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Old 02-21-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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Why are all my fish on the verge of death?

All the fish in my 40g tank are sluggish and are breathing really fast/heavy. I have a Green Spotted Puffer, a fuzzy dwarf lionfish, an Ocellaris clownfish and a blue damsel. All of my inverts seem fine and my baby snowflake eel (added yesterday) appears unaffected.

My levels are:
Ammo-0
Nitrite-0
Nitrate- 0-5
Ph-7.8
Salinity-1.024

I added 2 hydor 750 circulation pumps yesterday and a full glass lid to keep in the eel. I woke up this morning and all of the fish seemed to be exhausted and out of breath so I turned off the circulation pumps and opened the lid in case the tank wasn't gassing off enough, but their condition continues to deteriorate. I have a sump/fuge as well to keep oxygen levels high, but I'm at a loss here guys. Please help.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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How's the surface agitation? Did this just start yesterday or were they acting this way prior?
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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It started this morning, the tank and occupants have been great for the past 2-4 months. I've added a bubbler and positioned 1 hydor pointed toward the surface and left the lid open all to try and increase oxygenation. Yesterday was when I added to full lid and hydor 750s. The fish do not appear to be getting better though, even with increased surface agitation. I've also added carbon on the off chance some chemical got into the tank or maybe one of the buckets I use for water changes it may hopefully take it out of the water. Also I have an HOB overflow box down to my sump with chaeto.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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How are they doing today? I'm at a loss if it was not an oxygen issue and parameters were okay (and obviously no signs of disease).

Not totally related, but food for thought...that stock list seems like its going to end up with a large bio-load for a 40g. That's a bunch of sloppy eaters.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #5
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I agree the stock list was a little high on bio-load, I figured the 20g sump/refugium would be able to handle the nitrates and skimming would take care of the rest, but I was prepared to move the GSP to another setup if he got too aggressive anyway so if my parameters got unmanageable I would have just setup the other tank.

As for my live stock, they died 1 by 1 last night, I set up a 10g that I have divided in half and all I have left is my occy (still doesnt look good) and snowflake(look OK but not entirely himself)... All inverts are still fine, corals are upset they have been moved but are opening slowly. I did notice that my urchin started dropping spines yesterday, but I don't know what that is a sign of.

Basically I'm tearing my tank and refugium down and starting from scratch, I don't know what caused it so I'll soak all my LR in case there is a chemical that got in to the water and soaked in to them, get rid off all the sand, scrub all equipment with water and maybe vinegar if needed. Replace all of the sand in the fuge, fill her up like new and try again.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #6
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I think something must have gotten into my water change buckets since that is the only way something could have gotten into the tank due to not using any chemicals near the tank, but I can honestly say I haven't been as careful with my buckets and now I think my fish may have paid the price. I am really mad at myself for making such a rookie mistake and not being able to figure it out quick enough to save my fish. My clown and snowflake are still alive and seem to have weathered the storm in the qt tank I set up. Still in the process of replacing everything in the display tank.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #7
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Sounds kinda like Marine Velvet, usually by the time you notice something's wrong its too late to save them. If your tearing the system down be sure to sterilize everything just to be safe
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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Thank you minkota I'm actually done with my sterilization of the tank. It's now glass bottom and all LR has been freshwater dipped. My snowflake eel and clownfish made it through and are happy now. I still think that it was a chemical due to the fact that the clown and eel both showed heavy breathing after being placed in new water for a day or two and then got better. I did sterilize everything just to be sure though.
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