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Old 09-25-2012, 06:06 PM   #1
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Why do I keep losing fish?

Hi everyone,
I'm after some advice as to why my new fish keep dying.
A couple of months ago I bought a small clown fish, acclimatised him and added him to my cycled main aquarium. He ended up getting ich and dying within 3 days. The water parameters in the main tank were Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0, pH - 8.2 salinity - 1.023SG and temperature - 30 to 31C.
I then went out and bought a 21L QT and added some filter material from my main tank to the QT filter. I then went out and bought a brackish water sail fin molly. I acclimatised him to the salt water over several hours and added him to the QT. once he was happy enough and eating well I added Melafix and Methylene Blue. After a few days in the QT I added him to the main tank and he has been doing fine for about 3 weeks now.
Last weekend I went out and bought a blue and gold damsel and added him to the cleaned QT. He spent most of his time hiding in one of the ornaments in the tank but would come out to eat. I used Melafix and Methylene Blue again but he live for another 3 days. The water parameters of the QT are the same as the main tank except a bit cooler at only 29C.
Has anybody got any ideas as to why these fish keep dying? I'm starting to think its to do with the temperature so I'm considering buying a chiller but I want to be sure it's that before I go out and spend $400 on one.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Did you get them all at the same store? Have you tried a different lfs to buy fish from? Maybe it's something in the tanks at the lfs. Damsels are pretty hardy, some people do the entire cycle with them and they live through it sometimes. A temp of 81*F is a little high, but shouldn't be killing the fish. Sorry if you posted this already, I'm on my phone and can't see the original post right this second, but what's your pH and salinity at?
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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What did u cycle your tank with?
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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Ph is 8.2 and SG is at 1.023. I did get them all from the same place but I live in a small city in the north of Australia so it's very very hot and only the one fish shop. I can get them from a guy who gets them straight from the reef but you pay more for it.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:41 PM   #5
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Cycled with live rock. And it did definitely cycle over 3 weeks
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:53 PM   #6
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How high of an ammonia spike did you get during your cycle? Live rock might give you a light cycle on its own, but might not have been a strong enough cycle to build up enough BB to support an actual fish. I used live rock and a raw shrimp to cycle.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:03 AM   #7
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I think I know why your fish are dying! Like BeenGirl pretty much stated, 30 to 31 C is around 87!!! That is waaaay too high for a reef tank. It should be 25C (77-82F). Some fish require 22-25 C(72-78) F. I've had my tank at 28.9C (84F) max when it got really hot in the summer, but it's still bad for the fish/inverts to have it so hot and fluctuations of the temp will no doubt kill them. If it's getting too hot I'd recommend getting a chiller, or using A LOT of RO/DI ice (but that would fluctuate the salinity) or take out your heater if you have it on.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:10 AM   #8
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You might also try a clip-on fan blowing across the surface of the water to bring the temp down.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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I was miscalculating!! I was thinking it was like 82*F!! I'm not great at converting to F. Temp is definitely too high at 87. Still not sure that you had a strong enough cycle, though, since only LR was used. might be a combination of both.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:21 AM   #10
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The bacteria (if the cycle was completed) might have died off from the extreme heat , and it might be
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