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Old 03-19-2009, 01:12 AM   #1
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Unhappy Saltwater disaster Help please



I need help I have a 92 corner bow Amiracle 30g wet/dry mag700gph tank is drilled with no overflow box 140lbs live fiji rock 150lbs live substrate sand.Here is my story I had a 90 gallon standard tank with overflow and all was well for 3 years so I have been involved in sw for a bit.I now got new tank and used all new rock and sand set everything up and put 3 damsels in tank was fine for 3 more weeks then added a powder brown tang and a koran angel was great for about a week korans eyes started clouding before you could say boo my whole tank had ich but i did not want to treat with copper due to the rock and all so i tried copper free and that did nothing.so at this point I was more interested in saving fish so I removed all live rock and treated with copper fish were inproving greatly.I did wind up killing the sand and now had a copper treated tank and was unhappy so I traded live stock into lps and got some credit so I removed all water from tank remove sand bed cleaned tank and all filtration and layed some new live sand 140lbs to be exact,placed my live rock in mixed water dechlorinated added salt then tested salinity all is good at this point.wasnt happy with aquascape so started rearanging cuasing tank to once again cloud up temp is at 78.2 salinity is @ 1.023 ph 8.0 nitrates @ 0 nitrites @ 0 ammonia is @ 0 obviously.now I got inpateint and heres where troubles begin went to lps bought a anthias and 2 maroon clowns.maroon clowns were looking good except they were hanging in one corner not so happy the anthias never came out to eat so once again the fish came out and went back to lps.waited 3 days more and all seemed good as far a water quality so back to the lps I go and buy 2 percula clowns I drip clowns for acclimation and put feathers right in along with shrimp and crabs.all looks good but my better judgment is telling me to QT the clowns but I didnt. As soon as I put first clown in he drops right to the floor lays for a minute and shoots under live rock.second one goes in stays out and seems to be fine.the rest of the time I never see first clown again.this morning when I woke I got curious still no first clown. Throw in a bit of food and nothing second one eats as well as all the other live stock mentioned above.so I start moving a rock here a rock there and before you know it the whole tank aquascape is moved around and what do I find a skelaton from first clown.Damb very upset and feeling very bad at this point not for me for the poor fish.leaving well enuff alone I put all the rocks back run the filter and go out for a few hours come home and second clown is almost perished Damb again all inverts feather duster happy as larks water alittle cloudy also very fine particles floating all over tank looks like dust very concerning so now do I break down tank again with the thought that I have once again contaminated water?. Will it cylcle? do I just get out of the hobby?I have invested so much time and dedication all to be dissapointed Even with almost getting thrown out of the house by my wife from water running all hours of the night newborn not sleeping cuase of me and these fish.As much as I love the saltwater hobby im so frustrated at my self and am now here looking for some good advice.I really want to keep my self involved without killing my wallet or losing my mind.Also I have annoyed my lps with phone call after phone call in hopes of help but they seem to just keep opening my wallet but once the wallet is empty there usually to busy for me.Time to find a better lps.so any advice would be greatly appreciated and thanks for your time..
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:23 AM   #2
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A few random suggestions and comments...

1. You and your fish are not causing your newborn to not sleep! I've been through that one twice, and have learned they're on their own little schedule and could care less about you and what you're doing!

2. Doesn't sound like the tank has really ever cycled. Both times it sounds like you were cycling with fish and then stocked it too fast. Read over the articles here on "fishless" cycling and once cycled, don't add more than one fish every 4-6 weeks. And preferably after a 4 week quarantine period in a quarantine tank where you can treat for any illness without messing with your main tank.

3. Have you tested for copper in your main tank since you've set it back in again? Have you run any Cuprisorb or PolyFilter to try and suck up any remaining copper? PolyFilters will turn a pretty blue if they're adsorbing copper, so that might be a good indicator.

