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Old 05-16-2014, 09:59 AM   #1
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Clownfish Dying

Hi Everyone,
I started up my first saltwater tank about 2 months ago. My current set up is a 90 gallon reef ready tank with a sump and protein skimmer. I have approximately 90lbs of live rock and a 2 inch sand bed. I started the tank off by cycling with live rock and once I was testing zero ammonia and nitrites I added a clean up crew (6 nazarious ,6 turbos, 8 hermits,1 sand sifting star).

After 3 weeks of just the clean up crew I tested my water and still had perfect readings (confirmed by my LFS), so I decided to add two clowns. I properly acclimated them using the drip method for 1.5 hrs, and boom within a few hours they were both dead.

About a week later I decided to try again at a different LFS. Again my water tested perfect so I tried 2 clowns. They have been in the tank for about a day and a half now and one cant be found and the other looks to be dying.

If my water is testing okay what could be the problem. I'm using RODI water and being very carful every step of the way. PLEASE HELP!!
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:15 PM   #2
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What did you use as ammonia source to cycle your tank?
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:18 PM   #3
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I used the live rock to cycle the tank. I tested after I added it and I got an ammonia spike.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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You need a sufficient amount of ammonia to build up enough bacteria to handle the bioload of fish. Simply using live rock isn't going to cut it.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:23 PM   #5
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Go to the grocery store and get a few pieces of raw shrimp, put them in some sort of netting/filter bag or nylon stockings and toss them in. I would rehome all living things in the tank first.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:25 PM   #6
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so what should I do at this point? Put some damsels in and try and cycle the tank with them?
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:52 PM   #7
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How high was the ammonia level? If there was enough die off on the rock, it may have been enough. If the ammonia level was zero when you had it tested, I would think it's something else. 2 clowns in a 90 wouldn't raise ammonia levels to a lethal point in just a few hours.
BTW, there's no food in that tank for the sand sifter or the nassarius snails. You will end up losing the star, but you can feed the snails meaty foods.
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:57 PM   #8
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I started the tank with about 75lbs of BRS dry Fiji and 15lbs of live rock. I got a big ammonia spike for about a week after I added the rock, then I saw the nitrites spike, followed by nitrates. I assumed the tank had cycled, and added my CUC. MY CUC is doing well (12 snails 8 crabs and a Star), so this is what is perplexing me.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:00 PM   #9
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Are you using rodi water?
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:39 PM   #10
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Yes I am using RODI.

I just went home to chck on the tank, and one of the two I added on Thursday is still alive. Still no sign of the second one, but I'm assuming he's gone.

I checked the ammonia and nitrite level and they are both at zero.
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