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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disclaimer- I am a total marine n00b, I set up my first saltwater tank 5 days ago.

I just bought a pair of tank raised False Percula Clownfish yesterday, and this morning they refused to eat. I tried feeding them a pinch of Formula One flakes, crushed to about 3-4 mm size- They will swim right up to the flakes with great interest, take maybe one into their mouths, then spit it out & ignore the rest.

Is it too early to worry? Should I just give them a little more time to adjust? They are the only fish in the tank, and a few days earlier I added about 25lb live rock.

Thanks in advance!
 

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IF this tank is only 5 days old, even with the liverock you added its prolly got at least a mini cycle going on which may put the fish off their feed:( Test for the obvious,(ammonia,nitrite) and have some wate made up to do changes if the levels are detectable
 

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Hi J,

Glad to have you with us!
With the tank only set up 5 days, it is just beginning its cycle. Your Clowns may be stressed by the move or further stressed by the cycling conditions. Have you tested for Ammonia? Clowns usually readily eat flake foods, like Formula one; Prime Reef; OSI Marine Flake; etc., so it's a bit unusual that they won't eat. Forzen Brine Shrimp soaked in Selcon is another favorite of my Ocellaris. Did you see them eat at the LFS? That's always a good idea before buying any fish.

Though False Percs (Ocellaris) are pretty hardy, I wouldn't subject them to the stresses of a cycle, which could kill them. Will your LFS take them back and "pasture" them for you until the tank cycles?

It will normally take anwhere from 2-3 weeks for a new tank to fully cycle through Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. I normally advise new aquarists to wait several weeks after cycling to add the first fish to give the tank a chance to stabilize.

Could you please tell us more about your tank: size, equipment, water parameters, etc.?

If you haven't bought any books yet, I would urge you to get Robert Fenner's The Conscientious Marine Aquarist as soon as possible. This book is excellent for starting and maintaining a saltwater/reef tank.
Meanwhile, here are some good sites for beginning info:
http://saltyzoo.com:8081/
http://www.reefcorner.com/reef keeping_101.htm
http://home.gardenet.co.za/landman/Starting with Marines.htm

Again,
Welcome to The Reef Tank!
Dick:)
 

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Hello J,

Dick has given you some great advice. As most of you know I own a LFS and if the store won't feed them in front of you don't buy them.

Your tank is very new. If your tests come out clean. You may also want to ask the store what they are feeding. We feed a homemade food that every once in a while we get a stubborn spoiled fish. So sometimes will have a fish that wants to refuse flake hoping you'll get him "The Good Stuff" so to speak. They usually come around though. If your store is feeding them something differant get a little of that and mix it with your to wheen them off.

I know this sounds like a lot but as you come to know your tank you will find these little guys have a lot of personality and will keep you company for years if you treat them right. :)

Good Luck,
Renae:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
FishDaddy and Doug1- Thanks for the prompt replies!

As of last night-
Salinity- 1.022 - Instant Ocean salt
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate -0
Ammonia- 0
pH of 7.8
Water temp @ 78F

Using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit to test.


My setup is a 45 gallon All-Glass, with a CPR BakPak2. 200w heater, and one Rio 800 powerhead for circulation.

25 lbs of cured (so they said at the fish shop) live rock, with many mushroom corals, snails, and a crab or 2. I know 25 lb isn't enough, I will be adding another 15 or so when the fish store opens after xmas :D

40lb of mixed rough and fine aragonite.

cheapo 24" flourescent tube light, not sure what temp but it casts a pinkish glow.

I have that book ordered from Amazon! Should be here soon, as well as the Natural Reef Aquariums book.

On a side note, can anyone recommend a quieter powerhead than the Rio 800? It keeps me up at night!

Thanks so much!!!

EDIT

Renae- Thanks! I will ask the fish store what they have been feeding the clowns, and will experiment with some better (?) foods.
 

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I hope you can get those clowns out as soon as possible and bring them back to the store while your tank cycles. No way should fish be added that soon...they will surely suffer. No, LFS should have sold you those fish IF they knew the tank was only set up for 5 days. Read some books, let the tank cycle..then add some fish.
 

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What are you measuring Specific Gravity with?, The swing arm testers are notoriously inaccurate, but then so are most pH test kits. 7.8 sound low but about right on a cycling tank. The SG should be closer to 1.025 or so, but you need a reliable check on it. Are you measuring calcium or alkilinity, if thats off the pH will be affected.
The light sounds like a typical gro-lux or aquari-lux bulb @ 20 whats thats not much light even for shrooms and such. If you can fit the 3 ft bulbs a couple 96 watt PC from AHSupply would work well.
You might try MAxi-jet over the rio powerhead
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm using a floating arm tester from Aquarium Systems.

What's a better tester? Price range?



Also, assuming I bring the clowns back, is there anything I can do to make them comfortable for the 3 days until the fish store opens?

*a little annoyed at the misinformation from the fish store that a couple clowns would be ok*
 

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Hi J, Welcome,

If the ammonia & nitrITE really are at zero they should be comfortable enough for now, so don't sweat too bad until the store opens in a few days.

If the ammonia becomes to rise over the next few days some simple water changes will help to "dilute" it somewhat. Maybe you could mix up a batch of saltwater now to have it ready in case.

When your LFS reopens, test your hydrmoeter VS. their refractometer to determine accuracy and how much you need to compensate +/- with yours.

Maxi-Jet PH's are quieter than the rio's generally. With my first tank any little trickle or splash sound would keep me awake, but now I can sleep right through my AquaC skimmer with rio 600 ph (for those that have one, you know, it's loud!).

Merry Christmas!:santa:
 

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If your nitrite and nitrate are both zero the tank has not even started to cycle! Those fish are in for a wild ride and most likely will not make it. Very quickly some of the life on the rock is going to die (or the uneaten food is going to decompose) and your ammonia is going to go through the roof, followed by the nitrite.

Try to find someone to house those clowns immediately. If you can't and they do not survive just chalk it up to a lesson learned the hard way (we all have learned some tough lessons - and still are).

If the fish die, take them out and leave in the rock. Don't put anymore fish in. Wait for your book to arive, read the section on the nitrogen cycle and don't put in any fish until your ammonia goes back to zero and the nitrites start going down and the nitrates start going up.

This may sound silly but it is probably better that the clown fish have not eaten. They can live for a few days without food, but can not survive strong ammonia. IF they were eating they would be shitting, and fish **** turns into ammonia. Also uneaten decomposing food turns into ammonia. Take out as much of the uneaten food as you can and do not try to feed them. At this point they are better off without any food until you can find them a temporary home.

And I would think twice before going back to that fish store.
 
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