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Old 07-19-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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HELP - trigger and volitan lion fish troubles

I noticed that my Picasso is smacking the bottom of the tank with her side irratically and tonight our dragon goby did it a couple of times. The Picasso now is missing a side fin. What in the heck is going on? I have also noticed that my volitan lion fish is "fading" towards the back of his body.
On a side note, we were told tonite that our salinity was low and our nitrates and nitrites were high. We did a 25% water change tonite and will test again tomorrow. Also, the lion has been in the tank 6 weeks and the trigger about 4 weeks.
So, what in the world is our fish doing when they smack the bottom with their sides? Will the Picasso's fin grow back???
Is it normal for a lion fish to have lighter stripes towards the back of his body? Usually pictures show them dark all the way back...
PLEASE HELP - I feel like we are losing our fish...
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:45 PM   #2
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if you can please post your water parameters test results so we can rule that out. Fins will grow back with pristine water conditions.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:48 PM   #3
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salinity was 1.020 - but now is 1.0223
nitrate and nitrite - the LFS guy just said high. I can post real #'s tomorrow morning...sorry that probably doesn't help...
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:40 AM   #4
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How long has your tank been setup?
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:53 AM   #5
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So you set this tank up last month and you already have:
55 gallon
1 volitan lion fish
1 yellow eye tang
1 dragon goby
1 tomato clown
1 yellow tail damsel
1 picasso triggerfish

#1 You have added too many fish in too short a period of time. You should be adding fish at a rate of 1 - 2 per month.

#2 Maintaining a SW tank requires that you have water test kits on hand to test your water weekly at a minimum for at least the first year. Get good quality liquid/powder based kits (I use Salifert for most).
Telling us that a water parameter is high is meaningless. You must know and post actual numbers. Ammonia and Nitrite even in small quantities are toxic to fish.

So let's start with the newbie questions:
What size is your tank? 55 gallon
How old is your tank ? 6 weeks?
How did you cycle your tank and when?
What has changed in your tank (new livestock, additives, partial water change, etc.)
How much LR, a/o LS is in the tank?
Was the LR cured ? (when)
What inhabitants do you have ? listed above or in your 'tank" profile
What filter(s) are you running ?
What Power Heads are you running?
How are you making you salt water for PWCs?
What kind of H20 are you using ? Distilled , tap , RO/DI ?
How often and how large are your partial water changes?
Are you using any additives?
What are your water parameters ?
PH
Temp
Ammonia
NitrIte
NItrAte
Calcium
Alk
Magnesium
SG (Specific Gravity / Salinity)
Measured with a refactometer or hydrometer (swing arm?)
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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#1 The tank is over 4 years old. We just moved it to our house 6 weeks ago. We have only added 1 fish in that time. We have purchased 3 fish but have returned 2 very aggresive large damsels (so we are plus 1 net)

#2 the LFS right down the road test for free whenever i take a sample. usually weekly. We plan on buying a good test kit, but haven't since they have a much more extensive kit and do not charge. I seem to be there a couple times a week anyway.
So let's start with the newbie questions:
What size is your tank? 55 gallon
How old is your tank ? 4 years Moved 6 weeks ago
How did you cycle your tank and when?
What has changed in your tank (new livestock, additives, partial water change, etc.)
How much LR, a/o LS is in the tank? approx 35-40 lbs LR, 3-4" LS not sure of lbs
Was the LR cured ? (when)
What inhabitants do you have ? listed above or in your 'tank" profile
What filter(s) are you running ? top fin 60, penguin 330
What Power Heads are you running? maxi-jet 900 x1
How are you making you salt water for PWCs? buying bottled from LFS
What kind of H20 are you using ? Distilled , tap , RO/DI ? RO/DI
How often and how large are your partial water changes? 2 weeks 25%
Are you using any additives? aragamilk weekly
What are your water parameters ?
PH 8.3
Temp 78
Ammonia 0
NitrIte unsure
NItrAte 110, spiked this week
Calcium 350
Alk 2.2
Magnesium 1250
SG (Specific Gravity / Salinity) 1.022
Measured with a refactometer or hydrometer (swing arm?) refactometer
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:06 PM   #7
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sorry, should have been more clear. tank had fish in it when we purchased it, the 2 damsels came with the tank. we are buying water from our LFS at a sg of 1.023 because we have to purchase RO/DI water anyway and its consistent.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:19 PM   #8
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Whenever you move and setup a tank again you are bound to stirup the sandbed and this can cause an ammonia or nitrite spike. This could account for the fish acting weird. Your nitrates are very high, you need to do a PWC every couple days until you bring it down to at least 20ppm. Your alk is on the low side, but should not be a factor with a fish only tank.SG of 1.022 is okay for a fish only tank. How do you keep your temp. so low?
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:29 PM   #9
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Did a water change last night, and doing again tonight.

Temp is regulated with a cheap heater. The house is about 70 and my cheap lights don't really put off much heat. Just using 20K fluorescents in a cheap hood.

On a bright note, the trigger fin appears to be magical. I watched it for 2 hours last night and would have bet everything I owned that another fish had torn the fin off, but low and behold it has both fins today. Best bit of hiding i have ever seen.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:45 AM   #10
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I am really happy to hear that. Keep up with the pwc until you get those nitrates down, then cut back on the feeding to at least everyother day. If you are using frozen food, it is best to rinse it out with ro water.
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