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Why are Damsels dying?
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darkzephyr
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Joined: 05 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.12(Mon)16:06    Post subject: Why are Damsels dying? Reply with quote

OK first let me explain some importants details. The aquarium system we have at the LPS I work at is 1 large sump system used to filter and aerate 8 75 gallon aqauriums split evenly to make effectively 24 25 gallons. So basically 600 gallons per sump.
Other stats are
Water temp 78 F
Salinity 1.026-1.028
Ammonia -0 ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
pH about 7.3
The deal is we just got a new saltwater shipment in last Fri night, Since then about 8 damsels have died in one tank alone, as well as a yellow tang, a Dwarf Flame angel, a scooter blenny and a few damsels in other tanks. The only thing I can see out of the ordinary here is the salinity might be a bit high. However in our Display tank it's even higher (1.028-1.030) and all of this fish appear to be extremely healthy.

A few other things to note
~All of the aforementioned fish were from the new shipment so have all died within the last few days.
~The majority of damsels as well as the scooter blenny were in one tank, the Yellow Tang was in another, and the Dwarf Flame angel in yet another.
Not sure but the Yellow tang may have been killed by his tankmates 2 other yellow tangs. I heard that tangs can be aggressive towards each other after establishing territory but it doesn't seem that a few days would have been enough time for that since they were all added at once.

~ All the tanks have 10-15 pounds of Live rock, about 1/4" of crushed coral and fake SW plants in them.

Anyone have any ideas on WHY the fish died as well as what I can do in general to help improve the comfort of fish in my saltwater section? I am relatively new to saltwater stuff and since I'm manager now I would like to keep things alive. So anyone with any comments about preventing SW fish deaths, please, pour your knowledge on me!


Last edited by darkzephyr on 2003.05.12(Mon)21:29; edited 1 time in total
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Taratron
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: AZ

PostPosted: 2003.05.12(Mon)20:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am by no means a SW expert, but that pH seems a bit low to me.....
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darkzephyr
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Joined: 05 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.12(Mon)21:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool thanks fer that at least that gives me something to go with. Now I have a couple more questions. Obviously I would like to know what the optimal marine pH should be and how to get it to that level and maintain it.
I would also like to know what brand of test kit you guys reccomend and Believe to be Accurate. Right now I believe I'm using Tetratest or something like that. We also have those "Master Test Kits" available in FW and SW versions. The TetraTest kit only had one test solution (for Nitrites, ammonia, Etc.) that is apparently able to test both SW and FW with the exception of pH, they actually had seperate testing solutions for this
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The Old Salt
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2003.05.12(Mon)22:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep.
pH way too low, salinity way too high.
Shoot for a pH of 8.3 and a specific gravity of 1.023 or 24.
Why on earth would you want to run it at 1.030, anyway?
To raise the pH , you can add some arm&hammer baking soda or just do a big water change. I'd go with the water change, personally. You'll have to be careful to raise the pH only a very small amount each day, like .1 or .2 at the most. You should also add some kalwasser or other marine buffer to keep the pH up where it belongs once you get it right.

While you're at it, try to figure out WHY your pH is so low...it usually takes something going very wrong to get it to drop that low.
Otherwise, I'll have to assume it's been a long time since this system had a water change?

Those corrections should help quite a bit. However, I'd still suspect that something went wrong with this particular shipment ( UNLESS it's been awhile since you last got one, in which case the old fish would have had time to get used to the bad water. )
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darkzephyr
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Joined: 05 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.13(Tue)16:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, if you wondering why the salinity is so high. I have no idea. I just got promoted to manager about a week ago and It's been that way for awhile now. But since I didn't do all the maintanence on the Sw aquariums prior to last week, I'm guessing the guy who was in charge before me added to much salt to the replacement water from water changes. Which the apparently didn't do enough of. I think it's been about a month, maybe more since SW was changed and since we have so many aquariums(many overstocked at least temporarily) are connected to one pump, I'm guessing it wouldn't hurt to do it weekly like we do with the freshwater.
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karlas
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.19(Mon)7:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree get the salt lowered and the pH up. Sometimes I think you can just get a bad shipment. All it takes is one sick fish depending on the disease to be put in the same water as someting else and boom the other fish can get what the other has. The 2 fish stores I go to actually have a quarenteen section in there stores. One of them quearenteens there fish for at least 2 weeks min. but if you have a problem with a fish you purchase they will take it back and qt it for you and try to find out the problem.

The other one does someting similar. A couple months ago she got a bad shipment of fish and refused sale of all fish received in that shipment until she got the problems straightend out. But still sold other critters and items in the mean time. Once all the fish were healed or cured or whatever the problem was and she was sure for her self they were healthy then she opened up the tanks they were in, in her fish section again. She also will take and qt a fish you have if there is a problem even if you didn't purchase it from her.

Since you have become manager maby you can make a suggestion for this. Try to set up a couple of tanks in the store maby in a back room if possible. Some of varying sizes for different size fish. If your selling healthy fish and become knoledgeable in diseases or problems, and how to deal with water parameters, people will come back. Both of these store have people that come from out of state just to buy fish. Because of the fact they know what they are getting. Also neither shop is very big but they do big business.
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