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Old 02-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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What's going wrong and what can I do?

Hi,
I set up my 64litre tank on Jan1st. with filter, heater, crushed coral and sand, and 5kg of Indonesean live rock. Added Fiter Start every couple of days as advised. After advice from my fish store I took water in to be tested a couple of times and after almost 2 weeks was told it was now safe to add two clowns and one cleaner shirmp. These did great. I did part water changes of about 15% every week. Two weeks later, after a water test at the store, I got a Blue Tang. She did great. They all got on fine, ate fine and were really lively. After another two weeks, and another water test telling that everything was fine, very very slightly low PH levels but "nothing to worry about" I got 4 Humbugs.
All fish and shirmp got on fine, were eating fine and still very lively. Doing part water changes etc. About a week later I noticed the Tang wasn't looking to great. She seemed to have little white specks all over her, which came on in a day. During the same day my smalled clown developed a few specks and being a beginner I didn't know what it was. I tried to research using the internet and found possibly Ich was the cause? The same day the Tang and smaller clown were dead and the next day the larger clown, which didn't show any white specks was also dead. I took the fish and a water sample to the store who said they could see nothing wrong with the fish and that the water was perfect again. Today I have lost a humbug. No signs of white specks. The other three humbugs seem slow and are just floating about. One of the three is hiding under the LR.

It's not good, im going to do a large water change. I'm not sure whats causing the problems. Is the tank not cycled yet? Im going purely off advice from the store and have added fish when they suggested. Each water test proved that the water was perfect.

Im sorry its a long one, for my first post as well, but I wanted to get all the info in case its just one little thing thats wrong.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:23 PM   #2
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sounds like ich to me, Ich will not show up on a water test. Also if my calculations are correct thats ALOT of fish for that size tank. 64 litres = 16.9 gallons correct? the tang should be in at least 75 gallon/284 liter tank from what ive read. Seems like your ammonia would have been high. Im sure someone on here will correct me if im mistaken.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:30 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA. Your fish more then likely had ich. It's hard to say without a picture. IIMO the ich was brought about by the stress of adding the 4 Humbug Damsels. As the name implies those Damsels are "Humbug" AKA pain in the butt. You might have missed the first on set of the ich and therefore missed the white specks of salt like parasites on your fish. You should get your own water testing kit and make sure it's a liquid test so you can get some meanningful numbers for us. "Everything is fine" does not tell us much.
I think when you added the 4 humbugs that it was to much of a bioload for your bacteria to handle and first the stress caused the ich and the others died from ammonia poisoning.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:41 PM   #4
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Im just in the middle of doing a good 30% water change. What kind of testing kit would you suggest?? I have had a look through some posts on here and a lot of people seem to be producing figures from their tests, the shop adds some chemicals to the water and checks the colours.
If it was Ich that killed the first three then are the others likely to get it, I understand its a parasite but does it leave the tank with the dead fish? None of the others in the tank are showing are signs of white specks but what is the sign before that??
When the store tested the amonia they said it was (again) "fine"...i'll get a kit so i know what that means, but could the amonia have shot up in a day?
I was told the Tang would grow too big for my tank however it was only about 1inch long when I got it and was told it would take about a year to get too big and after a year a plan on upgrading to a bigger tank. Would you not suggest replacing the tang? If not what would you suggest I get? The store have given me credit for the two clowns and the tang so I have a bit of cash to play with when the tank is safe.
Thanks for your fast responses.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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First welcome to AA. Secondly I would get a new LFS. This one is not very knowledgable. He should have never sold you the blue tang. They are ich magnets in a big tank let alone in a too small stressful tank . It`s not that your tank is stressful bit it`s plain too small for any tang and your LFS should have known better. Your tank has ick in it and it wont go away unless it sits fishless for 7-8 weeks. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but those are the facts.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:10 PM   #6
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I use a API test kit called "the master saltwater kit" and it's a good starter kit. Yeah, 17g is pretty small I would get the 2 clowns. They are Damsels, but they swim funny and seem to be okay in a small tank. Maybe get a gobie and a cleaner shrimp.
BUT...like Mike stated your tank now has Ich growing in your sand and just waiting for the next chance of infecting a stress out fish. Let your tank go without fish for 8 weeks and then start again.
You can setup a simple QT and get your fish ready to go back into your DT.
Read up on setting up a QT on this site.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thincat View Post
I use a API test kit called "the master saltwater kit" and it's a good starter kit. Yeah, 17g is pretty small I would get the 2 clowns. They are Damsels, but they swim funny and seem to be okay in a small tank. Maybe get a gobie and a cleaner shrimp.
BUT...like Mike stated your tank now has Ich growing in your sand and just waiting for the next chance of infecting a stress out fish. Let your tank go without fish for 8 weeks and then start again.
You can setup a simple QT and get your fish ready to go back into your DT.
Read up on setting up a QT on this site.
One thing I've always wondered. In a situation where all the tanks inhabitants have died and it's now empty, couldn't you just drain the tank, rinse everything down with clean RO/DI water (sand, rock, etc.) and just start fresh? My logic from this comes from the treatment of Ich using fresh water dips. Seems like it would be faster then the 8 week waiting period if you chose to do something more proactive then sitting and waiting. To recycle the tank should only take 4 weeks or so, what do you all think?
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:45 PM   #8
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I think the whole thing is to teach patience and proper husbandry through the use of a QT and not reinhabit the tank with ich again. If you went with your idea, which I believe would work, but you would lose all of your inhabitants of your liverock,sand as well as you would need a place to store any corals that you might have.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:59 AM   #9
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Agree with the others... ich. Even without the ich, that tank was headed for trouble with that many (and type) of fish in there. Waaaay too many fish for that small of a tank. Here is some good reading on ich.

Marine ICK - everything you need to know
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:03 AM   #10
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...couldn't you just drain the tank, rinse everything down with clean RO/DI water (sand, rock, etc.) and just start fresh?...
I'm not sure a freshwater rinse would 100% kill the ich. I've read some stuff that talks about freshwater dips not being effective, so I imagine it all depends on the length of the "rinse." If you threw out the sand and boiled the live rock, then *maybe* I might be convinced the ich was gone. But at that point, it seems easier just to let the tank sit for 8 weeks, feeding it occasionally to keep the bacteria happy.
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