Detailed form submitted: Jhavenga

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Jhavenga, 19 Oct 2010.

  1. Jhavenga

    Jhavenga

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    Location:
    Pretoria
    Detailed help request
    Are you experiencing any problems in your tank?
    Yes
    Brief Description
    1 tankbred juvenile Ocelaris clown died yesterday morning - I found it sucked up into the pipe of one of the powerheads. The surviving clown looked tired - at one point he went and lay on the bottom of the display tank for maybe 10 seconds. Zoa's (I think that's what they are) are not opening up anymore. Tonight the remaining juvenile clown also did not eat as well as usual (it ate like normal yesterday after the 1st clown was found dead).
    Tank size
    120cm x 45cm x 50cm
    System Volume
    390 litres
    How long has your tank been running?
    5 weeks
    What livestock do you have?
    1 tankbred Ocelaris clown (other one died yesterday morning)
    5 hermit crabs (yellow tip and blue eyes)
    6 snails (Narita, green turbo & turbo coronatus)
    3 empty shells (same size as snails)
    35kg of live rock with lots of life
    1 mushroom type coral (does look too happy at the moment. I added on the 11th of Oct. It is not as open as it used to be.
    Water Parameters
    Tested on the evening before the clown died:
    Alkalinity (dkh): 7
    pH: 8.3
    Nitrite: 0.01
    Nitrate: 4
    Ammonia: <0.25
    Salinity: was at 1.020 on the evening of the 17th. I did a 10% water change (salt mixed 5 days before) pushing the salinity up to around 1.022. Next morning after the dead clown was removed I did another 10% water change pushing the salinity up to around 1.023-1.024)
    Temperature: 23 - 28
    What lighting is over the tank?
    3x30w T8's. For the first 4 weeks I only had one blue 30w T8 in. The zoa's were opening up fine. Last week I installed two white T8. I was away for the weekend (I found the dead clown Monday morning). I had the blue T8 on for the weekend. The two white T8's were of during the weekend. All the lights were of on the night/morning the clown died.
    Pumps and equipment
    Pumps in display: 2xSeio's - 2,000lph each. 1xAquaH2O 2,000lph powerhead. Corner to corner overflow, with water from sump coming in at around 800l/h.
    TS2 skimmer, DSB (I found two large empty shells at a new property I bought - I placed them in the sump, with the idea of eventually moving them into the display tank, on the evening before the clown died. I removed them on the morning I found the dead clown.
    1xBuyo return pump, rated for 2,500lph (water is lifted about 1 metre, so it enters the display tank at about a rate of 800lph)
    Professional auto top-up
    RO unit. Bought it new about 5 weeks ago. I started up my tank with water from another reefer's tank.
    Maintenance
    I test the water parametres once a week (Sunday afternoons). Everything tested fine (except for salinity which was low most of the time) since I started cycling the tank ( I bought 35kg's of cured live rock, so I didn't really have a cycle).
    Added the two white T8's during the past week (as mentioned above). I feed the clown(s) 2 - 4 times a day (morning and evenings)
    Other info and photo's.
    I couldn't post the photos in this info box, but I did upload them. Check my profile for photos of the zoa's before (open) and after (closed), as well as the mushroom thingy (sort of closed)
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    I would say your tank has not finished cycling yet, the detection of nitrite and ammonia would indicate this, couple that with the changes in salinity and the clowns are not in ideal conditions to survive. It is also possible that the clowns may have been sick before you bought them.

    If you are going to be keeping corals then you need to upgrade your lighting to T5's.

    I see you are in Pretoria, get along to Petstop or Dorry Pets and buy some Seachem Stability or Prodibio Biodigest and Bioptim, these products will help to stabilise your tank and get the bacterial colonies to where they should be. Leave your tank for at least another week or until your test kits do not detect any Nitrite or Ammonia.
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2010
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Not sure if this might be the reason. Did you rinse the shells out? And put then in a container with your previous water change for a week. Turn then when you put them in so that the air inside can escape.

    Also, even if it is good quality live rock you got. It will have some die-off due to be out of the water for longer than a few minutes.

    If you lift and shift your rock from one tank to another or from cooler box to tank (and it was underwater wihile transporting), then yes, die-off will minimal. But if the rock was out of the water for 5 minutes or more, then expect some cycle.

    Let the tank cycle for another 2 or 3 weeks.
     
  5. neo

    neo

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    Hmm, friend of mine with fresh-water tank lost some fish due to his children using Doom in the same room (well he say it's because of that), so be careful with airborne cleaners and poison.
     
  6. Jhavenga

    Jhavenga Thread Starter

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    Thank you for the replies, guys.

    Viper, I use the Salifert test kits and their ammonia test kit chart does not go lower than <0.25. So the ammonia in my tank may be 0. Anyways, I'll see if I can get some of the Seachem stability.

    I'm not planning to stock corals in the immediate future. The mushroom I have I got from RiaanP. I know I'll need to upgrade the lighting before adding any more corals.

    BTW, I got the clowns from Petstop. I've only heard good comments about their livestock, so the chances of the clowns being sick when I got them is low in my opinion.

    RiaanP, I did rinse the shells and turned them to let the air out when putting them in. But I didn't let them lie in "old" water - I put them straight into the tank.

    So, I'll just let everything be for the next 2-3 weeks then?

    Neo, I get what you're saying. My girl isn't 2 yet, so she's not able to sabotage the fish. I've also told my wife to stay away from the tank with chemicals. So I do not think it was something like that... but who knows.
     
  7. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i see the basics have been covered.. do you make use of any air freshners (plug in-time released fragrance devices)?

    these can be harmful aswell.
     
  8. Jhavenga

    Jhavenga Thread Starter

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    Leslie, we have one in another room - I don't think it'll get to the tank.

    I did use an old plastic pipe, which was in my freswater tank (return pipe for canister filter) to mix the saltwater for my tank. The outside of the pipe was clean (I didn't use any chemicals to clean it, only water), but the inside was rather dirty. I didn't think that it would have any effect on the water I mixed, since it was mostly the outside of the pipe that came into contact with the water - but some of the gunk from the inside did get into the water (I noticed that the inside looked a little cleaner after I mixed the saltwater). Could this have caused the problem?
     
  9. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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  10. Jhavenga

    Jhavenga Thread Starter

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    Thanks Leslie
     
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