Tank Disaster

Discussion in 'Diseases' started by Heather Carver, Mar 18, 2015.

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  1. Heather Carver

    Heather Carver Astrea Snail

    Mar 17, 2015
    Hello Everyone!
    I have had a saltwater fish tank for 5 months. I'm new to saltwater but do currently own 3 freshwater tanks so I do have some fish experience. I did everything that you are supposed to when starting up a fish tank. Got a pound of live rock per gallon, got live sand, and bought the appropriate canister, heater, protein skimmer, and lights. Fast forward a month and I added two bangaii cardinalfish to the tank. I did everything you are supposed to, dripped them, floated the bag, etc.They had no problems. A month later, we added two snowflake clownfish who were already paired together. Did everything you are supposed to do with them as well. A month later we added I added a yellow tang. I only added a few or two a month and took everything slowly. A month later my dad (who doesn't know much about saltwater) bought a powder blue tang and a six line wrasse. I know you are not supposed to keep two tangs in the same tank but for some reason the yellow tang and the powder blue got along well. Four days after purchasing the powder blue tang and the six line wrasse, they both came down with severe ich (honestly, I think it was velvet). This is when the tank disaster begin. Within 12 hours of showing symptoms, they powder blue tang died. The wrasse was just as bad but survived. I treated the tank with Ruby Reef Ick out and Rally. It treated the tank. A few days ago, I noticed that my male snowflake clown fish was laying at the bottom of the tank. I figured he was just hiding. Than yesterday I noticed that his top back fin was completely gone (see photo). Other than a little red, he was eating and fine. Today, he took a turn for a worse and just died. I'm not sure why. I need to know what might have happened to the clown fish to prevent any more problems. I have a few conclusions, such as the six line wrasse was beating him up (which I never saw), a chemical reaction from the treatment, or maybe he got stuck in the power head. I need advice from someone who knows more than me at the moment. I'm not exactly sure where to go next and what to do. I'm stuck.
    Here is the photo link:

    Here are my water parameters: Tank is 75 gallons
    Temp: 78 degrees
    P.H 8.2
    Alk. 180
    Salinity: 1.020
    Here is what is in my tank:
    1 Fire shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp
    1 lawnmower blenny
    1 snowflake clown
    1 yellow tang
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  3. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

    Apr 30, 2009
    A) You can keep several tangs together without issue provided the right environment; a majority of reefers do.

    B) Powder blue tangs are very difficult to keep. They are absurdly susceptible to ich. What happened with yours is highly common.

    You did everything properly, I would just rethink the powder blue next time, especially in that tank.

    If it's velvet you need a fallow tank for 3 months.
    Mr. Bill likes this.
  4. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator

    Sep 8, 2010
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Beware of products that say the product can be added directly to a reef tank to treat marine ich. Go back to the basics when treating marine ich. Avoid stress, provide a well balanced diet, maintain adequate water quality and if you're going to have a community fish tank quarantine all fish prior to introduction to the display.
    If you are set on keeping Tangs then you really need to QT fish and honestly a Powder Blue Tang has no business in a 75 gallon tank.
    So you can set up a quarantine tank now and treat with copper or hypo or you can refrain from adding any further fish for awhile, feed Selcon soaked food and reduce any and all stressors.


    Please review the link below in depth.


    Do not be too disappointed, continue to research. There are many ways to achieve the same goal with this hobby unfortunately one has to wade through a lot of material to find what works specifically for that individuals system. A constant though is go slow especially when issues arise, nothing good happens fast in this hobby.

    Welcome to 3reef.
  5. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

    Oct 24, 2010
    Dunnellon, Florida
    Your salinity is low.Raise it slowly to 1.024.
  6. Ballgame

    Ballgame Millepora

    Dec 27, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Did you QT them? 75g is way too small for a powder blue. Let alone PB and a Yellow Tang. Stress can bring on ich. Ich is nasty stuff. I lost everything to it.

    There is a great article on the life cycle of ich. You either need to remove all fish and treat in a quarantine tank. Or treat in tank but can't have any corals or clams and such. Actually it's bad to treat in the tank because the live rock will absorb the cooper.
    QT fish and treat for 4 weeks for ich. While tank fallows for 4-6 weeks. It's a brutal time frame.
    After I lost all my fish I QT and do the work before adding then into display so don't have to do that again. But I'm sure it will happen again.
    Good luck
    CBSurfrider likes this.
  7. APC

    APC Gigas Clam

    May 23, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Sounds like you tried to do it right - I am sorry that it did not work out better. Couple of thoughts:

    When you re-stock - I would avoid multiple tangs in a 75g tank. Not to say it can't be done - but I think its a bad idea. Tangs need a lot of space to swim and lots of room to graze. Hard to get that in a 75g. I have 3 tangs (Yellow, Sailfin, and Hippo) in my 250g and I would not add another one to that tank. They have just enough room. My personal goal is to provide as low stress an environment as possible for my fish - it leads to better long term outcomes (My yellow tang has been in my tank for going on 10 years). I think if you over stock you directly impact stress levels.

    I would also raise the salinity as suggested by others - just do it slowly....over a few water changes....so as to not shock anyone. Also - make sure your Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium are in line - I would worry about these vs. PH (I don't check PH personally).

    Also - make sure you are accounting for stray voltage in the tank - just get a cheap grounding probe if you don't have one. SW fish seem to be more sensitive to voltage than FW (based on my experience)

    Finally - Tell your dad to stop buying fish without asking you first :) Y'all need to have a stocking plan, and you have to agree on it and stick to it. SW tanks don't handle random additions as well as FW tanks do. Patience and Planning are the hardest part of this particular hobby.
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  9. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

    Aug 13, 2012
    you've gotten great advice...I am sorry for your losses. welcome to the forum! I know your dad was just trying to give a gift for your new hobby but just let him know that he'll need to check with you in the future :)
  10. CBSurfrider

    CBSurfrider Millepora

    Jul 23, 2013
    Indialantic, Fl.
    We've all been there. You're next purchase should be a small tank for Quarantine any new fish. Like stated above QT everything and you'll need a tank to treat the survivors and leave your tank fallow. The clown losing its fins sounds like brooklynella to me? Did any of us mention QT ;)
  11. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

    Jan 13, 2010
    Knoxville, TN
    Been there, done that and done it again. We can do this, bud! I'm trying to recover as well.

    I would not call your situation a disaster. The salinity advice is great. A common saying in the saltwater world is if you tested everything and everything looks good, you've missed something. So, read a lot and keep your chin up!! Welcome!
    DSC reef likes this.
  12. Heather Carver

    Heather Carver Astrea Snail

    Mar 17, 2015
    Hi Everyone!
    Thank you so much for all of your advice! It's really appreciated. When the clownfish died, my dad took a good look at it (he's an emt, gross I know). His gills were clean and he didn't have anything on him, ich cycts, mucus, anything like that, so i'm stumped on what happened. After the medication, I did a 20% water change. That's what the bottle said to do. I did notice that the nitrates went up to 20. How can I bring those down? They have been at 0 consistently for months. Could this be due to the meds?