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Old 05-25-2010, 10:48 AM
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Question where am i going wrong

ok so I'm pretty new to this whole thing. I started a 55 gallon tank begining of may. I let it cycle for a week and a half. I put in some live sand some live rock. After that I did what most people do threw in some damsels. I put in two jewel damsels a four strip damsel and a blue devil damsel. I had to get rid of the blue devil he had something on him didnt want to risk it so I flushed him. I got a few snails and some peppermint shrimp next. Last week I added a two clown fish one of which someone dropped off at my job a percula clown bout an inch and a half long and a maroon clown which i bought. Then thursday I added a red anthias. Between sunday and today Ive lost both my peppermint shrimp my red anthias and my percula clown. I have no idea what i did wrong, whats wrong with my water. I tested my water and everything seems pretty legit I have no idea whats wrong and I am incredably frustrated. I do two 5 gallon water changes a week. I dont over feed I do everything I was taught to do at work from a guy who has been in the business for 45 years he knows his stuff and he doens't have any answers for me. I was hoping maybe someone would have some pointers or something. Thanks guys.
~Fernando
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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was you cycle fully finished? the majority of tanks dont cycle in a week and half. did you test your parameters to determine it was? also seems like you were stocking fast.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:56 AM   #3
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way too much livestock at once. you just started the tank in may? checking my calendar, its still may.....

1) Did you monitor your water params to make sure it cycled atleast once?

2) What are the actual water parameters you're testing currently?

3) What type of filtration do you have in place beside the live rock you added that has not had enough time to build up the bacterial filter?

4) Id recommend you remove all the fish, and dont flush em take em to your LFS and see if they can either hold them till your tanks ready or give you credit for them. Id keep one or two of the damsels in there if you want for the initial cycling.

Not to knock your friend, but you said "i was taught by a guy who is in the business for 45 years and he knows his stuff and doesnt have answers for me" - im sorry but i cant see them having 45 years experience and allowing you to put that kind of livestock in there that fast in the first month of a 55gal salt tanks inception.

I started my tank in december 09 and its currently may and I have 3 fish a full cleanup crew (added last week) and im still seeing minor instabilities in water parameters. It takes longer than some people think to get your tank stable to support a decent bioload.


in short, we'll need to know your setup, your current tested params, etc.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:56 AM   #4
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Welcome to 3 Reef.

And it sounds like you went with too many fish much too quickly. You need time for the bacteria to catch up to each new fish you put in. I've had my tank for 5 months and I only have 3 fish in it. We'll also need to know much more about your tank. Feel free to list parameters, what you're using for filtration, etc.

-Regards,
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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Also please note that fish aren't disposable critters..... flushing is an inhumane way to dispose of a live fish. There are cheap fish tranqs out there available at the LFS. Human clove oil can also be used. It's made to tranquilize a fish, but if you overdose or leave them in there once they are sedated.... they can gently and humanely be euthanized.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:07 AM   #6
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a bit of light reading to set you on the right path:

How to setup a saltwater aquarium

Ultimate Newbie Guide

All about Sumps Filters and Fuges

All About Skimmers, skimmers, skimmer.

Also -

http://www.3reef.com/forums/attachments/say-hello/19344d1252457043-hello-new-here-hello.gif

http://www.3reef.com/forums/members/telgar-albums-90-gal-build-picture4488-welcome.gif

For those of you joining us that are new to the hobby - the best piece of advice you'll get around here as a saltwater newbie is 3Reef's slogan
"Go slow, let it grow."
And for those experianced hobbyists joining us - it's still good advice
good luck and post pics soon
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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SLOW DOWN.
Way too much way too fast. Only bad things happen quickly in a reef system, all good things take time.

For one, you are probably not through the initial cycle yet, and secondly you overloaded the system even if it had been fully cycled.

Even after a complete cycle you add inhabitants slowly over time to allow the bacteria to catch up, you are adding more bioload so you need to grow more bacteria to support that load. It all takes time.

I would not keep more than 3 or 4 fish in a 55G, heck I only keep 6 or 7 in a 100G that has been up and runing over 6 years. Consider the fishes full grown adult size and stock accordingly, our goal is to keep that fish for its entire life so pretend its full grown when you add it since it will be one day soon.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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lots of good advise given.

What is your water source? Is it tap? If so did you dechlorinate? Is it RO or RO/DI?

How much do you feed? Lots of folks have an idea that some levels of overfeeding are not too much, when they are. For starts, it's pretty hard not to overfeed when you have anthias (very messy fish).


How do you keep your water levels constant? Shrimp are very sensitive to SG swings. Stability is key for them. I wouldn't add shrimp before a tank is a few months old in general.

What are your params? Actual numbers. What did you use to test?


And, like others said, that's way too much fish way too fast.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peredhil View Post
lots of good advise given.
How do you keep your water levels constant? Shrimp are very sensitive to SG swings. Stability is key for them. I wouldn't add shrimp before a tank is a few months old in general.
good point i didnt even consider mentioning that.... i lost inverts initially to a auto-top-off issue that gave me some crazy SG swings
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bje View Post
way too much livestock at once. you just started the tank in may? checking my calendar, its still may.....

1) Did you monitor your water params to make sure it cycled atleast once?

2) What are the actual water parameters you're testing currently?

3) What type of filtration do you have in place beside the live rock you added that has not had enough time to build up the bacterial filter?

4) Id recommend you remove all the fish, and dont flush em take em to your LFS and see if they can either hold them till your tanks ready or give you credit for them. Id keep one or two of the damsels in there if you want for the initial cycling.

Not to knock your friend, but you said "i was taught by a guy who is in the business for 45 years and he knows his stuff and doesnt have answers for me" - im sorry but i cant see them having 45 years experience and allowing you to put that kind of livestock in there that fast in the first month of a 55gal salt tanks inception.

I started my tank in december 09 and its currently may and I have 3 fish a full cleanup crew (added last week) and im still seeing minor instabilities in water parameters. It takes longer than some people think to get your tank stable to support a decent bioload.


in short, we'll need to know your setup, your current tested params, etc.
100% agreed, very good post. I have a hard time believing somebody with 45 years of experience in salt water would lead you down the path you took. This is going to sound cocky, but without needing to know your parameters, in short, you didn't let the tank cycle properly. Cylcing with fish is only 1 potential way to cycle a tank. If you choose to do that, you should only use 1, (one), fish. Many new hobbyists make the mistake of adding 3-4 fish to cycle the tank b/c somebody told them it was all right to do, particularly lfs.

In order to remedy this, I would remove all but 1 fish, please take them back to the fish store and don't flush them, you should be able to at least get credit. When that is done, let the tank cycle for at least a few weeks. You will know it is finished when you ammonia is 0ppm and nitrite is at 0ppm after spiking. Then you can proceed to slowly add livestock. Between additions of fish, wait a few weeks to allow the bacteria population to catch up.
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