HELP! They're dying!

mdignard

New member
I need help!

I have a 180 gallon display tank with a 55 gallon refugium. I have a wave-maker and a good skimmer. The tank was set up with 125 lbs of live rock. (A Lawnmower Blenny stowed away in one of the rocks). All my water levels were good--ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, salt, etc. I have about 1150 watts of light--actinic, halogen, and moon. Everything seemed good, so I added 2 tiny Percula Clownfish, a scallop, an anemone, a fire shrimp, and a ribbon eel. Well, the Lawnmower Blenny is the only one that will eat. He seems very happy. Within a few days, the scallop died, the anemone died, and one of the Clownfish died; none of them will eat. I have tried misis shrimp, brine shrimp, and copepods. I don't know what to do next. Does anybody have ideas on how to de-stress the fish?

Marty
 

DrBegalke

Go Buckeyes!
Premium Member
What was your acclimation procedure?

The first things I would start with is turning off/way down the lights and retesting the water.
 

jhendu

Premium Member
I second the acclimation question but also, was your source of all the new livestock the same? Any chance that their source may have resulted in their death?
 

Toddrtrex

Premium Member
[welcome]

The scallop dieing doesn't shock me at all, since they shouldn't be kept. Though I am a bit surprised that it died as quickly as it did. It could have been on its way out before you got it, and the stress of being moved pushed it over the edge.

What type of anemone was it?

And like others have asked how did you acclimate everything? And what are the actually numbers for your water parameters?
 

pimpinitup6969

New member
yeah its really strange that you are loseing everything so fast if your parameters are all good sounds like an issue with the supplier

Matt
 

WarrenG

New member
Re: HELP! They're dying!

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11626340#post11626340 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mdignard
I have about 1150 watts of light--actinic, halogen.... Does anybody have ideas on how to de-stress the fish?

Try it with about 300w of light. I hope you don't really have halogen lights.

What are the measured amounts for nitrate, phosphate, salinity, ph, temperature, and hardness?
 

nanoDude

New member
We really need a but more info to be much help. What are the actual results of your tests? How long has the system been up and running?
 

sundancer

New member
Re: HELP! They're dying!

Does anybody have ideas on how to de-stress the fish?

Yes,get a QT tank. Put all your purchases in there for at least 4 weeks. This way you can control their environment to make them feel save, to recoup from being pulled out of the ocean,to put on weight,to learn to eat prepared foods. In short,to learn to be an aquarium pet. If they don't eat or get sick don't put them in your 180. Buy one type of fish at a time. Don't buy fish that don't belong together and don't buy difficult fish to start. Stocking a tank takes much more thought and planning than most people think. It's mostly a one way street. Make a mistake and it is very difficult to make U turns. Well, you can take this opportunity to start over. Recheck your water. Rethink your livestock list and create a stocking plan. There is A LOT that you can do to de-stress fish and it's all worth doing because your fish will thank you instead of dying on you.
 

mdignard

New member
specifics

specifics

Okay, here's the info.

I am using the Instant Ocean test kits with the little silver powder packets.

Ph 8.0 - 8.2
Ammonia < 0.2
Nitrites < 0.2
Nitrates < 10
Salt 1.024
Temp 76 - 77

The lighting may be a problem. I have 3 halides (not halogens) at 250W and 4 blue actinic at 96W and some tiny moonlights at night. I have the blue actinic set for 8am - 8pm and the halides set for 10am - 6pm. I was told that these were the best settings, but it could be too much.

I got all the fish from the same aquarium store, and they have a lot of saltwater tanks. They don't seem to have a problem with stock dying. I have seen some fish there for 2 or 3 weeks. Because it was such a large tank and all the levels looked good, they said that adding 4 or 5 at the beginning would not be a problem. I have 125 lbs of live rock and 80 lbs of live sand. I checked the waterwhen the scallop, anemone, and clownfish died, and the levels were still on the lowest level of the charts...so I think the biological cycle is doing okay.
 

nanoDude

New member
Your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates should be undetectable when the cycle is finished. It sounds like your tank isn't ready for fish yet.
 

driftin

New member
I'm not surprised by the anemone in a young tank.

Do you know what the fish were eating while at the store?
 

nanoDude

New member
Re: underectable

Re: underectable

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11628850#post11628850 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mdignard
Those numbers are the lowest on the scales...so I put them for when no trace showed.

Oh, sorry. How long has the system been up and running?
 

stuccodude

New member
i heard of a guy that could not keep anything in his tank and it was a lack of a shield from his lights, he cooked everything even though temp was at 80, good luck
 

Amoore311

New member
Everything seemed good, so I added 2 tiny Percula Clownfish, a scallop, an anemone, a fire shrimp, and a ribbon eel. Well, the Lawnmower Blenny is the only one that will eat. He seems very happy. Within a few days, the scallop died, the anemone died, and one of the Clownfish died; none of them will eat. I have tried misis shrimp, brine shrimp, and copepods. I don't know what to do next. Does anybody have ideas on how to de-stress the fish?


How small were the clowns? Babies are notoriously harder to get to eat than adolescent clowns. The anenome and scallop I'm really not suprised about. They could have both died very quickly from poor acclimation. Or they could have been sick/weak already.

You basically bought a handful of tough/extremely hard specimens to keep all at one time.

Avoid baby clowns unless you see them eat at the LFS.

Scallops are filter feeders that require more phytoplankton than we can provide w/o fowling our water.

Anenomes should be avoided in new tanks. They are also very sensitive to acclimation and parameter change. Same thing here with the Fire Shrimp.

Ribbon Eels are also notoriously tough to coax into eating prepared foods.


Lesson that should be learned here is to research as much as you can first. It's unfortunate that this is all happening to you, but now you know the importance research.
 
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