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Old 03-06-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
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Red face New to salt water aquariums! please help

hi everyone, im alex and i'm all new to saltwater and all this forum business.
Ive had to join because i really need some advice from people with experience as things are going wrong and i dont know what to do.

i own a 60litre biorb life. the tank has been set up around two months now and contains live rock, 4 hermit crabs and 2 clown fish.

to start off the levels in my tank aren't excellent, they currently stand at
Nitrite: 0.25ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm
Ammonia 0.50ppm
PH 8ppm

i did a water change a few days ago which made no difference what so ever so am planning to do another tomorrow with RO water instead of tap water. if that doesnt work i dont know what else to do.

Another concern is my clown fish, when i got them 3 weeks ago they were small but have recently grown a lot. one seams to be missing parts of the top fin and it looks like they may have been nibbled. it also hovers near the heater a lot at night time. the other is acting fairly normal but that also sometimes goes and hovers near the heater, i have seen it nipping the other clown with its fin missing but they are both eating normally and seam to be swimming fine, the unusual behavior only started a few days ago after i did the water change.

any advice people could give me would be great as my local fish store where i got them from seam to be useless.

thanks, alex
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:09 PM   #2
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you're going through a cycle don't do water changes it won't help
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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ok first Im assuming you put your clown fish in after the cycle (since you stated you added them 3 weeks ago and tank been up 2 mos) correct? what kind of filter are you using? how much live rock do you have? When did you first see the ammonia spike? what kinda test kit are you using? liquid? how old is the test kit your using? And as for the clowns, sounds like they are just working out the hierarchy of the "group" and the behavior should subside.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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ok first Im assuming you put your clown fish in after the cycle (since you stated you added them 3 weeks ago and tank been up 2 mos) correct? what kind of filter are you using? how much live rock do you have? When did you first see the ammonia spike? what kinda test kit are you using? liquid? how old is the test kit your using? And as for the clowns, sounds like they are just working out the hierarchy of the "group" and the behavior should subside.
hi thanks for the reply, yes everything in the tank was as it should be before adding the clown fish and all test results were perfect. the test kit i'm using is an API saltwater master test kit and its a liquid one. i have about 2.5 kilo's of live rock. the tank is more tall than it is wide so i can actually fit anymore in. the ammonia has been rising ever since i added the fish and began feeding. is it normal for the clowns to lay next to the heater for long periods of time?
thanks, Alex
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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I would be worried the clownfish has ammonia burn. I would get daily water changes, and filter media from an established tank. I am guessing the fish are also breathing rapidly?
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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I would be worried the clownfish has ammonia burn. I would get daily water changes, and filter media from an established tank. I am guessing the fish are also breathing rapidly?
no the fish are breathing fine, if u go to the tank and they think they are getting fed they will perk up straight away and start swimming around. they haven't been going to the top for air and everything seems fine really.
the only changes is one has some of its fin missing and keeps positioning itself between the heater and the glass and its as if the other one keeps swimming round and checking up on it. this only seams to be happening at night time when the lighting gets darker.
thanks, alex
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:04 PM   #7
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I too would do PWC`s if you have fish in there. Ammonia of any amount is lethal. PWC`s will help your fish. Somewhere in the tank is an ammonia source. Maybe overfeeding?
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:46 AM   #8
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thanks for all the advice, have been doing small water changes but as of yet there is no change. the fish still seem fine, one has got a lot of black on her though, looks as if shes changing colour.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:03 AM   #9
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Yes they can do that. It isn't a sign of anything though so no need to worry. How much and often do you feed? And what?
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:09 AM   #10
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Yes they can do that. It isn't a sign of anything though so no need to worry. How much and often do you feed? And what?
i was feeding them frozen food the artemia. the guy who sold me the clowns told me to feed them half a cube a day. i think thats where ive been going wrong because they havent been eating it all and obviously that must be whats polluting the water.
ive got some hikari marine s that im going to start to feeding them once the nitrite and nitrate levels go down but one seams to spit it out as if it doesn't like it.
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