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Old 12-12-2003, 07:27 PM   #1
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HELP!!!

i jus came home and my fish are breathing very rapidly and theres bubbles coating the whole surface of the water, and the water has a slight cloudiness to it. I have no idea why this is happening but the fish are definitely stressed , can any one offer any advice, last weekend i made a 10-15% water change but everything was fine , and i just checked the levels today and everything was within range except ammonia which im goin to get a test kit cause i ran out.
please help.
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Old 12-12-2003, 09:30 PM   #2
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Re: HELP!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubasteve
i jus came home and my fish are breathing very rapidly and theres bubbles coating the whole surface of the water, and the water has a slight cloudiness to it.
If nothing died and is causing any elevations, it might be a bacterial die off/bloom. How is the skimmer behaving and have you made any chem additions?

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Old 12-12-2003, 11:53 PM   #3
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I had one blue devil die on me tonight, and i have no idea why. Its very frustrating since all the levels say they are perfect , yet the water looks bad and bubbles coat the entire surface. Would you suggest a water change or something else?
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Old 12-12-2003, 11:58 PM   #4
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i'm definately no expert but i don't think it could hurt. obviously something is wrong. did you get that test kit?
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Old 12-13-2003, 12:07 AM   #5
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did you check your protein skimmer like steve-s asked? It may be a contributing factor...
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Old 12-13-2003, 12:28 AM   #6
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ammonia was 0ppm, i actually didnt have a protein skimmer i just bought one tonight and set it up but it hasnt been running long enough to produce anything i dont think (the foam is still white).

Could it be like a massive bacteria outbreak for some reason, if so what options do i have i know treating the main tank is bad cause it could kill beneficial bacteria but at the same time i dont have a large enough QT tank to store the rest of the fish even though theres only 4 of them.

i'm so frustrated its my first tank and since ive started it seems like all ive come across is problems im just about ready to give up.
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Old 12-13-2003, 04:02 AM   #7
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If you have not already, do the water changes. You may never know what has caused the issue. Keep the skimmer going and run some catrbon in the event it might be something that is chemically poisoning the water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubasteve
ammonia was 0ppm, i actually didnt have a protein skimmer i just bought one tonight and set it up but it hasnt been running long enough to produce anything i dont think (the foam is still white).
The reason I was asking about the skimmer was to find out if it was producing excess skimmate. It can also be a sign of some foreign amiss with the water.

Quote:
Could it be like a massive bacteria outbreak for some reason, if so what options do i have i know treating the main tank is bad cause it could kill beneficial bacteria but at the same time i dont have a large enough QT tank to store the rest of the fish even though theres only 4 of them.
Do the water changes, check all the parameters to see if anything is amiss and also change out the carbon a few times to be sure.

Quote:
i'm so frustrated its my first tank and since ive started it seems like all ive come across is problems im just about ready to give up.
You may have had a few set backs, I think we all have at one time or another but I would hate to see the hobby lose a conscientious person such as yourself...

If you do the tests, post the results as well as any other odd things you notice. Any changes or additions made. I am sure the worst will hopefully be over but helping to find out the cause will prevent a future mishap.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-13-2003, 08:53 AM   #8
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What do you consider excess skimmate,
while having the skimmer run i noticed the bubbles get to the collection cup but then it fills up with a clear liquid( im guessin water) pretty fast and foam starts to come out the little hole in the top of the cup and overfloew into the tank, still white bubbles though. What does this mean?
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Old 12-13-2003, 12:44 PM   #9
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k heres an update: just did a 20% water change, water i took out was brownish cloudy and smells pretty nasty. No fish died during the night so that was encouraging however some of them are still breathing rapidly. I put a new pouch of activated carbon in the filter to hopefuly remove any nasty chemicals in there and maybe some of the smell. Later i'm gonna replace 2/4 filter pads to remove any debris in the water.
I'm wondering if the water quality was just really really bad for some reason. I just did a water change last weekend and now this weekend its light brown when i remove it ( still doesnt explain the bubbles on the surface)
Depending how the water and fish look tomorrow morning i think i might do another 15-20% water change either sunday night or monday night to empty the nasty water again.

