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Old 10-16-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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My clown :(

have a 10g that I have 15-20lbs of live Fiji rock in it. Not sure of the exact weight since the guy at register only charged me $10.99 instead of $10.99 per lb. so that's a plus. It had a Hawaiian feather duster already attached to it so I took that as well. I put live sand in my tank and they sold boxed salt water from the pacific all levels ammonia salinity was perfect previous to purchasing the live rock. So i put almost both boxes in, they were 5 gal boxes. About a week after i added a turbo snail a margarita snail a black snail and an emerald crab. I let the tank filter and also have bubbler strip going along the back wall. I have 2 or 3 small artificial plants as well. I currently have tetra advanced testing strips that I have been using and matching up the colors everything has been fine (I thought it would be since the water was already good). So on Saturday (3 weeks later from the install of tank) I purchased 2 clowns about 1-1.5" each from petco. I picked the best ones that I saw. One was a slight more colorful than the other. I acclimated the fish by turning the light off, and having them in the bag for about 20 minutes before lowering them into the tank. ( I just noticed now about the drip process). They were both very active. Swimming against the filter return to get a little current just swimming around being well, clowns.

I fed them the day after which was on Sunday I bought frozen brine shrimp which ( that is what petco fed them and said it was a good diet) I thawed in tank water and strained out the juices. I put small amounts in at a time until 3 mins or so when they stopped eating continuously.

Yesterday I was at work so my girlfriend fed the fish for me she was with me when I fed them first so she knew what to do. When I got home around 10pm I fed them once more. Around 2am I noticed the 1 clown (a little less colorful from the start) was having a hard time swimming. His breathing was much more noticeable so I sat there and watched. Normally when the clowns swim they shake their whole body but the rear of this clown was not moving as much as the other. I saw the tail get stuck on the filter so I immediately turned the filter off momentarily to see if the fish would swim off and he did. Like he was trying so hard. I feel so bad and he finally passed. I did not flush him my girlfriend brought him right back to the store today to try an exchange it. I noticed my trates are in the "caution" stage on those stupid strips that aren't worth ****. I am pickin up a legit test kit as well and ammonia remover I asked her to get when she went to try and get a new clown. Could this be natural or did I really mess something up?

I am quite new at this hobby so all advice would be great, but don't be too hard on me! Lol. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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I just posted some pictures from when I set up the tank. Idk what they look like or size etc I'm on my iPhone. Thanks again.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
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I'm not sure if I got the whole timeline, but did you cycle the tank? It doesn't sound like it to me, which is probably why the nitrates jumped around the third week and the fish died. There is a lot of info on here about that process (same for drip acclimation).

Also, I believe most clowns need 20-30 gallon tanks.

Don't get down on yourself. Being new, ask lots of questions before doing things and you will get great advice here. Best bits of advice to start...go slowly and do not treat what your fish store says as the gospel truth.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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I let the tank cycle and filter for about 3 weeks or so before I added the fish in. I tested the water every other day and everything on those crappy test strips were fine. The nitrate, nitrite, ph, etc. all were safe. I personally felt it was time to add fish. My girlfriend is at the store now getting a better more accurate testing kit this way I can get better readings maybe something with number results instead of color matching that say (safe, caution, stressed, dangerous) even when i tested with these strips last night after the fish died because i had no idea why, the trates were in the caution stage. I believe this can be caused by ammonia if i am correct? Hopefully i get to the bottom of this.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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But when the tank is cycling, those levels will rise. It's part of the whole process. There either needs to be a hearty fish (people use damsels, a raw shrimp (seems to be a favorite around here) or some kind of bottled bacteria (gets mixed reviews).

Read about cycling here (or somewhere) to get a good idea of how it works. It is a biological process that must occur and needs certain things to make it happen. Ammonia - nitrites- nitrates. it is not just a matter of letting water sit.

Again, ask lots of questions before doing anything and you will get solid advice here.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Thanks. And as i stated I am pretty new at this ive had fish before in the past but nothing this involved. As far as raw shrimp goes, like a raw shrimp that would be cooked to eat? just take one and throw it in the tank? How long do I leave it in there for? Would I be able to do this with the live rock/sand/crab/3 snails/ 1 clown?
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:07 PM   #8
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I already have the clown so Im kind of stuck with it :/I have no where to re-home it in the mean time
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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The clown will be in bad shape and will probably die through the process. Almost any critter will not work through cycling. The sand and rock will get beneficial bacteria which is what you want.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:28 PM   #10
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Yeah, sounds like your tank wasn't cycled. If you're willing to put in a lot of water changes, your remaining fish can make it. After you get the better tests, check your levels. If the ammonia or nitrite are higher than 0.25, you'll need to do a big water change right away to get them down to that level. Do back to back water changes if needed. The nitrates need to be below 40, but as close to zero as you can get is better. Test everyday and repeat water changes as needed based on the levels. Since you already have a fish, you'll basically be doing a fish-in cycle. You can't do "too many" water changes. Fish love new clean water. Just make sure the temp are salinity are the same as the tank water. This might take a while until the tank is cycled, but the upside is that you'll get really good at PWC after all this practice. One clown in a 10g might be ok, but you might want think about upgrading to a 20 or bigger whenever you're able to. Wouldn't add any other fish for the time being.
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