New clownfish died after 4 hours in new tank, please help.

Discussion in 'Fish Disease' started by atony4688, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. atony4688

    atony4688

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    Hello, so i purchased my fist fish on saturday, a clown about 2" long, as soon as i acclimated him to the tank he swam and hid in one of the caves of my liverock. about an hour later he was exploring and looked as healthy as can be. I only got the one because the LFS on ly had the one and his color was so good, i did not want to pass it up. they said they would call me when they got more in. yesterday i got the call , so i went to the store, and picked up another clown. (I have heard that there should be 2, and I have heard there should be three, but 2 makes sense.) i did the same process of acclimating the fish as I did for the first one, but when i released him in the tank he was acting weird. he stayed in the top 3 inches of the tank, he was angled nose up at like a 30 degree angle and he appeared to be breathing very heavily. moving his fins quickly and i could tell he was struggling. i gave him some time like 2 hours and my other clown would come over and swim around him a little and bump him probably trying to get him to swim around. after about another hour he had disappeared and i had to look for him, but he had died when i found him. i pulled him out of the tank so he would not impact the water levels. I am worried about why he died, not only because its 20 bucks down the crapper, but i want to learn from this. it seems odd that one could live well in my tank and the other one struggled. I tested my water, i didn't know what to test, so i tested everything my kit does: PH is 7.8 which is a little low I think, Ammonia is .75, Nitrite is .50, and Nitrate is around 10 or 12. as best as i can tell matching colors to the tubes. correct me if i am wrong but aren't these water level OK? The info i have been able to find is that if the LFS really got them the same day I bought him, then maybe he could not handle acclimating to 2 tanks in one day and he died because of the stress? What are your thoughts? The first fish is still doing well but i'm a little concerned before i try introducing another.
     
    atony4688, Jul 9, 2013
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  2. atony4688

    atony4688

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    Also, his color was a little more pale than the first fish, meaning he was not quite as vibrant. don't know if this helps or not.
     
    atony4688, Jul 9, 2013
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  3. atony4688

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    It doesn't sound like you cycled your tank before you added your fish. Ammonia (yes, at the level you have it) is very harmful to fish. Please take your other clown back to the store until your cycle is complete.
     
    ErinCahir, Jul 9, 2013
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  4. atony4688

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    Yeah, I am with Erin. Your water levels are not okay. How long has this tank been up? Did it cycle fully that you know of before you added your fish?

    I also think that yes, you putting in a clown that was already stressed due to a double acclimation in 2 tanks may have played a part in it as well.
     
    fastrd400, Jul 9, 2013
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  5. atony4688

    atony4688

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    I am cycling with the fish, i know a lot of people on here absolutely despise using fish, but the people I personally know have used fish to start up and said they had no problems. should i do anything about the ammonia levels or let time take its course? the tank has been running about 2 weeks also. I used 80 lbs of live sand and seeded alot of dead rock with about 15lbs or live rock.
     
    atony4688, Jul 9, 2013
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  6. atony4688

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    You really shouldn't use fish to cycle your tank. I know the logic behind it, and it is old school thinking honestly. Anytime you use fish to cycle, you run a tremendous risk of killing the fish needlessly because of the spikes. Do not add another fish at this point until the tank has cycled. If it was me, I'd probably even pull the other clown out and ask the LFS to hold on to him until your tank is done cycling.
     
    fastrd400, Jul 9, 2013
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  7. atony4688

    atony4688

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    if I pull the fish wont the cycle stall? is there a way to know how far into the cycle I am. is there anything i can do to help the cycle move along? Since the nitrite and ammonia levels are under 1ppm does that men i am close to the end of the cycle?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
    atony4688, Jul 9, 2013
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  8. atony4688

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    Did you start with mostly live rock? If yes, then there is a possibility you are close to the end of your cycle. (This is also dependent on how much live rock you have total.)

    The fish already provided the ammonia you need. The cycle won't "stall".
     
    ErinCahir, Jul 9, 2013
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  9. atony4688

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    +1 Erin! While some fish CAN live through a cycle, it shortens their lifespan and it's needlessly stressful to the fish. If you ever have to cycle a tank again, just throw in a raw piece of shrimp. Works just as well and doesn't harm a fish. For now you have enough ammonia that taking the fish out would not stall the cycle. Read through some of the sticky threads to learn more about the cycling process.
    Most importantly, do not take your fish stores advice before doing your own research. They want your money- bottom line. We just want your tank to succeed. :Cheers:
     
    chichimom79, Jul 9, 2013
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  10. atony4688

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    The ammonia is what attracts the bacteria into your tank, so +1 everyone, the cycle won't stall...if anything, you kick started it.

    And yes, cycling with live animals work...but it's really not fair to the fish. Imagine if it were you breathing carbon monoxide. I cycled my 125g that only had base rock and dry sand using a cube of mysis.
     
    wontonflip, Jul 10, 2013
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  11. atony4688

    MitchReef reef noobie, since 1986

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    We cycled with fish in the 80's but not since probably 20 years ago, if I remember right.....

    With that much Ammonia and Nitrites and with Nitrates being formed your cycle is rolling along fine....give it a little more time (without the fish) and the Ammonia and Nitrite will drop to 0, then do some water changes to reduce the Nitrates and you will be ready....I know waiting is hard, but you need to be really patient to have a successful reef....
     
    MitchReef, Jul 10, 2013
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  12. atony4688

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    If the fish store will not take the fish back you might want to add a little PRIME to the tank. will help detoxify the Ammonia and nitrite, nitrates. But defenetly try and see if they can hold him for a bit, according to your reading your cycle should be almost done in a week or so. I know ones I started seeing nitrates it only took about a week for ammonia and nitrites to go down to 0.
     
    Civicdemon, Jul 10, 2013
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