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Old 05-07-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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Bangai Cardinal problem/protein skimmer

I set up a protein skimmer 2 days ago after having my saltwater tank for 2 months. Right after I did, my bangai cardinal quit eating and has not eat anything since. The lady at the local aquarium store mentioned I should try to feed him a treat, but I don't know what that would be. Him as well as my clown fish are hooked on frozen food. I was also wondering if the protein skimmer should take the place of the regular filter I had in there.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:51 AM   #2
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Can you give us a little more information on your tank? How long has it been set up what are you water parameters? How long have you had the cardinal?
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:04 PM   #3
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I set up a protein skimmer 2 days I was also wondering if the protein skimmer should take the place of the regular filter I had in there.
The Protein skimmer removes dissolved Organics such as fish food/poop etc...The thick stuff. A protein skimmer does little for biological filtration as it has little surface area for the bacteria to grow.. You need a place for bacteria to grow large enough to digest fish waste. A mechanical filter accomplishes this via filter pad to grow the bacteria.
I don't have a mechanical filter at all.
Many saltwater aquarist utilize the Berlin Method of filtration. 1.5-2pounds of live rock per gallon. The Live rock acts as a biological filter. The Beneficial Bacteria grow on the surface areas of the live rock. More rock, more surface area. No need for a mechanical filter. You do need flow however 10x-20x tank turnover. This can be accomplished with a powerhead.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:08 PM   #4
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I have had the saltwater tank for 2 months along with the cardinal. My water quality is great so far and I just tested it yesterday. I even have little brittle starfish growing on my live rock and in the sand.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:13 PM   #5
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, my bangai cardinal quit eating and has not eat anything since.
I have heard bangaii cardinal's can be picky. Have you tried any different foods. The addition of Garlic supplement may make the food more attractive.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:15 PM   #6
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So you set the tank up 2 months ago and added the cardinal and the clown at the same time? Did you cycle the tank?

I'm thinking you have ammonia and nitrites in the tank. What kind of filtration do you have other then the new skimmer?

You tested your water yesterday. What were your readings? Ammonia NitrIte Nitrate PH?
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:09 PM   #7
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Of couse I cycled the tank!!!!! Nitrates and ammonia are not the problem and my readings were spot on. I took my regular filter out when I set up the skimmer and have lots of live rock. I'm not worried about the status of the tank because everything checks out fine. And yes, I did add the cardinal and the clown at the same time-it never was a problem. My clown is doing just fine.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:22 PM   #8
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I would try the garlic guard soaked in the frozen for 20-30 minutes. I also add Selcon and Zoe for added nutrients.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:26 PM   #9
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Please don't take offense at the question. You did not state in your post all the information about your system. Generally whenever posting a request for help you should supply as much information about your system as possible. Please post actual number for all water parameters. You would not beleive what some people think are 'normal' or 'spot on'. Here is the list of questions I normally ask:
How many gallons is the tank?
How long has it been up and running with fish?
How and when did you cycle the tank?
What type of filter/filtration are you using?
Describe the lighting units (type bulbs, total wattage).
What are the current water parameters? Ammonia, nitirte, nitrate, pH, salinity, temp, calcium and alkalinity. Please post numbers of results.
What is your source water for top off and partial water changes?

Now I have more questions for you.
What is the make/model of the skimmer you added?
Did you clean the skimmer before installing it in the system?
Sometimes there are oils and/or other contaminents that occur during the manufacturing process or while it is being shipped or sitting in stock somewhere. These may not show up in the normal water tests we run but could cause stress to the tanks livestock. Whenever in doubt I start with a 20-25% PWC till I can figure things out.

And btw,


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Old 05-07-2008, 04:21 PM   #10
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Just to tag on more along what cmor1701d mentioned...

Skimmers don't replace filters, so not sure why you took out the existing filter. You say you have "lots" of live rock, but if that "lots" of live rock wasn't enough to start with, that existing filter might've been housing a fair amount of beneficial bacteria. And with that bacteria now missing, you might not be able to keep up with your bioload. That could cause a little ammonia spike which might make your fish a little testy. Just thinking out loud...

Actual numbers (lbs and ppm) really will help folks here help you. I've seen someone on a different forum board think their pH was "spot on" at 7.4! When troubleshooting, you can't assume anything.
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