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  1. #1
    Member sacrificetheory's Avatar
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    Question New to SW, sick damsel

    Hello! It's been a while since I've been around, and I just acquired a new SW tank. My LFS closed down, had a big sale, and since I worked there for a while I got a bigggg discount on everything. I got a 20 long with a Penguin HOB, elite heater, about 10 lbs of live rock, 4 blue leg hermits, around 6 narcissus snails, 8 turbo snails and a domino damsel.
    For some reason it keeps automatically putting me into italics so bare with me.
    Anyways, I also got a AP saltwater master test kit, calcium test, hydrometer, Aquavitro Alpha and some tetra marine flakes.
    The problem is my damsel, it's back fin looks absolutely awful and it's losing some color. I thought it had ick so I tried a freshwater dip about 6 hours ago and it's fin keeps looking worse. It's acting normal and eating like a hog. I have a few blurry pictures for you.
    Also, any recommendations would be awesome. It's FOWLR at the moment, but I'd love to have some easy corals.
    Water parameters are as followed.
    Ph- 8.2
    Nitrate- 40 ppm
    Nitrite- 0 ppm
    Ammonia- 0 ppm
    Calcium- 440 ppm
    As for lighting, I have a double Hagen GLO with a marine glo and power glo bulb.

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  2. #2
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    Although pic is somewhat blur, it does not look that bad. What is SG & temp? How long has it been since adding LR/fish/Inverts?

    I would stop f/w dip without any certainty as it may impose more stress on fish.
    I never done s/w fish in f/w dip for 6 hrs although some may survive long dipping time than others.



  3. #3
    Member sacrificetheory's Avatar
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    Oh no! He was only in there for about 2-3 minutes. I was meaning it was done 6 hours ago!
    SG is 1.024, I'm assuming that's what you mean? Temp is right at 78.
    I apologize for the blurry pictures. My digital camera is dead so those are cell pics.
    The base of his tail fin is what I'm referring to? I'm not too savvy on SW fish, I just have what came with the tank. I got the entire set up and everything mentioned for about 120 bucks. Also, the live rock and inverts are everything already in the tank. It's been set up for at least a year or longer.



  4. #4
    Member sacrificetheory's Avatar
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    Well, I woke up this morning and the damsel was stuck to the filter and all of his color was gone. I thought he was dead but when I grabbed him from the filter he was breathing heavily. He can't move and now I've lost him, no idea where he is in the tank. I'm afraid something is going horribly wrong and I'd like to eventually have some clowns and firefish. Bah.
    Btw, I did a 10% water change yesterday. I don't have an RO unit and my nearest LFS is 2 hours away since the one near me closed down. But! The tap water I used is filtered and I used that Alpha stuff.



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    Hope he/she is OK



  6. #6
    Member sacrificetheory's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure it's dead. I can't find it anywhere. Bah. I don't even know what I was thinking buying the tank, I'm just so enthralled by fish and always wanted a SW tank. As far as making sure the tank is disease free, how do I go about it?



  7. #7
    Moderator greech's Avatar
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    So was this tank one of the stores diplay tanks or sis you put this together? Was it set up and fish added all on the same day? Where did you get your water and how did you acclimate the fish to your tank? Looks like you are using a hydrometer so it is possible it was not accurate and your SG is off or significantly different from that of your LFS's.

    It is very possible the fish was in somewhat poor condition when you got it and the stress from changing envionments took it over the edge.

    Don't give up on the tank. You have the makings of a nice little nano there. Damsels are fairly resilient fish so disease would not be my first concern. Hopefully some more info on your part will help determine the cause of the damsel's demise so you can figure out where to go from here. In the mean time, I would not add anything else to the tank (especially since it sounds like it is still cycling).

    Edit: If it is fact dead, you should remove it.



  8. #8
    Member sacrificetheory's Avatar
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    It was a display tank at the store for about a year or more. Everything in the tank now was in the tank when I purchased it, including water. I did a 10% water change the day after I put the fish in because he started looking sickly, maybe that was a mistake? The store had an RO unit so that's what the water was originally, but I used filtered tap water and put in that Alpha stuff to remove chlorine, chloramines, nitrite and nitrate.
    I got the fish the day after setting the tank up from the same LFS I got the tank. For the acclimation, I used one of those little plastic clip on boxes to put the bag in, opened the top, and put in about a tablespoon and a half of water every 15 minutes.

    I'm sorry I'm all over the place in my posts, everything just hits me at once when I start typing! Baha!
    Thank you guys for replying, btw.



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    Moderator greech's Avatar
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    So tapwater is one concern but would not think a 10% WC using tap would take a fish down that quick. I assume you added salt to the tap water? Did you mix it well? How long, etc? Did you make sure the SG of the new water matched that of the tank?

    It sounds like the tail damage showed up right away which makes me think the fish was sick/damged/stressed to start with or there may be some kind of predator in the tank you are not aware of. Do you hear any popping sounds coming from the tank (especially when the lights are out)? If so you could have a mantis shrimp but I would think the LFS would have known it was there since this was one of there displays.

    The tail damage does not sound like a disease that will persist in your tank like ich. In any case, even though the tank was "established" you should give it a little time to settle after the move. If you find the damsel, try and take a close up pic of the fin.

    BTW, do you know what you want to do with the tank? Know that damsels can be very territorial and in a 20 gallon tank, it will not be very compasionate to new arrivals (especially when it is the first fish in the tank and marks its territory).



  10. #10
    Member sacrificetheory's Avatar
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    I know for sure I want a clown and firefish. Maybe some easy corals such as mushrooms. The damsel was honestly a test fish, I wasn't by any means attached to it. I just wanted to make sure fish would survive, but obviously I got my answer. :P
    The salinity of the tank was a little high so on the wc I only added a very small amount and waited about 10 minutes before adding it to the tank. I use Instant Ocean, if that makes any difference.
    Also, the tap water comes from a tap that is filtered, would that make any difference? Should I use distilled water? As I previously mentioned, my LFS closed and the closest one is about 2 hours away.
    No popping sounds, my only hitchhikers are some bristle worms and some other kind of transparent worm. The damage tail almost looked like a rash, this morning it was completely pale and had a red tint.
    I plan on making a trip tomorrow or the next day, should I get some more live rock? I was thinking about maybe a cleaner shrimp, also. What about chemicals? Is there anything that can make tap water safe?



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