The Reef Tank banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I do hope I am writing this in the right place. I am only a newbie of salt for 2 months and a newbie to this forum for 2 minutes. If I need to move this, please let me know. Any who.. we have decided to finally dive into the world of salt after many years of tossing and turning. We got started with a 29 gallon bio-cube with all the stock lighting. The shop we got it from tested our water weekly and we added turbo snails and crabs after the first week and the second week a bicolor blenny, 3 coral and a RBA. To try and keep this short, after about another 2 weeks, everything still tested good so we added a standard clown, a hippo tang, bangai cardinal and a mandarin. The bangai died in 2 days. Never saw him eat and he was small. We were told though he was tank raised and eating at the store. The hippo got ick and 3 weeks later still have it, despite the garlic infused seaweed, ick food and even brine that we feed the RBA. She eats like a pig so we are told she will eventually snap out of it but it's common. The bicolor blenny died from the ick. Stopped eating. No hope. Everyone else seemed happy. A week later the mandarin died out of no where. We have copepods in the tank as you can see them on the glass and he was pigging out on brine as well. No signs of ick. Mystery to us. We have been testing our water and even having the store test it all during this process. Everything is testing fine. We were told to get a cleaner shrimp as a tool to help. He died in less then 2 days. The clown is now covered in ick as the hippo still is not cured. I have no idea what is going on or what to do.. everytime I go back to the store I get NEW information. Example: My fish still have ick 3 weeks later yet eating well.. how long does this take? Store: What's your tank temp? Me: Huh? I donno. You never mentioned temp. Store: Oh no.. that's critical. You need to be under 80 for your reef tank. Hours later.. I call. We are at 81-82 in the morning and 83-84 at night. Store: Oh that's to high. Here's your shrimp. Me: Will he be OK? Store: Yup, just acclimate for an hour. DEAD!

So here are the specs:

Water temp: 81-84
Lightings: Blue fan 10 hours, white light 6 hours
Nitrates: 10 or less
Phosphate: 0
Salinity: 1.022

This is all we have been told to monitor and even the temp we just started doing the past 3 days.

I'm getting very frustrated. The ick I understand why somethings happened but shouldn't it be gone by now? The shrimp? The mandarin?

Luckily, the coral is growing great, I can see lots of new growth and the RBA also seems to be doing great. Any advise is welcome as I'm starting to question the store. I trust them.. but feel the important information is being trickle fed to us or I go online and read stuff then question them.

Thanks in advance and I apologize this was so long
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,065 Posts
Welcome to TRT! I'm so sorry it's under such circumstances...

First of, let's get this out of the way, you have a TERRIBLE store that is giving you TERRIBLE information.

The most important part of this hobby is patience and research, so get ready to SLOW down and do a lot of reading.

First, how did you start your tank? With dry rock or live? Excellent live rock may have had a tank ready for animals in a week, but that's rare. Generally it takes anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months for a tank to be ready to support life.

Then you have to ADD SLOWLY. One fish every few weeks so the tank doesn't get overloaded all at once and cause an ammonia spike. Ammonia is toxic to your fish. Do you have a test kit? I have the feeling your terrible LFS either wasn't testing your water properly, wasn't telling you the truth or didn't understand the readings.

A hippo tang has no business in a biocube. It needs a tank of 6 ft long and around 150g minimum. A RBA need a mature tank of around a year old. And a mandarin needs a very large, very mature tank unless you plan on starting a copepod farm, hatching baby brine shrimp daily or spending your day feeding him repeatedly. You need to go over to www.LiveAquaria.com and look around and learn the needs of any fish you want before you purchase.

Ich will not go anywhere unless the tank is emptied of fish. The fish would need to be medicated in a separate hospital tank and the tank would need to sit empty for 8-10 weeks for the ich to starve off. A cleaner shrimp does nothing to cure ich. They eat surface parasites, ich burrows under the skin.

The first few months of a tank are called "The Uglies" as your tank will go through many changes as it finds it's groove. This will result in different types of algae popping up which can at best irritate coral and at worst smother. I usually recommend people wait 3-6 months before adding coral to avoid losing them to the algae.

The anemone requires stability which a new tank can't offer and new reefkeepers have trouble offering as they're learning the ins and outs of their tank. You'll want to keep a very close eye on it, because it will melt when it dies an poison your tank. You'll also need better lighting if you plan to keep an anemone.

I'm sorry to dump so much bad news on you, but it sounds like you have recieved some of the worst direction and advice from an LFS I've ever heard of.

