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  1. #1
    O.o
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    Exclamation Clownfish keep dying. why?

    First off I'd like to say I'm a freshwater guy and only have a basic knowledge of marine fish.

    I decided to post this for my best friend since he is too proud to admit defeat and ask for help. He has a 10g nano reef tank set up. Using a AquaClear 70 mod he learned online, he has a refugium of some sort with cheeto (i think it's called that). He has two shrimp, a cleaner shrimp (skunk shrimp I believe?) and a peppermint shrimp. Both were juveniles when purchased and get along fine. He also has a lot of snails, 8 or so margarita snails and 2 nassarius snails. About 14 pounds of live rock. Sorry if this isn't detailed enough this is all from memory.

    Now on to the main point, he has killed a total of 12 different clownfish. Every time I've supported him and personally gone with him to the LFS to hand pick the fish, but every time we get the fish, they end up dying from illness. We tried drip acclimation, some other type where you add a cup of tank water every now and then, even dripped acclimated over night. His clowns ALWAYS end up getting some kind of illness whether it be a severe case of Ick, mouth fungus, head in the hole disease, clown fish disease, and so on. The guy looks like he is running a doctors desk at his home since he has so many meds. Are we doing something wrong? He always does water changes and using AquaVitro products to help with water quality.

    Has it something to do with the LFS? Or does he have the worst luck ever? We quarantined 8/12 fish and always buy pairs.



    I would like to add that I've owned freshwater fish for 6 years and currently run a well stocked 55gallon tank and I have never had problems with fish illness. He just recently started only 3 months ago. The tank is well cycled and he had a hair algae problem with which he dealt with by building the refugium.





  2. #2
    www.centralcoastreefclub. com Ace25's Avatar
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    Could be a problem with the LFS.. or could be that he is "loving the fish to death" by dosing extra stuff/meds in the tank when he shouldn't. There really shouldn't be anything needed for a simple small clownfish tank other than water changes. Not sure which of the AquaVitro line would have any positive effect on clownfish.. but overdosing any of the products in that line can stress out fish. One would think the shrimp would kick the bucket before clownfish though because shrimp are more sensitive.

    When you QT the fish, what meds if any where used? I would probably go with just copper meds in a QT/Hospital tank, but also test copper levels at least 2x a day with a good reliable test kit. You have to be right on with copper to make it effective and not go overboard.



  3. #3
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    By quarantine I mean that we've had to put the fish in a separate bucket due to illness. He hasn't properly quarantined any fish to try to fix an illness that isn't there. All the clown fish we've gotten have gotten some kind of illness. We've gone to 6 different stores, even bought from a petco. We've gotten from true perculias, to oscellaris, to false perculias, maroons, fire dartfish. They all just get some sort of illness. I'm wondering if there is something lurking in his tank that causes all of this? The only Aquavitro product he is using is the water conditioner btw.



  4. #4
    www.centralcoastreefclub. com Ace25's Avatar
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    So, if your using water conditioner like Alpha, then your probably not using RO or RO/DI water, right? Could certainly be something in the water supply since there are 1000's of unknowns when it comes to tap water.



  5. #5
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    I'm using tap water for my own aquariums though. All my fish would be dead to no? He initially started the tank with RO/DI water bought from the store. I mean I find it hard to believe that RO water is that crucial to maintaining marine fish.



  6. #6
    www.centralcoastreefclub. com Ace25's Avatar
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    Believe it...



  7. #7
    Senior Member RiVerfishgirl's Avatar
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    It could be something with the water supply, but honestly shrimp and stuff usually go first. However, shrimp and snails can sometimes tolerate higher levels of nitrates, nitrites and ammonia than the fish, and possibly differing pH and salinity levels.

    So first of all, what are his water parameters? What is his pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates? What is his salinity? And what is he measuring his salinity with, and has he tried measuring with different equipment?

    It's unlikely to be the stores stock if he's bought that many from so many different places.

    If everything measures ok, then I'd suggest switching to RO water.



  8. #8
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    His ph is at 8.2 parameters are fine and has some nitrates. Salinity is usually at 1.024 and he uses instant oceans hydrometer. He once took his water to the store to get it measured there and they reported a lower specific gravity though the guy said their hydrometer was very old. He never used carbon in his tank and recently read that if enough bio material builds up in his tank it can be dangerous. I forgot exactly what it was but the symptoms of having it matched up. He said he always wondered why it looked like there was also soap in his water since he usually had bubbles on the top of the tank. So 4 days ago he added activated carbon to his Aquaclear mod.

    I told him just make it easy on everyone and switch to brackish already =P



  9. #9
    Senior Member RiVerfishgirl's Avatar
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    The instant ocean hydrometers are nearly always incorrect. Some of them are off significantly. Mine was reading 1.024 when my refractometer read 1.017. So if his salinity is actually way lower than it reads that could stress clownfish due to the fact that they're reef fish which are used to a higher stable salinity. He really needs to get a refractometer or something in order make sure his salinity is actually correct.

    The bubbles on top of the water may just be due to organic waste in the water. Similar to how a skimmer works, if there's some type of protein the movement of the water will stir it up and bring it to the top. Also similar to the "sea foam" you see in the ocean. Though there is the possibility that his tapwater is contaminated with some type of surfactant that may be harmful to marine fish. In that case it would be likely his inverts wouldn't be healthy either though.
    If he does have the presence of something in has tapwater carbon may help, but he should really switch to RO. Otherwise he's going to have to run carbon on his water change water every single time he mixes it for a water change, BEFORE he adds it to the tank, and HOPE that it removes whatever is causing the issues.

    As far as biomaterial buildup in the tank, he should be preventing that by doing water changes, and also his macroalgaes will remove some of that.



  10. #10
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    So you are saying that there is a possibility that his salinity is very low and is causing heavy stress to the fish, lowering their immune system and causing all these illnesses?



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