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Old 02/22/2018, 02:25 PM   #1
JDT1234
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Why are my fish still dying - continued

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2668020

Above are two threads I started with great advice from forum members. I want to continue but don't want to have people read through those two threads unless they want to because basically, in a nut shell, the consensus is my problems stem from overdosing 2 part, water quality and acclimation of new fish.

First thing I need to do is get my water back in shape. And this is my problem now.

As suggested by members of the forum do 4x20 gallon water changes and stop dosing. I did.

Here are my readings:

2/18- 20 gallons of new saltwater mixed tested before adding to tank: MG 1360, CA 440, KH 11.2......basically spot on what the container says it should be. Using Red Sea Coral Pro.

2/19 - Readings from the day before water change. MG 1360, CA 380, KH 7.0. Did another 20 gallon water change.

2/20 - Readings from the day before water change: MG 1360, CA 360, KH 7.0. Did another 20 gallon water change.

2/21- same as 2/19 and 2/20. Did another 20 gallon water change.

2/22 - Retested fresh batch of salt water going in. MG 1350, CA 440, AK 11.2. Spot on again. Did 20 gallon water change and waited three hours for water to circulate and mix....tested: MG 1350, CA 360, AK 6.7

This is where I am scratching my head. 80 gallons of water changed in the last four days. 145 gallons since January.

Why.....after all the water changes are my numbers still so low?

How can it be after I change out all the water, (80 over the last four days) that tested spot on from the bucket, can my water not even change one bit since I stopped dosing and basically just performed a total water transfusion on the tank.

Tested out of the new batch twice with consistent spot on results. Water tested from my tank continuously low, but consistent as well. If you notice the results they are all the same every day.

I have seen no positive change in all these water changes BUT I also have not seen the water decline as well......just stays the same. The numbers should be rising with the water changes.

The test kit is good (Red Sea). It proved itself out on the new batches (twice) of salt water. Used the same kit, same syringes for each test, used the same jars for each test. The only difference is one test was done on the fresh mix waiting to go in and the other tested from the aquarium.

Thanks,
Jeff


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Old 02/23/2018, 05:08 AM   #2
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First ensure your newly mixed salt water is at the correct SG/Salinity (1.026 / 36ppt).

Next check the salt mix parameters to the specs provided by the manufacturer as the mix values. Common ones found here: https://www.thatpetplace.com/salt-mix-guide

Third if you do not have coral in the tank you shouldn't have consumption of Alk, Cal, & Mag unless you've got crazy coralline algae growth (the good colorful flat stuff that makes rocks purple in most cases).

I suggest testing for ammonia to rule that out as a cause of death. If all the dying fish are coming from the same source, try another source. Set up a quarantine tank if you can. One completely separate from the main to ensure no cross contamination.

Lastly you could be just over crowding the tank and/or not providing sufficient places for them to hide. Search online for the compatibility chart. Although not 100% accurate, you'll get an idea of which species will have the best of luck together.

Edit: I browsed the previous two threads. I suggest slowing down and allowing what you currently have in the tank to settle for a while. When you do decide to introduce new fish, do so slowly (one or two at a time max).


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Old 02/23/2018, 11:38 AM   #3
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I assume your PH is low as well as Alk say 7.6-7.8
Watch chasing numbers, they can be deceiving, your number are a bit low, but not of great concern.
Since you have corrected the water, have any other fish died?
Do you have good surface agitation through some type of powerhead/wavemaker?

My PH I can't get above 7.8-8.0 and my Alk I can't get above 8dkh. This rebuild 15 months old now and I have not lost. A fish, a coral, not even a snail.

Let's just get the water stable and consistent, normal 1 week 10% change likely good, but new fish continue to die, this sounds more like a disease.

So my parameters are:
78.5 degrees
1.025 salinity
7.8-8.0 ph
8 dkh Alk
420 calcium
1360 mag
Nitrate 5ppm
Phosphate 0.12
Ammonia 0
If all your tests are close to the above, your water is on point to NSW, more or less.
If anything dies with the above parameters, more or less, then the problem of water is ruled out.



Last edited by Uncle99; 02/23/2018 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02/24/2018, 06:07 AM   #4
JDT1234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobZilla04 View Post
First ensure your newly mixed salt water is at the correct SG/Salinity (1.026 / 36ppt).

Next check the salt mix parameters to the specs provided by the manufacturer as the mix values. Common ones found here: https://www.thatpetplace.com/salt-mix-guide

Third if you do not have coral in the tank you shouldn't have consumption of Alk, Cal, & Mag unless you've got crazy coralline algae growth (the good colorful flat stuff that makes rocks purple in most cases).