Hopefully everything makes it through a-ok.
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Old 12-13-2003, 01:17 PM   #10
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The scum on the water surface would still suggest something has died. Bacteria die offs are normally a whitish color not the brown you are describing but does not neccessarily mean it's not. Do as you have already suggested above and it should set things right. You recently had a problem brown algae bloom, was there a massive change in that? Any temp spikes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubasteve
What do you consider excess skimmate,
while having the skimmer run i noticed the bubbles get to the collection cup but then it fills up with a clear liquid( im guessin water) pretty fast and foam starts to come out the little hole in the top of the cup and overfloew into the tank, still white bubbles though. What does this mean?
Excessive skimmate or when the cup fills too quickly, means that there is something foreign in the water other than normal levels of DOC. At this point I cannot say what's caused it unless you also used a stress coat product containing aloe.

How is the ph/alk?

Cheers
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Old 12-13-2003, 03:45 PM   #11
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well did the water change around 11, its almost 4 now and the water looks slightly less cloudy but the fish are still breathing fast. There arent as much bubbles on the surface any more however.
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Old 12-14-2003, 12:20 PM   #12
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Update as of this morning: the waters still cloudy and now another blue devil is hanging towards the bottom, doesnt look good still some bubbles on surface too.
It puzzles me too because i would think the flame angel would be more susceptible to anything in the tank but he seems to be fairing best.

Any suggestions???
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Old 12-14-2003, 12:42 PM   #13
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You have yet to answer the question asked.... It's very difficult to suggest anything with limited info

ph?
alk/Ca?
ammonia?
nitrite?
nitrate?

If the skimmer is removing a decent amount of thick skimmate, the problem should reduce in time. That combined with the water changes and use of carbon will also speed things up. If available a polyfilter from BioMarine would be an even greater advantage...

You will need to keep doing small water changes daily until this subsides. The key here is to dilute/export whatever is polluting the water. Posting the actual numbers for the water specs requested may yield some possitive answers to aid in solving your problem...

Also, do you have any caulerpa in the system?

Cheers
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Old 12-14-2003, 10:48 PM   #14
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ok heres the numbers:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm
Hardness:300ppm (I know this is very hard but dont know how to lower it or how it impacts the fish)
Alkalinity: 180 ppm
PH: 8.2-8.4

Now i tried to turn off the air pump that goes to the two airstones in the tank, and all the bubbles went away from the surface in a few minutes. So its almost as if theres something in the water thats keeping the bubbles together on the surface like surface tension. I'm not sure if the water change would do that or if the water is contaminated some how. Tomorrow im gonna put more activated carbon and do another water change. hopefully ill beat this thing.

A question on the skimmer, shouldnt the cup not be filling up with water, it fills up with water almost 3/4 of the way and then foam spills out of the top hole and back into the tank, im not sure how to fix this.
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Old 12-14-2003, 11:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubasteve
Hardness:300ppm (I know this is very hard but dont know how to lower it or how it impacts the fish)
Hardness is unimportant. The alkalinity and ph are but both seem just fine as well as the other results.

Quote:
Now i tried to turn off the air pump that goes to the two airstones in the tank, and all the bubbles went away from the surface in a few minutes. So its almost as if theres something in the water thats keeping the bubbles together on the surface like surface tension. I'm not sure if the water change would do that or if the water is contaminated some how. Tomorrow im gonna put more activated carbon and do another water change. hopefully ill beat this thing
.
Water changes and fresh carbon will help but you also need to aggitate the water surface so the film can be removed bty the skimmer. Place a PH at the surface so it provides a brisk ripple affect. The airstones will do little to help.

