Background and setup:
i've been doing freshwater tanks for years and decided to try saltwater.
This is a 30-gallon FOWLR
It has 40ish pounds of live rocks, cycled after a month.
I made a DIY 10gallon sump and a DIY protein skimmer for it. Temperature always between 26-27 celsius, with 2 submerged heaters, 1 in main, 1 in sump.
There is 1 Hydor Koralia # 1 for the water circulation.
I later added a Hydor Koralia Nano near the surface to increase water surface movement for oxygen.
It then has 2 cleaner shrimps, 3 hermit crabs, 3 turbo snails, and 1 lovely royal gramma.
All is well. Then 2 weeks later.
I bought 2 active little ocellaris clown fish. That's how they looked:
This is how the tank looks like:
But they would never eat, but i learned that it's normal when newly introduced. But after a week, they still wouldn't eat. I worried. I always tried Omega One Flakes. Finally later I tried frozen krills. I tried Omega One Pellets with garlic. I tried spirulina flakes. They would never eat. Finally after a week from introduction, the smaller fish died. The other one looked like this:
It looks ugly, the bottom fins were closed. (what does that mean?) Finally 3 days later, the second one died.
I've been checking my water daily, ammonia and nitrites are 0. Nitrates is low under 20. PH 8.2 Salt at 1.022-1.023. Temperature at 26-27. The Royal Gramma is so shy and never bothers those fish. The clowns just kept swimming still near glass and finally died. What could I have done better?
Finally, after a week of sadness, i spent money on 2 more clownfish, true spec this time, and bigger, from another store. Look:
Oh, and I got a yellowtail blue damsel too with them, a very small one. I rearranged the rocks after the first pair died btw, now that's my full tank:
The problem persists, all fish swim around and eat, except these 2 clowns again!!
Today is my third night... the best they did was put something in the mouth.. then spit it back. Never swallowed. I tried Omega One Flakes, Omega One Pellets with garlic, Seaweed(the seller said they ate that as well as frozen food), and spectrum pellets. Beside the seaweed, all of the packages have clownfish in the labels haha.
Now this is how they look tonight, the fins are closed again.. ****:
Tomorrow night i will try frozen food.
tell me what can i do? i assure you the other fish and inverts don't bother the clownfish. The water circulation, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, ph seem to be all fine.
Please help... and i know that these fish are not tank-bred. And when I purcahse them, they come from tanks with lots of other clown fish and nothing else (no corals).
Please tell me my next step...