I suggest testing for ammonia to rule that out as a cause of death. If all the dying fish are coming from the same source, try another source. Set up a quarantine tank if you can. One completely separate from the main to ensure no cross contamination.

Lastly you could be just over crowding the tank and/or not providing sufficient places for them to hide. Search online for the compatibility chart. Although not 100% accurate, you'll get an idea of which species will have the best of luck together.

Edit: I browsed the previous two threads. I suggest slowing down and allowing what you currently have in the tank to settle for a while. When you do decide to introduce new fish, do so slowly (one or two at a time max).
Thanks Robzilla.

Right now I'm concentrating on getting my water right. Once that gets straight I'll start introducing fish again. And yes, I do put in one fish at a time , with the exception of the six Chromis three weeks ago. Ample hiding places as well.

I don't understand why a new batch of salt water matches the specs on the pail and when I take that perfect water and put it in my tank the readings (except for MG) drop immediately and significantly.

Remember, I have changed out all my water so this isn't a case of new water mixing with old water and bringing down the readings. This is new water into new water and the tank isn't stabilizing or even attempting to come up and meet the specs on the pail.


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Old 02/24/2018, 06:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobZilla04 View Post
First ensure your newly mixed salt water is at the correct SG/Salinity (1.026 / 36ppt).

Next check the salt mix parameters to the specs provided by the manufacturer as the mix values. Common ones found here: https://www.thatpetplace.com/salt-mix-guide

Third if you do not have coral in the tank you shouldn't have consumption of Alk, Cal, & Mag unless you've got crazy coralline algae growth (the good colorful flat stuff that makes rocks purple in most cases).

I suggest testing for ammonia to rule that out as a cause of death. If all the dying fish are coming from the same source, try another source. Set up a quarantine tank if you can. One completely separate from the main to ensure no cross contamination.

Lastly you could be just over crowding the tank and/or not providing sufficient places for them to hide. Search online for the compatibility chart. Although not 100% accurate, you'll get an idea of which species will have the best of luck together.

Edit: I browsed the previous two threads. I suggest slowing down and allowing what you currently have in the tank to settle for a while. When you do decide to introduce new fish, do so slowly (one or two at a time max).
Thanks Robzilla.

Right now I'm concentrating on getting my water right. Once that I straight I'll start introducing fish again. And yes, I do put in one fish at a time , with the exception of the six Chromis three weeks ago. Ample hiding places as well.

I don't understand why a new batch of salt water matches the specs on the pail and when I take that perfect water and put it in my tank the readings (except for MG) drop immediately and significantly.

Remember, I have changed out all my water so this isn't a case of new water mixing with old water and bringing down the readings. This is new water into new water and the tank isn't stabilizing or even attempting to come up and meet the specs on the pail.


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Old 02/24/2018, 06:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Uncle99 View Post
I assume your PH is low as well as Alk say 7.6-7.8
Watch chasing numbers, they can be deceiving, your number are a bit low, but not of great concern.
Since you have corrected the water, have any other fish died?
Do you have good surface agitation through some type of powerhead/wavemaker?

My PH I can't get above 7.8-8.0 and my Alk I can't get above 8dkh. This rebuild 15 months old now and I have not lost. A fish, a coral, not even a snail.

Let's just get the water stable and consistent, normal 1 week 10% change likely good, but new fish continue to die, this sounds more like a disease.

So my parameters are:
78.5 degrees
1.025 salinity
7.8-8.0 ph
8 dkh Alk
420 calcium
1360 mag
Nitrate 5ppm
Phosphate 0.12
Ammonia 0
If all your tests are close to the above, your water is on point to NSW, more or less.
If anything dies with the above parameters, more or less, then the problem of water is ruled out.
Thanks Uncle.

No water change yesterday. Have changed out all water in tank this week. Will continue with weekly changes starting next Friday.

Today my readings are:

Temp 83 currently. Can't lower temp until I turn my air back on. House is at 80*
Salinity 1.026
MG 1350
CA 370
ALK 6.4 (dropped from 7.0 yesterday)
Ammonia 0
Nitrates 0
PH 7.8-8.0
Phosphate 0 ( although algae just started popping up a few weeks ago) so I know my phosphate test is not accurate. Running GFO and have Cheato in sump to help

Nothing has died since the water changes. The last remains Chromis out of the six is still alive.

Even with low test readings 11 of the 13 corals I have are doing fine. The other two have been struggling for a long time and am not to concerned since the majority are growing and doing fine.

Chasing numbers is what got me into this mess. I was set up for failure. I test and the results say add, test again it says add more again. That is how I found myself dosing so much..started low, kept adding more to get my numbers up, all along thinking I was doing the right thing. Apparently wasn't.

