View Full Version : 29 gallon struggling


Leslie
11-02-2008, 6:06 AM
We need some help.

We converted a 29 gallon cichlid tank to a saltwater tank in early September. We have lost untold quantities of fish by trying to cycle with damsels instead of live rock.

But now the tank is established and the water chemicals check out perfectly every time here or when I take water to the LFS.

But we're still losing fish.

Two weeks ago we bought 2 clowns and a condi anemone. Two days ago one of the clowns started breathing rapidly and his color was fading. I gave him a freshwater dip for 5 minutes. Yesterday we treated the tank with Paraguard and their food with Seachem Sulfathiazole. I removed the carbon filter when I did this.

So this morning the fish is dead AND the condi anemone is dead. The tank is cloudy and I've replaced the carbon filters.

When we converted the tank we didn't replace the Rena bio chem stars. Should we have?

The lighting is standard flourescent though we've ordered T5's. Should this matter?

If anyone has an idea as to what the deal is with this tank or what we should do, PLEASE share with me. It's my 12-year-old's tank and he's very dissappointed.

Note: We also have a 70 gallon tank doing wonderfully but started that one from scratch, not a conversion from cichlids.

Help?!?!

Ralph ATL
11-02-2008, 6:17 AM
do you have live rock & live sand in the tank? I assume you do not have a sump? what are you parems,i.e., ammonia, nitrite, trate, ph, ALK? what salinity do u have the tank at? did u ever dose copper in your chichlid tank? condi anemone will need a lot of light, so your typical florescent light isn't going to keep one alive. you much do a little research on what you need to keep certain animals alive, please.



http://www.reefcentral.com/FAQ/general/index.php


http://www.liveaquaria.com/


http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=497+499+619&pcatid=619

http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/startinganaquarium/tp/topmistakes.htm

DrNecropolis
11-02-2008, 6:27 AM
Same things I was going to post. Anymore info on the tank

Leslie
11-02-2008, 6:42 AM
No, we don't have a sump.

We have live sand and about 20 lbs of live rock. We have a peppermint shrimp, blue damsel, 4 turbo snails and a clown.

I have never used copper.

The guy at the LFS said the condi anemone was the only type of anemone that WOULD do well with simple flourescent lighting. He also said the clowns would adopt him but when I read Liveaquaria it disagreed. That was after we bought it. Liveaquaria is my go-to resource.

PH is 8.3, salinity 1.02
I use the API test kit and the Ammonia, Nitrate and nitrite all show at the "0" ppm color on the charts.

Les

Ralph ATL
11-02-2008, 7:08 AM
I don't know about those chemicals, but I would imagine that could add another problem. Clowns showed signs of illness or issues. How did they get diagnosed? You might not have treated the issue, hard to say without further info. It could have been lack of oxegen? Parasite, bacteria, or virus? Do u know what they had? What other symtems? Gotta go, talk at ya later

Leslie
11-02-2008, 7:28 AM
What do you mean you "don't know about those chemicals?" The LFS says they're good but didn't give me exact levels.

And the diagnosis was based on the faded coloring and labored breathing. That's all. I didn't take the fish to the store. He has no signs of ick in that there was not what looked like a dusting of sand on him. (Too many negatives in that sentence, sorry.)

We do have a powerhead with the air tube attached so it would seem plenty of oxygen is in the water but I don't know how I'd test for that.

Thanks for all your help.

Leslie

kwl1763
11-02-2008, 8:34 AM
brooknella (sp?) most likely. I would slow down first off.

Don't add any more chemicals period. Do several water changes over the next week or so equal to 100% of the volume (20-25% at a time) then just relax. Keep changing about 5 gallons a week for a month. Let it sit there and cycle and recover from whatever is going through it. Add no more livestock. If you loose the other clown run the tank for at least a month with nothing in it.

It's going to be almost impossible to diagnose and with so many things changing that makes it all the harder but what you can't do is keep going with chemicals. Fish should always be treated in a seperate quarentine tank.

kwl1763
11-02-2008, 8:35 AM
Also invest in a good tets kit for ammonia and nitrate and dKH and calcium. These will be essential to long term success!

