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Am I moving to quickly?


Robb in Austin

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I setup my 58g on 1/21 using 70lbs live rock from an existing tank and ran that way for

a week or so. I had a small blue leg hermit and a polyp or zoa of some kind hitchhike. We added

a peppermint shrimp on 1/24 to fight the aiptasia on the rock, and he did great.

All was well so I added my sand and ran that way for 3-4 days. I did a ~8g water change and

added three nassarius and a purple firefish on 1/30. The firefish never came out of hiding

and was found dead within 2 days. The nassarius got to the body before I could get it out

so I just left it in the tank and there are no remnants now.

Two days ago I added 7 ceriths, 2 tiny blue leg hermits, and a green chromis. The

chromis was eating ok but was found dead today.

All the inverts and the polyp have been doing fine, so I figured I was ok to add fish.

My parameters have been fairly steady during this whole process:

temp staying at 80, SG=1.026-.027, alk=7-8, Ca=440-460,

NH3/NO2/NO3=0 the whole time.

I'm using RODI water, Red Sea Coral Pro salt, Tunze 9010 in the tank, 2 Koralia #3(only running

1 most of the time; seems too much with both running).

Any thoughts?

Robb

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If Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate have been 0 the whole time you have not cycled yet. What you should see is the ammonia spike and come down. At about the same time the ammonia comes down you should see the nitrite spike up. It will then come down with a corresponding tick up in nitrate, which will slowly decrease. I find it hard to believe that with two fish dying in the tank there never was an increase in any of these parameters. What kind of test kit are you using? I would give the tank a little more time. Feed it and let the food help with the cycle. Look for the spikes and declines discussed above to let you know the cycle is actually occurring.

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I'm using API test kits.

I figured since I was using rock striaght out of an existing tank I wouldn't have a cycle. The only

time it was out of water was on the ride back from New Braunfels and I covered it all in

wet towels for that. I had my water again in the tank for a week prior to adding the rock.

I had added a few pellets of Dianichi Veggie FX, for the peppermint shrimp and to help keep

the bacteria alive, once or twice. The tank also got some mysid shrimp over the last 2 days

for the chromis.

I thought for sure I'd see a spike when the firefish died, but nada.

I guess I'll just monitor it over the next 3-4 weeks and see what happens.

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They're not new. I used the nitrate test out of a reef master kit I picked up last week, so it should

be the newest of the bunch. I had an extra ammonia test and used it today and also got 0.

I think I'll take a sample to one of the LFS and see what they get.

Robb

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Depending on how established the Live rock is and how long it was out of the tank when it was transfered to yours you may not have any measurable cycle. When I started my tank with established live rock I didn't have a spike in anything and I tested everyday. I would not put to much stuff in there until you are sure but don't be surprised if you don't see a noticeable cycle.

Think of it as doing a 100% water change. You are going to lose some of the bacteria in the water column but not enough to affect the tank as much as you might think.

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Using a refractometer. I agree, a bit high. Planning a bit of siphoning and refill with DI to drop it to 1.025.

Acclimation was via float, followed by filling with tank water(30-50mL) every 15-20min for ~1-2hrs.

I figured that with a max rock-out-of-water-time of 2hrs(closer to 1hr) I would be safe.

Thanks for everyones input so far.

Robb

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Also remember that the higher your salinity the longer the acclimation process probably needs to be. Most LFS or online fish shippers tend to run salinity a little bit on the lower end of the normal range. Therefore, if you are way high there is more shock to the fish.

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I agree on the salinity at the LFS. And sometimes the readings are lower than others depending on if they have topped off their system or not. I test the bag water with my refractometer just to be sure.

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I checked the bag water for the inverts but not the fish.

I know fish aren't as sensitive as inverts so I figured that I would be ok, but maybe not.

I'm still going to give it more time to mature and get my water tested at one of the LFS.

Thanks again everyone!

Robb

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dont most people, and lfs's keeping a tank with fish only keep salinity at around 1.023? the only time people raise salinity to 1.025 or higher is when keeping coral. if your param test results are what you say they are, ide bet that the water you got your fish from is in the range of 1.023 and when you introduced them into a SG of 1.027, it would probably be enough to push them over the edge. even with a 2 hour acclimation, that wouldnt be enough. an acclimation to such a varied SG should be done over many days!

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If the shrimp is ok and the fish are dieing, I would have to lean towards a problem with acclimating. If there was an ammonia spike, the shrimp would go first in my opinion.

Firefish isnt that hardy of a fish so wouldnt suggest starting with it again though.

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