If you can, I'd suggest returning all the livestock and starting fresh. Let the tank just have the snails for a couple months while the ich dies out and then start over slowly stocking with proper fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for such a quick response. Its OK about the information. I appreciate your honestly. They came so highly recommended from a client of ours who has an amazing 175 salt tank. My husband was picking his brain one day on the job and he sent us there but I'm now starting to get the impression they don't like to hold hands and baby step train and are a typical store. Sell the product. I started getting suspicious when we first got the tank home and I was questioning all the different lighting. What the heck? So I started doing research but it was still greek to me. So when we went back a week later, I asked. Oh.. you mean your not suppose to turn on the white light in the morning and leave it on all day?? Got it! So they sold us some liquid to age the tank quickly over the next week and we bought timers for the lights.

I have been snooping on this site for a while now reading and then bringing things to their attention. I always seem to get the feeling like.. Oh you didn't know that?? Here buy this.. this will help. We have spent over a grand easy in that store for this tank in those 2 months.

To answer your question, yes we did buy live rock, I donno how many pounds though. They sold us test kits for phosphates, nitrates and the scope salinity test only. I see on this site a lot about nitrites and ammonia?? No clue on those.

They focus more on coral then anything with about 2 dozen fish tanks. We recently found another store who focuses more on fish but has about 2 dozen or so coral. So I'm planning on going there to try him. He wants me to bring in 2 cups of water to test. The only store only asks for a tiny amount. So I'm guessing he's more detailed??

We are getting the algae like you said. The brown algae on the sand is starting. From this site.. I'm gathering its diatom algae and all part of the cycling process. From your opinion.. what is a good temperature to be at? That seems to be my current concern.

We aren't planning on setting up a hospital tank and I've always heard it was needed and part of the hobby but then we've heard its helpful but not critical. If it was critical, we probably would of scratched this whole idea.

Thank you again for the information. I am going to try that other store and on top of it.. do my own research. They say not everything you read online is true... but then its sad if you cant trust the experts and are forced to go online.
 

·
Shark..but a friendly one
Joined
·
15,362 Posts
Yes, welcome to TRT, and sharing this with us. Sad, but this is how it way too often starts. Over time, when you get GOOD KNOWLEDGE under your belt, and know the questions to ask, you can begin fostering a a relationship with a lfs and allow 'trust' to grow based on what you see in them. I'm thinking Chi is giving you the best advice.....stop and start over seems as though would be the easiest. Soooo very sorry for the loses, and the mis info you were told. I hope you can regroup, and find enjoyment in this incredible hobby. Wishing you all the best,
Hack
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,065 Posts
Yeah, unfortunately many LFS employees are just out for the sale or are woefully undertrained. It's always best to do your own research before even going - don't rely on them to give you the correct answers. As you found, a store's answer is too often "Buy this".

Ammonia and nitrite are the most important test you can have for a new tank as these are toxic to the fish. Ammonia burns their gills. It can kill them if it gets high enough and if it doesn't it can permanently damage them and shorten their lifespan.

When a tank is set up it's important to "cycle" it first. A cycle is where you ensure you have the bacteria present that will form your biological filter. This bacteria mainly lives in your rocks and it's job is to eat up ammonia, turn it to nitrite, then turn the nitrite to nitrate. During the cycle period you make sure you have enough bacteria present that it can eat up any ammonia immediately so your fish aren't exposed to it. Fish are constantly creating ammonia with their waste, it's also created by excess food rotting or anything that may die in the tank.

That's also why it's important to stock slowly instead of dumping a bunch of fish in at once. The bacteria needs to grow with each new addition. If you add too many at one time it gets overwhelmed and can't eat up the ammonia and nitrite fast enough to keep the fish from being exposed to it.

Nitrates are kind of the last stop in this chain. They're only toxic to fish in high numbers (though coral and other inveratabrates like your snails, crabs or shrimp will need it low) and it is removed by you during your water changes.

I certainly hope you find better luck at your next LFS. Forums are a great place to ask questions and do research though as it's advice given by fellow enthusiasts that have nothing to gain by helping you. There are lots of friendly, knowledgeable people that hang out here on TRT so don't be afraid to ask questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,066 Posts
ChiWing is correct on all his points. A store is in business to stay in business and if they told you (the truth) to keep away from almost all of your livestock for a couple of months, they would not stay in business as fish stores are generally not a very good profit making business anyway. Your problems are not unusual for a new tank and virtually all new tanks will have those problems. It is not uncommon for fish to die in a new tank as a tank is not like a car where a new one is better. Tanks get better with age and a few weeks or months is not long enough for a tank to become stable no matter what your test kits read. Your tank, like all new tanks have ich because all fish from a LFS will have ich. You don't see it in a store because stores keep medication in their tanks. If you noticed, they keep the fish they are selling in a different tank then their corals. The medication will keep you from seeing the parasites but that medication will kill corals in a matter of minutes. There are ways to eliminate ich but I won't get into that because it can get a little confusing
(and my methods may be a little radical for you at this time) but you will get good information here so don't get discouraged.
Good luck and keep at it.
Paul :)
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top