Amici
11-02-2008, 8:52 AM
I agree with kwl about slowing way down. The WORST thing you can do is lose a fish and then go buy a new one, the same reason the first one dided will cause the next to die. Also, damsels are known for being very mean and killing other fish so it might be harassing the other fish. Also, condi will sting and try to eat clowns. They wont "accept it". I have worked in two LFS and after the things I was told to tell people in order to sell fish, I ALWAYS tell someone to NEVER EVER EVER EVER get ANY advice from a LFS unless it is in the ATL area and KNOWN to be reputable with very knowledgeable employees. If a store sells anything other than SW fish then odds are the employees wont know nearly as much as they should about SW. I recommend the book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist to anyone stuggling in the hobby. Education is the best way to learn what is wrong. Sometimes people can diagnose a tank for you, but its always best if you know the issue and can immediately fix it.

WILLIAM1
11-02-2008, 9:17 AM
No, we don't have a sump.

We have live sand and about 20 lbs of live rock. We have a peppermint shrimp, blue damsel, 4 turbo snails and a clown.

I have never used copper.

The guy at the LFS said the condi anemone was the only type of anemone that WOULD do well with simple flourescent lighting. He also said the clowns would adopt him but when I read Liveaquaria it disagreed. That was after we bought it. Liveaquaria is my go-to resource.

PH is 8.3, salinity 1.02
I use the API test kit and the Ammonia, Nitrate and nitrite all show at the "0" ppm color on the charts.

Les

Cant take the advice from most LFS there just here to make a buck and most likely wont tell the truth.

Sometimes we need to realize that just becuase we can trust our freinds and members here doesnt mean you should trust your LFS.

WILLIAM1
11-02-2008, 9:18 AM
I agree with kwl about slowing way down. The WORST thing you can do is lose a fish and then go buy a new one, the same reason the first one dided will cause the next to die. Also, damsels are known for being very mean and killing other fish so it might be harassing the other fish. Also, condi will sting and try to eat clowns. They wont "accept it". I have worked in two LFS and after the things I was told to tell people in order to sell fish, I ALWAYS tell someone to NEVER EVER EVER EVER get ANY advice from a LFS unless it is in the ATL area and KNOWN to be reputable with very knowledgeable employees. If a store sells anything other than SW fish then odds are the employees wont know nearly as much as they should about SW. I recommend the book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist to anyone stuggling in the hobby. Education is the best way to learn what is wrong. Sometimes people can diagnose a tank for you, but its always best if you know the issue and can immediately fix it.

+1

Leslie
11-02-2008, 9:30 AM
Great advice. We do need to slow down. It's just that every time we go in our local LFS we lust after so much. It's hard to resist.

And I will get a quarantine tank set up so next time we have a sick fish, we don't impact the rest of the tank in the treatment.

Les

Amici
11-02-2008, 9:33 AM
Great advice. We do need to slow down. It's just that every time we go in our local LFS we lust after so much. It's hard to resist.

And I will get a quarantine tank set up so next time we have a sick fish, we don't impact the rest of the tank in the treatment.

Les

Your jumping WAY to quick to treat a fish and your just throwing meds and low salinity at it to the point that your probably stressing and killing it quicker. Research and set up a QT tank, then put every fish you buy in it FIRST, not when you realize its sick.

I promise you those fish you lust after are WAY more fun when you keep them alive and they grow and change!

stickx911
11-02-2008, 1:21 PM
Your jumping WAY to quick to treat a fish and your just throwing meds and low salinity at it to the point that your probably stressing and killing it quicker. Research and set up a QT tank, then put every fish you buy in it FIRST, not when you realize its sick.

I promise you those fish you lust after are WAY more fun when you keep them alive and they grow and change!

I agree. I started the same way. dreaming of the ocean in my tiny 55. I had an overlaod of fish in probably 3 weeks...all for nothing as by moving to fast when one fish died, I had no way to figure out why before the next, than the next...sad really.

I had a condi that did not eat fish and could survive under fluorescents, but it really is not recommended as they will just survive if you're lucky (although it was the only thing to survive my first crash). none of the clowns I ever had would go close to it though.

Good luck, and remember that "nothing good ever happens fast in a reef tank"

glxtrix
11-02-2008, 1:48 PM
And your salinity is low....a good range is 1.025-1.026

Michael Ruppert
11-02-2008, 4:28 PM
Take it slow. I have a 29 that spent 4 to 5 months to stock. I cycled with damsels, 30 lbs of ive rock, and 20 lbs of live sand. My stocking order was: snails and hermits crabs to remove algae, corals, and the fish last and only four fish. I consider the tank fully stocked.

Ralph ATL
11-02-2008, 4:58 PM
pm sent

Leslie
11-02-2008, 6:30 PM
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I was in a panic but now seem to have a plan. And I will definitely SLOW DOWN.

Y'all are great.

Leslie