Saltwater fish Dying!!!!

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

HarleyGrl81

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 16, 2017
19
1
1
38
I have had my saltwater tank for about 4 months now. The first few fish I put in, domino damsels, are fine. I added them after a month of cycling. During the second month I added a Yellow Tang, Foxface, a Coral Beauty, a small Clown Trigger, a Sailfin, and a few clown fish. The Foxface died after a few weeks but he looked stressed from the time they bagged him up. Over the past two months I added a new Foxface, I bought a Flame Angel that died the very day after I bought it, I bought a small Humu (Picasso) Trigger over the weekend, and a flame something... My clowns look fine, my Clown Trigger died two days ago, my Yellow Tang and Coral Beauty both died today and my Sailfin is looking rough. My amonia, PH, nitrites, and salinity are fine. My nitrates are high so I did a partial water change and added some Prime and Microbe-Lift Xtreme. What could be causing this to all happen at once and what can I do to save my remaining fish?!?!
 

Kannan Fodder

AC Members
Jun 2, 2014
895
59
31
Las Vegas/San Diego
Real Name
Michelle
Please don't take anything out of context. I'm not an expert, but am asking the same questions others will in order to get an idea of what is going on.

Have you taken a water sample to your local LFS to have them test it? - just to get a second look at the levels. Also, did you quarantine any of your new fish? One of them could have been sick, and then infected your tank.

You said "looking rough", but could you be a little more descriptive? Tattered fins? White spots/ich? Wounds? Pictures help.

Also, what fish did you have? Someone could be bullying the rest and causing stress in the tank.
 

tanker

Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!
Sep 1, 2003
7,319
330
116
Calif. SF Bay area
Visit site
Real Name
Jessica
How big is your tank? You said you have high Nitrates, how high is high? What is your water change schedule? I think you maybe over crowded.
 

HarleyGrl81

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 16, 2017
19
1
1
38
I had them tested on Saturday, they told me the only the nitrates were high, over 80. I tested it today and the nitrates were still high, around 80 after a partial water change, adding the Semi-pure blue filter media they sold me. I just came out to take a pic and now I am almost in tears... I will take pic and send it.
 

HarleyGrl81

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 16, 2017
19
1
1
38
I had them tested on Saturday, they told me the only the nitrates were high, over 80. I tested it today and the nitrates were still high, around 80 after a partial water change, adding the Semi-pure blue filter media they sold me. I just came out to take a pic and now I am almost in tears...

IMG_20170823_000407.jpg

IMG_20170823_000426.jpg

IMG_20170823_000439.jpg

IMG_20170823_000414.jpg
 

HarleyGrl81

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 16, 2017
19
1
1
38
My husband just added the snail this weekend and when I just went out it was eating my Sailfin's eye, which is now dead. My clown fish appear ok but the Sailfish had a whitish coating over it. My Picasso Trigger looks very stressed.
 

HarleyGrl81

AC Members
Original poster
Aug 16, 2017
19
1
1
38
Also, they told me the amonia was fine. Today it was between the second and third bar on the master saltwater test kit... No, I did not quarantine but now I am seeing why I need to set up a tank for that purpose! It is 40 gallon. I do partial water changes every two weeks. I have not seen any bullying since we returned my husband's snowflake eel over the weekend which also killed several fish... I have spent over $1500 on this tank in the past 4 months, more than I spend on all of my freshwater combined, including my 55 gallon. I am a cognitive science major with a 4.0 GPA, I do my research but I obviously made a major error(s) with this tank. I had a saltwater tank years ago and never had any problems!
 

myswtsins

Global Moderator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2008
3,550
381
92
36
Central NJ
Real Name
Jen
Camera Used
Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
That seems like too many fish for that tank size and added too quickly and not nearly enough water changes or live rock for that many fish as clearly shown by your high nitrates. And now the dead fish are crashing the tank further (ammonia). Clown fish are a fairly tolerant hardy species and that that is why they are the least affected.

1st course of action should be to do a bigger water change, several water changes even, to get those nitrates down below 40 and get rid of the ammonia of course (but prime will help with that). Do a good vacuuming while do this WC, blow out the rocks (before siphoning), clean your filters in the water you take out (what filters are you running?) etc.

Beyond the nitrates you could be dealing with other diseases as well so try to rule out the nitrates ASAP. Whatever the case may be starting with clean water is the best place to start.

What fish are actually alive and remaining in this tank right now? And about what size are they currently?
 

Brian Bivens

Labeotropheus Trawavasae
Jun 8, 2007
885
0
16
38
Colorado Springs
I think you already got some good advice. A 40 gallon SW tank really should have a light stock. I have a 75 gallon set up with 2 clowns, a watchman goby and a wardley wrasse (this is like 12 inches of fish full size), and I feel I am pretty close to stocked with fish... I have corals, and a clean up crew too, all of which adds to the tank's bioload.

If I were making a suggestion, I would say that you need to perform a 30-40% water change right away, and then for a week do daily 5-10% changes and see where you are at. You want to end up where you can perform somewhere around 10%-20% changes once a week. If your stocking list is pushing your Nitrates to high to maintain the tank with the above schedule, you will probably end up giving up maintenance on the tank and have a host of other issues.
 

Jesterrace

AC Members
Apr 24, 2018
51
10
8
40
Also, they told me the amonia was fine. Today it was between the second and third bar on the master saltwater test kit... No, I did not quarantine but now I am seeing why I need to set up a tank for that purpose! It is 40 gallon. I do partial water changes every two weeks. I have not seen any bullying since we returned my husband's snowflake eel over the weekend which also killed several fish... I have spent over $1500 on this tank in the past 4 months, more than I spend on all of my freshwater combined, including my 55 gallon. I am a cognitive science major with a 4.0 GPA, I do my research but I obviously made a major error(s) with this tank. I had a saltwater tank years ago and never had any problems!
Holly crap, you put all that in a 40 gallon after just a couple of months?

Where to start with this:

1) I'm not sure where you did research but it's pretty clear you did absolutely zero in terms of minimum tank size required for fish. Spend some time at liveaquaria's website and look into the minimum tank sizes for these fish.

2) Even for a 40 gallon your live rock looks ridiculously understocked (ie 20lbs or less) and you need at least 40lbs for your size of tank for fish that are appropriate for that size tank

3) Tangs are notoriously dirty fish in terms of producing nitrates and lots of live rock and water displacement to handle their bioload

To give you an idea of how off the mark you were with your fish selection here is a breakdown:

The one spot foxface requires a bare minimum of 70 gallons and if you got any other variety they generally need a 125 gallon minimum, The Sailfin Tang gets over a foot in length when grown and needs about a 180 gallon minimum to keep it happy long term. The Trigger gets just shy of 2 feet in length and needs a 300 gallon minimum and NO TRIGGER should be in a tank of less than 125 gallons. The coral beauty is recommended for 70 gallons minimum (although a number have had success with them in the 40-50 gallon tanks with plenty of live rock and the right tank mates). The Flame Angel is 70 gallons minimum (if that's what you put in) and is notoriously aggressive.

4) QUIT ADDING FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are doing nothing but killing them and research what is appropriate for that tank. You need to add more live rock and cycle it properly.

5) The water looks terrible, are you using tap or RODI? RODI is recommended if you don't want an out of control algae problem.

6) It's not 100% and activity is a big factor as well but for a general rule, if the fish exceeds 5 inches in length when fully grown then it is too big for your 40 gallon tank
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store