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Old 09-01-2010, 01:53 AM   #1
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? about blue damsels in a new setup tank 125gallon...

I bought 5 of these to start cycling my tank... small ones... thought I'd give them at least a few weeks... they are literally the only thing (or I should say 'were') in the tank other than the sand/gravel at the bottom...I had them maybe a week... Wednesday evening rolled around and 2 of the 5 died... then Thursday 2 more died... leaving me w/1... I went to the lfs to have my water tested, and by Friday the final 1 was dead (I actually went after the last death)... the levels all read fine (I don't remember what they were, but the guy seemed to know what he was talking about) in regards to a new tank, aka the levels shouldn't have caused the deaths... the clerk suspected possibly my tank got 'too cold'... the thing is, it was in the mid 80's during the day, but did drop down to around 60 in the evening... that is the outdoor temp... the building the tank is in (my business) stays typically in the mid 70's overnight... now I did NOT have a heater in my tank... but after the 5 deaths I bought 2 heaters and a thermometer I stuck to the outside of the glass. I haven't put the heaters in yet because I've been curious as to how cool the tank will actually drop. The first night I put it on it read 76... the next day it was 78-80.... I just don't see even at the coldest (although there is a slight chance I could be wrong I suppose) that the tank water could've possibly at it's coldest gotten any colder than 74... I read up on damsels and they rated them at 75-82 degrees... would a temp this close possibly cause all 5 to die? Hope to hear more from you guys!
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:52 AM   #2
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You killed all 5 Damsels. You should have done the fishless cycling of your tank! Your fish died of ammonia poisoning. You should also get a test kit and learn how to test your own water.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:41 AM   #3
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You killed all 5 Damsels. You should have done the fishless cycling of your tank! Your fish died of ammonia poisoning. You should also get a test kit and learn how to test your own water.
I know it sounds like you don't agree with it but people do fish cycling quite regularly. I took the water sample down to the lfs and they tested it out and said my tank was cycling correctly. I don't remember what the terms were the clerk used but he showed me colors and explained things to me and how it was working. (honestly most of it went over my head but what I got out of it was 'your water is doing fine for its course'.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:35 AM   #4
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What TC is saying is you sent $30 or so down the drain for nothing. 5 fish to start off with is going to make more ammonia than anyone can handle. At best, you have to change 50% of the water each day to keep the water in sewer condition instead off nuclear dump condition. Any ammonia at all is deadly, but I think the most a fish can handle is .25ppm, and that is dangerous itself. The word fine can mean anything, the lfs guy can say your levels are fine when in reality, they can be downright toxic. I second the purchase of your own test kit, the api saltwater test kit is easy to use and is very accurate. Do what you want, but I would suggest letting the tank ride since have ammonia present to get the cycle going before you add any more fish. I know the damsels are the old tried and true method, but a few weeks of patience with no fish will pay off in the long run, I promise. By what you said about the temp, I assume you have no heater, get a heater.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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I came on to strong. Sorry, but if you are going to get into SW setups you must tell us your readings. Not just "FINE". Remember that the LFS is out to make money. WHAT SIZE TANK DO YOU HAVE? Get us some numbers on your water parameters. Testing is not that hard and you should get a test kit and use it until you understand the logic behind a saltwater setup. You need patience and monitor your setup. Cruise this site and read on how to cycle and all the other information.
Don't worry to much and as you learn it will be fun and done right it is just beautiful.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:54 AM   #6
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You have been a member for 5 years, yet you failed to follow the suggestions of most members about how to cycle a tank.
Knowdledge is power. Would you accept a "It's fine" from a Dr who ordered lab work or would you want to know the number and the acceptable range for good health?

As suggested, get a test kit. For the price of the 5 damsels you let suffer to their death you could have purchased a full API kit and a bag of shrimp to start your cycle the correct way. Most LFS's are going to tell you what makes them money. Without a test kit you will return to the store often to test your water which means more sales for them. They are a business and to keep the doors open they need to sell their products, as many as they can....

Advice here is about how to do it the correct way and not to make a buck from your lack of knowledge.

You asked a question and you have been given quality advice, it's up to you on how to proceed now...
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:41 AM   #7
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I like how water testing goes "way over your head" but you can tell us in your vast experience on the number of people who use fish to cycle.

Do your research on the basics of a nitrogen cycle and what water parameters mean. If you still insist on using fish, at least you will be able to monitor their environment for survivability.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:14 PM   #8
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Cycle your salt tank

Read this article and it will help you understand what the fish are going through. It`s just concerning to me that it does not bother you what happened to them. Yes a long time ago people used to do it and a lot of LFS suggest it today just to make a sale. More and more today though Aquarist are caring about their tankmates and making sure that they are out of harms way. This is the way every aquarist should think.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:16 PM   #9
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my 36 took awhile with damsels and lost alot of them at first but what I did was to start off with 2or3 wait a week but do water test every day write down what was going with the readings then in a anouther week add 1 or 2 more never got over 6 you can try putting melafix in your tank its at all your pet stores thats what i do damsels kill each other or try
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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my 36 took awhile with damsels and lost alot of them at first but what I did was to start off with 2or3 wait a week but do water test every day write down what was going with the readings then in a anouther week add 1 or 2 more never got over 6 you can try putting melafix in your tank its at all your pet stores thats what i do damsels kill each other or try
melafix is erythromycin and that antibiotic will kill all your good bacteria and you will end up having to start all over if you can ever get it out of your display tank that is.............
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