Question

Cancun

Member
Is there a spot on the STL part of this forum to post a warning/complaint about a LFS in the St. Louis area?
 

kegogut

New member
I would say that it's ok to post about your positive or negative experience involving a LFS as long as there's no bashing of said LFS.
 

Cancun

Member
Okay...here goes...I went to a aquarium store in St. Charles in August...I bought a really nice golden hammer coral....I was told they keep their tanks at 1.025. I got home checked the salinity in the bag with my refractometer and it was at 1.022!!!!! I double and triple checked it to be 100% sure. I didn't know what to do....my tank is at 1.025. I dripped it for over a hour and put it in. It died in less then a week. 100 bucks down the drain. Then a few weeks ago I decided to give them one more shot...I bought a 100.00 angelfish from them....they said again the water was at 1.025....got home and same thing again...water in bag was 1.022! I dripped the fish over 2 hours...put it in the tank...it was dead the next morning....they have a 24 hr warranty...but my clean up crew got him...you have to bring in the dead fish....has anyone experienced this locally? Maybe I should bring my refractometer with me to these stores....the people are really nice there...and helpful...I am not saying that....what do you guys think...?
 

Pife

New member
I expect all stores to have lower salinity. Even with sps I've never had an issue with salinity change as long as it isn't on going. With the fish there are a lot of things that may have happened. How did you keep it warm for the 2 hours while dipping? If it was a larger fish did it run out of dissolved oxygen over the course of those 2 hours? I'm by no means defending a business or saying you did something wrong. They are animals and if the didn't die pet stores would be out of business. It's a weird circle to me.
 

Sistom

New member
A .003 SG difference could simply be the variation in refractometers or test equipment. The accuracy of a Milwaukee digital refractometer is +/- .002 SG. I would expect the accuracy of a refractometer would be even less. In all likelihood, their test equipment is reporting 1.025 SG on their tanks. If they tested your tank, they would probably read 1.028. Either way, both SG are totally acceptable and well within standards for fish and coral. To me, a .003 difference wouldn't concern me when acclimating new fish or coral. It's not like the store was running hypo salinity at 1.008-1.010 SG and telling you it's 1.025 SG. Honestly, I would be looking elsewhere for the cause of the death of your fish and coral. If all parameters are in check as your signature implies, they may have died simply from the stress of being plucked from the ocean, flown thousands of miles, handled, treated, dipped, dumped, and from moving between less than ideal living conditions on their travels to your house. That seems to be a common culprit when everything else checks out.

Disclaimer: I don't know what store you are referring to. Just providing my experience.

Also, it may be worth taking your refractometer to the store and testing salinity side by side. Maybe your refractometer isn't calibrated properly? I don't know a single LFS that would be offended with a customer trying to compare/calibrate their test equipment.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
A .003 SG difference could simply be the variation in refractometers or test equipment. The accuracy of a Milwaukee digital refractometer is +/- .002 SG. I would expect the accuracy of a refractometer would be even less. In all likelihood, their test equipment is reporting 1.025 SG on their tanks. If they tested your tank, they would probably read 1.028. Either way, both SG are totally acceptable and well within standards for fish and coral. To me, a .003 difference wouldn't concern me when acclimating new fish or coral. It's not like the store was running hypo salinity at 1.008-1.010 SG and telling you it's 1.025 SG. Honestly, I would be looking elsewhere for the cause of the death of your fish and coral. If all parameters are in check as your signature implies, they may have died simply from the stress of being plucked from the ocean, flown thousands of miles, handled, treated, dipped, dumped, and from moving between less than ideal living conditions on their travels to your house. That seems to be a common culprit when everything else checks out.

Disclaimer: I don't know what store you are referring to. Just providing my experience.

Also, it may be worth taking your refractometer to the store and testing salinity side by side. Maybe your refractometer isn't calibrated properly? I don't know a single LFS that would be offended with a customer trying to compare/calibrate their test equipment.

