angelfish ( I forget it's official name- sorry!). It was fine last night and I didn't do anything in the tank or put anything in there since I've seen it swimming all around last evening. This morning I didn't see her anywhere and after searching in my rock, I finally found her hiding and almost gone. She wasn't on her side or anything, just kind of breathing hard till she passed. I am so sad that I lost this fish, she was just beautiful. I see nothing else wrong with her, no visible sign of disease. She was eating fine when I fed her last evening too. The only other fish I have are 3 chromis and a clown which are all fine. So any advice would be appreciated as I don't want to get another one until I figure this out. When the last fish died I did have NO3 of about 20, but I've gotten that down since I've had this fish. I have fed a variety of frozen foods and mysis shrimp and also some flake foods. I had also offered algae sheets although I never see them eat those. I do not have a ton of algae on my rock and I know they do like to eat off the rock. Could that lack of algae have starved her, she did eat the food I offered though. Did I feed it wrong, is it my temp or salinity? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Donna
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA, Donna. My wife`s name is Donna so I`m pretty fond of that name. LOL. Now about the fish. Did you notice anything different about these fish? I know you said they were breathing rapidly. Did they have any white specks on them? Parasites? Red streaks?Can you get another source to test your water to be sure your test kit is not bad? I know a lot of questions but trying to figure out which way to go. Also moving this to the sick fish forum.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:24 PM   #3
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Only that one fish was breathing heavily right before it died. I didn't see anything wrong with it at all when I took it out of the tank. No spots or marks anywhere. I have also taken my water to That Fish Place to be tested when my nitrates were a little high and everything tested the same with there tests as it did with my kits at home. So i'm thinking my kits are on target.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:27 PM   #4
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When you say your salinity is 1.025 is that with a hydrometer or a refractometer? How are you acclimating them?
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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A hydrometer. I haven't invested in a refractometer yet. I acclimated my fish VERY slowly exactly to the parameters That Fish Place recommends. They have you do it in a bucket and then every few minutes add a cup of fish tank water. I think they acclimated no problem, they only hid for a few hours and then started swimming around quickly. As I mentioned, this fish acted totally normal for the 3 weeks I had him up until I went to bed last night. When I woke up this morning, I couldn't find it as it was hiding in my rock. He always comes out to me in the morning so I knew something was up.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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I know when I used a hydrometer I was doing at 1.024 I thought till I got a refractometer and found out I was really at 1.029. Does your LFS use a refractometer that they can mesure it. We really dont have much to go on. If there was some kind of observation we could go on. Was the fish eating pretty good?
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:09 PM   #7
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I have found the livestock (fish) at That Fish Place isn't the greatest. Even tho the place looks spotless, IMO their fish aren't all that healthy.
I've had good luck with their corals tho.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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Yeah, but Donna stated she got fish from different LFS.
This could be a case of using cyanide to capture fish or you could just be unlucky and gotten two unhealthy fish.
Did they happen to look like the brightest ones in the tank at the LFS, or have brilliant coloring?
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:17 PM   #9
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It was a brilliant color fish and never lost that color in the time I had him. This fish was from That Fish place, the other one was from another store. However, all my other fish are from that fish place too and they have been fine. So far I don't have any corals, I was hoping to make that my next area to work towards since I figured I was full up for fish with those 5 in my tank. It just amazes me how they can seem fine one evening and then by morning they are gone. I wondered if I wasn't feeding them enough and that at 3 weeks they were starving to death, but I know there is stuff falling on the rocks for him to forage on. I read so much about over feeding that I am afraid to do that too.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:00 PM   #10
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I feed my tank every other day and sometimes skip an extra day. 1-4 weeks and sudden death with brilliant colors (more so than like fish) can sometimes be from cyanide poisoning. You should check with the LFS and see if their harvesters use cyanide.
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