All my fish died, what now?

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    Cliff notes: all my fish died, how do i assure this wont happen again?


    Let me start by saying i was introduced to this hobby by a guy at a local fish store who claimed it was very low maint. and so easy. after having the Lion fish i became attached to die slowly and him not being able to help me a bit, i must say it is not all he said it was.

    I do however enjoy it and need to kn ow where i need to go from here.

    I have a 55G tank with 1-2 inches of live sand plenty of live rock and other shells and ornaments. I initially had only the lion fish and i slowly over 2 months added fish and annenomes. i had a small yellow tamg that died in it's fist week after being bullied to death by a viscous tomato clown who also bullied another tomato clown to death. the same fish store guy said the clowns would be fine together and would share an annenome. so after all that i had the clown the lionfish and a keyhole angel. i was having problems with nitrates and nitrites but as soon as i got all that into control the angel started losing color and had what looked to be ick.

    i treated the ick and after it all went away they all got cloudy eyes and died within 3 days. again, at the time i didnt have the internet and the fish store guy just shrugs his shoulders. so i was forced to just sit and watch my fish die.

    my question now, is what do i do next? i have a carbon canister filter for a 75 gallon tank and a bio wheel for a 100 gallon tank. i have the tank aerated with an air rock as well as the bio wheel breaking the surface. I have noticed white salt-grain sized things attatched to the glass, which looks like what was attatched to the fish. I was buying my water from the fish store already prepared which he assured me was the best way.
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  2. Lukeduke

    Bifferwine I am a girl Moderator

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    First off, ditch the airstones. They are useless for saltwater tanks. Buy yourself two or three powerheads instead. The MaxiJet 1200s are cheap and very good.

    Second, you added way to many animals way too fast. You have to wait for your tank to cycle (zero ammonia, zero nitrites) before you should add any fish. And then, once it has cycled, add one or two fish. Wait for a month or so, making sure that they stay alive and healthy, then add one or two more.

    When you say you have plenty of live rock, how much is that? 1 to 2 lbs per gallon is recommended, so you would need roughly 50 to 100 lbs for adequate filtration in your tank.

    Tomato clowns can be very territorial and aggressive. And you should definitely have not tried an anemone in a new tank. They need very intense lighting (at least 8 watts per gallon) and very established, stable water parameters. You generally should wait until your tank has been running for at least 10 months before adding an anemone.

    Okay, now to the better part: where to go next.

    Ditch that fish store! Find a new one! Even if you have to drive an extra half hour out of the way! It is obvious that that dude is only interested in selling you stuff and does not care one bit about the hobby or the livestock he is selling. Do not continue to support the businesses of dishonest people like him. He gave you a lot of bad advice and he does not deserve to have you as a repeat customer.

    You should buy a protein skimmer. Do not buy a SeaClone or a Red Sea Prizm. The best hang on tank skimmers are the Aqua C Remora Pro and the Coral Life Super Skimmer. They are both relatively cheap, as far as skimmers go. A skimmer is a must for a successful tank.

    The white salt grain things attached to the glass are probably spirorbid worms, which are normal and reef safe. Not the same thing as what killed your fish. They are nothing to worry about, and you can just scrape the glass off to clean it.

    Buying your water from the fish store is the best way to go. You should use RODI water, which you can get from the fish store, or bottled at Walmart or the grocery store. Do not use tap water.

    What kind of lights do you have?
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 9, 2007
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  3. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    I was buying my water as saltwater already prepared. i know most people mix with instant ocean, but once again, he told me his water was the way to go. I have just regular flourecent lights. what do i need to do to make sure what killed my fish is gone.

    i took all my crabs and annenomes and snails into a 10 gallon tank with a marine-glo bulb i bought from petsmart.
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  4. Lukeduke

    Bifferwine I am a girl Moderator

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    You should return the anemone to the store ASAP. You can't keep anemones or corals under regular flourescent lights (or any lights found at PetSmart).

    To make sure what killed your fish is gone, you need to not add any fish to the tank for several months. And from now on, it's a good idea to quarantine any new fish before you add them to the tank so that you lessen the chances that they will bring a disease to your tank.

    The good news is, whatever killed your fish is not transferable to your invertibrates. That means that you can leave the crabs and snails in your main tank. But like I said, your lights are not strong enough to keep corals or anemones, and the anemone will die unless you find a new home for it.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 9, 2007
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  5. Lukeduke

    reeffreak

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    Welcome to site Luke!

    Trust me on this,what you have gone through,we all been there at one time or another.This is my recommendation and I'm sure many others will have theres.Ick will always be present in a system.The best you can do is quarantine any fish you buy.A simple 10g with heater,lights and HOT filter is all thats needed.Another way of keeping your inhabitants from getting ick is by giving a proper diet and good water quality.Those things can effect the immune system and cause secondary problems(ick and other illness).

    Here's what I would change.Remove the biowheel and airstone.The biowheel will only lead to nitrate and phosphate problemsThe live rock makes the best biological filter.Airstones and air devices will only cause salt creep.If you haven't already,invest in a good protein skimmer.They IMO are the single most important piece of equipment.

    Give it a couple of weeks before you restock.When you do,take it slowly.BTW,those white things on the glass sounds like Spirorbid worms.They are a tiny worm that lives in a calcareous shell.Harmless and reef safe.