Like I was telling Robzilla....I don't understand how I can make perfect water, put into a tank of supposedly perfect water because all of it is new, and my readings don't match what I am putting in.

I'm going to through this out there. The only difference between my pail of perfect water and my tank is the Rock and sand. Is it possible for the rock to be absorbing CA and ALK .the rock does have coralline algae and has a green tint to it as well that indicates other growth, most likely algae of some sort.

Here is a little video of my setup with the tank lights off so you can see the rocks in a more natural state......https://www.dropbox.com/s/o4lur12ok5...%20PM.mov?dl=0


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Old 02/24/2018, 06:39 AM   #7
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Thats not the link I wanted. Try this....https://www.dropbox.com/s/c1lbtqaxvr..._4625.MOV?dl=0


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Old 02/24/2018, 06:39 AM   #8
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grab another set of test kits imo, salifert should be good. it's a small cost, but it will give you more comfort that your RS test kits are reading well.

how are you measuring your salinity? a refractometer? or a hydrometer? large temperature difference between your salt mix water and your tank water could have an impact on your readings.
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/rhf/index.php

anyways, your parameters are very unlikely to be the cause of fish death though, although the 100ml 2 part dosing with a low coral load seems really suspect. i've got a reefer 525 with a medium high coral load (100+ lps, sps frags/colonies) and i am only dosing 60ml a day.

if it were me, i'd stop water changes until i get another set of test kits to double confirm. also toss in an ammonia test kit just to rule ammonia out too.


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Old 02/24/2018, 08:33 AM   #9
JDT1234
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Originally Posted by Reefiez View Post
grab another set of test kits imo, salifert should be good. it's a small cost, but it will give you more comfort that your RS test kits are reading well.

how are you measuring your salinity? a refractometer? or a hydrometer? large temperature difference between your salt mix water and your tank water could have an impact on your readings.
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/rhf/index.php

anyways, your parameters are very unlikely to be the cause of fish death though, although the 100ml 2 part dosing with a low coral load seems really suspect. i've got a reefer 525 with a medium high coral load (100+ lps, sps frags/colonies) and i am only dosing 60ml a day.

if it were me, i'd stop water changes until i get another set of test kits to double confirm. also toss in an ammonia test kit just to rule ammonia out too.
Getting another test kit isn't a problem, but just want to point out earlier in the thread that I am using the same test kit for both my fresh batch of salt water and the tank water. Fresh batch using the same kit tests out like it is supposed to. Using same kit to test tank readings are low ????? They should be the same or close.

I'm stopping my my LFS today and will bring water samples from both and see what he comes up with.

Yeah, my dosing was way out of line but my kits keep telling me to add......so I did.

Using refractometer. I just checked my fresh water and it is only 3* less than my tank water.

It is hard for me to move forward until I have an understanding of why my water is not matching up with the specs on the pail of salt. I should be getting readings of MG 1340, CA 440 ALK 12.2 and you can see in the above thread what I am getting.

Maybe my tank is just going to run like that and I'm ok with it. I'll find corals that thrive in those conditions. All I want out of the tank is a nice soothing presentation with some movement and color....plus fish....and I'm good.

But it still doesn't explain the almost immediate drop in readings from a new batch of salt added directly into an aquarium full of new water.


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Old 02/24/2018, 08:36 AM   #10
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Uncle....

You mentioned disease.

Are you thinking the fish themselves are diseased when they are being introduced to the tank....or are you thinking the tank itself has a disease it is passing on to the new fish??

I have got fish from a variety of suppliers and they have all died. The ones remaining, tang, clown and chromes came from different fish stores.


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Old 02/24/2018, 09:04 AM   #11
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Just throwing out a SWA guess I haven't seen mentioned. Maybe get some Poly-Filter and a copper test kit. Check magnets for rust. Any brass fittings? Your older fish may be used to it if you have a heavy metal contaminate.


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Old 02/24/2018, 03:19 PM   #12
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PolyFilter will turn pale blue if there's copper in the water. It not only detects it but removes it.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, 2 firefish, 2 chromis, royal gramma basslet, starry blenny, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 02/24/2018, 06:37 PM   #13
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Definitely agree with the ensure no copper thing, that's good advice.
The death of 5 out of the 6 chromis is very normal, I had 6 and two weeks later 4, now 1. Most reefers will tell you the same.....but the goods news is no new deaths.
Getting fish from sea to store to your home is a very stressful event. It is estimated that loss range in the 50%. It is during this process that the fish become week and diease sets in. That is why it is important to acclimatize from bag in terms of both matching salinity and temp in a QT where it is easy to control and medicate where necessary. In terms of salinity, the most common error with fish is not brining them up to your DT salinity slowly, that is .002 per day. Most LFS stores keep their fish at 1.017-1.019 to decrease the risk of diease. If you where to put this fish in your DT at 1.025, in 3 days to 1 week it would likely die.

