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Manny Moe & Jack

Everybody is Afraid of Everything!

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Manny Moe & Jack

So I started my first Nano 24 g AIO a little over 3 months ago.  I thought I would start FOWLR to get my feet wet, so to speak.

 

I was very patient, let my tank cycle for over 5 weeks.  All parameters are good.

 

On the advice of my LFS, I first added firefish (3, they were on sale) because they would be the most timid and it would be better if they were well established before adding anyone else.  Two weeks later, I added two cardinal fish.  As expected, the firefish were intimidated and started hiding more.

 

A couple more weeks went by and I added two baby ocellaris clowns (<1/2 inch each).   And the firefish hid even more, only coming out to eat at feeding time.  

 

I started getting a substantial algae growth, so I added a cuc consisting of trocus snails, emerald crabs, narith snails, and a tiger conch snail.  With each addition, the firefish became more and more scarce.  The cardinals are scared to death of the crabs, the crabs are scared of all the fish.  

 

This week I added my first corals.  A GSP, a pulsing xenia, a small zoa colony, and a beautiful orange leptoseris (1/2 inch).  And EVERYBODY is freaking out!  All the fish hide most of the day, even the clownfish are cowering as far away from the corals as possible.

 

Please tell me that everyone will eventually calm down and realize nothing is a threat.  Or can I expect a freakout orgy every time I add another coral?

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aclman88

Welcome to nano-reef!  You are in a great place to get help and grow as a reefer.

 

Keep in mind my advice below is based on my personal experience and everything I've read and learned over the past two years.  

 

What are your parameters?  Do you have a picture of your tank?

 

I would say that it seems like you started off right, but in my opinion, adding seven fish in a four week span is too fast.  You haven't given you tank a chance to stabilize between each addition, nor have you given the livestock a chance to really settle in.  seven fish in a 24 gallon AIO (which means the actual display area is about 20g I'm assuming), is too many.  It may not seem like an issue now, but all of those fish will grow to be at least two inches.  Odds are you will run into a lot of aggression issues and you will also likely have issues managing nutrients with such a high bioload - I am guessing the bioload is already too high as evidence by the sudden algae growth.  Some algae growth is expected in a new tank, but I am guessing it is more related to all of the fish being added.

 

 

As for the hiding - Firefish are skittish to begin with, so I am not surprised about their behavior.  My royal gramma and bangaii cardinal also hid all the time under a rock shelf until I added two clowns.  The clowns are larger (2.5 inches and 1.5 inches), are pretty confident, and swim all over the tank.  After they were added, my cardinal and my royal gramma are out constantly.  My assumption is they see the clowns out and assume the coast is clear.  Your clownfish are tiny, so they are most likely also going to be shy and hiding until they get a little larger, especially since you have five other fish in there, and I am assuming they are all much larger than the clowns. If it were me, I would rehome two of the firefish (they may likely end up killing each other off anyways), and give your fish a chance to settle in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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seabass

I'd let things settle in for awhile; no new additions except maybe some snails.  It isn't that uncommon for timid fish to hide.  I get that people like having lots of fish, but it can be difficult for everything to establish a territory in a small tank.  However, they should settle in and become more comfortable over time.

 

6 hours ago, Manny Moe & Jack said:

All the fish hide most of the day

Is everybody eating?  That might be more important.  I'd certainly check your tank's ammonia level.  If ammonia is rising, your fish's behavior is usually the first sign.

 

Edit: Aclman provided some good advice.  I was typing my response when it was posted.

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Clown79

The tank is overstocked.

 

7 fish in 24g in such a short span of time is a lot.

 

Clownfish are semi aggressive and same with bangaii's, firefish are very, very timid fish. They don't mix well.

 

As for fish being scared of coral, can't help there at all. Never seen a fish afraid of corals.

 

I suspect its not the corals, just coincidence.

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Manny Moe & Jack

As far as everyone eating, it appears that they are.

 

Here my most recent parameter log and a pic from a week or so ago, before the corals were added.

24G parameters.jpg

20210515_145025.jpg

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seabass

Wow, phosphate is really high and nitrate is very low.

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aclman88

Algae looks like normal ugly stage algae so I wound't be overly concerned about that just yet.  I would definitely keep an eye on ammonia since you just added some more fish.

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rough eye

in my tank at half the size it's very active with 2 fish, one shrimp and 3 crabs and all of them are all over the place. i've debated adding a 3rd fish but not sure there's room.  it could be there is so much life in your tank there's just no place to go.

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Jakesaw
On 6/10/2021 at 10:14 AM, Clown79 said:

 

As for fish being scared of coral, can't help there at all. Never seen a fish afraid of corals.

 

I added 5 coral frags to a 10 gallon and it freaked my Royal Gramma  out big time.  He was pretty new to the tank and just settled into his home before I put a coral in the sandbed at each entrance of his cave. 


RG was looking for new home for a week or two, stopped eating and died on me.  

 

RG's are a bit more shy than firefish so doesn't mean yours will follow same path.  I wouldn't add anything for a while and see how things settle down.  Does seem like alot of fish for the tank and added quickly at that. 

 

I'm only 6 months into hobby, but my 10 gallon ecosystem is still evolving by just letting it alone.  

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