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Old 02-05-2004, 06:45 PM   #1
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What happened to my tank???

Okay, heres the story...

I've had my saltwater tank for about a month and a half. In there, I had 2 yellow tailed blue damsles and a yellow tang. I got them 3 weeks into initially setting up the tank. I noticed a brown algae beginning to form allover my tank and eventually covering up all the rocks and stuff. I read that this was part of the cycle process and not to worry. Well, 2 weeks later, the algae has gotten even worst, and one by one all 3 of the fish died all within 48 hours of eachother.

The first fish to go was the yellow tang. I noticed slight discoloration along his body, so I put him in a quarantine tank. I went to my LFS and informed them of the symptoms of my fish, and they said it was probably just stress (which I didn't believe). I've read that tangs are susceptible to developing saltwater ich, so I bought medication for it, but by the time I got home, he already passed away.

So, now I got worried about my damsels who's bodies were both turning white. I put them in the quarantine tank and medicated the tank also. Doing all that I thought I could do, I went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up and found one of them dead. The other looked like he was dying, so I told my brother to do whatever he felt was right. Eventually, that one ended passing away as well.

Does anyone know what the hell is going on with my tank? I was so upset when all of this happened, I didn't know what to do! I really do not want to give up this hobby, but on the other hand, I don't want to kill anymore fish! I've got a 55 gallon African Cichlid tank and NEVER ran into any problems with them!

Sorry for going on a rant, but I haven't got the slightest idea of what to do. Anyone have suggestions?

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Old 02-05-2004, 06:54 PM   #2
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New Tank Syndrome

What you have is the typical problem that impatient hobbiest face when they don't let the tank properly cycle before any additions of fish. I am sure that it wasen't stress or Ich that killed your fish, but an excess amount of Ammonia, Nitrite or Nitrate. In this website, you can find several great articles on how to cycle your tank and get the water parameters corect for fish to be added. If you need any other help feel free to ask.

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Old 02-05-2004, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply.

Well, since it looks like I've got to start over now, what would you suggest using to cycle the tank?

I've read that in order to cycle, the fish food and waste is necessary to form the bacteria.

I also read somewhere, that you can use live rock? I don't have live rock in my tank, I've got that red lava rock that I regret buying. Anyway, can you mix live rock with regular lava rocks?
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:13 PM   #4
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take a look in the articles section of this site for the article on cycling without using fish. You use raw shrimp ( in your case probably 1-2 ) and throw them in your tank, the decaying of the shrimp will provide the bacteria necessary for your tank over time. It's cheaper, and a more humane way to cycle the tank.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:16 PM   #5
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Thanks alot guys...

One more question. If you were me, would you clean everything out of the tank and start the whole cycle process over? or just throw the shrimp in the tank right away and let the cycle continue?
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Old 02-05-2004, 08:34 PM   #6
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If you are really impatient (I was) get Bio Spira for marine. Bernie at the fish store has it and it works wonderfully. You will still get a small amount of ammonia but it was well within acceptable ranges. (well no ammonia is acceptable but there was no ammonia spike).

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Old 02-21-2004, 04:48 AM   #7
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If it where me I would get some uncured live rock and let the tank cycle for a few weeks. Uncured rock is the best thing for cycling a tank. Biospira will lead to unstable water conditions even when you think it is cycled, and you will be on a rant again in a few weeks. Just my opinion.
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:55 AM   #8
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I've had my saltwater tank for about a month and a half.
Your tank should just about be cycled by now although at the cost of several fish. Do you have a basic test kit; pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
What's your salinity?
What is your substrate?
Where are you getting the water to fill your tank and top off?
Have you tested that for phosphates, copper, etc.? The lfs might do these tests for you if you bring them a sample.
What are you using for filtration?
Do you have any powerheads for water flow in the tank?
What is your tank lighting and how long are the lights on each day.

Tell us more about your tank set up and what you envision it being when you are done with your set-up ( a year or more from now).

You will get great help and advice here. Just keep asking questions. Keep reading the posts here and the articles. Pick up a couple of books from the recommended reading list, etc.

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