    Best of luck
     
    reeffreak, Sep 9, 2007
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  6. Lukeduke

    Bifferwine I am a girl Moderator

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    Here's another piece of good advice that has helped me a lot too: Before you buy anything or do anything, start a thread and post a question on here. There are lots of people that know tons and will be able to help you out, give you advice, warn you etc. It's better to ask questions before you do things than afterwards!
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 9, 2007
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  7. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    So, with all this said, i need to get rid of my canister and bio-wheel, get a freakin ton more live rock and completely change my water, then in a few weeks i can add a few fish?
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  8. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    what type of lights do i need to ensure the life of the annenomes?
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  9. Lukeduke

    Bifferwine I am a girl Moderator

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    Yep. Sounds about right. Sorry :(. Keep in mind, you don't need to do it all at once. You can buy a little rock now, and gradually add more as you can afford it. Same with your equipment. The bio-wheel and canister will work for now, but when you get enough money, buy a skimmer instead. And when you do add more fish, research the kind of fish that you add before you put them in. For example, you said you had a keyhole angel before. Keyhole angels are NOT reefsafe. For your first fish, I would recommend a pair of green chromis or a pair of clownfish (bought as a pair, so that you know they get along). And add fish slowly. Keep your first two fish alive for a month or so, then add one or two more.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 9, 2007
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  10. Lukeduke

    Bifferwine I am a girl Moderator

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    As for lights on a 55 gallon tank, you will either need T5s or Metal Halides. T5s are cheaper (but are still expensive). Like I said, you should aim for 8 watts per gallon for anemones. Most people don't even bother keeping anemones because they are so difficult to keep alive and are not worth the hassle. Plus, clownfish are perfectly happy without an anemone.

    Before you buy lights, post your options here and we'll tell you what we think.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 9, 2007
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  11. Lukeduke

    reeffreak

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    Not everything needs to be done in one night.When you can add live rock til you're at one pound per gallon mark.Then look into getting a skimmer next.In the meantime,clean the canister often and remove the biowheel when you have enough rock.Not a bad idea to invest in a couple of powerheads,lots of flow is good for salt aquaria.Keeps the water well oxygenated and DETRITUS suspended.

    Are you sure you want an anemone?Clowns will do fine without a host.Even the most advanced aquarist have difficulties keeping anemones.If you're wanting to keep corals,anemones and clams,you might want to look into at least a T5 high output fixture.Preferably with individual reflectors(more light).
     
    reeffreak, Sep 9, 2007
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  12. Lukeduke

    Piggy

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    Welcome to the site. There are a lot of knowlegeable people here that will answer any question you may have. Biff and Reef have you covered.
     
    Piggy, Sep 9, 2007
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  13. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    what do you mean by the angel is not reef safe? i think the annenomes are pretty cool looking an i like the way the clowns interact with them. but from the sound of it, i wont be getting any more if these bite the big one.

    Where can i buy a hood ant the lights i need?
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  14. Lukeduke

    Bifferwine I am a girl Moderator

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    Not reef safe means that it will eat inverts such as shrimp, crabs, snails, or corals. There are lots of fish out there that are not reef safe, so if you want those fish, you can't keep certain inverts.

    For lights, these are three of the best sites: Pet Supplies, Dog Supplies, Cat Supplies, Pet Meds & Pet Products: Drs. Foster & Smith Pet Supplies, Aquarium supplies for your tropical fish tank, saltwater fish tank, saltwater aquarium fish, freshwater aquarium fish & reef aquarium. Aquarium filters, aquarium lighting, aquarium tanks, protein skimmers & more for your reef tank., and Champion Lighting & Supply

    Lighting for a 55 gallon reef tank will easily run you $250 plus, just a warning.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 9, 2007
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  15. Lukeduke

    reeffreak

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    reeffreak, Sep 9, 2007
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  16. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    i appreciate the help a ton. will the water i have purchased from his fish store be ok? im going to ask him if he mixes it, or what. i will see if he has any lighting like you are talking about. I know he may not know enough to get a new guy started in the hobby but he still has the most supplies and healthy fish in my area.
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  17. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    reefreak you werent joking about the expensive part geez! but i imagine it will give me the look i have been searching for.
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  18. Lukeduke

    reeffreak

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    You can probably answer that question better than I.As long as they are selling you water that is actually RO/DI water you should be fine.You can buy a TDS meter($40) and check their freshwater,it should be read 0ppm or close to that.If you know of any local reefer that buy water from them,ask for their input.Maybe later on down the line,you can always get your own RO/DI filtering unit.
     
    reeffreak, Sep 9, 2007
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  19. Lukeduke

    Lukeduke

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    i have some of his water here, i will test it in the morning i guess for nitrates nitrites amonia and ph.
     
    Lukeduke, Sep 9, 2007
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  20. Lukeduke

    reeffreak

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    I'm guessing $330 for the Tek w/bulbs is expensive?I know it seems high but its actually a really good price for that fixture.Save and get the right fixture the first time unlike me.I spent way to much on different lighting because I thought it was good enough.I wasted money so you don't have too.
     
    reeffreak, Sep 9, 2007
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