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Help Give me some Idears!


jimmyfly

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Ok, so I currently have a 55 gallon tank. It has a two inch sand bed (give or take in certain areas). I have 35lbs of live rock with another 35 of cooked former live rock. (literally left out of tank water for over a year in my garage.)

 

The tank has completley cycled, proper PH, proper salinity, no trates, trites, or amonia. I have tested with two different test kits.

 

It has been up for close to six weeks now, and I have killed three damsel fish in a week and a half.

 

The first was a yellow tail damselfish, and then two were striped. Any idea how I keep killing them? All three seemed healthy and were eating everyday, (mysis, blood, and flake mixed diet) But each time upon coming home from work I would find them either floating or under a rock.

 

I for now am not going to purchase anymore, but all three are from a local Petco which is the only place within an hour that I can get saltwater since two other LFS's went out of business (one pushed out of its home for our third Walmart hurr!)

 

Do you think its just their bad tanks at Petco?

 

Also I do not clean my tank with anything but distilled water so no chemicals.

 

Any Ideas? I am really sort of distressed about this, I have kept successful saltwater tanks for about a decade.

 

Should I just move on to a different fish?

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I would guess the fish were bad, they weren't acclimated well, or that your test kit isnt working right. How long did it take them to die? Like overnight, or were they alive for a while first? I would drive more than an hour to a real store, and have them test your water for pretty much everything.

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I would guess the fish were bad, they weren't acclimated well, or that your test kit isnt working right. How long did it take them to die? Like overnight, or were they alive for a while first? I would drive more than an hour to a real store, and have them test your water for pretty much everything.

 

Well I used both my aquarium pharm, and jungle dipping sticks. Petco tested as well with Jungle dipping sticks.

 

I also tested multiple times obviously with both methods.

 

0 Amonia

0 Nitrate

0 Nitrite

250ish Alk

8.2 PH

No Cholorine Detected

1.022 SG

 

The Yellow Tail lived three days, First Striped only over night, second striped for two days.

 

The main reason I dont frequent even the closest lfs is that they are just outrageous, (sorry I am not paying $52.00 for that golf ball size GSP frag) as well as the fact that they charge for testing ($5.00). I do and have always done most of my shopping online.

 

Its just scary that after two years of not keeping a saltwater tank, that I am killing the cockroaches of the sea so easily.

 

The only other tidbit that I have, is that my Temp does fluctuate from 79-82. Through the day.

 

I have kept in the past many types of soft corals in this tank, as well as a snowflake from about 4 inches to a foot and a half, and numerous Amphiprion melanopus, and Amphiprion ocellaris without a major problem besides some carpet surfing.

 

These guys just have me stumped though... :angry:

 

Edit.. Float Acclimation, followed by drip, over about 70 minute period for fish.

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rule #1 when buying fish. always ask "when did the fish arrive" and "how long have they been here". DO NOT buy fish that just arrived. Chances are they will die in your tank. Only buy fish that have been there at least 2 weeks.

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rule #1 when buying fish. always ask "when did the fish arrive" and "how long have they been here". DO NOT buy fish that just arrived. Chances are they will die in your tank. Only buy fish that have been there at least 2 weeks.

 

Well the sixteen year old kid said they had been there for about a month and he did feed them in front of me.

 

But who knows really...

 

I think part of their problem was the fact that they were on flake food every day for (if in fact it was) a month, and who knows how long before that at the distributor, or hatchery or wherever Petco spawn come from.

 

From What I understand feeding them flake food can really mess up their digestive system, and I did make a post about that here in the Disease forum suspecting on one of them that it was Constipated, due to single food source, which was none meat based. I took them off of that diet, and they ate well (besides the one posted about his final day and a half) but if he was already having digestive problems it more than likely was already too late.

 

It just really boggles me though that as a first time Damsel fish keeper (not including various forms of clowns as Damsel's... Technicality out the window!) that they have been dropping like flies. Regardless though, I may just travel somewhere and pick up a snowflake, I have good luck with those... I had just wanted something easy for this tank! :huh:

 

BTW Buddha you are a DIY master!

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I have 35lbs of live rock with another 35 of cooked former live rock. (literally left out of tank water for over a year in my garage.)

 

I'm wondering if the rock absorbed something in the garage...gas fumes, pesticide residue, etc

 

I would set up a cheap 10 gallon, barebottom QT tank. If the fish live a couple of weeks in there but die as soon as they are moved to the main tank, I'm betting it's the rock!

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formerly icyuodd/icyoud2

other things to take in to consideration.

 

stress-damsels are known for picking on the weaker fish untill its stressed/dies. this is especially true when adding new fish to a system that houses a damsel.

 

mystery hiker- here any clicking? do you have a large mantis or crab?

 

what do the dead fish look like? are thier gills red a swollen? signs of parasites, bites or torn fins?

 

 

the rock could very well be your problem. have you had any other issues with your other critters? (clean up crew etc)

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other things to take in to consideration.

 

stress-damsels are known for picking on the weaker fish untill its stressed/dies. this is especially true when adding new fish to a system that houses a damsel.

 

mystery hiker- here any clicking? do you have a large mantis or crab?

 

what do the dead fish look like? are thier gills red a swollen? signs of parasites, bites or torn fins?

the rock could very well be your problem. have you had any other issues with your other critters? (clean up crew etc)

 

Ok half of what you said didnt make sense. I only had the Damsels in a brand new (somewhat established six week) Tank, one at a time. No bites or torn, and no Mantis or any type of predator, that I am sure of.

 

But the other half, I did notice on two of them that they did red, and swollen (to my eye) gills but only noticed this upon death.

 

My honest opinion here people is a lesson everyone should already know but I am a fool

 

Stay away from Petco.

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formerly icyuodd/icyoud2

didnt realize you added them one at a time. my bad.

 

btw what are you using to measure your alk? whats your carbonate hardness? (kh)

 

some of the fish in the trade are collected using cyanide. they dont usual last long after that.

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Maybe some good carbon to absorb any chemicals, sounds like a mantis shrimp or contaminent, as hardy as damsels are you wouldn't think that you would lose that many. rethink what old live rock may have been exposed to. hope you figure it out, gotta be frustrating

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