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Officer Tang
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822 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

Get comfortable, this is a long one.

Over the course of the past 6 weeks I've lost about 8 fish to illness in my tank. It's a 300 gallon reef with softies and lps. I have 40 gallon sump and 40 gallon fuge. All water perameters are fine Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate low, PH 8.1-8.4, temp 76-78, salinity 1025. Also I would keep in mind that I have about 20 species of coral that I began introducing just after the cycle ended 3 months ago, and everything is flourishing. Not a single lost coral. I have a 300g rated eshopps psk, auto-top off, 11x turnover (not including powerheads), I've been running a polyfilter for about 2 weeks (when things started to go downhill with the first fish death, a PBT that I never saw again), and activated carbon for about 4 days now. I have 3 clowns in hospital right now, treating with chelated copper for either brooklynella or ich, and they've been in there about 2 weeks, all are doing much much better. I have 300 lbs of live rock and 4'' DSB that i siphon weekly.

The tank is about 3 months since being fully cycled, and i have never quarentined a fish before putting them in the tank, which is probably the cause for all my problems. Ive had a lemonpeel, powder blue tang, 2 anthias, 2 gobies, a blenny, a mandarin, flame angel all perish in my tank over the course of the past month. Some bodies I have found, others were taken care of by my clean up crew, which is plentiful (but im sure this caused small spikes in my levels, but nothing that immediately led to more deaths) . I have 300 snails of 4 varieties, almost none have died, 2 anenomes, both doing great, 2 peaceful crabs both fine, 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 fire shrimp, 2 skunk shrimp, all fine.

It would seem that I introduced some sort of parasite into my tank via the lemonpeel angel, as all the fish I've mentioned died AFTER I introduced this fish, and that fish didnt eat a single morsal starting from day 1. Furthermore, all fish were fine until this fish showed up. So, all that being said, I have a Naso tang that is doing amazingly well still, a single b/g chromi that has been alive since day 1, and a firefly goby. These 3 are all that's left. I know I stocked a little too quickly, but I do weekly 15% water changes and I thought that would be enough to handle the waste, along with my almost 400 gallons of total water volume. It was fine I think, if not for a parasite.

So my question, finally, is what do I do from here? Just let everything be for a month? I should mention that the most recent deaths were last night, though both fish have been breathing really heavy for about a week now...they were the blenny that I found dead, and the flame angle that I didnt see this morning and am presuming is dead).

It's obvious that some parasite or illness is afflicting my fish, but I guess the 3 that are left are immune since they were among the first fish introduced and all are still fine and showing no signs of illness? I want to reintroduce the clowns sooner rather than later because I dont want to overdo it with the copper treatment. Theyve been without visible symptoms for over a week now, but I also dont want to reintroduce them before whatever is killing my fish is taken care of. It is not a hitchhiker, it is disease. my hospital tank is only 10 gallons, and it cant fit more than the 3 clowns that are in there. even that is a stretch and i change 20% daily to prevent mini cycles.

Any general comments, advice, what I did wrong other than what I've already said....I want to have a successful tank, and right now it seems so hopeless. I want to prevent further loss and slowly rebuild my population.
 

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C'est la vie
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4,118 Posts
hmmmm...it sounds like some sort of parasite, possibly internal as you havent seen any visible signs of parasitism on the fish themselves. the 3 that are left might just have a stronger immune system and thats why they are still hanging in there. it sounds like your doing everything you can, im not sure what else is really possible to do. from now on though, i would introduce fish very very slowly to make sure they dont contaminate your reef if they are infected with something. i would QT them when you buy them to make sure they arent carrying anything but other than that im not sure what to tell ya..good luck!
 

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I would agree this is parasitic. I don't believe this is new tank syndrome. I'm sorry for your loses, I'm sure many of us have had such for one reason or another, along the way. It's expensive and emotionally draining. But you still have all these great inverts and a few really nice fish that survived. Therefore, I wouldn't add anything to this tank for well over a month or two, in order to prove it has stabilized, allow stuff to die off (I forget if you said you have UV sterilization or not), and realize that if there was an infectious agent involved as there likely was, that there is no absolute guarantee the tank (with fish) won't always harbor it. Becoming confident all is stable, as you already figured out, no new introductions without full quarantine first. If you don't have UV then get it installed (I use ozone, but that is too controversial for me to advise it).
 

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Officer Tang
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822 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, these recommendations are pretty much aligned with what I think also. I do have a UV sterilizer but I never installed it because my LFS said that it kills good organisms and that since many parasites never make it through the sterilizer that it wouldnt do much good. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
 

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Premium Member
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6,679 Posts
What type of anemone?


Anemones eat fish if they can get a hold of one.
I had a carpet eat 4 sailfins in one month.

The mandarin probably died of starvation.

Sounds like you just need to slow down and let your tank mature a lil. You have added a lot of livestock in a very short time. Your params may bee fine your really taxing your system adding so much so fast.
 
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