Fish Dying

Discussion in 'Urgent Help Needed' started by NFactor, 18 Jun 2009.

  1. NFactor

    NFactor

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    Hi Guys,

    I unfortunatly had 2 deaths today, 1 perc clown and 1 chromis :(. I got the clown on the weekend and the chromis I have had for about 2 months now with no problems until today.

    I'm worried that I have some underlying problem in my tank that I am not testing for that is causing fish to die as since I started my tank I have not been too fortunate with fish.

    My paramaters are (and this is all I have test kits for)

    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - 2
    Alk - 3.5
    Phos - 0.5
    Calcium - 360
    PH - 8.2
    Salinity - 1.024

    All tests done with SeaChem test kits except calcium which is Sera.

    As far as I know all of the above are fine with the exception of my calcium which from what I understand would be a problem if I had any LPS or SPS which I dont. None the less 3 days ago I started dosing slaked lime into the system to up calcium levels (half a teaspoon a day).

    Is there anything else that I am not testing for that could be causing my fish to die? All my inverts are just fine as well as my remaining 2 chromis.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Neil
     
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  3. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    What is the alk measured in because it seems really low. Should be about 8. Was there any fluctuations in temperature? How many big is your tank?
     
  4. Tony

    Tony

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    Your alkalinity is too low and the sudden change in parameters from adding the kalk could be shocking the fish
     
  5. martinhal

    martinhal

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    Agreed 3.5 seems low on if dKH is the scale. How have you been adding the slaked lime ? Add it too fast and PH can spike. It also precipitates out Ca and alkalinity.

    If you are new to the hobby rather use Tropic Marin Bio Calcium rather than lime water
     
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Sorry to hear. Maybe something came with the clown affecting the cromis as well.
     
  7. NFactor

    NFactor Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick replies guys, please see some comments below

    When you say 8 is this measured in dKH? My measurement of 3.5 is in meg/L which to get to dKH is 3.5*2.8 (according to my test kit) which = 9.8

    Also my tank is 1200x450x450.

    I've been adding it by mixing half a teaspoon in some water from the tank then pouring it into the overflow - is that a bad way of doing it? and yes I am new to this hobby.

    If this was the case could the other chromis get affected by this seeing the clown is now gone?
     
  8. martinhal

    martinhal

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    Firstly keep your chin up !! Yip it is the wrong way to add Kalk. Do a bit of reading on Kalk and reef chemistry in general. TM Bio Calcium is a good product as it is two part alk and Ca. very dificult to overdose. You may also want to test Magnesium , I am no expert 18 months down the line and still learning . I know that low Mg will stop Ca from rising and trying to adjust Ca if Mg and Alk are out causes more harm than good. Its about balance. The reson I mention it is that changes in the water paramaters stress fish that are already stressed by shipping.

    Your Alk convertion is correct . What was it before you added Kalk ? IMHO the Kalk may have affected the PH short term and stressed the fish. I also have a personal rule that I will not change salt brand or any additive for 2 weeks before or after adding live stock as oftern its difficult to jude what when wrong if you cant norrow it down to one change. In your case was the fish ill or did the Kalk cause it ?
     
  9. NFactor

    NFactor Thread Starter

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    Thanks, will definatly do more reading then on adding kalk then. Just a quick question though, I tested my water on Monday as well and my Alk was 3.5 then as it is now so effectively not changed as yet? So could the adding of the kalk be the cause seeing it doesnt seem to have had any affect on the water chemistry as yet?
     
  10. martinhal

    martinhal

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    Perhaps the Gurus could confirm , it may be a short term Ph issue just after you add the Kalk.
     
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi NFactor - I am not really a guru....

    BUT, my personal opinion is - yes, it can indeed possibly be too much change in the water parameters, too quickly, in too small a volume of water.

    BUT - it could also quite possibly be that the new fish you added, had a pathogen/bacteria/parasite, which infected the fish that died.

    Did you quarantine the new fish? Did you acclimatize the new fish? If you have acclimatized the new fish - for how long? And exactly what was the procedure that you used to acclimatize the new fish?

    What else changed during this time? Feeding?

    Did you do water changes during this time? If so - what water did you use?

    Did you perhaps have huge water temperature changes/fluctuations during this time?

    Did you perhaps disturb the sand-bed/substrate during this time?
     
  12. NFactor

    NFactor Thread Starter

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    Hi Jacques, thanks for your input, please see my answers in red below.

    Something that I failed to meantion previous (sorry just thought about this now after reading your and Tobes comment on clown possibly infecting the chromis) is that I bought 2 clowns on the weekend but 1 died that night and I'm 100% sure that it was sick or something as when it entered the tank I noticed the fins were frayed and it generally didnt look happy or eat where as the other 1 that survived until now was full of life and was eating but last night I noticed some white dots on its fins and body but didn't think white spot or anything as they appeared as quickly as they dissapeared so thought maybe it was just fine bubbles stuck on its body?
     
  13. marine101

    marine101

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    This is classic chicken and egg with variable change! Where do u start? i think its the Kalk Dosing. Do u have any bio media in the overflow. If u throwing Kalk down there u could b causing transient ammonia spikes by killing off live bacteria. Also Kalk should b dripped
     
  14. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    I was gonna say something about dripping the kalk. If you add it all in one go the pH will go through the roof, it will then slowly go down, so when you check your pH later it will be normal. Think this is how it works, not sure though because I use Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium, imo its way safer than Kalk if you are not sure what you are doing.
     
  15. NFactor

    NFactor Thread Starter

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    I dont have anything in the over flow currently, should I look at adding something in there? Needless to say I wont be throwing anymore kalk down there.

    BIG SIGH if this is indeed the case and feel like crap! Will look this weekend for some Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium.

    Thanks all for your input.
     
  16. marine101

    marine101

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    Ag, dont b despondent! At least u tried which is more than what other people do. Perhaps buy it for now until u get a bit more comfortable with Dosing Kalk
     
  17. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    The thing with Bio-Calcium is it may seem expensive but it really isn't. The Bio-Calcium has every additive in it. Its got all 70 trace elements and a kH buffer. So really it will be the only thing you ever have to dose. Once you figure out your tanks daily calcium needs it is really simple. Don't listen to the instructions that they supply with the bio-calcium. If you follow the dosage they suggest your kH will sky rocket to like 14
     
  18. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    The one parameter you are missing is temp of the water and does it fluctuate much between night and day, if it does differ more than 2deg cel in 24hrs this will start to stress the fish.
    As for adding kalk it looks like you trying the slurry method, this has to be done very carefully because if overdosed it will wipe out the system, the correct way is to mix the kalk with ro water and then pour into the system infront of a fairly powerful pump. This method raises both alk and ca in balanced proportions but does spike the ph, after 30min the ph will settle again and should not settle higher than 0.2 points before the kalk was added. Best to use a digital ph meter for this.
    the other parameter which seems out is the phos which should be down at 0.02.
     
  19. NFactor

    NFactor Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the info, any suggestions on how to dose it then? Also an idea of cost just so I know up.

    Water temp is 26 during the day and 25 at night. As for the phos, I think I need to look at replacing my phosguard or at least try getting more flow through it.
     
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