Quote:
A question on the skimmer, shouldnt the cup not be filling up with water, it fills up with water almost 3/4 of the way and then foam spills out of the top hole and back into the tank, im not sure how to fix this.
It may just need more time since it is new or the water flow/air needs tweeking. Generally it will either be that or from a foreign element in the water. Additives that contain aloe will cause this as well.

There have been no additions or dosing? What about the caulerpa?
Any aerosols or other cleaning chems used recently in the vacinity of the tank?

Cheers
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Old 12-15-2003, 01:18 PM   #16
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not sure what caulerpa is so im assuming i dont have it??
I have alot of brown hairy algae, but i scraped it off and sucked mos tof it ou during a water change, the water smells pretty bad and the flame angels tail is withering again, but now this should be my third water 20% water change since last weekend i wouldnt think the water would still be dirty after all of that.

no chemicals used by the tank that i know of, i used a vinegar water mixture to clean the glass cover last weekend but made sure to rinse them very well with warm water for a few minutse before drying and replacing.
another blue devil died and now the rest of the fish are hanging towards the bottom.
argh whats goin on
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Old 12-15-2003, 04:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubasteve
not sure what caulerpa is so im assuming i dont have it??
Probabley not then but for future reference it is a marine macro algae.

Quote:
I have alot of brown hairy algae, but i scraped it off and sucked mos tof it ou during a water change, the water smells pretty bad and the flame angels tail is withering again, but now this should be my third water 20% water change since last weekend i wouldnt think the water would still be dirty after all of that.
The smell would definately be another indication that either something has died (possibley fauna) or there is an abundance of uneaten foods/detritus creating the odor. Does it smell "earthy" or like something rotting? Have you added any new rock recently?

Quote:
no chemicals used by the tank that i know of, i used a vinegar water mixture to clean the glass cover last weekend but made sure to rinse them very well with warm water for a few minutse before drying and replacing.
another blue devil died and now the rest of the fish are hanging towards the bottom.
I am assuming you have the proper surface aggitation as stated in my previous post but I think a majority of the problem may be stemming from the glass lid. They can cause very large problems with proper gas exchange trapping CO2 and reek havock with the ph especially after lights out. I would suggest you remove the lid and replace it with something much more permiable like eggcrate material or something similar that will allow free airflow....

Cheers
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Old 12-15-2003, 09:27 PM   #18
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is it possible theres something wrong with the tap water im adding in? im just tryin to throw out any possible ideas i can think of, i mean the bubbles on the surface and cloudiness started this past wednesday, and i had done the water change the saturday before that so i would think it would show up before that if it was gonna.
am i correct in thinking this?

if its something bacterial is there something i can put in the food or main tank that wont destroy the good bacteria base in the filter.
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Old 12-15-2003, 09:53 PM   #19
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is it possible theres something wrong with the tap water im adding in? im just tryin to throw out any possible ideas i can think of,
It is always a possibility. Tap water is an unknown and what might be safe for us, could be extremely harmful to a SW tank. Fluorines, copper, chloramines and so on. It would astound you. Do you use anything to treat the water? I tried to find a waater quality report for your area with a break down analisys but no luck.

Quote:
i mean the bubbles on the surface and cloudiness started this past wednesday, and i had done the water change the saturday before that so i would think it would show up before that if it was gonna.
am i correct in thinking this?
It is possible there was a reaction but I would think it should be evident much faster than 5 days...

Quote:
if its something bacterial is there something i can put in the food or main tank that wont destroy the good bacteria base in the filter.
No, you will just have to ride it out. Water changes and carbon are still the best bet. I would also suggest the use of a polyfilter. It can be much better at removing chemical impurities than carbon.

Anything else comes to mind, post it. You never know....

Cheers
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Old 12-15-2003, 10:38 PM   #20
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i put a polyfilter in the tank as well as the new carbon.
i use a dechlorinator/dechlormaine chemical ( just a normal one nothin big, ive always used it since the beginning though), so you think just keep on doin water changes every day(still like 10-15% changes?)

have you ever had a big problem hit your tank?
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