4. I wouldn't say it's time to get out of the hobby, but with a newborn your priorities have definitely shifted. Maybe it's time for a break... but I wouldn't quit it all together. I think you just need to slow down, take a breather, and cycle the tank (taking ammonia/nitrite readings along the way to verify the cycle). Then stock s-l-o-w-l-y.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:33 PM   #3
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I`m wondering if the tank is cycled also. Look in our articles section and read how to cycle your tank.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:57 PM   #4
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can I leave the feathers in and the shrimps while i truly let it cycle as for the little dust particles i dont understand that as well yes i have tested for copper and it was 0.wouldnt that kill shrimps before fish anyway?what bothers me is with live rock and sand isnt it already most of the way cycled?it may never spike.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:30 AM   #5
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If I might as well..

Where did you put that rock when you took it out to treat the tank w/ copper (before you broke the tank down to clean it)? Be nice to know if that rock was (and is) still cured. If not, there's your ammonia source for your cycle maybe

Did you clean the sump as well?

What did you use to test for copper? Cause it can get in the silicon seals not to mention coat the plumbing, etc.

Read some articles on ich treatment via temperature. Also QT practices.

Congrats on the new child. As I remember it was the fish complaining that the kid was keeping them up. Go figure.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:23 PM   #6
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the rock was kept in a 30 gallon drum with the water from tank before copper treatment.yes i did clean sump as well the weird thing is the rock as fine but when i went to put it back in it smelled very bad.i used a copper test kit but like i said before if im wrong then im sorry but i am under the impression that if there was still infact traces of copper wouldnt it kill the duster and shrimp and blue leg crabs as well .those things are in tank and doing well.but i still have this problem with the dust like particles floating every where and i know its not bubbles cuase whatever this dust is has settled and created a coating on my power heads im wondering if its from the rock or the substrate it actually looks like its rising up from the rock itself any other suggestions would be great and once again can i leave feathers in as well as shrimps?right now i am afraid to put anymore live stock in until i know its ok.thank you all again.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:42 AM   #7
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If the rock smelled bad, then that's probably your ammonia source, as CaptainAhab mentioned. "Good" rock should smell like the ocean... in a good way! (I've smelt plenty of "bad" ocean smells, and that's NOT the smell you want!)

I agree with you about the copper... you'd think if the dusters and shrimp were OK then copper shouldn't be an issue. But in the short time I've been in this hobby, one thing I've learned is that there is never a 100% "for sure" answer for things. Just to be on the safe side, I'd get my hands on some PolyFilter and run it in a filter somewhere that gets some water flow. If it starts turning blue, it's sucking out copper. If it turns brown... then that's just normal ammonia/gunk/etc it's pulling out.

Regarding the cloudy water... are you adding anything else to the tank? You say you're using dechlorinated water to mix up the salt with, but are you adding anything else other than dechlorinator? Buffer? Phytoplankton? Any "reef builders" or the equivalent chemicals? Have you recently tested your calcium and alkalinity levels? If so, what were those numbers?
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:24 AM   #8
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ok sso in regards to the smelly rock what does that mean?as far as water nothing added besides dechlorinator.calcium and alkilinity not tested no test kit for that yet.my concern at this point is am i waisting my time trying to cycle this tank only to wind up with bad rock etc.the dusters and shrimps are still very content shrimps run out for krill etc.for the dust like particles im still confused wondering if the rock has died ant the dust particles are the result or if it is from sand bed it has been approx 1 week since i last moved things around and this stuff is still floating im thinking some time and water changes will clear it up or some kents crystal clear solution will work?Im also not sure if the tank is or will cycle to the point of spiking and such with all the L\R and live sand.does anyone think some carbon will work or a bad idea at this point?i have a power head with filter atachment and filter atachment as well as casing of power head are coveed in this gray dust similair to whats floating ..please help ....
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:35 AM   #9
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ps i just check for water quality here are the results......

PH 7.8
nitrate between 20 and 40ppm
nitrite between 1.0 and 3.0ppm
alkilinity 300ppm
Salinity 1.023

Suggestions?
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:00 AM   #10
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here is a link to pics of my tank with floating dust and layer of dust on my powerhead what does anyone think.P.S dont mind the pics of my cats lol http://picasaweb.google.com/VitalHandz/MyCatsFish#
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