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Old 02-07-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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Smile Fish missing / dead ?

Hello All,

This is my first post on this forum. I have had fresh water aquariums for over 30 years. I have kept everything from guppies to piranhas (not in the same tank of course). I finally switched over to saltwater 2 months ago I'm already baffled by these interesting creatures.

I have a 30 gallon FOWLER that started with a yellow tail damsel and a black/white striped damsel. After a month I got a black chromis with some turbo snails and 3 tiny hermit crabs. All was good as my ammonia and nitrite were zero.

I then got a true percula clown with a cleaner and peppermint shrimp.
A few days after my 2 turbo snails died and caused a mini ammonia spike where I have been doing 25% water changes every 2 days. A few days after the snails died my clown went missing during the night. 2 days after my chromis went missing during the night.

My questions are:

1) I presume the missing fish have died but can 3 tiny hermit crabs and 2 shrimps completely dispose of a body overnight ?

2) what is killing these fish when all was going so good ?
Is it the ammonia spike or is my yellow tail damsel at fault ?
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
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An ammonia spike definitely could have done it. Maybe even the damsel but I doubt it. It looks like you have ruled out ammonia and nitrites. Any chance of double checking your water test at your LFS to make sure.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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An ammonia spike definitely could have done it. Maybe even the damsel but I doubt it. It looks like you have ruled out ammonia and nitrites. Any chance of double checking your water test at your LFS to make sure.
On these forums I have read how damsel fish can be like devils but it was the chromis that was mostly picking on the damsel. My ammonia spiked to almost 0.25 as a 30 g tank with two large turbo snails would cause I think. The missing/dead fish showed no signs of distress during the day which I find funny. Doesn't ammonia slowly kill ?
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
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Frozaazzurri

I had two Clown Fish Jump from my tank. They found the smallest of holes and Jumped!! :-( I couldn't find one for weeks, but I was cleaning my floor one day and moved a dresser and there it was dried up. ;-/ They can jump from my experience. Which is weird as they say Clowns are not known to be jumpers.

I had my last clown jump two days ago, and I found him when it was too late. :-( I was depressed that I went out and bought a Coral Beauty to replace it with. :-p Today I am going to go buy a 55 gallon tank to move all my fish over too. I got a 30 right now.

As far as fish disappearing, I have had a freshwater tank as well, and I had fish disappear all the time. My Pleco was big, so I assumed he ate them. :-/
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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The first thing I do is look on the floor for missing fish. The aquarium is in a corner and there is nothing around for a few feet unless they keep on jumping more than 6 feet away.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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You mentioned the snails dying first. What killed them and what are your nitrate levels (you don't mention them). In my first tank I struggled with nitrate until I got a HOB refugium/skimmer combo. When my nitrate levels got quite high my turbo snail died. That caused more problems but fortunately no further deaths.
If you do have high nitrate that may have killed the snails and helped in killing the fish. Maybe.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:19 AM   #7
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The first thing I do is look on the floor for missing fish. The aquarium is in a corner and there is nothing around for a few feet unless they keep on jumping more than 6 feet away.
You would be surprised how far they can flop!
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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You mentioned the snails dying first. What killed them and what are your nitrate levels (you don't mention them). In my first tank I struggled with nitrate until I got a HOB refugium/skimmer combo. When my nitrate levels got quite high my turbo snail died. That caused more problems but fortunately no further deaths.
If you do have high nitrate that may have killed the snails and helped in killing the fish. Maybe.
Nitrate level was 10 - 20 ppm. I'm having a hard time getting that to zero but didn't think it was important. I am staying away from turbo snails. They seem to picky with water levels, especially for a new tank and saltwater newbie.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:40 AM   #9
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Any signs of illness? Are there little white spots or velvety appearance to any of the fish? Have they been rubbing on the rocks or anything?
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:03 AM   #10
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nitrate is high i would do like a 50 percent water change also what type of fitration are you using? i started with a canister filter and my fish kept geing sucked hrough the intake i lost fish as big as puffers in that darn thing until i saw my toby in the hose near the canister that darn thing got a huge condy nem and made her a slushy
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