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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question for any one who has had a saltwater aquarium that has been successful in keeping fish! In the last three days I have lost a healthy yellow tang a blue spot jaw fish and a potters angel, my water parameters are all spot on except my ammonia is .15 and it should be zero all of my corals look fine. The two clown fish and my dragon head are fine, both cleaner shrimp are alive and my coral banded shrimp is fine. Is there anything that anyone can think of that would kill off three healthy fish in a few days time without affecting the other stuff in the tank? I am stumped and need assistance super fast so please any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Welcome to TRT. Did you do anything different to the tank recently? What size tank, equipment, how long has it been set up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is a 65 gallon tall tank and yes I know I should have a minimum of 95 gallons for a yellow tang! I don't have anything extra on the tank my salinity is 1.023 I have not added anything other thank the potters angel recently. the tank has a refugium under it that holds approximately 30 gallons of water. My ph is at 8.2 and my temp it at 80f.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i have yet to need a skimmer or a calcium reactor I take a water sample to my lfs every three weeks and I just did this the other day and everything was fine.
 

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Export with Care!
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How olds the tank? Seems like mostly large fish have died? Smaller stuff is fine.
What did the LFS test with and did they test in front of you? They can be lazy and fast which leads to inn accuracy.
 

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Super Saiyan
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You say your water parameters are fine.. Well what are they? Something is off obviously if your fish are dieing. Ammonia is very bad though and that is most likely the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have not noticed any of the fish gasping however the only oxygen that is added to the water is when the water goes into the refugium and I also have a wave maker agitating the surface. The tank is about a year and a half old. I just moved in august though, I did not remove the sand from the tank during the move, I saved 50% of the water and changed 50% after the move and then I went back to normal water changes 2 weeks later. My lfs does test in front of me they are a good honest store I trust them they are just closed at the moment.

My ph is 8.2, ammonia is approximately .15, nitrite it 0, nitrate is 0, kh is 180, calcium is 415ish. Those are the only test I have on hand.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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any ammonia reading is not "spot on" it means there is something seriously wrong with the system.


Refugiums only add O2 to a tank for a few hours if that, most of the time they are consuming oxygen.

My guess is that the tank responded after the move to an increase in the nutrient load of the tank and the bacteria has multiplied to consume the available O2 (similar to a fish kill). It is commonly called sudden mass death and happens mostly in the early morning hours. One of the ore common effects is that the big active fish die first but small fish or invertebrates are fine. There is a link in my signature.
 

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How is it that you have ammonia which is detectable, but no nitrates? I've never seen that...(doesn't mean it doesn't exist...just that I've never heard of it, so I'm curious.) I'm going to guess that there's an oxygen problem, and because you have a very large bio load in a tank that isn't made for it...
 

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zacharY
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The ammonia is killing your fish and will continue to do so until there is no ammonia present. The stress being put on the fish you still have may lead to ich and other causes of death. If you have a QT tank, now's the time to use it. If not, bring your livestock (including inverts) to the LFS temporarily. Your livestock needs to be out of the tank until there's no ammonia in the tank and you've solved the problem. Sorry that this happened to you, best of luck and welcome to TRT!
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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I would recommend spending a few more dollars on the NWB-150. It about doubles the performance and would fit the 65g+ volume better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok should I add a air pump until I can get a protein skimmer? My surface pump has an attachment to circulate air with the water.
 

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CntntEdtr for Aquarist.Me
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any ammonia reading is not "spot on" it means there is something seriously wrong with the system.


Refugiums only add O2 to a tank for a few hours if that, most of the time they are consuming oxygen.

My guess is that the tank responded after the move to an increase in the nutrient load of the tank and the bacteria has multiplied to consume the available O2 (similar to a fish kill). It is commonly called sudden mass death and happens mostly in the early morning hours. One of the ore common effects is that the big active fish die first but small fish or invertebrates are fine. There is a link in my signature.
I saw a similar issue elsewhere, this information would be useful there... Now if I can just remember where I saw it.
 

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Ok should I add a air pump until I can get a protein skimmer? My surface pump has an attachment to circulate air with the water.
When I had all my livestock from my 90 in a 40B during an upgrade, FutureDoc recommended that I aerate the tank to avoid drops in O2 level at night. I don't know if you other issues would make a difference, but in case he does not respond tonight I thought I would share with you what he told me to do. He also said that with aeration a little went a long way, or similar.
 
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