Sage advice and I agree completely.
 

Lance A. Lot

SLASH Member
IMO I'm not sure that a 2 hour drip is the best practice if the temperature in the bag is not held constant. I tend to only drip for just over 30 minutes and even then the temperature has usually dropped measurable amounts. This even with a bag in a cooler with extra tank water around the bag to keep it warmer longer.
I do feel your pain as I recently purchased a larger gold hammer from a St. Charles store and one of the heads on it just withered away in a week's span. I too was mystified as to why only one part of this coral would have problems while the rest is thriving.
 

Badams75

New member
I have had both coral dying after a short time and fish dying within a day or 2 before in the 6 years we've had sw from multiple stores. Coral is a lot more rare for me. I know it is possible every time I buy a fish though. I bought one of the gold hammers and a blue/green a couple weeks ago from probably the same store and they still look great.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
The amount of stress fish go through with being captured, stored, shipped, housed, sold, acclimated, etc, etc, is just huge. Asking the folks in the fish forum for tips would be wise for any newcomer.
 

kegogut

New member
I personally dont drip my corals. I float them for about 30 minutes then in the tank they go.

For fish I try to make sure the store has had them for at least 2 weeks, then I take them home and mix 1 part my water to 1 part theirs and drip for 30 minutes. I used to drip for a long time but had a lot of fish die off on me as well. I havent had any fish die off in quite a while.

I would take some of your water to the LFS in question and have them test it and explain to them what happened. They may be willing to work with you on recouping some of your loss.
 

kegogut

New member
kegogut are you saying you instantly mix 1:1 then drip more? just curious haven't heard that method before

Yes. After Ive floated the fish for a bit to make sure they're the same temp. I then add an equal part of my tank water (give or take,doesnt have to be exact.) to a bucket then dump the fish with it's water into the bucket. I drip for 30-45 mins max then add the fish to the tank. I do a very fast drip too,with the valve almost all the way open.
 

rburch203

New member
Ive thought about doing this but was to worried about a rapid change.. I dunno I've just always done a fast drip but for 30-45 min.. but even the last fish I felt was too long.. Ill try something in between next time.

Thanks
 

kegogut

New member
I also try to only buy fish that's been at the store for 2 weeks or longer and I won't buy any fish that's in hypo.
 

rburch203

New member
^^ same. If not longer. I'm not baby when it comes to buying fish.. if it's not doing really well I try to wait it out while it's at the store.. haha

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
 

Cancun

Member
Thank you all for the great info.....I did take my refractometer to another LFS I frequent....I tested their water with my refractometer and it was 1.025....they used a digital one and they got 1.025. So mine appears to calibrated correctly. If there was a acclimation problem like raising the salinity from low to high to quickly....what signs or symptoms would show up on the fish?
 

Scubareefman

New member
I personally dont drip my corals. I float them for about 30 minutes then in the tank they go.

For fish I try to make sure the store has had them for at least 2 weeks, then I take them home and mix 1 part my water to 1 part theirs and drip for 30 minutes. I used to drip for a long time but had a lot of fish die off on me as well. I havent had any fish die off in quite a while.

I would take some of your water to the LFS in question and have them test it and explain to them what happened. They may be willing to work with you on recouping some of your loss.

I do the same with my corals, float, remove from plug if needed, dip and into my holding tank.

For fish I float them while I get a bucket with a heater ready with about a 1/3 of tank water to the amount in the bag. I then add the bags water and depending on the fish I dip it in fresh water (heated to match bucket in a small rubber made bowl, I use a tiny flat beta tank heater that was like $7 at petco) then it goes into the bucket for around 30-45 minutes.

For clams (just did this last night) and sea stars/star fish and inverts I do the same as above but without the tank water at first or dip of any kind or air contact. ( I use the small bowl.) this is really the only time I let any LFS water into my system.
 
Last edited:
Top