IMO your really chasing numbers. Remember you said you changed all the water through a number of changes....this would not bring you to 100% of what it mixed to.

Since your only concern I see is ALK, and you need very little, just don't worry about it, but monitor the value after each water change...I do one 10% per week....then my tests and record in a worksheet.

To tell the the truth, I have no idea why your fish died, except as I said for the chromis, the most dominat killed the other 5, trust me.

But in order to move forward we must ensure the environment is correct, stable and unchanging, forget the numbers unless they are way way off. If you mix your salt to 1.025, that's a mix for corals, or 1.023, that's a mix for fish, then your number will stay correct if you do say a 10% weekly change. Only when you have a ton of LPS and SPS and clams should you need to begin to 2 part dose.

So again, after water change nothing has died, forget the numbers, and when ready maybe add 1 new fish (hardy and peaceful) acclimatize for both temp and salinity in a QT, give a week and make sure he's eating well....then off to the DT......and watch and wait.

I am hoping some of this helps, I chased ALK numbers like you, Mine mixes to 10, but 8 in the tank. I can dose to 10, but 24 hours later, 8 again.....then a guy on this Site called Mcgyvr......famous for saying don't chase the numbers gave me this advice and while I test, record, small variations I disregard provided the numbers are consistent. Consistency in reefing is most important.



Last edited by Uncle99; 02/24/2018 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 02/27/2018, 05:57 AM   #14
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Sorry gang. Been out of town on business and catching a breath to stay in touch. Thanks again for all your help.

Cooper tests. Yes I will look into that.

Chasing numbers....probably. The tests and forums trap you (especially new guys) into doing that. I will relax on the numbers and concentrate on what is actually happening in the tank. Strive for consistency.

I did have the opportunity to get an hours worth of my LFS time since he wasn't busy and we tested my water, both fresh batch and current tank water and talked about what was happening in the tank in general.

His tests prove my kits are good since we have the same readings. Fresh batch matches what the container it comes out of says it should, tank water readings drop as mentioned in previous entries.

His suggestion was precipitation. Since my CA and ALK readings are low in the tank (but consistent at 380 CA and 7.0 ALK) and MG stays consistent and where it should be according to the container, his suggestion is to raise the MG up to 1400 in hopes the CA and ALK will follow in same and increase.

Not chasing numbers Uncle, but still trying to understand why I could not get those two parameters to raise up with fresh water.

Does that suggestion make sense??


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Old 02/27/2018, 07:57 AM   #15
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Sorry gang. Been out of town on business and catching a breath to stay in touch. Thanks again for all your help.

Cooper tests. Yes I will look into that.

Chasing numbers....probably. The tests and forums trap you (especially new guys) into doing that. I will relax on the numbers and concentrate on what is actually happening in the tank. Strive for consistency.

I did have the opportunity to get an hours worth of my LFS time since he wasn't busy and we tested my water, both fresh batch and current tank water and talked about what was happening in the tank in general.

His tests prove my kits are good since we have the same readings. Fresh batch matches what the container it comes out of says it should, tank water readings drop as mentioned in previous entries.

His suggestion was precipitation. Since my CA and ALK readings are low in the tank (but consistent at 380 CA and 7.0 ALK) and MG stays consistent and where it should be according to the container, his suggestion is to raise the MG up to 1400 in hopes the CA and ALK will follow in same and increase.

Not chasing numbers Uncle, but still trying to understand why I could not get those two parameters to raise up with fresh water.

Does that suggestion make sense??
How is good old FT Pierce these days? Used to live there back in the late 80's. I believe there is a car dealer in the spot I used to live. My grandparents had a restaurant on US-1 up past avenue c and d. Sorry can't remember a lot of the roads. I know they were close to some bridges to go over to the beach side.


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Old 03/01/2018, 03:43 AM   #16
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How is good old FT Pierce these days? Used to live there back in the late 80's. I believe there is a car dealer in the spot I used to live. My grandparents had a restaurant on US-1 up past avenue c and d. Sorry can't remember a lot of the roads. I know they were close to some bridges to go over to the beach side.
Old Fort Pierce is doing fine over the bridges down by the ocean but is struggling a little west of US 1. Been coming down here since 1990, moved down two years ago.....nothing really seems to change.


