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Lost My Damsel


Guest savagem

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Guest savagem

Just lost my domino damsel that has been in my tank from day one. Granted the tank has only been set up for about two months, but he has always been so happy and healthy. He started to look a little ragged about two weeks ago. I thought maybe something was picking on him, because I didn't notice any other signs of disease. Today I found him dead, though. 14 gallon Marineland bioglobe with standard equipment. 20 pounds live rock. 3 peppermint shrimp, 6 turbo snails, candy cane coral, two zoanthids, one rock polyp, one kenya tree, and one xenia. Temp always steady at 80 degrees. Salinity is at .23, ph 8.4, nitrates 10 before the water change tonight. Zero ammonia and zero nitrites. I was feeding him bloodworms at the suggestion of the store where I purchased him. Several worms in the am, and then I fed the corals cyclops in the pm and he gobbled up as many of those as he could as well. 25% water changes weekly. Never a trace of any nitrites or ammonia the whole time he has been in the tank. I add strontium, iodine, and calcium per directions on the bottles.

Another thing I noticed in the past couple of days is that the kenya tree hasn't been opening like it usually does. It has only been in the tank for about a month, but has always done well. Xenia is the newest addition and seems ok, as does the candy cane coral which has been in for about 2 weeks. I seem to have a whole lot of red algae for the past two weeks or so. I don't know what killed my poor fish. He was the only fish in the tank, and I had planned to keep it that way. Now that he is gone I'd like to add a pair of juvenile clownfish eventually, but I'm not sure what is going on in the tank. Any suggestions? Did one of the corals bring a disease into the tank? Is there something that would affect a fish and a leather? Not sure what to do here.

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So sorry for your loss.I too had a domino damsel I lost.However I have 3 Blue Finned Damsels left.Hope you feel better soon.

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I would do a water change and check parameters and specific gravity/salinity is spot on.Also keep an eye on clown fish as they can become ill very quickly if things are not right as damsels are hardier fish than them.However given size of your tank I would not put anymore in it.

Edited by Blue
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The nitrates, even the low amount that they are, could be enough to affect the corals. Also, are you running carbon in your filter? Our nano cube came with the carbon/padded filter cartridge and we started losing xenia and other corals. We finally realized the carbon was actually stripping the water too much, so as soon as we removed it, the corals perked back up.

I don't feed bloodworms to saltwater species. They are strictly freshwater, and I try to stick to natural foods with marine fish. I feed krill or mysis (frozen) and for pellet food, I prefer New Life Spectrum. It is natural and really colors up the fish.

I am not sure why your damsel died but it may have been poor nutrition, although you say he was eating the cyclops too. Sometimes we just lose them and don't know why.

Your water params sound good though, other than the nitrates, and you should be safe to add the clowns. Beware though that they will outgrow that tank. I had a pair of tiny skunk clowns in my tank and they eventually stressed each other so much we had to move them to our big tank.

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I add strontium, iodine, and calcium per directions on the bottles.

Another thing I noticed in the past couple of days is that the kenya tree hasn't been opening like it usually does. It has only been in the tank for about a month, but has always done well. Xenia is the newest addition and seems ok, as does the candy cane coral which has been in for about 2 weeks. I seem to have a whole lot of red algae for the past two weeks or so. I don't know what killed my poor fish.

I am sorry about your loss...it is always difficult to lose a fish of any kind......

I notice that you add strontium, iodine, and calcium.... Do you have a test kit for each element??? Strontium and iodine are toxic to marine life over certain levels... A rule of thumb is never add anything as far as trace elements to your tank that you are not testing for.... Most tanks don't need these additives if you are doing regular water changes....all those elements are part of the salt mix.... The only additive that won't become toxic is the calcium...if you get to much of that your water will look like it is snowing in the tank.... I still wouldn't add calcium if I wasn't testing for it...I like to keep it between 400- 440 ppm.....

If you have too high of a concentration of strontium or iodine it will affect not only the fish but your coral...they will quit opening and eventually die off....

Edited by Reef Man
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Guest savagem

Thanks so much for the replies! I did get the two little clowns yesterday. So far so good, but I'm a little nervous. You know, when the guy at the LFS told me to add the strontium, calcium and iodine I did question him. I am using a very high quality salt mix and I said that I thought the trace elements would be replaced via the salt mix during the weekly water change. He told me I still needed an additive. The guy has a BS in marine biology so I believed him. Should I stop with the additives altogether, then? Everything seemed to be going along just fine until I started with them. The same guy also told me to add more carbon to the filter because the kenya tree was sending out toxins that were affecting the zoos. I had a little zoo that stopped opening after I put in the kenya tree. He has started to open up again, but now I'm not sure whether to keep replacing the carbon or not. Any suggestions? All of the corals seem to be doing pretty well today, though something keeps knocking them over. The rock polyps especially are looking really well the past few days. Xenia and kenya tree aren't fully open, but not closed up either. Wish me luck with the clowns. My 3 year old is already VERY excited about having "Nemo fish" in the tank! That's the ONLY silver lining in this whole thing--I knew I couldn't put any other fish in there with the damsel, but now that he's gone my kids can finally have their Nemo fish!

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Hmmmm...Your LFS dude has a BS in marine biology???? Wow... now that is impressive!!! If you have inverts and hard coral there is always a possibility that you may need to add some things...but if you are using a reef salt and doing regular water changes...the only thing that you will probably need to add is calcium....but never add elements that you are not testing for!! Do you have a test kit for Calcium??? How about Strontium and iodine??? Magnesium is another element that people sometimes have to dose...more so then Strontium....

I run a 300 gal mixed reef and never add any of these elements except calcium...and I do that in the form of Kalkwasser!!! I Test for Calcium with a Salifert Calcium test kit... Like I said Strontium over dosed, and Iodine overdosed are toxic...

I run carbon also because of some leathers in my tank...leathers use chemical war far to kill other corals to give them space to grow...the carbon takes that out...so carbon yes, change it every couple weeks or so....

Would love to see some pictures of your tank!!! ;)

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I'll take some pics as soon as I can--maybe tonight. Only a little 14 gallon biocube though. So here's my plan--continue as I'm doing except nix the additives except for calcium. Get a calcium test kit and start testing for this once a week along with the other tests. Feed the clowns mysis for now, which I have on hand, and pick up something else more natural than bloodworms for them. Continue with the carbon to keep the kenya tree from making everyone else angry. Thanks for all the advice. And I was impressed about the LFS guy's BS in marine biology as well. Just wish he'd advised me to test for the levels of the elements he suggested I add.

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Sounds like you are moving in the right direction.... I would suggest that your LFS dude may have taken it for granted that you would have the test kits for the elements you were adding.... Through experience I have found that most don't have the kits...You really need them as a 14 gal tank is not forgiving at all...and water conditions can change in the blink of an eye....I will say that it is harder to keep a 14 gal tanks water conditions constant than it is a 300 gal... and things can effect 14 gal of water very quickly...my tank it takes days to change the water parameters even minutely!!!!

If you can get Salifert test kits for your testing needs you will find them more accurate and easier to read then most out there... here is a link!!!

Good luck with your system and pictures would be nice!!! ;)

http://www.aquatichobbyaquariumsupply.com/..._Kits_s/600.htm

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