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Old 03/01/2018, 08:45 AM   #17
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Not sure if raising the MG raises the other two, never needed to go there. Maybe one of the chemistry people can chime in on that one.

I assume the dying has stopped?

I would say if you can do water changes and repeat those numbers above, that's not that far off, consistency is everything, if you need to dose up, the amounts should be real small, I may just do ALK, wait 10 minutes, test, to see if you can bring AlK up to 8, then when you get the 8, wait 24 hours and test again. The question is does the ALK hold and what happened to calcium....


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Old 03/01/2018, 09:29 AM   #18
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Did not read the linked threads, but I think it HIGHLY unlikely that things like CA, MG and Alk would have anything to do with your fish losses. While it is possible that something like copper is the problem, I doubt that too as most places that sell fish run low levels themselves. I think it is much more likely that there may be some kind of underlying disease problem in your tank. The resident fish have become immune to it; the newcomers not. I will say that I have been having all sorts of problems lately with bacterial infections in fish to the point that I now treat all proactively in QT with fish flox. I would also suggest that you slow down, let your tank sit as is for a bit before attempting to add anything new. The cardinal rule of reefing is that nothing good happens fast.


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Old 03/05/2018, 03:39 AM   #19
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Not sure if raising the MG raises the other two, never needed to go there. Maybe one of the chemistry people can chime in on that one.

I assume the dying has stopped?

I would say if you can do water changes and repeat those numbers above, that's not that far off, consistency is everything, if you need to dose up, the amounts should be real small, I may just do ALK, wait 10 minutes, test, to see if you can bring AlK up to 8, then when you get the 8, wait 24 hours and test again. The question is does the ALK hold and what happened to calcium....
Was gone for the weekend. It was two weeks Friday since all the water has been changed over I was told to stop dosing. Did my weekly 20 gallon change. ALK before change went from 7 down to 5. Did water change and ALK was still at 5. Did not come back up to 7 like I expected.

Will try and bring my ALK back up to 8 slowly like you suggest since I will be around this week to watch. Really didn't want to start dosing again but with ALK at 5 I don't see much choice.

No more fish deaths. That's good news I guess. That last Chromis out of the six is still hanging in there.


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Old 03/05/2018, 03:42 AM   #20
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Did not read the linked threads, but I think it HIGHLY unlikely that things like CA, MG and Alk would have anything to do with your fish losses. While it is possible that something like copper is the problem, I doubt that too as most places that sell fish run low levels themselves. I think it is much more likely that there may be some kind of underlying disease problem in your tank. The resident fish have become immune to it; the newcomers not. I will say that I have been having all sorts of problems lately with bacterial infections in fish to the point that I now treat all proactively in QT with fish flox. I would also suggest that you slow down, let your tank sit as is for a bit before attempting to add anything new. The cardinal rule of reefing is that nothing good happens fast.



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Old 03/05/2018, 03:51 AM   #21
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Ca1ore...in the previous threads the consensus for my fish dying was poor acclimation, under feeding and over dosing 2 part.

The water part of the thread is just trying to get my water right before adding fish.

Underlying disease is pretty broad but something that has crossed my mind. In my first thread I suggested something overtaking them a month or so down the road......a disease could do that.

How do I attempt to fix that? What is this fish flox you mentioned and is that something I should add to the tank even though it is not clear whether a disease is present or not?


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Old 03/05/2018, 09:03 AM   #22
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No more deaths!
That's good news.
Dosing Alk to 8 has no impact on your fish.
Since Alk and Ph are interrelated, if your Alk is 5, what's your PH?
Theoretically, it should also be quite low....is it?
Ca1ore is right that calcium, mg, and Alk should not led to fish death. that being said, I estimated your dosing may have been 6-7 times normal.
If your current fish have developed an immunity to some diease, then at some point you may want to add a fish....but QT first, get feeding well....maybe a royal gramma....but it's your tank.


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Old 03/06/2018, 09:56 AM   #23
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I thought chromis were like highlanders... in the end, there can be only one... if 5/6 chromis dying is what you're worried about maybe they just didn't have enough hiding spots and slaughtered each other in the night... how hard did you inspect the bodies?


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Old 03/06/2018, 11:30 AM   #24
Uncle99
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100% agree....you can start with as many chromis as you want, a month later there will be fewer if not 1. (Yes there are exceptions, but not that many)


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Old 03/07/2018, 04:39 PM   #25
JDT1234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle99 View Post
100% agree....you can start with as many chromis as you want, a month later there will be fewer if not 1. (Yes there are exceptions, but not that many)
LFS sold me six because they "like to school". Sounded good to me. Live and learn.


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